Myhrvold (Microsoft CTO). Why is he so abused?
What exactly has this guy done to invite the ire of people like Charles Fergueson and Larry Ellison? I've read numerous accounts of people referring to Myhrvold as an idiot, but very few detailed accounts explaining why.
I think the most obvious example is that as CTO, Myhrvold's job was to identify new growth technologies; yet Microsoft completely missed the whole internet until late 1995--long after non-CTO types had already figured it out. Bill Gates allegedly said in 1980 "64k should be enough for anyone", but at least that was the only such statement--wheras Myhrvold has a huge number of such gaffes (in 1992, "broadband will be so common in three years that we'll be able to provide video-on-demand to every household!", etc)
According to http://www.nybooks.com/articles/15180#fn* Bill never said that.
Myhrvold has argued for years (see Red Herring, January 1998) that Microsoft is generally good -- good for just about everybody except their competitors. Guys like Ellison and McNealy have insisted for years that they aren't more successful because Microsoft is, well, mean to them and doesn't play "fair". Myhrvold doesn't mention Ellison in that particular piece though he does say some unflattering things about McNealy, and I wouldn't be surprised if he hasn't stepped on Larry's toes in the past. And I would imagine that if you're heavily invested in the explanation that you're a victim, anybody who cogently makes your case appear foolish would be threatening.
From what I heard once, Myhrvold seemed to have stepped on Ellison's toes as well; Ellison read a disparaging comment in some magazine and thought it was attributed to Myhrvold. He later realized it was not, but suffice it to say, Microsoft probably does not specialize in humble, mediagenic personalities.
Fog Creek Home