Mich Mathews

Microsoft's office: Why insiders think top management has lost its way

March 31, 2011: 10:47 AM ET

Steve Ballmer's slavish devotion to Windows and Office has made them cash cows, but some say revenues have come at the expense of innovation.

By Gary Rivlin, contributor

The traffic jams begin at 5pm on the dot at Microsoft's Redmond campus.

The traffic jams begin at 5pm on the dot at Microsoft's Redmond campus.

FORTUNE -- What's the matter with Microsoft?  After spending weeks tracking down and talking with a long list of former Microsoft (MSFT) employees, many of them veterans with fifteen or more years with the company, the question is how long do you have to hear the answer.

Corey Salka, who worked at Microsoft from 1992 until 2009, brings up the anti-trust fight.  The company decided to fight the U.S. Justice Department rather than settle and things were never the same.  Salka points to the humiliation colleagues felt watching Apple (AAPL) mock them in its 'I'm a Mac, You're a PC' campaign.  For years Microsoft took it, he said, without so much as counterpunch.

"That would have been inconceivable in the 1990s," said Salka, who describes Microsoft as "a more cautious company than before." More

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