Bill Gates' worst decisions as CEO, according to a longtime Microsoft exec
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Silverberg writes Gates didn't engage the government and politicians early on because he believed the company was competing fairly and creating enough value for the customers. But that approach was a "disaster," he writes, as it essentially made the US government and the EU to "declare war on Microsoft."In 2000, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled that Microsoft broke antitrust law by unfairly bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. Although Microsoft eventually settled the case with the Department of Justice in 2001, many believe it hurt Microsoft's dominance in the field.
Siliverberg also believes Gates dismissed the threat posed by the internet because he wanted to protect the Windows empire he had built. He writes:"Bill also had a difficult time figuring out how to respond to the opportunity / threat of the Internet. It's understandable. When you own Windows in the late 90's, life is good and why would you want things to change? Bill's view was to protect Windows, and didn't come up with an approach that kept Windows and Microsoft's systems strategy at the forefront. The result is that Microsoft's strategic position declined in the 2000's. It's now coming to grips with the new reality and making necessary, if belated, changes."But Silverberg still has a lot of respect for Gates and believes he's one of the greatest CEOs ever.
He writes in another Quora post that Gates had the early vision to build a software empire and a massive platform business, while making important strategic decisions that allowed Microsoft to own both the consumer and enterprise space, which is a rare feat for any tech company.
"Bill is one of the all time great CEOs in American business history," he wrote.
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