Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014
Excellent analysis by Ben Thompson on the future of Microsoft and why he thinks it should be split up.
For all the talk of moving beyond Windows (and Windows Phone), I am deeply skeptical that Microsoft can truly pursue its potential as a software and services company as long as Windows is around. Culture is developed over years, and for decades everything at Microsoft was about Windows.
One of Thompson’s main points is that Microsoft is aiming to become a software and services company but with the hardware baggage of Windows, Xbox and more recently, Nokia.
In 2000, Windows, Office, and Server were a virtuous cycle. Today, Windows and the entire devices business is nothing but a tax. Microsoft is a company that is meant to serve the entire market, and the way to do that is through services on every device. It’s all fine and well to say that you will treat devices equally, but given Microsoft’s history – and the power of culture – I just don’t believe it’s possible.
This will be an interesting time for Microsoft watchers.