Excerpt from an accentuate-the-positive Microsoft reality check
If Microsoft fails now, it’ll be because of two other shortcomings. First, it relies on third-party hardware makers to get its software to the masses. And second, it still derives most of its money from desktop PCs. When Steve Jobs came back to Apple in the 1990s, he had nothing to lose. He could scrap Apple’s OS and replace it with something new, push the firm into mobile devices, and open physical and digital stores. Sure, some of this seemed crazy, but what was the harm in trying—Apple was nearly bankrupt anyway. And then, when he decided what he wanted to do, Jobs could control the experience entirely. He didn’t have to wait around for Dell or HP to make great laptops worthy of his new OS. He could do it himself.
Steve Ballmer, meanwhile, does have a lot to lose.