A recent post on Slashdot made me aware of a talk around the idea of purchasing Microsoft and cutting the fat. I have to say that the idea is enticing, but it would never really work that easily. As with any major organization, cutting the fat is always a good thing, but it's a lot harder to do than one might think. The part that I was annoyed with the most with respect to this talk was the idea that the research money was a waste. Microsoft Research does a LOT of good work. As a matter of fact, they're working on a project right now that has already proven to significantly improve on long- and short-term memory loss. I can't go into details about it because I don't think it's public, yet, but feel free to check out the MSR website for more information on this and their other projects. They have some very nice projects that I'm very interested in. Check them out and I'm sure you'll find some that you might be interested in. They don't all have such a large effect on society, but research is all about throwing a bunch of ideas together to see what comes out of it. Some may be life-changing and some may simply save you five minutes when getting ready in the morning. Either way, the research is worth it in the long run.
Now that I went and got off topic, let me just say that you can cut the fat in Microsoft just as you could with any other company; but the truth is that no matter who heads the company, you're going to have to deal with the good and bad. Just watch Sun over the next few years and see how they do. They just went thru a major change, so it'll be something interesting to watch -- especially when you consider their declining value within the marketplace; but that's been going on for years.