Why Didn’t Microsoft Die?
Understanding Microsoft’s staying power is relevant when considering an important current question: Are today’s Big Tech superstars successful and popular because they’re the best at what they do, or because they’ve become so powerful that they can coast on past successes?
In 2013, the year that Steve Ballmer was semi-pushed to retire as chief executive, the company generated far more profit before taxes and some other costs — more than $27 billion — than Amazon did in 2020. Microsoft used those much-needed products as leverage to branch into new and profitable business lines, including software that replaced conventional corporate telephone systems, databases and file storage systems.
Microsoft did at least one big thing right: cloud computing, which is one of the most important technologies of the past 15 years. That and a culture change were the foundations that morphed Microsoft from winning in spite of its strategy and products to winning because of them.