Microsoft facing a technology gap?

Discussion in 'ten-forward' started by Smokey, Jun 8, 2003.

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  1. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

    Apr 1, 2002
    Annie's Pub
    CEO sends wake-up call to staff

    Is the world’s biggest software company facing a technology gap? Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft, addressed that question directly Wednesday in a memo to the company’s rank and file that laid out the challenges of the next two or three years in stark detail.

    HIS MESSAGE: With no immediate breakthroughs in technology coming, and with the Linux computer operating system and a batch of other open-source programs biting at its heels, Microsoft will have to do a better job of persuading customers it has something they need.

    Some way off in the future lies a generation of technology that Microsoft promises will change the lives of every computer user. Codenamed Longhorn, it involves a complete revamp of the company’s two core product lines — the Windows operating system and Office productivity suite. It promises to bring greater ease, reliability and security. In short, it will be “the next quantum leap in computing, which will put us years ahead of any other product on the market,” wrote Ballmer.

    When that day will come, however, noone is saying. In an interview, the Microsoft CEO would only say that “Longhorn will come when we think it’s really ready.” Some industry analysts have pencilled in 2005, but the company is not prepared to endorse that view. Also, following its recent commitment to delaying software releases until it has ironed out all the bugs — a marked departure from the company’s earlier practice — Microsoft seems more than prepared to wait.

    What, in the meantime, will business look like?
    The picture painted on Wednesday by Ballmer is certainly a challenging one. There is a general disenchantment with technology spending. Companies “have not yet seen a tangible return on dotcom investments.” Add in the weak economy, and “there is less passion and enthusiasm for technology, and greater focus on doing more for less.”

    In that environment, companies have turned to Linux and other open-source software programs, seeing them as cheap but adequate alternatives. Around half of the 1 million corporate computers in the United States that run the Unix operating system are candidates for migration to Linux, according to Ballmer — a significant challenge to Microsoft, which has set its own sights on winning over those customers for its Windows operating system.

    The Ballmer response: Microsoft will have to do a better job of producing software whose benefits are clearly apparent to customers. And it will have to do a better job, in particular, of gearing its development and sales organizations to what its customers want.

    “There’s a set of things I highlight that I want us to do better,” says Ballmer in an interview.

    These include redoubling its efforts to make its software more secure — an initiative begun by Bill Gates early last year under the banner of “trustworthy computing.” Despite the headway made since then, Microsoft still suffered the embarrassment of seeing some of its own computers succumb earlier this year to the Slammer worm, a malicious bug that crippled computers around the world.

    “Our customers are still hit with security vulnerabilities and we have spent a lot of time learning from Slammer what we need to do better,” wrote Ballmer in his memo to staff.

    Equally importantly, Microsoft must “improve business consistency” so that customers are not hit with unexpected — and unwanted — changes. That is a lesson learned from last year, when the company’s overhaul of its software licensing terms antagonized many of its customers.

    It must also get better at segmenting the markets its serves and turning out the products that different customers want. “Our ability to hear is quite good. We have to know how to respond,” says Ballmer. To back up this new push to promote a more customer-friendly Microsoft, Ballmer promised that the company would “increase our advertising budget significantly for all our audiences.”

    Source: Financial Times
  2. Mr.Blaze

    Mr.Blaze The Newbie Welcome Wagon

    Feb 3, 2003
    on the sofa
    :D yup after what happend to xp lol

    i think there testing it out and leting lose alot of illigal copys all over the internet to get peoples reaction

    cause microsoft is perty good with there secrets and all of the sudden the internet is flooded with illigal copys of longhorn im perty sure they let it out

    because microsoft and its secrets are vey will secure so i find it imposiable to belive that there not useing people as guine pigs after all if the system crashs and burn no one can call up complaineing lol

    i even seen some security web sites showing full pictures of longhorn operating system with a full review im perty sure microsoft didnt give them a copy lol

    they trying to make sure it dosent go as bad as xp with a bunch of hype and very few buyers on its release
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