With all the buzz and rumors about layoffs at Microsoft, most of the pundits are missing the point. Yesterday President Obama said about government, “it’s not how big or small that matters, it how it works.” The same idea applies for Microsoft. It’s not about how many employees they have, it’s about how well they work together and what they produce.
Microsoft is one of the great companies of our age. Despite all the naysayers, I know that if it wasn’t for Microsoft, we probably all wouldn’t be tapping away on our keyboards and instantly being a part of a new global community. The same can be said for Google, Apple and the many other game changing enterprises that have created the Web2.0 world we live in.
But, it’s also been said the Microsoft has lost its groove (although actually, Groove is a great product). Next generations of its flagship products come out slower than expected and without any new “killer apps” in the features. Again, the same can be said for most of the others. Apple is an example of brand and aesthetics, not technology and Google is worth what it is because it’s replacing the TV set as the place to see commercials (which they call search results, but they ultimately are still ads).
So what is Microsoft’s real problem? Instead of selling a hundred projects in various suites, bundles or packages and marketing each separately, they need to get very focused on what they actually are. And to my mind, what Microsoft actually is, is a communications company.
We use Word to communicate via the written word. We use Excel to communicate numbers. We use SharePoint to communicate among ourselves. We use Atlas to communicate to complete strangers and we use Windows to communicate with our technology. And since communication is the key to commerce, education and perhaps world peace, Microsoft should lift itself to the same level of Bill Gates’, Gates Foundation, by trying to ensure that each individual life has equal worth. By facilitating communication, Microsoft can approach the same goal.
So forget about layoffs or re-organizations. Focus on what really matters, what Microsoft is delivering to the world around us. Let us all communicate.