Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has set out his vision for a new Microsoft in an internal memo circulated amongst company staff.
“This company has always had a big vision — to help people realize their full potential,” he wrote. “In the earliest days, it was by putting a PC on every desk and in every home. We’ve come farther than we could have imagined.
“The impact we have collectively made on the world is undeniable, and I am inspired when talented new hires say they chose Microsoft because they want to change the world — that’s what we do today, and that’s what we’ll do tomorrow.
“Going forward, our strategy will focus on creating a family of devices and services for individuals and businesses that empower people around the globe at home, at work and on the go, for the activities they value most. We will do this by leveraging our strengths. We have powered devices for many years through Windows PCs and Xbox. We have delivered high-value experiences through Office and other apps. The frontier of high-value scenarios we enable will march outward, but we have strengths and proven capabilities on which we will draw.
“It is also clear to me and our leadership that we must do an extraordinary job to succeed in this modern world. We have delivered many great products and had much success in market, but we all want more. That means better execution from product conceptualization and innovation right through to marketing and sales.
“We are rallying behind a single strategy as one company — not a collection of divisional strategies. Although we will deliver multiple devices and services to execute and monetize the strategy, the single core strategy will drive us to set shared goals for everything we do. We will see our product line holistically, not as a set of islands.
“The final piece of the puzzle is how we work together and what characteristics this new Microsoft must embody. There is a process element and a culture element to discuss. Culturally, our core values don’t change, but how we express them and act day to day must evolve so we work together to win.”
Ballmer goes on to call to list a number of buzzwords: nimble, communicative, collaborative, decisive and motivated.
“Lots of change,” Ballmer concludes. “But in all of this, many key things remains the same. Our incredible people, our spirit, our commitment, our belief in the transformative power of technology — our Microsoft technology — to make the world a better place for billions of people and millions of businesses around the world.
“It’s why I come to work inspired every day. It’s why we’ve evolved before, and why we’re evolving now. Because we’re not done.”
As FastCompany points out, there’s a certain irony in his calling for the building of a “nimble, collaborative and decisive” organisation in an email exceeding 2,700 words.
But nonetheless, most will welcome Ballmer’s recognition for the need to change – Windows tablets are falling flat, Windows Phone is struggling to get off the ground and even the mighty Windows itself – in the form of Windows 8 – is facing (or arguably has faced?) a wave of hostility. Whether Xbox One can overcome its troubled start to life and deliver the numbers also remains to be seen.