Innovation: you gotta walk the walk as well as talking the talk
"Those leading Microsoft labs and its software architecture are blaming poor communications for the fact the company is now widely disregarded as a force for innovation."
When are they going to figure it out: you can have your marketers claim that you're an innovator until they're blue in the face, but that doesn't make it true.
You have to innovate to be seen as an innovator. Microsoft have a pretty poor track record there, and they're being judged on their actions.
BASIC on microprocessors: nice idea, well executed, but they weren't the first to do it.
DOS: they bought that one (QDOS - not the Sinclair one, the CP/M cloned "Quick and Dirty Operating System") when they realized there was no hope in hell of delivering it in-house in time.
Windows: Beaten to the consumer GUI by Mac OS, AmigaOS, GEM, and probably some other more obscure ones too. Oh, and of course Xerox, the grandaddy of the GUI. Spun it out of their work on OS/2 after stabbing IBM in the back and pulling out of their partnership.
Windows CE: beaten to it by Psion and others. Pretty lame effort even then.
Office: A reliable workhorse for sure, but nothing new.
The Internet: "it'll never matter". *BZZZT*. Sorry, that was the *wrong* answer.
Web browsers: Late to the party, again, but got to #1 by throwing lots of developers at it and bundling it into their monopoly OS. Then they let it stagnate horribly for several years before Firefox came along and shook them out of their stupor.
Exchange server: a reinvented wheel, designed only to fit Outlook clients.
Product lock-in: The big iron boys were doing that when Bill was still in elementary school.
Internet search: Late again, resulting in being third place in a one horse race. Throwing furniture around isn't going to change that. Google really innovated to get their number one position from a standing start. Imagine what Microsoft could have achieved from their established position, if only they KNEW how to innovate!
Whining about people pirating their software: OK, this was a new concept back in the day. Way to go guys! :)
Xbox: Hey, these guys who sell consoles are making a killing! Why don't we do that?
Sync: Hmm. Maybe? At the very least they might have been first to market with something new for once. They could probably make a comfortable living just doing this for FoMoCo. There's hope for the old dog yet I suppose. :)