A previous post suggested that Microsoft would now be customer-centric. This hypothesis was based on some of the characters involved. It now appears that this may happen sooner rather than later.
Of course it might be thought that a huge organization like Microsoft cannot turn on a dime. Aren’t big organizations somewhat like the Titanic? The momentum of the Titanic meant that it would continue in the same direction for some time after the captain gave the order to turn. One difference is that the majority of the assets of Microsoft are not traditional Fixed Assets.
The key assets are all those knowledge workers. A better comparison for an organization such as Microsoft might well be a huge flock of birds. The speed at which a flock of birds can change direction can be mind-boggling. It is not that there is a leader that must persuade all the followers. Perhaps the whole flock realizes that now is the time to move in a different direction.
Could that be what we are all about to see? It’s interesting to compare the messages from the top of the organization with how others see it. On June 15, there were long messages from Gates and Ballmer to calm the troops and point out that this was a step in a very gradual and carefully thought out transition program. However Ray Ozzie is taking over his new responsibilities immediately and that could change the Microsoft way of doing things. Perhaps change will be much faster than might have been assumed.