Thursday, June 05, 2008

Gates-Ballmer Clash Shaped Microsoft's Coming Handover - WSJ.com

Extensive Gates/Ballmer snapshot in today's WSJ.  Excerpt:

Some major decisions got stuck due to the impasse, Messrs. Gates and Ballmer said. In one case, two vice presidents clashed over the future of NetDocs, a promising effort to offer software programs such as word processing over the Internet. The issue: Because NetDocs risked cannibalizing sales of Microsoft's cash-cow Office programs, some executives wanted NetDocs killed.

Messrs. Gates and Ballmer were unable to settle on a plan. First, NetDocs ballooned to a 400-person staff, then it got folded into the Office group in early 2001, where it died.

Actually, I don't think it died; NetDocs morphed into XDocs, which morphed into InfoPath.  Definitely a major shift in focus, but the NetDocs investment did not go to waste.

In any case, it's interesting to ponder the fact that Microsoft made a major contingency investment in a web-centric suite about a decade ago.

Gates-Ballmer Clash Shaped Microsoft's Coming Handover - WSJ.com

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