Imagine Where Microsoft Would Be If It Had The Discipline of Oracle

I woke up this morning to hear the news that Microsoft was launching a competitor to Twitter. In my mind, I can’t help but juxtapose that story with the news from last week that Oracle is buying Sun. Now, I’m not a big fan of Larry Ellison. I still have bitter memories from the 90s when my wife’s raise was held up, because Larry had to approve it, and he was off yacht racing. But, you have to admire the way that he approaches his business. I never have any questions about what Oracle is doing. Larry knows what Oracle is about: Enterprise Software. He has a vision of where the market is going: a few big players. And, he has a strategy to make Oracle the dominant player in this new world: buy up key technologies; offer the complete Enterprise stack. Once you understand Larry’s vision, you can understand and justify every move Oracle has made.

Now, contrast that with Microsoft. Ballmer doesn’t know what the company is about. Is it focused on the desktop, games, internet, enterprise? Who knows? He doesn’t have a coherent vision of where all these markets are going. Who could? As a result, Ballmer doesn’t have a coherent strategy. He’s attempting to do everything; and he’s doing nothing well. Seriously, does anyone have a clue what Ballmer will do next, and why? If you say you do, you’re lying. You can’t know, because there is no strategy. There’s just a bunch of incoherent initiatives. It’s too bad, because if Microsoft had been as focused as Oracle, they could be hugely dominant in the enterprise space. As it is, they’ve wasted ten years.


  1. What would Larry Ellison do with Microsoft (it wouldn't be Vine) | Between the Lines | Said,

    April 28, 2009 @ 9:10 am

    […] “if Ellison ran Microsoft” thread was posted by John Potter on his MobKool blog. John is our resident tech guru at ZDNet/TechRepublic/BNet/MoneyWatch. He writes: I woke up this […]

  2. tbrim Said,

    April 29, 2009 @ 7:13 am

    “I still have bitter memories from the 90s when my wife’s raise was held up, because Larry had to approve it, and he was off yacht racing.”

    Are you kidding me with this? The (as you say, visionary) CEO of one of the most successful operations in the world can’t take some time off because someone needed their already hefty salary increased?

    Hopefully your kids didn’t starve.

  3. JFP Said,

    April 29, 2009 @ 7:27 am

    What makes you think that her salary was hefty? She was a low level engineer, and I was a student. More to the point, it was meant as a “tongue-in-cheek” comment.

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