Microsoft: It’s Time for a Turnaround

A leader must lead by example and see that everything is done right and what Microsoft needs is a leader with vision, says IESE Professor Josep Valor. Microsoft needs someone who can shift the company’s emphasis away from being so technology-oriented, someone who understands what users want and has grasped the implications of the Cloud for both hardware and software producers.

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Leaders change organizations, first by example. Second by setting the right incentives. And then, making sure that everybody understands why things are being done.

Fortunately for Microsoft, they have a year to find a new leader, as they say. But I do believe that whoever takes care of Microsoft has to be a person that turns around the point of view of the company. In my understanding, Microsoft has been making a lot of money, I should say, and somehow mistakes by being very technology-oriented, by looking at the world from the technology standpoint and what an operating system should do, how their technology should solve problems.

I think that currently customers expect technology that solves their problems, not solves the technological problems that make things happen. I think things are very complex but they should look very simple to the user. And the new leader of Microsoft should be a person that understands clearly consumer goods, that understands how new generations use technology. And in the long term these new generations will take over companies and therefore the software and the hardware that these companies will need will have to be, if not better, at least as good as the technology that they use when they’re at home.

I think that the person that takes care of Microsoft should be a great communicator, should be seen as a visionary, as a leader, as somebody that can really turn the company around, that is energetic, that convinces people that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that they can regain the market share that they used to have. Because you shouldn’t forget that the problem that they have is that in a world in which everything is through the internet, because the cloud actually explodes, they may run out of space, the market may in fact disappear. With the right vision, I’m sure that Microsoft is here to stay.


About Josep Valor

Josep Valor-Sabatier is professor of information systems and information technology and holder of the Indra Chair of Digital Strategy. He received his Ph.D. in Operations Research from MIT, and his Sc.D. in Medical Engineering from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Josep Valor teaches extensively at the senior executive level on Management Information Systems, Media Management, Management of Technology, and Strategy.

4 thoughts on “Microsoft: It’s Time for a Turnaround

  1. Unless Microsoft makes some huge mistakes in the upcoming years they are here to stay for the long haul. The focus needs to be on improving peoples lives with technology, not trying to use technology to force people to use Microsoft products. The division that is widespread at the company needs to be eliminated and all platforms should cross collaborate to ensure fluidity among their product lines. Google already knows us based on searches don’t let them take that user based info from you as well Microsoft.

  2. Creo que Microsoft no volverá a tener el liderazgo que tuvo, por que como dice el autor de este artículo tiene que buscar otros caminos, lo que pasa es que esos otros caminos ya los han comenzado a caminar otros visionarios antes que nadie, como lo hizo el creador de Microsoft hace años.
    Nosotros también intentamos hacer un camino para intentar hacer de un granito de arena algo, aunque no sé al final qué va a ser ese algo que parte de una web La Tienda de las Flores. Espero que este granito de arena algún día pueda ser algo más que una abeja en un colmenar.

  3. I think Microsoft is already living of their huge marketshare of Windows OS and their Office suit. They have been evolving these standards, but at the same time have arrived late to the other trends. I would like to know if Apple, another giant, is suffering the same disease, after the last presentation. Even companies like Google or Sony have launched a new category of product, like the intelligent watch. Apple did it in the past with personal computers, in the early 80’s, and with the iPod, iPhone and iPad, even with the first ultrabook.

    In my opinion, Microsoft used to copy and Apple used to innovate, but actually it seems that this model does not work for Microsoft and something is not working right in Apple.

  4. with the recent take over of Nokia by Microsoft i think the new guy will have it easy than balmer. Balmer has left the company in good shape and with a good future with his recent buy. Microsoft was a software company thats now becoming a technology and services company, they will tie in the hardware to some service offering. Services is where microsoft needs to focus. they already have a lot going for them with their grip on the enteprise market but google is coming strong with its vast amount of growing enteprise solutions.

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