Microsoft made one big, wrong decision that led to Vista's delays, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told financial analysts during his meeting with them last week. The
company took a Big Bang approach and tried to overhaul all of its operating system's core components simultaneously, an approach that eventually led to a fiery development crash. "We made an upfront decision that was, I'll say, incredibly strategic and brilliant and wise -- and was not implementable," Ballmer said. "We tried to incubate too many new innovations and integrate them simultaneously, as opposed to letting them bake and then integrating them, which is essentially where we wound up."
In the heyday of "Integrated Innovation" I told anyone who would listen that it was a misguided strategy, and that the company should "Innovate, then Integrate". Just a pity I wasn't able to persuade the people who mattered.
Of course, they may still not get it. It's unnerving when a CEO believes that a decision that was not implementable could still be "brilliant and wise".