Change at Microsoft… not so much.

It’s not the fight without, but the fight within.

Microsoft makes more money from Android then it’s windows phone platform.  What does that tell you.  Microsoft does not innovate.  Let’s not choose / define innovation here, but suffice it to say they have not successfully executed.   They don’t illuminate market potential with demonstrated innovation.  Bill Gates showing off a tablet long before everyone else executed is a false proof point.  Microsoft has failed to be an effective fast follower.  Windows phones have every opportunity to be a knock out success as the fast follower.  What Microsoft does have is a highly efficient legacy market position that is ruthlessly executed against the market.  For that, I applaud this news:

Ballmer Announces Retirement From Microsoft

I have two critical points to make.

1) It’s 12 months away and that is way too long.

2) Bill Gates is the Chairman

For all of my dislike of how Pilot Ballmer sailed the Costa Concordia AKA Microsoft into the shores of mediocrity.  I fault the real captain of this ship Bill Gates.  It’s clearly time to look past the vast PR campaign that is  Bill and Melinda Gates and call this tragic accident for what it is.  Bill Gates stepped off the ship and stayed on shore so the pilot and crew could take the blame.  He is more concerned with his legacy then the stewardship of his previous success.  Or, more cynically, he choose to do a much more sinister thing and let his protégé take the fall.  There can be only one!

To raise the Costa Conmicrosoft will take more effort and better leadership than Microsoft has.  To quote recovery experts on the Cost Concordia:  “Success is anything but guaranteed. Engineers say they only have one shot at parbuckling the ship — and any error during the days-long process could see the ship break apart, or over-rotate off the underwater platforms and sink completely.”  Microsoft is in no better shape.  Is this how a powerful and wise chairman sets the stage for success?

“Mr. Ballmer, 57, will stay on until a successor is chosen by a special committee of the board of directors that includes John W. Thompson, the board’s lead independent director, and Mr. Gates, Microsoft’s chairman. The committee will consider both internal and external candidates and has hired an executive search firm to scout for a replacement.”

No successor planning Mr. Gates?  Seriously?  This is one of two things.

1) A printing mistake

2) Incompetence

How can a company so clearly heading into the shallow water not have a clear plan for immediate action?  Where is the willingness to take this head on by setting up a shorter transition period?  One has to ask why the stock jumps 7% on the news when there is only a vague plan for transition.  If this same announcement was made for HP today, it’s stock would plummet, as it did for Yahoo when they announced a top level change with a sketchy plan.  It is up 7% because the problem is that bad!

So who is really to account for this tragic accident of what was truly a great company what empowered the USA to become an information juggernaut across the globe?  Sadly, the same man who made it so, Bill Gates.


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