The Essence of Microsoft

June 8, 2007 at 1:17 pm | Posted in Microsoft | 1 Comment

I found a great summary of the essence of Microsoft that I wanted to pass along. I think it’s the best summary I’ve seen. While it is obviously spun in Microsoft’s favor (being from Ballmer) it rings true. It presents their spin on being a fast follower and often taking a few versions to get things right, but it addresses the issue and I respect that. I think the line about inventing better than the creator is rather humorous – close to using the word “re-inventing”.

It’s from a presentation Steve Ballmer gave at the Convergence 2007 conference in March, although it’s from a standard 5 item set of talking points he has on the “core of Microsoft”. The transcript is available here, but here’s the relevant excerpt

As I wrap, I want to say two things. I get often asked, what is at the core of Microsoft? What does it take us to continue to be a successful company? And I’d say maybe five things, but I’ll overlay one other. We continue to focus on attracting and retaining the best and the brightest. That’s been a hallmark of our company.

We have to engage broadly in innovation, big and little. Sometimes we’re the first to invent things, sometimes we have to invent something better than the original creator. But we’re very dedicated to innovation, and I think you can see that in our Dynamics product line.

We are what I like to call multi-core. We’re for the enterprise and for the consumer. We have an ad business model, a service business model, and a software business model. We sell hardware and we sell software. But our core skill set is broad horizontal technology innovation.

We are committed to driving, not trailing industry transformation. That’s oftentimes hard for an industry leader to do, and yet we’re pushing this transformation to software as a service as fast and as rapidly as anybody around.

And last but certainly not least, our company takes a long term approach. We don’t get in and do something for a year; we get in. Sometimes we get it right at first, sometimes it takes a second release or a third release. But you can count on us, as you can count on us throughout everything we do, including the Dynamics product line. We’re just going to keep investing and investing and investing and investing. Our persistence, our willingness and desire to hear from you, to learn, to bring new innovations to bear, and to keep on going is very high.


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  1. […] KnowledgeForward blog notes this transcript on Microsofts innovation management practices (this is from a presentation […]

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