Buying innovation: Microsoft’s disease

http://scobleizer.com/2007/02/23/microsoft-has-no-innovators-dillema/

Scoble seems to think that Microsoft isn’t doing interesting stuff. I usually enjoy reading Scobleizer, but I shuddered reading this post: Visions of MS employees, bored with the progress of their current ailing projects, turning to the Deep Pockets and saying “hey, this is fun, this would up our share value, please buy this project”.

That’s not how it works – not in the long term. Microsoft is full of dead projects exactly because of that sort of thinking. Buying companies isn’t innovation, though apparently Scoble confuses the two. Infact, its usually proven to be the death of innovation.

Scoble’s flaw here is that he appears to have come to believe that MS makes great software, when the reality is that MS has mostly bought great software and then destroyed it while trying to work out how to make it part of what they already have. Past MS-people tired of just making operating systems and business software and started to cast bored, deathray-vision, glances around peripheral markets. “Look ma Gates, these guys made a thingy – that looks like fun, can we have it?”

Microsoft buying technologies it didn’t innovate is become like a 600lb woman describing how she plans to “leverage” a Segway to assist her in her transportation needs…

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