Microsoft deserves a lot of props for how they’ve managed through some tight, tricky spots over the years. They are definitely disciplined in how they approach new markets, ensuring that they squeeze every penny out of a dying technology before moving onto the next big thing.
That said, timing markets and competitive chess moves is always tricky. Move too early, you may undermine your existing product sales too quickly. Move too slow, and you may lose an emerging market opportunity to a competitor.
Microsoft announced today that they are going to offer the online version of it’s MS Office 2010 (due next summer) for free. In no doubt a reaction to the threat of Google Docs.
But I can’t help but think that the announcement, which is no doubt in reaction to Google’s disruption, isn’t indicative of a culture that’s not as balanced as it might need to be to capture major potential threats before they are too late?