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《经济学人》:微软,中年忧郁症

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Microsoft

微软

Middle-aged blues

中年忧郁症

The software giant is grappling with a mid-life crisis

软件巨头微软正在中年危机中挣扎

Jun 9th 2011 | SAN FRANCISCO | from The Economist print edition

COMPARED with IBM, Microsoft is a mere stripling. Founded in 1975, it rose swiftly to dominate the world of personal computing with its Windows operating system and Office suite of word-processing and other productivity tools. But the company is now showing some worrying signs of middle-age fatigue. In particular, it is struggling to find a growth strategy that will enthuse disgruntled shareholders.

与IBM相比,微软还只是个年轻人。成立于1975年的微软因其Windows操作系统和包括文字处理及其他生产工具的Office系列迅速崛起并主导个人电脑世界。但是该公司如今呈现出一些人到中年疲惫了的迹象,引人担忧。特别是,它正努力寻找一种可以激发不满的股东们热情的增长策略。

Grumbles are understandable. Since Steve Ballmer took over from Bill Gates as chief executive in 2000, Microsoft’s share price has languished and the company has lost its reputation as a tech trend-setter. It has been left behind in hot areas such as search and social networking by younger companies, some of which love to thumb their noses at their older rival. Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, recently proclaimed that leadership in the tech world had passed from Microsoft and others to a “Gang of Four” fast-growing, consumer-oriented businesses: Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook.

抱怨是可以理解的。自从2000年史蒂夫??鲍尔默(Steve Ballmer)从比尔??盖茨手中接掌微软总裁一职以后,微软的股价就一蹶不振,公司也失去了作为科技弄潮儿的声誉。在诸如搜索和社交网络等热门领域中,它被年轻一代的公司甩在了后面,这些公司中的有一些热衷于嘲笑这位年纪大的对手。谷歌的执行主席埃里克??施密特(Eric Schmidt)最近宣称科技世界的领导力量已经从微软和其他公司传递到一个发展迅速、以消费者为导向的“四人组”公司手中:谷歌,苹果,亚马逊和脸谱网。

Few would quibble with that. The question is: what, if anything, can Microsoft do to change it? In at least some respects, the company appears to be suffering from similar ailments to those that laid IBM low before Lou Gerstner was hired in 1993 to get it back on its feet. These include arrogance bred of dominance of a particular area—mainframe computers at IBM, personal computers at Microsoft—and internal fiefs that hamper swift change. For instance, the division that champions cloud computing must deal with one that is the cheerleader for Windows, which is likely to want computing to stay on desktops for as long as possible to maximise its own revenues.

几乎没人会对这个观点吹毛求疵。问题是:微软能做些什么来改变它呢?至少在某些方面,该公司看起来罹患一些疾病,类似的疾病曾击倒IBM,直到1993年路易??郭士纳(Lou Gerstner):上任才使其重新恢复元气。它们包括因为控制某一领域而滋生的骄傲自大——于IBM是大型计算机,于微软则是个人电脑——以及阻碍迅速转变的公司内部的各个阵营。比如,支持云计算的部门必须应对Windows系统的支持者,后者可能希望计算在台式电脑上停留越长越好,以便获得最多的收入。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
placate [plei'keit]

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vt. 抚慰,和解

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understandable [.ʌndə'stændəbl]

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adj. 可理解的,能够懂的

 
troubled ['trʌbld]

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adj. 动乱的,不安的;混乱的;困惑的

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swiftly ['swiftli]

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adv. 迅速地,敏捷地

 
dominance ['dɔminəns]

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n. 支配(控制,统治,权威,优势)

 
social ['səuʃəl]

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adj. 社会的,社交的
n. 社交聚会

 
dominate ['dɔmineit]

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v. 支配,占优势,俯视

 
particular [pə'tikjulə]

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adj. 特殊的,特别的,特定的,挑剔的
n.

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arrogance ['ærəgəns]

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n. 傲慢,自大

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quibble ['kwibl]

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n. 遁辞,谬论,双关话 v. 推托,说模棱两可的话,说

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