“There are some roads not to follow; some troops not to strike; some cities not to assault; and some ground which should not be contested.”

I’m loving this analysis of Microsoft by John Kirk on Microsoft.
His premise is Microsoft ignores every rule of warfare in how they decide to compete with products made by other companies.
Like when Microsoft took on the iPod with the Zune:

From a strategic standpoint, Microsoft’s move to create the Zune was inane and bordering on the insane. Its strategy:
– 1) Obliged Microsoft to betray its existing allies (hardware manufacturing partners);
– 2) Required Microsoft to abandon its greatest and most powerful weapon (licensing software to hardware manufacturers);
– 3) Compelled Microsoft to fight with unfamiliar weapons (hardware);
– 4) Forced Microsoft to fight on the battlefield of its opponent’s choosing and where its opponent could could leverage its strongest assets (integrated software and hardware).
And then again with Bing:
Google was founded in 1998 and soon became a very real threat to Microsoft. A response by Microsoft was appropriate and called for…but not the response Microsoft made. As usual, Microsoft went right at ’em by challenging Google where Google was strongest and where Microsoft was nonexistent — in search.

Let’s examine this from a strategic perspective:
1) Attack opponent where opponent is strongest. Check.
2) Attack opponent with a weapon with which you have little or no expertise (search engine/machine language). Check.
3) Attack opponent where they live, thus guaranteeing that they will they will be inspired to fight with desperation in order to ensure their very survival. Check.
4) Attack where even success gains you little or nothing. Check.
For too long, Microsoft has been in reaction mode to every other company doing something innovative (and profitable).
It begs the question, what do they really love to create? What are they good at?

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