The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
BW: Steve Ballmer Should Focus -- Like the Other Steve

BW: Steve Ballmer Should Focus -- Like the Other Steve

by , 1:05 PM EST, February 8th, 2008

Big mergers in the high-tech industry have been colossal failures, and the same can be expected of Microsoft and Yahoo. Steve Ballmer, who appears to be anxious to make his mark on his company should stop trying to be all things to all people, according to Arik Heseldahl at BusinessWeek on Friday. Instead, Microsoft should focus, like the other Steve. The one who's killing Microsoft in the smartphone business.

In an open letter to Steve Ballmer at Microsoft, Mr. Hesseldahl was particularly crisp and direct in his criticism of Microsoft's proposal to buy Yahoo.

"After all, who knows what will happen to the Internet while you're busy splicing these companies together," Mr. Hesseldahl wrote. "Name one truly important Internet innovation that has come internally from either Microsoft or Yahoo. I can't either. All the best new stuff at Yahoo has come by way of acquisitions: Flickr, Oddpost, Zimbra, and Overture."

Mr. Hesseldahl pointed out that, in addition to the expected difficulties in the acquisition and Microsoft's sprawling growth, other things have been left unattended, like Vista and a Web-based office suite. Instead, Microsoft has dabbled as a consumer electronics company, a digital media company, and with Yahoo in its sights, an online advertising company. "Before long you'll probably want to sell me telephone and TV service, too," Mr. Hesseldahl wrote with only a little hyperbole.

The round house punch, however, came when the noted BW author compared Steve Ballmer's lack of focus to the laser-like focus of the other Steve down south. "You know, the turtle-necked guy in California who keeps annoying you by selling iPods and computers that typically don't run on Windows. You could learn a lot from him. Focus saved his company from oblivion. Apple does what it's good at, and it expands into new areas carefully," Mr. Hesseldahl explained.

This is the very best explanation of what ails Microsoft in 2008 published to date. After reading it, one has to wonder why Microsoft, as Mr. Hesseldahl pointed out, with a server, OS, and Office business that generates a $43B revenue with a 62 percent operating profit, seems so bent on self destruction.

Recent Headlines - Updated November 26th

Wed,2:50 PM
The Name Your Own Price Must-Have Mac Bundle
1:36 PM
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-11-26
10:46 AM
5 iPhone Apps to Cut Your Thanksgivings Stress
8:50 AM
iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite: Naming Group Conversations in Messages
Tue,9:01 PM
BuzzFeed Uses Apple Watches to Incentivise Staff
8:14 PM
The SKEYE Nano Drone Quadcopter: $34.99
4:52 PM
Black Friday 2014: The Best iPhone Deals
4:34 PM
Best Buy Black Friday Deals Available This Minute
3:45 PM
OS X Yosemite: How to Reset Your Administrator Password
1:10 PM
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-11-25
11:56 AM
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham gets Black Friday Launch
10:21 AM
Susquehanna Raises AAPL Target to $135 on Strong iPhone 6 Demand
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!