Challenges Microsoft Faces

Microsoft's Midlife Crisis from Forbes looks at challenges ahead for Microsoft as sales for the first time show less than double-digit growth and threats in the search arena from Google and Yahoo grow. What's up? Among other things, fewer employees are becoming millionaires and Google seems more cool, apparently. The story also looks at internal problems and bureaucracy between departments over who gets to run and develop ideas, such as how it took a month for MSN to get the go ahead to unbundle desktop search from being offered only within the new Vista operating system. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is positive there's plenty good at Microsoft now and to come, and most of this piece revolves around him. For more on the "it's over for Yahoo" theme, see Steve Gillmor's Beep beep post about how Google among others will kill Microsoft by moving all applications off the desktop. Microsoft's Robert Scoble fires back here.