But, rather than innovate, it employed the strategy of being the first to profit. Microsoft chose to build its own versions of proven technology, as opposed to creating new devices from scratch. Netscape versus Internet Explorer is a great example. By owning the operating system on nearly every computer, Microsoft managed to crush the smaller rival, despite its late entry into the browser wars.
This worked when Microsoft was stronger than its competitors, but things are different today. Judging by the company’s long list of product failures — the Surface and Zune come to mind — Microsoft no longer has the brute strength necessary to deploy this strategy.
Microsoft needs to transform its culture to move like a challenger, and not like the leader it once was. A change at the top is the first step in this process. But, the transformation must trickle down to the rest of the organization.
Foolish bottom line
Ballmer was the wrong person to lead Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). He’s a business type with a sales and marketing focus. But, in times of change, a visionary is needed. An engineer or product maverick is required. That’s the leader Microsoft needs if the company is to revive its fortunes.
The article Goodbye Mr. Ballmer: Here’s What Microsoft Needs Now originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Robert Baillieul.
Robert Baillieul has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft.
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