An Encomium to Microsoft: Just Some Small, Probably Irrelevant, Omissions

January 31, 2022

I read “Don’t Forget Microsoft.” Back in the days when my boss at Booz Allen & Hamilton was the toast of business schools, he dragged me along to order bottled water and carry his serious looking briefcase. The most enjoyable part of these excursions to assorted business schools, conferences, and meetings was the lingo. There was a self-importance in the people to whom my boss lectured. The fellow had a soft, gentle voice, and it would output jargon, truisms gleaned from Norm Augustine, and BAH precepts like hire people smarter than you are and look for “Type A” people who will work 60 hours a week.

This write up reminded me of those interesting discussions with those who wanted wisdom about how to be a baller in business. If one looks at the essay/analysis of Microsoft Corporation, one sees mountain tops. These are indeed important; for example:

  • The prediction that MSFT will become a $10 trillion dollar company. Translation: Buy stock now.
  • The cloud and the new things Microsoft is doing. Translation: AWS and Google are toast.
  • Games. Yes, the meta thing. Translation: If you are a coding young gun, apply for a job and ride the tsunami named Softie.

And there are other peaks poking above the intellectual “clouds.”

However, I noted a small, probably irrelevant, omission or two from the write up. These are my opinions, and I assume that those younger and much smarter than I will point out that I am a crazy old coot. Here goes, so take a deep breath.

  1. Microsoft is unable to address the security issues its software and systems spawn; that is, the cat-and-mouse game between bad actors and good actors pivot in a large part on the seemingly infinite number of security-related issues. These range from decades old Word macros to zippy new methods like those still creating headaches in the aftermath of the SolarWinds’ misstep, the Exchange Server issues, and the soothing information presented on the Microsoft Security Alert page which has not been update for four days as I write down my thoughts. (MSFT tells me that it will take only two hours to read the document.
  2. Issues related to stuff that happens between different Microsoft employees. I don’t want to belabor the point but “Microsoft Will Review Sexual Harassment Investigation Of Bill Gates, Others” presents some interesting information.
  3. Clumsy distractions as innovation. I am thinking of the Android enhanced Windows 11 and the announcement of a big deal for an electronic game company. These “big” moves distract people from other facets of the organization.

Net net: Interesting essay, quite positive, and only a few minor omissions. Who cares about security, employee well being, and masterful public relations? I sure don’t.

As my former boss and mentor at BAH told me, “As long as it generates money, everything will be okay.” Plus, I haven’t forgotten Microsoft, okay?

Stephen E Arnold, January 31, 2022


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