Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An Interesting View Into Microsoft's Recent Activities

As I continue to catch up on last month's Wall Street Journals, I came across a rather innocuous piece announcing the departure of Microsoft's head of operating systems and online efforts, Kevin Johnson, to become the new CEO at Juniper Networks.

Among the things mentioned in the Journal piece were a subsequent internal memo from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stating he wants to

"out-innovate Google" and "changing the way we work with hardware vendor" to fight Apple.

These would be humorous, if they were not so sadly out of the realm of possibility for the aging, inept software giant.

When is the last time anyone saw Microsoft innovate?

And compete with Apple in hardware? Is Ballmer serious? How? With a follow-on to the abysmal Zune?

Now, in the wake of Johnson's departure, Ballmer is reversing course on his decision of only three years ago to split the desktop operating systems group from the online group.

Given Microsoft's dismal performance record for its shareholders over the past few years, as depicted in the nearby, Yahoo-sourced chart, you have to seriously wonder if anything Ballmer touches will work.

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