Steve Ballmer recently issued a mea culpa when he admitted that Microsoft bit off more than it could chew when it embarked on its Vista upgrade that was to change virutally everything about Windows. Unfortunately, though, he went on to say that Microsoft will succeed by going in many directions, and being a “multicore” company. He’s got that exactly wrong.
The real root of the Vista problem is that Microsoft is trying to get into too many businesses, and because of that, it’s lost focus on what should be its primary purpose: To write operating systems and application software.
Now it’s in the gaming business, the search business, the services business, the hardware business, the portable media player business, the entertainment business…what’s next, the apparel business?
Getting into so many different businesses obviously takes away resources from its core business. But even worse, it requires that Microsoft become a large, show, old-fashioned corporation, one that’s not particularly well-suited to the kind of quick changes and innovation required in the tech world.
Ballmer, though, doesn’t appear to have learned that lesson. Instead, he said the company would have many “cores” and be in many different businesses simultaneously.
“There really is a Sony that lives inside us, and there is an aspiring Yahoo or Google that lives inside of us,” he said at a recent analyst meeting
I’m hoping this is bluster, and that he eventually sees the light. I want great versions of Windows and Office from Microsoft. I don’t need an MP3 player from them.