Monday, April 1, 2013

On Apple's purchase of Microsoft


I learn about these things at odd hours. For example, back in 2008 I learned that my own company (Motorola) was selling my own division (the biometrics unit) to the French company Safran. Because of time zone differences, I learned about this late at night.

Now I learn about this really, really early in the morning.

Everybody and their mother are reporting and blogging about this, and rather than regurgitate what they're saying, I'm going to throw in my own views, based upon my own experiences in various corporate acquisitions.

And in this case, I really really don't see how this can work - even if it clears the expected antitrust hurdles.

The big issue here is culture. Cupertino has its culture, and Redmond has its culture. Perhaps Redmond could be run as a stand-alone entity with its own culture, but in that case Apple will not reap any benefits from its takeover of Microsoft. (Believe me - I know.)

The only way that this is going to work is if Apple imposes its culture on Microsoft, and I'm not sure if Redmond is ready to bleed six colors.

Even if Ballmer is becoming the President under Tim Cook's CEO role, and Gates (who is not fully engaged anyway) becomes the Chairman. That theoretically means that Redmond could conceivably be taking over Cupertino instead of the other way around, but you can bet that Cook has retained enough power to make sure that he is running things.

Anyway, those are my first jumbled half-asleep thoughts. If I have more thoughts, I'll certainly share them.
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