Microsoft and Complexity

A report from CNN serves as yet another reminder that my observations about Microsoft from a recent post are correct: Microsoft can’t buy a winner no matter how much money they trow at it (and their maintenance diet of oft-delayed Windows and Office upgrades doesn’t count).

The XBox 360 and other devices division (think Zune, etc.) is hemorrhaging money and just had to take another $1 Billion charge due to extensive hardware problems with the XBox. You’ll love this: “… the Xbox 360 return problem was getting so severe that the company was running out of ‘coffins,’ or special return-shipping boxes Microsoft provides to gamers with dead consoles.”

That’s on top of the fact that no one cares about their Zune MP3 player and iPod “competitor”, and that the Nintendo Wii and its disruptive innovation approach is running circles around the XBox and Sony Playstation.

Why am I bothering to highlight this for you? Two reasons: 1) There is a law of complexity that in essence states that complexity in an organization is directly related to its size. 2) Even mighty Microsoft cannot escape the logic of said law, regardless of how much money they throw at a problem.

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