Microsoft is in a world of hurt, says former executive Joachim Kempin.The software giant is wrongly focused on competing with Apple by “pissing off its loyal hardware manufacturers” and releasing its own PC, Kempin told ReadWrite’s Dan Lyons in an interview posted today.
He’s referring to Microsoft’s Surface tablet.
Kempin joined Microsoft in the ’80s, when it had a mere 400 employees. He left two decades later, in 2002, shortly after Microsoft released what would become its most popular operating system of all time, Windows XP.
For much of that time, his job was to oversee Windows software and its crucial relationship with its hardware partners. That meant working closely with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
Kempin is known for being a fierce manager and a key figure in the U.S. government’s landmark anti-trust case against Microsoft. He still holds a grudge, calling the Department of Justice lawyers a “pack of wolves and leeches.”
About a month ago, he released a self-published book about the early days of Microsoft called Resolve and Fortitude: Microsoft’s ”SECRET POWER BROKER breaks his silence‘.
He filled the book with harsh criticisms saying that Gates “miserably failed in guiding the company through the Internet and social network revolution” and that Microsoft has lost its “audacity.”
In the interview with Lyons, he explains:
“It seems to me that Microsoft is basically malfunctioning. Back in the late 1990s we had our own tablet under development. 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.”
He thinks that instead of competing with Apple, Microsoft should be competing with Facebook (never mind that Microsoft invested $240 million in Facebook in 2007).
Kempin also thinks that Microsoft should spin out Xbox, which he calls “a crummy product.”