One of the greatest challenges faced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella encompasses resolving if Microsoft even now wants to be an intermediary of technology. In many ways, Google has developed into the company that Microsoft had always hoped to be. Essentially, by means of acquisitions, Google has made big, bold bets and succeeded to get its research and product groups to work together.
Microsoft has also financed capital investments in all these areas, but although it outspends Google by about $2 billion annually in R&D, a substantial portion of Microsoft’s research and development budget goes toward advancing existing franchises such as Windows and Office, it’s principal source of Microsoft’s revenues and profits. Executives at Microsoft recognize that the stakes in this battle for the future are high. Microsoft may be missing the chance to participate in potential future revenue streams by failing to bet on some of its bigger gambles with abundant resources.
For Microsoft, it is not certainly not because of a lack of talent. Microsoft’s researchers are some of the best in the world and now the company is pushing researchers to direct more of their research on more practical work. Regrettably, Microsoft’s R&D fiascoes have received far more attention and internal frustration has taken a toll. The company’s creative thinking has been sidetracked by its emphasis on Windows and by squabbling among division heads.
Microsoft could let the world know that it not only cares about partaking in the future but expects to invent the future as well. What Microsoft has lacked is a leader willing to destroy focus on some sacred cows and redefine the way the company is perceived.