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Reed Hastings

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is stepping down from the Microsoft board later this month at the company’s annual meeting. And while the departure will unlikely be marked by any sort of fanfare, Hastings is providing a bit of analysis about Microsoft as it enters one of the most critical chapters in its history.

A board member for the past five years, Hastings has a unique view into the “great assets and many great challenges” at the company.

In remarks to a group of Dow Jones reporters, Hastings laid out his view on the company, noting that Windows 8 is absolutely critical to maintaining Microsoft’s profit stream, reports All Things D.

CEO Steve Ballmer is “unbelievably self-aware” of that challenge, with Hastings adding that “he’s the last guy to be in a little bit of denial.” He noted fierce competitors like Apple and Google, but suggested that Microsoft is not sitting around for them to continue to grab market share.

Hastings notes:

What’s great is they see the threat. They didn’t wait, like RIM, and sort of say “Oh, touch isn’t very good,” and that sort of stuff. Just like they did in the late 90s about the Internet tidal wave. They’re really good at seeing the threat, and saying, “goddamit, we’ve to nail this”, and putting all hands on deck and doing that.

At the end of the day, however, Hastings said Microsoft’s future is tied to Windows 8. “It kind of doesn’t matter how successful Surface is,” said Hastings. “But it does matter a lot if Windows 8 is successful.”

Peter Kafka at All Things D has the full transcript of the remarks.

Previously on GeekWireIs Windows 8 off to a weaker start than Windows 7?


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