Part of the mystery surrounding why M$ with all its $billions is stagnating in the OS department is solved in a recent article in Vanity Fair. According to M$’s own standards, being ridiculed in the popular press is a sure sign of the end-game where the technology is considered second or third rate:
- “a management system known as “stack ranking”—a program that forces every unit to declare a certain percentage of employees as top performers, good performers, average, and poor—effectively crippled Microsoft’s ability to innovate. “Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees,” Eichenwald writes. “If you were on a team of 10 people, you walked in the first day knowing that, no matter how good everyone was, 2 people were going to get a great review, 7 were going to get mediocre reviews, and 1 was going to get a terrible review,” says a former software developer. “It leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather than competing with other companies.””
- “Microsoft had a prototype e-reader ready to go in 1998, but when the technology group presented it to Bill Gates he promptly gave it a thumbs-down, saying it wasn’t right for Microsoft. “He didn’t like the user interface, because it didn’t look like Windows,” a programmer involved in the project recalls.”
So, M$ was locked in to resting on its laurels while the world moved on for a decade. M$ missed out on the web and mobile applications and their desktop/notebook share began to slide.