I have been a Microsoft guy my whole life. I used DOS, Windows 3.1 as a kid. I beta tested Windows 95, Windows 98, NT 4, 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7. I also beta tested every browser they have ever shipped from the first version of Internet Explorer as well as every version of Office. I know how to install Active Directory, Exchange and a host of other Microsoft server products. I have an xBox and am typing on a Microsoft natural keyboard. I am not a Microsoft hater.
However, I have seen a slow and steady decline in Microsoft’s ability to do interesting things. They have 88,414 employees and hardly any innovation to show for it. Here are some examples:
By the way, I went to Microsoft AdCenter in Chrome and got this:
Is it really that hard to develop for all browsers? I have to do it. I have to support your sucky browser. It would be nice if you returned the favor by supporting the browser I use. Adwords supports IE. It’s just lame.
Browsers. Internet Explorer is a blight on humanity at this point. Just switch to Webkit please, for the love of God and make my life easier. I hate Internet Explorer and have no idea why you bother.
Windows Phones. I had an iPaq (not iPad) from HP in 1999. It was a mobile device running a modified Windows OS. This was over a decade before the iPhone. OVER 10 YEARS! How the hell did they not innovate for a decade?! How could they be so ahead of the curve and not be dominant in this battle? How did Android come in and steal the show? To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, What the hell is going on out there?! Next time you have a decade long lead, you need to PUSH THE ENVELOPE, not rest on your laurels!
Microsoft Money. I understand this isn’t the sexiest piece of software in the world. I get that even Intuit doesn’t care that much about it. But still, you just give up? You have 88,000 people and you just GIVE UP?? Quicken is not a great program. It’s half-assed at best. Mint is not a substitute because you can’t log that you wrote a check. Quicken is finally getting some improvement because of the talent from Mint. You could have bought Mint rather than Intuit. Are you telling me that Intuit is more innovative than Microsoft? They are the LEAST innovative company in the world! I know, I worked there. Come on!
Keyboards and Mice. It looks to me like you haven’t even tried to innovate here for 10 years.
Tablets. I see nothing.
New exciting, never thought of that before ideas. Do you hear crickets chirping? … that is the sound of nothingness. It is deafening to me.
The one area you have done any innovation is on the xBox. Good job there.
Root cause: You aren’t hiring enough creative thinkers. You aren’t empowering enough creative thinkers. You have lost your edge and your ability to try things. A big company can swing the bat with more oomph than a smaller company. However, I just can’t see innovation there for the life of me. Look, I am not a Microsoft hater. I write this in the hope that it will kick you in the ass and wake you up!
Does anyone know someone at Microsoft? Someone who knows Ballmer? Forward it along. I am sick of how stale they are becoming. It’s not about how much money you make to me. It’s about how much you inspire me. And right now, Microsoft doesn’t inspire me.