What is Strategy? It’s About Choices.

July 11, 2013 — Leave a comment
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So today Microsoft announced a huge reorganization and you can find this gem in the memo about the move:

Going forward, our strategy will focus on creating a family of devices and services for individuals and businesses that empower people around the globe at home, at work and on the go, for the activities they value most.

So lets take this apart with the trusted “who, what, how” of business strategy 101:

  • who: who is our target group? Microsoft says: “individuals and businesses” and “at home, at work and on the go”. If we translate that it’s: whoever, wherever and whatever they just try to do. Basically 7 billion people, nobody left behind. Is this making choices? Strategy is about saying no, about not trying to be everything to everybody. example: the one Windows 8 to rule PCs and tablets is failing exactly at that.
  • what: what are we helping our target customers to do? Microsoft: “the activities they value most” – again: whatever, no limitation, no trade-off, no choice.
  • how: how will we achieve this, what’s our added value? Microsoft: “creating a family of devices and services” – that means: building stuff. Whatever we are already doing and more. Just more of it and services – will it soon be Microservices and not Microsoft?

So this is the new “one Microsoft” – is it too big to be one? Was it really so bad, when every product or product line could define its own distinct strategy and target segment? What we have now is a fluffy sentence that isn’t defining a clear strategic positioning at all.

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