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商业 - 科技

管理之乱:微软掌门人重蹈小布什覆辙

Philip Elmer-DeWitt 2011年09月29日

微软公司的年会引发了现有和前任雇员潮水般的指责。

    上周五的员工年会之后,迷你微软(Mini-Microsoft)网站上的相关评论在微软(Microsoft)公司的博客上激起了千层浪。迷你微软一向是员工们匿名发言、直抒胸臆的地方,从微软员工在今年的年度大会后发布的留言数量和基调来看,在这家总部位于雷德蒙市公司,员工士气已经跌至新低。

    WinRumors网站甚至声称,多位员工在史蒂夫•鲍尔默演讲时当场离开。虽然我们无法证实这类报道,但员工们的留言却说明了一切。在线新闻网站Seattle PI在此摘选出了其中一些具有代表性的评论。其中一些引起了我的注意,它们着眼于鲍尔默所领导的微软在与苹果(Apple)、谷歌(Google)等同行竞争时所面临的困境。

    史蒂夫•鲍尔默掌管微软期间的所作所为与小布什在2000-2008年期间统帅美国时的做法如出一辙,典型的成事不足败事有余。尽管人们对于史蒂芬•思诺思夫斯基(Windows操作系统部的总裁,也是最有希望成为下一任CEO的人选)赞许有加,但无助于改变微软的大局。只要他和Window系统继续把持微软公司,创新则不得不选择逃离微软,另觅生机。

    这也让我意识到当初美国司法部(DOJ)决定将微软拆分为多个业务部门的想法是多么英明。

    所有这些关于与苹果竞争的话题早已是老生常谈了?

    我认为在这场“战争”中,微软已经输给了苹果,原因有二:

    1. iPad有效地控制了游戏规则的制定权。

    1. 苹果更清楚如何才能赢得这场竞争。

    如果将“苹果”替换为“谷歌”,“iPad”换成“搜索”,结果也将如出一辙:

    1、 谷歌搜索有效地控制了游戏规则的制定权。

    2、 谷歌更清楚如何才能赢得这场竞争。

    尽管微软拥有丰富的软件开发资源,但这家公司在下面这些方面竟然缺乏整体观:

    1) 设计;

    2) 实用性;以及

    3) 对终端用户体验的理解

    雇用再多的程序开发员也解决不了这个问题,同样,将所有的测试员变为开发员也无济于事。

    试图与其他公司的优势进行竞争并企图超越其他公司,这种做法无异于自取其辱,然而微软却一直乐此不疲。

    这些评论都是博客Mini-Microsoft上一篇题为《周五!周五!周五!微软全体员工相会在周五》(Friday! Friday! Friday! Microsoft Company Meeting Friday!)文章的跟帖。这些评论无疑会让微软的投资者感到阵阵寒意。

    The Microsoft (MSFT) blogs are having a field day mining the stream of comments left on Mini-Microsoft after Friday's annual employee meeting. The site has traditionally been a place for staffers to let off steam anonymously, but the tone and volume of the remarks made after this year's gathering suggest that morale in Redmond has hit a new low.

    We can't confirm reports that employees left "in droves" during CEO Steve Ballmer's speech, as WinRumors has it, but the comments speak for themselves. Seattle PI has published a representative selection here. The one that caught my eye focused on the difficulty Ballmer's Microsoft has competing with the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG):

    Steve Ballmer has done to Microsoft what George W. Bush did to the United States from 2000-2008 -- run things straight into the ground. And all this praise for Steven Sinosfsky [president of the Windows division, seen by many as the next CEO] isn't going to change much at Microsoft. As long as he and Windows have the dominating presence on Microsoft and all its businesses, innovation will find paths outside the company and elsewhere.

    It makes me think that the DOJ had the right idea way back when -- break up MS into several Baby-Bills.

    All this talk about competing with Apple -- haven't this all been heard before?

    I assert that Microsoft has already lost this 'battle' with Apple for two reasons:

    1. iPad effectively dictates the rules of the game now.

    2. Apple is simply better at what it takes to win at this game.

    If you substitute 'Google' for 'Apple', and 'iPad' for 'Search' you get something remarkably similar:

    1. Search effectively dictates the rules of the game now.

    2. Google is simply better at what it takes to win at this game.

    In these competitive spaces outside the enterprise, Microsoft, for all its software development resources, simply doesn't get the larger concepts of -

    1) Design;

    2) Usability; and

    3) Understanding the end-user customer experience.

    Throwing more developers at the problem doesn't make it solved. Turning all testers into developers helps in no way either.

    Trying to compete with these companies to do something better than they do -- when they already do it very well -- is a setup for failure, and has been for a very long time.

    The comments are attached to the Mini-Microsoft post entitled Friday! Friday! Friday! Microsoft Company Meeting Friday! They make chilling reading for Microsoft investors.

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