Microsoft doesn't appear to have much ambition left in the tank. But if I had multi-billion dollar monopolies in desktop operating systems and office productivity suites, I might not venture too far from home, either.
Steve Ballmer recently outlined Microsoft's top strategic initiatives for 2008. If they sound eerily similar to what Microsoft has traditionally focused on, that's because they are:
- Windows on new PCs
- Corporate desktop value
- Server units
- SMB (small/midsize business) wares
- Portals and search
- Online advertising
- Windows Mobile
Perhaps the message is, "If it's not broken, don't fix it." But for a company with billions of dollars in profit to spend on new initiatives, it would be nice to see more innovation out of Microsoft. Preserving its monopolies is a good business decision, but it doesn't put the "Wow" back in computing.
Unless you're a competitor that actually is changing the game, like Google. Plenty of Wow! there for Google and lots of room to innovate freely knowing that Microsoft is so entrenched in its past that it can barely see the future.