Subba’s Serendipitous moments

July 6, 2009

Understanding competition — the Bill Gates way

I thought that I had analyzed the levels and degrees of competition fairly comprehensively. In fact, I have used that as an organizing framework to understand competitive advantage.

Recently a friend of mine sent me an excerpts of an interview with Bill Gates when he was still the CEO of Microsoft which makes interesting reading.

Flying on the Delta Shuttle with Bill Gates 12 years ago, Richard Karlgaard– the Editor of Forbes asked Bill, “What Microsoft competitor worries you most?”

“Goldman Sachs.” Richard gave Gates a startled look. Was Microsoft about to try the investment banking business? “Software,” he said, “is an IQ business. Microsoft must win the IQ war, or we won’t have a future. I don’t worry about Lotus or IBM, because the smartest guys would rather come to work for Microsoft. Our competitors for IQ are investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.”

Getting the brightest bulbs to work at Microsoft has always been his obsession. It’s paid off. But what about now?

The best and the brightest want to work for companies like Google and Facebook. Microsoft seems to be losing the talent war. And does that explain why Microsoft has not made any ground shifting move in recent years yielding that terrain to Google and others?

Microsoft is caught in a classic dilemma of its own making. Its major revenue and profit streams continue to be Windows and Office which needs to be defended at all costs against young new attackers. Now will the smartest guys want to work for a organization where they would have to defend legacy or want to take a crack at changing the world?

The answer is obvious.

Unless you are a Singapore government scholar who has no choice but to work in the Singapore civil service because of the scholarship bond that you sign when you are 18 years old.

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1 Comment »

  1. Google has plans for its own personal computer operating system, the company’s official blog has announced, setting up another clash between the Internet search king and software giant Microsoft.

    ”We’re announcing a new project,” said the Mountain View, California-based company, revealing the system would be based on Google’s Chrome browser and would be an open source operating system initially targeted at netbooks.

    The move is ”our attempt to rethink what operating systems should be,” Google said.

    The search engine giant said it will open source the code for ”Chrome OS” for user input and that netbooks running the system will be available by the middle of next year.

    ”Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds,” the company said.

    Google noted that in deciding to embark on the new track, they took heed of its user messages, namely that ”computers need to get better.”

    People ”want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them,” and they want to access the internet instantly, Google said, adding that “we’re definitely going to need a lot of help from the open source community to accomplish this vision.”

    The Chrome browser was originally launched in September but has failed to enjoy the spectacular success of Google’s search engine.

    The company floated its first US television advertisements in recent months for Chrome, as the browser has only captured a tiny share of a market dominated by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

    Microsoft’s freshly launched search engine Bing, meanwhile, aimed to hit back at Google’s gains in the search market, although it still lags behind its rival.

    Web analytics firm StatCounter said last week that Bing had carved out an 8.23 percent share of the US search market last month, up from 7.21 percent in April and 7.81 percent in May.

    By contrast, however, Google continued to dominate the search market with a huge 78.48 percent share last month.

    Google already has an operating system, Android, but the company said in its announcement that while there was some overlap, they were separate entities.

    Android is only used for mobile phones at the moment, but the software has showcased Google’s keen interest in expanding beyond its search engine base.

    荔枝角卓越迷你倉
    香港仔時昌迷你倉

    Comment by 迷你倉 — July 9, 2009 @ 11:50 am | Reply


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