I like Microsoft, it's given me a job and the business tools work well. There are big players out there, but windows server has and does allow organisations to quickly and eaily setup a network of computers and get them sharing resources, the only thing that came close was Novell netware but there was some elements of wizardry for that system.
Microsoft Windows is popular and despite millions of combinations of hardware devices (keyboards, processors) it remains incredibly stable. That alone i think is one of the crowning achievements of any company. They have created an eco system that hardware from any manufacturer can be plugged in togeather and have it work. I can buy a cheap usb webcam and it will mostly even set itself up, thats incredible when you really think about. Yes linux has caught up and does support a wide range of hardware also, however this doesn't detract from Windows being quite remarkable, i don't think ive seen a Windows 7/8 system crash yet through fault of it's own (i.e. not caused by faulty hardware), (sorry can't say the same for XP, ive seen it crash for a variety of reasons, not a lot but enough).
I say the above as i don't want to appear as a Microsoft knocker, i use a Mac at home as well as windows laptops,however steve has to go, he has been in charge of the company which has made some pretty bad misteps, the organisation has suffered through the absolutely the worse system ive ever heard of "Ranking"
The general idea is that that there will be a percentage of staff marked as great, ok and poor, no matter how good they are, so if im am in a team of 5 people, we are all excellent engineers, but we all know that one of us has to be marked poor, perhaps miss a promotion or a bonus because of this, whats it going to do? it's going to promote infighting, im not going to look at my colleague as a friend but as an enemy, eat or be eaten. This is terrible!! Microsoft have attracted some of the best talent in the industry, thr ranking alone should have been enough to get Steve out.
He's also the king of putting his foot in his mouth, the folk at Microsoft must cringe every-time he goes to an event, Bill Gates had personaility, Steve is just completely off putting, however putting this aside, i would say the biggest mistep he has allowed to happen is integration! Why is there not harmony of the services that Microsoft do, why was skydrive the best kept secret, why doesn't every know of skydrive, why didn't my xbox use skydrive to backup save games so i could play them on my PC. Why don't all the services work together they have hotmail/now outlook why isn't xbox music better integrated. I would say it's an absolute crime that most of these services haven't had better exposure and better integration.
I want to know why the general perception of Microsoft is that it's just a collection of departments which compete against each other, this all comes from the top and the fact that Ballmer hasn't made Microsoft into an effective, one organisation with harmony across teams to great complete solutions that work well togeather is a good enough reason to get him out and get someone who knows what they are doing in. Microsoft could easily catch a second wind if only they were brough harmoniously back together
I would also like to provide a link to a comment on another site which i think neatly sums up the frustrations that some people have with the Windows Phone platform in particular the development side, this is not a rant, but it is an honest comment from a person who likes Microsoft tech, who promotes and uses it frequently.http://www.osnews.com/permalink?551150
I really don't like when people say, ill be glad when company xyz fails, this applies to Microsoft. Yes they've done some bad stuff in the past, but so has many organisations (this is not an excuse), they have learnt they are trying and i know that if Microsoft suddenly disappeared tomorrow the world would be worse off for it.
The quote i come back to time and again is "for apple to succeed, Microsoft doesn't have to fail", this proves there is a market for multiple vendors, i just hope that Microsoft does something radical and dump Ballmer and get a CEO who will bring the company together and really show the IT world exactly how good Microsoft can be when pushed.