Fire Bill Gates? 10 Reasons Microsoft Investors Dare Not Do It
So, some investors want to oust Microsoft (MSFT) Chairman Bill Gates because he supported Steve Ballmer while the company missed the tablet and smartphone revolutions? The VAR Guy gave this story a few days of thought. Instead of pushing Gates out the door, geeks and businesses should thank him and keep him in Microsoft's board room. Here are 10 reasons why.
1. Freedom from RISC Unix: Anybody else remember expensive Unix offerings running on RISC hardware from HP, IBM, Sun, Digital and many others? Under Gates' leadership, Windows NT Server freed corporate IT departments from the costly RISC-Unix combo.
2. Freedom from NetWare: Anybody else remember file and print servers? Sure, NetWare never crashed. But Novell got arrogant and never really pushed beyond file, print and directory services. Here again, Windows NT Server gave us freedom.
3. Freedom from Apple: Anybody else remember how bad Apple hardware and software became in the mid to late 1990s? Mac OS System 7 — ouch. Apple offered customers the "wonderful" combination of bad software running on expensive hardware. Under Gates' leadership, Windows 95 combined with Intel's Pentium changed all that.
4. Freedom from Groupware: Lotus Notes was pretty darn awesome in its day. So was Novell GroupWise. But Exchange Server, first built while Gates was CEO, changed the email game. And for critics who dismiss Exchange Server consider this: As the world shifts from client-server to cloud computing, how come so many CSPs offer hosted Exchange?
5. Shift to the Cloud: IBM, HP, Dell and other long-time IT giants are struggling to compete in cloud markets. What about Microsoft? The Windows Azure and Office 365 businesses are off to really, really, really strong starts. In fact, Microsoft ranks among the world's Top 10 Cloud Services Providers, according to Talkin' Cloud research.
6. New $1 Billion Businesses: Microsoft Lync? Hot.
7. Competition for VMware: Sure, Microsoft was late to the virtualization game vs VMware. But Microsoft's Hyper-V is now the most credible alternative to VMware's vSphere. And let's not forget, the Windows Server 2012/Hyper-V combo was very well received by partners and customers.
8. Bing, Bing, Bing: Google remains the leader, but who is keeping Google honest in the search game? Only Microsoft. Poke around and listen to channel leaders like LabTech Software CEO Matt Nachtrab, and you'll hear how a growing number of IT companies use Bing for pay-per-click marketing.
9. Xbox Live: The VAR Guy isn't a fan. But his kids sure are.
10. That's the Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard: Bill Gates' own phrase is the perfect way to end this list. Kicking Bill Gates out of Microsoft is the stupidest thing The VAR Guy has ever heard.
Well, other than the rumor that Bill Gates will succeed Steve Ballmer as CEO. But that's a blog for another day.