Robert Cringely suggests that Microsoft leaked the Gates-Ozzie memos and there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.
As I read the recent Microsoft memos, they seem to be lacking in substance. Where’s the beef? I can see only two possible explanations:
1) Microsoft’s execs don’t know what to do.
2) The memos are a facade.
Microsoft’s core businesses are slowing down. Google could become a major threat to Microsoft. What harm could Google cause Microsoft? Microsoft’s greatest business vulnerability is Office. If a competitive product (or service) hit the market it could further dilute Microsoft’s earnings since they’d have to lower Office prices to compete. Another great threat is Google could become an organizing influence in the Open Source world. They could guide the Open Source community and it could become a greater threat to Microsoft.
If I were Microsoft and afraid of Google, I think I’d try to figure out what they are going to do and how. These Microsoft memos look like a plan to do the same thing Microsoft “thinks” Google will be doing. By publically stating their plans and putting those plans in the hands of Wall Street, Microsoft is giving the perception they are doing the same things as Google, so Microsoft will be as good an investment as Google.