Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "3,600 Microsoft Shoes Waiting to Drop":
Anybody care to write an open letter to Steve Ballmer? I admit I don't have the balls to ask questions to Steve face to face in the town-hall meeting, but I really believe it is time for him to hear the voice from the field, loud and clear! Some of them may sound harsh, but I only said it because I still love this company and hope it can survive the next decade.
If I could, I'd make the following suggestions to Steve Ballmer and the top management team.
1. MSFT missed its quarterly estimation but Google IBM and Apple beat theirs. To blame our own failures to the economy is a convenient way to shrug away our problems. But last time I checked it, "Accountability" is still one of our company values. I believe now MSFT is facing the consequences of lack of vision and bad execution for a long time. It is a critical turning point for MSFT right now and I believe we still have a chance to turn things around if we act correctly and quickly.
2. We need a CLEAR SaaS strategy. We haven't been sitting on our hands and wasting time for way too long and need to address the problem immediately. Software is becoming a utility and computation is moving to the cloud. Turning a blind eye to this industry shift wouldn't do us any good. Our OS and rich client productivity software need to migrate to the online version.
I'm not saying we need to ship our online version of Office tomorrow, it is well known US still have a big chunk of dial-up users today, so are the rest of the world. But in this downturn economy environment, if we don't migrate online quickly, Google will kill us eventually. Period.
3. The company needs to value Engineering Excellence. I've been working for MS Service for over 10 years, and I feel this company now is far less valuing EE compared to it did 10 years ago. Managers are driving "initiatives". People are talking about "Compliance". What's the value of all these wonderful stuff if nobody is really working to create great software or help our customers? Why Xbox has the red-ring of death problem, and Zune has the stupid bug at the new year? Isn't that a clear enough sign MS isn't paying attention to product quality and customer experience anymore?
And how long do you think a company can survive since it starts to ignore product quality and customer experience?
4. We need to reduce our mid-management levels drastically. Too many levels of management is the company cancer. It prevents the top management from hearing what the customer is thinking, and it prevents the people in the front line from executing our top management's ideas efficiently. Take Vista as an example, since it comes out, our desktop OS market share dropped to below 90% for the first time in the last 10+ years. And I don't have one single customer or friend who tells me s/he loves it, yet when I went to TR our top management is CELEBRATING the victory of Vista on the stage. Sitting in the audience crowd, I was thinking to myself, what is fxxking wrong with this company??
5. We need to shut down Live search, Zune, and Window Mobile. We wasted tons of money on these areas and achieved nothing but proving ourselves morons compared to Google and Apple. After years of investing, Live search today may have 8% percent yet still shrinking market share. Zune? 4%. Windows Mobile? Apple beat its pants off with only one iPhone. Now it is time to admit we are not good at these areas, and let the competitors enjoy what they deserve to enjoy.
6. People in the product group and research group need to spend time with our customer, at least one month a year. From many email threads and conversation with the product team, I concluded that many of our product teams don't have the slightest idea of what the customers want and don't want. I have many frustrated customer who saw the product bugs reappear in the next release. What value is there for the customer if you keep adding features to the new release and reintroducing the bugs that are fixed in some QFE/service pack of last one?
If you actually do work for Microsoft, which I doubt, then you are really, really out of the loop. If you had access to company information, your thoughts wouldn't be based solely on public data... Go away, troll!
(Why copy so many lines for a two-line comment?)