Ex-Microsoft Employee Compares Microsoft To IBM in the 1980’s… Ouch

I’m guessing that staff at Microsoft HQ are moving the chairs out of Ballmer’s office as we speak. That’s because an interview with Don Dodge in the Seattle Post Intelligencer will likely make the Microsoft CEO throw a few chairs across his office. So, who is this Don Dodge guy? Until Microsoft laid him off, he was Director of Business Development for the Emerging Business Team. That’s a long fancy title that basically means that he was dealing with startup companies like Facebook and Myspace. Not an insignificant position. Of course he didn’t stay unemployed for long as he was quickly grabbed by Google. Another reason why chairs might soon be flying based on past history.

In any case, here’s how he sees Microsoft right now:

I think Microsoft today is a lot like IBM was in 1985. When I started my career IBM dominated the tech world. In the late ’80s Microsoft started to dominate the software world, first with desktop software and later with server software like Windows Server and SQL Server.

Microsoft is still a powerful company – $60 billion in revenue and very profitable – but I think after 20 years they are losing the innovation edge. The most innovative companies today are Google, Apple and Facebook. Very few companies can dominate an industry for more than 20 years. It is just the natural competitive cycle. Another factor – Bill Gates leaving the company. The transition was smooth, but not having Bill there every day has far-reaching implications.

Google, Apple, and Facebook are more innovative than Microsoft? Say it ain’t so! The rest of the article is a good read as well. I really encourage you to read it.

In the meantime, employees at Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters should be on the lookout for flying chairs.

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