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Five big things Microsoft got right

It's easy these days to dwell on the missteps and competitive challenges faced by the software maker, but analysis firm Directions on Microsoft points to the big things the company has gotten right.

With so many people pointing out the external challenges and internal missteps from Microsoft, it is easy to pile on criticism.

One longtime watcher of the company, Directions on Microsoft, has a new report out looking at five big things the software maker has done right.

The analysis is on the Internet and worth a read.

Directions on Microsoft points to the company's appeal to developers, its focus on software, its reliance on others to sell its products, along with the fact it targets technology for the masses and takes the long view.

For sure, these are the things that have helped the company survive past missteps and address other competitive threats as well. But, through most of the past challenges, Microsoft has been able to largely keep the same business model, something it probably won't be able to do in this next wave of difficulties.

I have no doubt Microsoft will be able to deliver its software as a service and find ways to make money. But whether it will be able to make the same kinds of money in terms of both revenue and profits is a key question.

For more on the man leading the current wave of change, Steven Levy's Wired piece on Ray Ozzie is also definitely worth checking out, as is CNET News' Dan Farber's take on the piece.

In case you have not noticed by the less frequent posts, I'm off this week (well, sort of off anyway). Happy Thanksgiving to all.