Okay. I have been asked to say something nice about Microsoft. It seems that, as I am getting older, I am getting less fond of these types of helpful events when I am using my Wintel computer:
Regardless, here are ten reasons why I love Microsoft:
When my friend Paul Allen and I started Microsoft 30 years ago, we had a vision of “a computer on every desk and in every home,” which probably sounded a little too optimistic at a time when most computers were the size of refrigerators. But we believed that personal computers would change the world. And they have.
1. Microsoft made computing personal and pervasive.
2. Microsoft shared the wealth. Microsoft set the standard for employee wealth creation. Period. Before Microsoft, it was a rare occurrence for distributed wealth within a company. Microsoft changed this, and created hundreds if not thousands of millionaires.
3. Microsoft’s innovation. Although a bit slow of late, Microsoft continues to innovate in many areas. I have always looked forward to their next generation products and the company has created blockbuster hits: Windows 95, Windows XP, Office XP, xbox classic, xbox 360, messaging, XML/Web Services… the list goes on.
4. Microsoft created wealth for others by creating a huge market for software and hardware vendors. In many ways, I think Microsoft created more jobs outside their company than within their company.
5. Microsoft’s openness. I continue to be impressed with Microsoft’s focus on open communication with its customers. And their corporate and non-corporate bloggers provide a human face into their organization. Much more so than other companies like Apple and Google.
6. Microsoft’s talent. Some of my closest friends work for Microsoft. They are great people and they are passionate and committed in their careers.
7. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates has always said that his mission was never about money. And his foundation proves that significant resources can be applied to some of our most pressing challenges.
8. Bill Gates. Bill Gates can still draw a huge crowd and significant media attention. I can ask my teenage kids about Bill Gates and they think he is a pretty cool guy. They know nothing about people like Larry Ellison, a founder of Oracle and one of the richest people in the world or Andy Groves, a founder of Intel.
9. Microsoft games. I love the gaming platforms both PC-based and xbox-based. And some of my favourites include Flight Simulator, Age of Empires, and Halo.
10. And the last thing I love about Microsoft is that they can take a lot of heat and still come out on top. A remarkable company that has outplayed and outlasted many other competitors.