I am not suggesting that Microsoft as a business will fail in the near future. What I am saying is, in my opinion, the recent decline in the Microsoft stock has been coming for decades and I fear more decline is on it's way.
In 1995 I gave a presentation to a international group of Microsoft managers in Munich, Germany. My general theme was, looking at the emergence of the Internet, that at some point in Microsoft's future, people would only need one 'Window' - as oppose to 'Windows'! This being a metaphor for the change in the I.T. industry that the Internet would bring.
To me the current Microsoft situation once again underline some of my basic beliefs when it come to business:
1. Death is the default for every business. Only people who have never run a business can believe that a business will survive on it's own. Let me tell you it will not. As C-level executives, managers and business owners we need to stop our business from dying. It's not only about how much effort you put in to keep your business from dying, it is more about the right kind of effort.
2. It is all about focus and vision. Some of the recent acquisitions, i.e. Skype, make you wonder where this all is leading too. I remember a quote from Steve Jobs, where he said, 'Sometimes it's more about saying 'No', than saying 'Yes'!
In my opinion Microsoft is currently failing on both accounts. I think we are going to need the 'Vision Thing' and then the right kind of effort in sufficient quantity to turn Microsoft's fortunes around.
For me every business has it's own DNA and Microsoft is in urgent need of gene-therapy!
Stefan Töpfer is the CEO of WinWeb.com - a leading business cloud infrastructure provider. The views and opinions expressed are his and are based on over two decades of personal experience in the internet industry as a serial entrepreneur, editor of The Small Business Blog, mentor and angel investor. Double-underlined links have been added by NASDAQ and are not endorsed by the author.