As I was surfing the blogosphere this morning i came across these two posts from microsoft-watch.com.
The first listed (what are according to the author) ten luckiest moments of Microsoft; here are the top 3:
1. Microsoft’s MS-DOS licensing deal with IBM for its personal computer. Maybe in a parallel universe, IBM favored CP/M.
2. Compaq’s “Luggable,” which opened up the PC clone market, widespread licensing of MS-DOS and the supporting partner channels.
3. Windows 95. The planets aligned and people waited in line to buy Microsoft’s pseudo-32-bit operating system.
The second listed (what are according to the author) ten unluckiest moments of Microsoft; here are the top 3:
1. Microsoft’s paranoid corporate culture, which is an ongoing moment of bad luck. The company jinxes customers and partners every time it bases strategy on what competitors—or presumed competitors—might do.
2. Windows Vista’s most recent ship date slip. The March 2006 delay announcement meant that Microsoft would do the unthinkable and ship its new desktop operating system after the holiday sales rush.
3. Jackson’s ruling, in 2000, that Microsoft violated U.S. antitrust law and his subsequent order to break up the company
The most interesting thing the unlucky list pointed me to was this thing that was known as Microsoft Bob!
I had no idea it existed but it’s interesting what Steve Ballmer had to say about it…, it was one of the projects where ‘we [had] undertaken … where we decided that we have not succeeded and let’s stop.‘. I looked around and let’s just say that the findings were not quite encouraging… ‘a product that sold so poorly it was actually canceled after just one version.‘ The product was voted worst product of the decade by CNET.com.
Goes to show you that failure is part of success I guess and it must have been a really valuable, though probably not very exciting, learning experience for MS.
Talking about better user experience and more realistic user experience, have you heard of Microsoft Surface!?