A lot has been written about the history of Microsoft. This article reviews a new book that looks at Microsoft from the perspective of the changes that it has had to introduce and continues to push forward as a result of its legal difficulties and “evil empire” image. The full article is worth reading but here are a few of the more interesting quotes:
“They need to get the outside world to learn to accept them without thinking that there’s something shady going on there all the time. That’s a very long-term process,” he said. “There’s an awful lot of cynicism out there. No matter what Microsoft tries to do, nobody’s going to turn around overnight and say, ‘Well, we accept them now as good neighbors.’ “
One of the best insights:
In simple terms, some of Microsoft’s critics might characterize the ongoing changes as an effort to shift the outside perception of the company from “evil” to “good.” But Slater said he doesn’t see it that way.
“I don’t think they were ever evil,” he said. “I think they were unable, or unwilling, to curb the zeal that was always part of the Microsoft culture.” He said the company seems to be starting to make the shift from “excessive zeal” to “reasonable zeal.”
And the bottom line:
“Before the last couple of years, Microsoft never talked about these types of things,” he said. “The idea was to be as competitive as possible, and that was it.”