Gates stirs Microsoft with dramatic 'more meetings' pleaPublished Thursday 10th November 2005 00:04 GMT
Analysis Ever the master of public relations, Microsoft has always been able to figure its way out of a tight spot with the use of a judiciously leaked memo....in the spirit of the excellent 500-word "digested reads" offered by some of our better newspapers, we give you the précis of the latest Gates and Ozzie memos. Then we'll put the whole affair in some historical perspective.
From: Bill Gates
Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2005 9:56 PM
To: Executive Staff and Direct Reports; Distinguished Engineers;
All TV, print, radio and internet news outlets; All bloggers[delete last five before release]
Subject: Internet Software Services
Microsoft has always had to respond to innovators in the software business and seize the PR initiative.
Ten years ago this December, I wrote a memo entitled The Internet Tidal Puddle in which I attempted to undo the damage caused by my book, The Road Ahead, published just three months previously.
In The Road Ahead I failed to mention the internet at all. The same month, Netscape had floated on NASDAQ, creating the largest ever first day gain. Clearly, there was a puddle in the road ahead. So in my memo I warned that we could either step round the puddle, or step right into it, and risk being drowned.
In 1995 none of our products made use of TCP/IP. Now, a decade later, I can safely say that many of them do.
In 1995 I warned that we risked losing the mindshare of a new generation of internet software developers who chose to shun Microsoft APIs completely. Now, a decade later, I can say that close to 100 per cent of Internet-born viruses, Trojans, rootkits and worms use Microsoft APIs exclusively.
However, to lead we need to do far more.
In order to execute on this opportunity we must look as if we're acting quickly and decisively. Recently competitors [Steve, chair down. DOWN.] have gained massive public attention by rolling out products that remain in beta for many years. This is unacceptable. Products that remain in beta for many years should be first and foremost, in the public's mind, Microsoft products.
For three months Ray Ozzie has been sitting in his orgone accumulator devising a strategy to ensure we can execute. I've attached a memo written by him that I think strikes the right balance between pre-announcement and non-delivery. I'm happy to share it with you.