Quote du Jour: Microsoft’s Biggest Misses

The quote of the day goes to a Gartner analyst opining on Microsoft’s belated arrival in late-2008 to the hyper-growth virtualization market with Veridian, Microsoft’s VMware killer.

“”Nothing in their history have they missed for so long.”

Gosh, so many Microsoft delays to choose among, but maybe virtualization’s it. Anyone want to offer other choices?


  1. Motts McGregor says:

    This is it — I hear Allchin personally and at the very last moment killed the deal to buy VMWare some years ago for $400M….

  2. Paul:
    For being a self-confessed “card-carrying grammar nag”, you really astound me with the construction of this sentence:
    “so many Microsoft to choose among, but maybe virtualization’s it.”
    Yes, poetic licence and all, and I get the meaning but why, oh why?

  3. TCP/IP. Microsoft didn’t support it until Windows 95. There were two or three aftermarket stacks for Windows 3.1, and even PC-IP for MS-DOS.
    A useful Graphical UI. Remember the big market for Norton Desktop and HP Dashboard? That was sad.
    The big prize has to go to auto-ejecting media (was floppies, now CDs). That’s been over twenty years.

  4. Shefaly — That’s a Paul-typing-fast-and-missing-a-word error. It happens here all the time. I have some sort of bizarro dyslexia where I drop words, but read the entries as if the words are there.
    Walter — Good choices. I forgot about the TCP/IP stack issue. That was a nutty miss, way back when.

  5. Heck, where to begin. I think the big Microsoft miss is going to have be software as a service since they saw it coming so long ago and have been executing so poorly on it.

  6. I think they actually see things well. I mean they were looking at buying VMWare long before EMC bought them. And they did end up buying Connectix at that time. I would never characterize MSFT as not forward thinking or unaware of the issues facing them in the marketplace. Many Mac innovations truly were considered first within MSFT. They are as paranoid as the best of them.
    The problem is simply their speed to market. Too many meetings and too many signoffs instead of action. It’s just a fat organization. And that can be terribly demoralizing to employees to see other companies steal your thunder.

  7. Josh Stern says:

    Re: Microsoft – I think shareholders miss the point that when the guys running the company get so rich that other life considerations must be more important to them than additional money, it is time for new mgmt.
    Re: Dyslexia
    Paul, I’ve often had the same dyslexia and I think it mainly comes from trying to multi-task while substituting coffee for sleep (therebye making actual hours slept also less restful).

  8. They missed the business of the Internet until the famed Gates memo in the mid-90’s (which I guess you could throw under the TCP/IP support comment). For the most successful tech company in the world at the time, its like a cardio thoracic surgeon only doing three bypasses in a quadruple bypass operation.

  9. Leopard