Former Microsoft employee Joachim Kempin spoke out to ReadWrite in an interview about the company. He wrote a book entitled Resolve and Fortitude: Microsoft’s `Secret Power Broker’ Breaks His Silence in which he doesn’t shy away from criticizing the company’s current executives, products, and business plans. He joined Microsoft in 1983 and stayed there for almost two decades.
“It seems to me that Microsoft is basically malfunctioning,” Kempin told ReadWrite. “Back in the late 1990s we had our own tablet under development,” he spoke referring to the Surface tablets. “It never saw the light of day. When I left in 2002 people were talking about social media. We were selling phone software. But we didn’t take advantage of any of that.”
Kempin doesn’t seem to like any aspect of Microsoft. Not only did he put down Steve Ballmer (in fairness, so does everybody else in the industry) but he didn’t have kind words about Bill Gates either. He wrote that Gates “miserably failed in guiding the company through the Internet and social network revolution.”
He says the strategy Microsoft uses to face competition is all wrong. Rather than investing in social media or getting more visionaries on board, the company “produces its own hardware (i.e. the Surface tablets) and tries to compete with Apple while pissing off its loyal hardware manufacturers.”
Kempin does seem a bit biased with his negativity toward Microsoft, but many of his, albeit harsh, points are valid and are even supported by analysts and critics in the industry. Microsoft has lost its way and the lack of any concrete Surface sales numbers doesn’t help ease the minds of skeptics.