To quote Coach Dennis Green, "They are who we thought they were." If you thought that Microsoft was as mixed up as a well-shuffled deck of cards, and as clueless as a sack of hammers over the last few years, you were still being too generous. Microsoft was an unmitigated disaster. Now, thanks to Bloomberg, we have the inside scoop. The beans have been spilled and the dirt has been dished. The emperor really didn't have any clothes. And once the kimono was opened, it was a lot uglier than we suspected. See for yourself:
I'm not going to do a full write-up of this amazing story. I have been writing about Microsoft for quite a while. The linked article is confirmation of everything I have written about the company. It is a must read for industry watchers and geeks of every stripe. I will only recap a fe items that were both obvious and shocking.
Microsoft's entry into hardware was a source of major tension in the company. Balmer wanted to do it. Bill did not. Bill was right. The board was concerned about the move. Balmer had to throw a tantrum, something that he frequently did. The Board did not appreciate the billion dollar failure that was the Surface. That really did contribute to Balmer's ouster.
Balmer and Microsoft really were as clueless about mobile as we thought they were. Nokia was a huge sticking point. Again, it was Balmer who wanted to buy them. Cooler heads did not. Another tantrum was required. Nadella, the new CEO, initially was against the acquisition. He changed his tune. Elop, another leading CEO candidate, did not. It is almost as if Nadella changed his vote with a particular prize in mind.
Mulally did not get the job because...
Well, you really should read the article. There is not much you want to know about what happened that is not covered in the piece.