"So what went wrong [with Windows Vista]? What didn't go wrong? When Bill Gates revealed in mid-2003 that he was returning to his roots, so to speak, and spending half of his time on what was then still called Longhorn, we should have seen the warning signs. Sadly, Gates, too, is part of the Bad Microsoft, a vestige of the past who should have had the class to either formally step down from the company or at least play just an honorary role, not step up his involvement and get his hands dirty with the next Windows version. If blame is to be assessed, we must start with Gates. He has guided--or, through lack of leadership--failed to guide the development of Microsoft's most prized asset. He has driven it into the ground."
"On Tuesday, September 13, 2005, Microsoft announced to its employees and that it was reorganizing the company into a simpler organization in which executives much further down the chain would have direct decision-making capabilities, allowing the company to move more quickly in this ever-changing market and compete better with companies such as Google and Apple. The reorg was announced publicly a week later, with Microsoft also announcing that group vice president Jim Allchin would retire once Windows Vista ships in late 2006. Succeeding Allchin is Kevin Johnson, who will oversee the new Platform Products & Services division. Jeff Raikes, the head honcho of the unit previous responsible for Microsoft Office, was named president of the Microsoft Business Division. And Xbox's Robbie Bach was named president of Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division, which will combine the Xbox with Microsoft's other hardware products,"
"Contrary to the WSJ report, however, the reset was underway months earlier than July 2004... Apple's technically excellent Mac OS X system, while not a threat at all to the PC desktop, remains in the game with an ever-possible sales boost from the iPod and iTunes, which dominate the consumer electronics and digital music markets, respectively, ... Much of [Microsoft's] problems are related to corporate culture, and that won't be fixed by Microsoft's recent reorganization. Microsoft is far too big a company with far too many levels of executives, to move quickly and seize on new market trends. Windows Vista, as a result, is fighting the OS battles of the last decade, reacting rather than being proactive and innovative. Mac OS X users, for example, can point to many of Vista's features and correctly note that they appeared first on Apple's system, sometimes years ago. For Microsoft, a company that desperately wants to be seen as an innovator, this situation is untenable... All that said, Windows Vista is now on track. Current beta builds of the system show an OS that is far more similar to Windows XP, with fewer new features and a much less elegant interface, than originally planned. But it's a solid-looking release..."