Sunday, April 5, 2009

Former Microsoft Employee Interview

This campaign was previously interviewed for an article with Microsoft Subnet. The campaign was asked a series of questions which were used for the article. Refer to

At the time of the report we decided to post the entire interview on this blog. This was to provide the reader with access to the entire interview as opposssed to a condensed version for the article. The entire interview was posted on this blog simply titled "Microsoft Subnet Interview".

The campaign has indicated that a former employee has agreed to provide an interview with Microsoft Subnet. This report is still forthcoming. In the interm we thought it would be interesting to direct the same questions to the former employee that Microsoft Subnet asked the campaign.

This will subsequently result in a series of posts consisting of the questions and answers presented to a former Microsoft employee.

1)Who are you and what is your relationship to Microsoft?(Do you work for the company, or used to work for the company?

Answer:Former employee, no longer work for MS.

2)In your opinion, besides Apple, what companies compare to Microsoft to indicate that Microsoft stock is underperforming in the same period? (Oracle? IBM? CA? Symantec? Google?)

Answer: IBM & Apple are the two that most closely match MS in breadth and depth of offerings. Google, while the lead competitor in search, is primarily focused in that one area and doesn't have the breadth of offerings to make it a fair comparison.

Refer to

for comparison refer to:


(Notice that Microsoft with $60 billion in revenue has a market cap of approximately $166 billion. However its nemesis Apple with half Microsoft's revenue at $32 billion has a market cap of $103 billion. Microsoft's P/E is 10 while Apple is 21)

3)You note Microsoft's failed attempt to buy Yahoo as a poor decision regarding how to spend its capital. That deal didn't actually go through, as we all know, but what are your thoughts on other Microsoft acquisitions over the past few years? Tellme (2007), for instance, seems particularly promising as does DATAllegro in 2008. What kinds of technologies would you like to see Microsoft buy?

Answer: It's not that the acquisitions don't make some degree of sense, it's just that they don't seem to make sense for MS. The bigger question is what does MS plan to do, and in that context do these acquisitions fit? The impression that MS leaves one with is that they're a kid in a candy store, not knowing what to buy and as a result, they buy anything and everything. They don't show purpose and direction in their acquisitions.
Refer to:

What do you think the problem is between buying a promising technology and showing Wall Street how that buy indicates growth potential?

Answer: See my previous answer for the majority of this answer. To follow on, MS has a lousy track record of delivering on the promise of the technology acquired from an acquisition. If MS could deliver on that promise, the answers to Wall Street would be easy and obvious. Because MS has no sense of direction and purpose, Wall Street doesn't see where these acquisitions "fit" into some semblance of a plan (nor does anyone else for that matter) and that makes people anxious.

In the second post for this series the former employee will provide further insight. This will include if leadership should be replaced, if Microsoft should acquire RIM and also analysis of Microsoft's R&D spending.

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