Author's choice of companies with "failing strategies" is interesting. These companies are even described as companies in decay. For example, Microsoft is fighting Google, which gives its search strategy a failing grade, not the whole company. its business apps, server apps are growing nicely, and its desktop dominance is in place for next few years. Microsoft in decay seems like a broad brush to me.
For that matter, how about Google? Google is doing all the things Microsoft once did (namely moving into adjacent markets like Docs etc..). So, a few years down the line, do you think we would recognize Google, the search company.
So, here is my theory. Speaking of DNA, consider the life cycle of companies. No matter how good they are, they have a life span. If companies like IBM or GE "reinvent" themselves once every 30 years, they are "re-incarnating" themselves (they are no longer same business model, same customer base and same value proposition).
So, how can Microsoft succeed against Google? They can do that *only* when they can come up with better reason for people like me to use live.com instead of Google (which obviously solves the problem of bringing more advertisers to the "network"). I thought Bill Gates had it right when he said that next frontier of search war is to "pre-search" as against me going crazy over pages and pages of search results. Uh, I have not seen anything from Microsoft in that direction. Now, that's lack of strategy.