Once, queues would snake around the block when they launched a new product. In the mid 1990′s they paid 3 million dollars to The Stones to use one of their songs in a product launch; they were the pinnacle of cool, loved by Wall Street and nerds alike, richest and most powerful in the world, and then they fell.
Microsoft’s fall from grace is a story that has not been adequately told, yet in a sense it is a very old tale. The car makers, Sears, IBM, ITT, empires throughout history… many have risen to undreamed of heights of glory; all at some stage have fallen from their lofty pedestals.
Vanity Fair has done an insightful and wonderfully researched article on how Microsoft lost it’s mojo. The article is beautifully written and most definitely worth reading. To students of history the themes and reasons for decline will seem familiar; hubris and prejudice have felled many an empire, and will no doubt continue to do so in the future. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google beware.