Halo developer's exodus reflects on Microsoft's culture

The Microsoft culture tends to squash true innovation, says CNNMoney.com's John Dvorak. That's the upshot for the enterprise about today's news that Halo developer Bungie, acquired by Microsoft in 2000, is splitting off to become an independent company again. The Web is ablaze with news reports on the split, but the most interesting piece of the Bungie/Microsoft story was Dvorak's analysis.

"Part of the reason the product is so good is that Bungie Software, acquired by Microsoft in 2000, pulled itself away from the corporate compound in Redmond, Wash., and moved into its own facilities. It even established its own key-card security system to keep other Microsoft folks from gaining entrance. I'm convinced that the way Microsoft is currently managed, this kind of isolationism is the only way a successful product can be developed at the company. This is largely due to a corporate culture based on micromanagement and meddling."

He says that product after report gets ruined by such micro-management (pun intended), and offers, as one example out of 100, the "checkered history" of FrontPage.

To be fair, Dvorak calls out the fact that this is hardly a "disease" specific to Microsoft. IBM nearly killed itself off in the 1980's from the illness. He predicts that Google is sadly also heading down this path.

Also see: Halo 3 mania – the biggest pre-ordered game, ever

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