I remember years ago, Microsoft was considered the benchmark of all things leading edge when it came to software development. They seemed to be the “poster child” for how to build software organizations and software products.
For example, they had a multi-tiered strategy for a code freeze model and everyone seemed to be copying it. And today their Software Developer in Test (SDET) model is also incredibly popular. There were many books written about their strategies and approaches, and everyone seemed to want to “be like Microsoft”.
What’s interesting to me is my perspective. If you’ve been in technology long enough, you see recursive themes unfolding. What today is a benchmark company with everyone jumping on the bandwagon to copy them, in ten years becomes a passing thought. Microsoft is clearly an example of this curve—first being the “darling” of what to do – to falling into a category of status quo or even an anti-pattern. Sure, Microsoft is still a viable company and sometime role model, but it’s no longer seen as the one to emulate.