Here is the real story of Microsoft, revealed by its own documents, interviews with its leaders employees, a clear sighted, independent appraisal by a respected expert Stross was the first business historian Microsoft let into its archives, enjoying unrestricted access to its Redmond campus for 3 years Provides the most incisive analysis of Microsoft its place in American industry Describes what it is like to work at Microsoft, what lessons rivals can learn from its operation, how smaller companies can still get a jump on the industry leader, just as Intuit Netscape did....
|Title||:||The Microsoft Way : The Real Story of How the Company Outsmarts Its Competition|
|Publisher||:||Gramercy Books 1 Oktober 1998|
|Number of Pages||:||397 Pages|
|File Size||:||580 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Microsoft Way : The Real Story of How the Company Outsmarts Its Competition Reviews
After the distorted and hateful stories we have seen, this book is a relief. It seems that at the present time Microsoft stands for all that is evil. The unholy alliance surrounding the Axis Powers of Sun Micro and Netscape paints a picture of world domination by Microsoft which is utterly absurd and totally false. It is unfortunate thatJoel Klein of the DOJ is being educated bysuch an obscure economist as Arthur, formerly of Stanford and a Palo Alto law firm, whose members are writing briefs for the DOJ..As a taxpayer I regret that we have to pay for these pointless investigations which are sponsored by competitors who would do better improving their products so that they could compete with Microsoft. Unable to compete however, they run to the DOJ.It is good to have a book that points out some ofthe mischief emanating from Silicon Valleyand Redwood City. The book is recommneded readingfor all who do not despise Microsoftfor its intellectual excellence.
This was a very well-researched & documented book. Well-written, but sometimes difficult to follow the author's writing style. If one is looking for a technical overview/history of Microsoft, this is not the book for you. The book does offer an interesting look at other aspects of the company (its hiring practices, for example). I thought many of the recent Microsoft issues considered so important to the public (antitrust suits, extremely bug-ridden code, initial denial in early 90's of the Internet) glossed over or not covered at all.
I thought when buying this book that I would be getting a new insight in to the _real_ behavior of Microsoft, namely how this giant used every trick in the book to dominate the software industry. Instead it was a watered-down tail of how MS likes to hire smart people. Its sad to see how such a respectable historian could be duped by MS into thinking their success lies in good honest leadership and hard-word. Where are all the swindles, the lies, the shady business deals, and abuse of their monopoly that is the truth behind MS?
While there are some interesting insights to some of Microsoft's history, this book skips over vast territories of non-competitive behavior.There's nothing on how the Microsoft overcame their competitors in the application spaces (word processing, spread-sheet, presentations, etc). Instead the book spends most of it's time on how Microsoft cultivated the CDROM as a new medium.The author had access to Microsoft employees and lost his objectivity due to this. The first few chapters could have been written by Microsoft's PR department.The author's idea of Microsoft uniqueness: Microsoft tries to hire smart people. I'm sure there will be a Harvard MBA case study on companies which went out of their way to hire the mentally deficient and how that wasn't an effective strategy against Microsoft.
I read the book. I also worked for the company, as a software design engineer, from June 1996 until February of 1998. Stross seems to have been completely taken in by Microsoft's unrealistic vision of itself. The company employs a lot of smart, agressive people, but during my time there I was stuck by the basic amorality of the culture and the insularity and anti-intellectualism of most of the employees, many of whom were unaware of basic principles of computer science, let alone anything outside their narrow technical world. It's hardly surprising that the huge teams of cowboy hackers Microsoft employs turn out poor-quality software. It's likewise unsurprising that such an insular culture of narrow, incomplete human beings would lack the perspective and philosophical basis needed to navigate the hazardous ethical and legal waters that come with the territory when a market leader approaches monopoly status. What's distressing is that Stross seems to have overlooked these issues and bought Microsoft's PR hook, line and sinker.
Mr Stross' book is very difficult to read by anyone with knowledge of the industry or of Microsoft's products and its business products. Stross manages to skip over many key aspects of Microsoft's rise and its predatory business practices. This includes the omission of Microsoft's deal to supply the official OS for the IBM PC, which provided it with annual profits that were greater than the gross revenues of its competitors. This revenue stream enabled it to repeatedly produce inferior products (spreadsheet, word processing, and OS GUI) for a period of many years, a failure that would have resulted in their closing their doors but for the offsetting profits from their crude DOS operating system. Any refinements to their products were only offered to consumers in response to competitors' superior offerings. Stross even goes so far as to state that Microsoft's practice of charging a license fee for every CPU shipped by computer manufacturers, regardless of whether the user wanted DOS or Microsoft's Windows GUI, benefited the consumer who got a price break (due to volume license discounts) on the operating system they did not want in the first place. If anyone wants to really understand the emergence of Microsoft and the personal computer industry they would do well to look elsewhere.
Stross was given access to Microsoft employees and resources while working on this book. He repays the favor by being the official Microsoft apologist. If Stross had some technical knowledge (rather than being a historian) he might have been capable of reaching some independent judgments. As it is, he merely parrots the Microsoft line at every point. He even repeats the ludicrous claim that Microsoft is not a monopoly. The two products Stross follows at length, Encarta and Money are not very important. If he had at least researched NT, there might have been one good reason to read this very one-sided book. Purchasers have the right to expect better from authors.
A breath of fresh air was delivered into the Microsoft Wars with this book. While some may say that it was a little one sided in favor of MS, it simply offsets the anti-MS books that are all too easy to find on here.