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Microsoft CFO Quits

timothy posted about a year ago | from the extended-family-is-a-new-twist-on-the-old-lie dept.

Businesses 295

McGruber writes "NBC News is reporting that Microsoft's Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein is leaving the company to spend time with his extended family, as Microsoft 'struggles with sharply declining personal computer sales and a lukewarm reception for its new Windows 8 operating system.' Klein is the latest in a line of top-level executives to leave the company, following Windows head Steven Sinofsky last November."

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295 comments

Come on CEO... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513845)

do the right thing.

Re:Come on CEO... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513851)

Yep, Balmer is definitely the problem.

Re:Come on CEO... (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#43513953)

Ballmer is not the problem --- that guy is only PART of a very BIG problem

Re:Come on CEO... (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year ago | (#43514155)

he represents the problem, and he's also responsible for the company *as* CEO. So either he fixes the problem or he is the problem.

Re:Come on CEO... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514165)

Have you ever SEEN Ballmer? I have talked to him in person once and have seen a talk (incoherent rant) by him once. He is the bigges problem they have at MS. They have others but he is by far the biggest. He has the same reality distortion field Jobs had, but it affects only him.

Re:Come on CEO... (5, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43514357)

Have you ever SEEN Ballmer? I have talked to him in person once and have seen a talk (incoherent rant) by him once. He is the bigges problem they have at MS. They have others but he is by far the biggest. He has the same reality distortion field Jobs had, but it affects only him.

Hmm, sounds like he's such an ass that instead of a distortion field he's become large and dense enough to collapse into a singularity.

Interestingly, it seems something like Hawking radiation is occurring at the edge of the singularity's influence: The Chief Officers begin radiating away from the company's event horizon giving one reason to those on the outside, while the actual reasons for departure fall back inward toward the singularity.

If only there were a name for such phenomena where you become so dense and toxic that no intelligible thoughts escape you and everything within your reach turns to crap -- Sort of like a social version of a blackhole... hmm. Any ideas?

Re:Come on CEO... (5, Funny)

Talderas (1212466) | about a year ago | (#43514379)

If only there were a name for such phenomena where you become so dense and toxic that no intelligible thoughts escape you and everything within your reach turns to crap -- Sort of like a social version of a blackhole... hmm. Any ideas?

Politician.

Re:Come on CEO... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514403)

I saw Ballmer in Nashville a few years back. Someone mentioned Windows Phone and its failing market share. His response was **crickets**. At that dev meeting, he did sign a laptop - a Macbook Pro that had Windows in a VM.

Re:Come on CEO... (4, Interesting)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about a year ago | (#43514199)

Fixing a problem as large as the one at microsoft is a top-down job. You absolutely require a new CEO to fix it. Therefore stating that Ballmer is by far their largest problem is entirely accurate.

Re:Come on CEO... (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year ago | (#43514385)

yes and that PART would be the BIG part.

No no no no (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514259)

My company supplies office furniture to Microsoft - like chairs - and ...and ...and... Balmer is NOT the problem. No Sir!

Re:Come on CEO... (5, Informative)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#43514365)

Yep, Balmer is definitely the problem.

Ever wonder how Steve Ballmer keeps his job. Well, here it is:

Bill Gates is Chairman of Microsoft's Board of Directors and Microsoft's largest stockholder

Steve Ballmer was best man at Bill Gates' wedding.

Are you happy, are you satisfied? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513865)

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey, I'm gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust

Re:Come on CEO... (5, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#43514015)

why? I think Ballmer is doing a fantastic job and he should keep up the hard chair throwing work.

Because for every chair thrown another bad quarter for MSFT happens.

hardly cause for concern (5, Insightful)

Sadsfae (242195) | about a year ago | (#43513853)

It'd be bigger news if he quit for another company, while Microsoft is on the decline it's going to be a very slow death spread across
a decade or two. They've still got considerable assets which will take a long time to bleed out.
http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bs?s=msft+balance+sheet&annual [yahoo.com]

Re:hardly cause for concern (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513863)

not to mention the actual financial news this quarter was actually very good for them as it was an INCREASE not a decline.

Re:hardly cause for concern (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513893)

not to mention the actual financial news prepared by the CFO who just quit this quarter was actually very good for them

Creative accountants are always wise to move on before the product of their creativity is revealed in all its glory.

Re:hardly cause for concern (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513925)

That is just moronic. Why would he do that if he is moving on, that just sets himself to go to Jail when the next guys walks in discovers the mess and reports him immediately to the SEC so that he doesn't get the blame himself. What could he possibly hope to gain except a very long jail sentence.

Re:hardly cause for concern (5, Insightful)

Raumkraut (518382) | about a year ago | (#43514017)

IANAA, but there's "creative accounting", and then there's fraud. One is perfectly legal, the other not. It's like the difference between "tax avoidance" and "tax evasion".

The thing with creative accounting is not that it hides or creates money from nothing (which would be fraud), but that it moves it around from other places/times. If you see a really good quarter now, it's possibly because some income has been moved from elsewhen. So it might be expected for the next few fiscal quarters to be more disappointing.

The old guy gets to leave on a high, and the new guy gets to "improve" the company's financials after an initial few bad quarters. It's an accountancy win-win.

Re:hardly cause for concern (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43514073)

I doubt that that is the case in this situation. However that sort of "book keeping" happens all the time, and you have to wonder if these people just really are that dumb. Or maybe it's that funneling money out of a corporation simply is that easy and 10+ years in jail is worth it for some jokers (who apparently think they're immortal and have 10+ years to spend being pounded in the ass).

Of course, being pounded in the ass might also be a step up for some of them. And not every white collar criminal is sent to Sing Sing. Some get to spend it at home with a fashionable bracelet on their ankle, courtesy of the latest douche bag elected representative they bribed. In some cases the creative accountant and the elected representative is one and the same, for even more majestic levels of "what the fuck?".

Re:hardly cause for concern (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514181)

What could he possibly hope to gain except a very long jail sentence.

That's funny. A finance guy receiving a long jail sentence. Have you been around the last 5 years?

Re:hardly cause for concern (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513895)

Never mind they'd need to start losing money. While the Windows market is going to start seeing declines soon (it was just flat in last week's report), other sectors are seeing considerable growing - some bringing in nearly as much Revenue as the Windows client itself, never mind other divisions like "The Cloud".

Re:hardly cause for concern (2, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43513947)

They've still got considerable assets which will take a long time to bleed out.

They basically get money for every PC sold. How is that an unhealthy situation?

People haven't rushed out in droves to replace their perfectly good PCs because of Windows 8. Tech mags love to make headlines out of that but it doesn't mean Microsoft is in trouble.

Re:hardly cause for concern (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514031)

They basically get money for every PC sold..

They get money [computerworld.com] for every Android device [techcrunch.com] sold!

Re:hardly cause for concern (5, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year ago | (#43514055)

How is that an unhealthy situation?

Because partners who've been closely tied to their success are now looking at alternatives.

"Vendors in China have revealed the Intel has begun to promote Android based convertible tablet/notebooks. Intel is concerned that Windows 8 has been unable to stimulate global demand for notebooks, and since global sales of Android tablets have been increasing, they are looking at reducing their reliance on the Microsoft OS.

China-based vendor Lenovo will be first to release Intel driven Android systems in May, while Hewlett-Packard (HP), Toshiba, Acer and Asustek Computer will launch theirs in the third quarter."

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20130419PD208.html [digitimes.com]

Re:hardly cause for concern (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year ago | (#43514175)

Microsoft get paid either way given that they have patents that Android supposedly infringes.

Re:hardly cause for concern (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43514307)

Yes, because if there's one thing Chinese companies respect, it's patents.

Re:hardly cause for concern (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year ago | (#43514329)

I'd imagine that Lenovo, HP, Toshiba, Acer and Asus all respect patents.

Re:hardly cause for concern (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#43514391)

Unhealthy... where to begin?!

Sure, it's a nice arrangement when the success of the PC industry is the success of Microsoft. But how healthy is it when the failure of Microsoft is the death of the PC industry??? The influence that a software maker has over the hardware industries is VERY unhealthy.

Re:hardly cause for concern (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513981)

Microsoft research is strong, particularly on the topic of making correct software. Driver code is actually analyzed with model checkers. Microsoft's products may not be as sexy as Apple's, but Microsoft is in a much better position to improve their software quality underneath the surface, where it counts long-term.

Re:hardly cause for concern (2)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about a year ago | (#43514191)

I'm sure many people would have said similar things about RIM and Nokia. Look at them now.

Re:hardly cause for concern (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year ago | (#43514279)

you'd be surprised how fast a company can go out of business when the decline has been going on for 5 years already.

Re:hardly cause for concern (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | about a year ago | (#43514321)

and it's hardly the same as Steven Sinofsky leaving, because he was basically kicked out after windows 8.

TAILS OS - do you use it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513855)

TAILS OS - do you use it? Anon needs help to improve it.

New Anonymous project to curb Tails privacy/security issues!

Tails - new unofficial project to nip the buds

(Please see the .onion link at the bottom of this article for where to respond and help this project with your suggestions. Please do not post at the Tails forums, Tor mailing lists, or in IRC - we are only checking the existing thread at the .onion location below, which requires Tor to access.)

In a few areas of the Tails Forums, (one example below) Tails users have posted about certain 'data collection, logging, debugging, Whisperback', and other issues a distro such as Tails should not include!

I am working on a project which will stop this type of collection and it will be free and released with each new version of Tails (it won't be included with the Tails distro or worked on by Tails/Tor developers) â" matching any changes the Tails team may make to try and obscure these data logging/collection activities between versions.

Here is one example post from a concerned user (post exists now, could be deleted later!):

Why does Tails log too much? .recently-used.xbel
https://tails.boum.org/forum/Why_does_Tails_log_too_much__63___.recen%E2%80%8Btly-used.xbel/ [boum.org]

#

An example of this is this hidden file: .recently-used.xbel located in amnesia folder. To see, open Home/amnesia, press Cntrl+h, look for that file. The contents of that file logs recently used programs and files with names and timestamps.

There are many other logs for different activities and events, a simple look around can locate these.

Caching thumbnails, recent documents, terminal command history and the similar..

Why would Tails need to log all these things during the session?

Some are useful for bug reporting, but many other arent and are widely revealing of system activities.

Yes, a restart will wipe everything, but what about while in the session?

Can an option be made for Tails to be log free or normal where the user can choose between the two? Like run log free and if a problem occurs to re-run tails with logs to identify the problem.â

#

There are debugging scripts, Whisperback, a script to drop all firewall protection, and much more in Tails.

I need more information from Tails users (Tails developers and those pretending not to be Tails developers posting against this will be ignored) before the first release is announced.

Boot into Tails and examine every nook and cranny and post about any file(s) with full path, which contain anything related to logging (excluding /var/log directories â" those will be dealt with) and/or sending of individual personal data.

On their mailing list they even had the balls to discuss whether or not they should add the package 'popcon'!

This project will be developed by an anonymous user (not included in the well known 'Anonymous' group). I will not reveal usernames from posters here, but I may credit this forum with each release with thanks for the help.

So boot into the most recent release of Tails, sniff around as much as possible, and post back juicy information to the thread in 'NEWS': http://clsvtzwzdgzkjda7.onion/ [clsvtzwzdgzkjda7.onion]

Thank you.

Microsoft is in deep shit now! (4, Informative)

mobby_6kl (668092) | about a year ago | (#43513857)

Ah, yes, Microsoft is in deep shit now [arstechnica.com] , what with the record revenue and what not. No wonder the CFO ran away. 2013 is going to be the year of Linux on the desktop, all hail RMS!

Re:Microsoft is in deep shit now! (3, Informative)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year ago | (#43513875)

Ah, yes, Microsoft is in deep shit now [arstechnica.com] , what with the record revenue and what not. No wonder the CFO ran away. 2013 is going to be the year of Linux on the desktop, all hail RMS!

And you expected something different here? Microsoft's latest numbers are actually astoundingly good, better than even most of the optimists predicted. They speak of a very healthy company, not one in decline at all.

Micro$oft (5, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43513973)

And you expected something different here? Microsoft's latest numbers are actually astoundingly good, better than even most of the optimists predicted. They speak of a very healthy company, not one in decline at all.

Microsoft s numbers were *always* very good,, they deserve a $ on their name. 75% Gross profit margin is amazing, but that's not really the news here, because that is consistent. The news is that even with its primary product (Windows) taking a deserved beating they have made the difference up elsewhere (Servers; Gaming...well Live and Cloud...well Office).

The original poster I suspect was being a little sarcastic, but the Irony is not lost on me. From a financial point of view. Microsoft more diversified product line has saved it in the short term financially, but from where RMS and the rest of us look...Windows has proved to be a trainwreck, and Microsoft is weaker as a monopoly. Its high fives all around.

Re:Micro$oft (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514001)

Windows sales numbers were stagnant, that is hardly a train wreck. If anything it should be sulk in the corner time as even windows 8 wasn't enough to bring the numbers tumbling down.

Re:Micro$oft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514027)

And only in oem numbers. Volume licensing is way, way up. They're kicking ass everywhere but windows sales, and that's commensurate with the decline in pc sales.

They're doing fine, and even win8 isn't doing badly.

Re:Microsoft is in deep shit now! (3, Funny)

Leejjon (2342476) | about a year ago | (#43514033)

Yeah they received more money from licensing Android patents than ever before!

Re:Microsoft is in deep shit now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514065)

They report record revenue and then their CFO leaves?

It doesn't sounds fishy. Not at all.

Re:Microsoft is in deep shit now! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514381)

that is usually when CFO's resign. IT is not like he is walking out the door now, he stays on till the end of the 4th quarter. now if he had left BEFORE the numbers then that is something that would be incredibly fishy as it would scream there was something in their he wasn't willing to put his name against.

Re:Microsoft is in deep shit now! (4, Interesting)

delt0r (999393) | about a year ago | (#43514277)

They still have more than 80% of the desktop market. Doing poorly is means truckloads of money. I can't see MS going anywhere soon.

Half the problem is stock market expectations. You can't just do well, you must do better than last year. And not just better but the improvement has to be more than the previous year. Its hard to do that when you have pretty much already sold your product to everyone that has a computer.

As a good economist once said, "Humans don't understand exponential curves".

Re:Microsoft is in deep shit now! (1)

dingen (958134) | about a year ago | (#43514387)

They still have more than 80% of the desktop market. Doing poorly is means truckloads of money. I can't see MS going anywhere soon.

They actually have more than 90% of the desktop market. The problem is not that someone is threatening them in that market, the problem is that the market as a whole is starting to collapse and Microsoft doesn't have a foot in the door in the booming markets.

Re:Microsoft is in deep shit now! (2)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#43514393)

THalf the problem is stock market expectations. You can't just do well, you must do better than last year. And not just better but the improvement has to be more than the previous year. Its hard to do that when you have pretty much already sold your product to everyone that has a computer. .

The stock market is a BIG part of the problem. Look at Apple. Their products are selling really well. iPads and iPhones and iWhatevers by the millions. And Macs are more popular than ever. And yet, since Tim Cook took over as CEO, Apple's stock price has dropped 50%..

Several years ago I worked for a company that reported record profits for 6 consecutive quarters. What happened? The stock price went down 25%..

Re:Microsoft is in deep shit now! (2)

dingen (958134) | about a year ago | (#43514461)

Stock prices are a reflection of expectations, not of past results. The fact some company made profit in the past doesn't mean it will do so in the future.

RMS would not let you run this desktop, cause (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513989)

It's called GNU/Linux.

Re:Microsoft is in deep shit now! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514023)

if windows xp wasn't EOL in less than a year.. windows revenue would still be trending down.

fact: windows xp is being EOL because a stable consistent and popular operating system does not help profits long term... NOT because it's difficult to maintain even after 10+ years.

Well then.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513867)

Next up Ballmer?

Shares up? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513877)

So the CFO jumps ship, and the shares went up? Do the people buying those shares under some misguided impression that Windows 8 is Klein's fault, and everything will be OK now? Perhaps they should be asking what the real reason is that he's decided to go...

Re:Shares up? (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year ago | (#43513887)

I suspect any movements in share price have little to nothing to do with Klein's departure.

Re:Shares up? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513901)

Shares went up due to better-than-expected quarterly reports. Especially in non-Windows areas, which still resulted in significant revenue and profit improvements.

Re:Shares up? (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#43513955)

Not saying this is the case, but it would fit:

"Better than expected earnings" reported followed by "CFO leaving Microsoft." What if it turned out he left because someone insisted on filing deceptive or inaccurate numbers? Leaving in protest of such things would make sense of the two events wouldn't it?

Re:Shares up? (3, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year ago | (#43514009)

As CFO that would still leave him in deep shit as he signed them off as accurate before submitting them, the SEC won't accept an excuse that he was pressured. It would also leave him in a really bad situation where unless the next person in the job is willing to cover up for him (pretty unlikely) then his next job is going to be calculating his very large lawyer bills trying to keep his arse out of jail.

Re:Shares up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514021)

Not saying this is the case,

Then what are you saying? You sure used a lot of words to say 'nothing'.

Weasel.

Re:Shares up? (0)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#43514115)

Moron. It's called a hypothesis. First you propose an idea that might fit the circumstances and then test it. In this case, I would hope to test it in open discussion.

Re:Shares up? (3, Interesting)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year ago | (#43513911)

The 2 are unrelated events. The shares went up because of the very good financial growth MS showed this quarter despite the drop in PC sales.

Re:Shares up? (0)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#43513927)

The shares went up because of the very good numbers the accountants fudged this quarter despite the drop in PC sales.

FTFY

Re:Shares up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513939)

Ahhhhh yes, tinfoil hat time. the conspiracy theory morons always come out of the woodwork. After all what could accountants possibly hope to lose. It is not like they would go to jail or anything right? retard!

Re:Shares up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514089)

They "deferred" some Windows license income from last quarter to this.
Not illegal, not a conspiracy, just accountancy tricks.

Re:Shares up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514319)

The increases were not the windows division, it was the gaming, enterprise licenses, SQL, server products and cloud products that were the huge increases. The windows license deferrals are normal and were not unexpected, it was the other massive increases that gave the suprises.

Re:Shares up? (0)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43514077)

They never made money from OEM. OEM was all about lock-in. You are wrong, and you look like a jackass with your false and lying "FTFY".

Re:Shares up? (3, Insightful)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year ago | (#43513933)

You should know by now that the Stock Market isn't a very good medium for judging anything; It's no different than a visit to Las Vegas. But, there use to be a time when you could invest in a Company because you cared about the Company and wanted to be a part in it's growing and have a say in what happened. I seriously doubt, these days, that people even know what Company they put money in; they are in and out so fast. We should take it back to that time, and ban all this lightening trading.

The truth is, Microsoft is dying. It's going to take a long time, but they will eventually bleed to death. We all knew it was coming, nothing lasts forever. Even if they did manage to put on a good show in the next year or so, It is inevitable that such a thing can't last.

Re:Shares up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513963)

The thing is it ISN'T dying, it is actually increasing in other markets faster than it's consumer desktop market is eroding. It is actually growing very rapidly in just about every area except for desktop. Revenue and profits are at record levels and have only continued to increase barring a few anomalies for charges for assets they have written off.

us$ falls account for gains (2)

cheekyboy (598084) | about a year ago | (#43514045)

So profit outside usa remains static.
USD drops n percent.

MS profits rise n percent.

Duhhhhh

House of cards (3, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43514087)

it is actually increasing in other markets faster than it's consumer desktop market is eroding.

I think we need to have a little look at those markets...because its a big fat failure on mobile.

Its started to make money on a subscription service for a....end of life console. Ignoring the fact that Microsoft is about to put a *TON* of money down on keeping in the console market, or that suddenly its getting competition from, mobile...the market its a big fat failure in, or steam...or the rise of disposable Android console gaming...Hell Sony might try to compete with a console costing costing less than its weight in gold (not that that is worth as much as it was).

Ok they are starting to make money from online office....hold the page, does that mean Office without Windows, running in a Web browser...in direct competition with Google, a company it repeatedly lose against...that it can't bribe or bully. Is this new market...or *the same* market that Office is only without the Windows Monopoly to prop it up, and won't this simply cannibalise current sales of Office.

Ok they are making more money in video/telephony software one of the reasons they are currently a big fat failure in mobile...because that is in direct competition with the carriers they are trying to sell to!? I am not sure if that is not a home goal.

Lastly Server Software http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240173199/Forrester-Microsoft-licence-hike-makes-no-sense [computerweekly.com] price increases are a double edged sword, profitable in the short term, long term customers may look for low or free cost alternatives.

There is no way anyone can argue, that Microsoft has a bad quarter, but arguing these are new markets...or that they are more stable than its old monopoly, is simply not the case.

Re:Shares up? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43514095)

Las Vegas is a zero sum game (for any particular playing session, assuming no credits) where the house has the odds in its favor. The Stock market is a zero sum game on a microsecond level (any two trades, but no more), so much less a zero-sum game, and the house has no odds (unless you consider the micro-second traders to be the house). They are similar at a glance, but quite different in practice.

Seems like the buzz has gone from Microsoft (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#43513881)

Well, I guess we all wish the guy the best, and hope he enjoys time with his family.
I assume he has enough cash to do so; lucky for him.

Whilst a couple of high-level departures are hardly the "beginning of the end", (and financial people are easier to replace than tech gurus), I was thinking on a broader level here. If you were a senior exec, or a young graduate, where would you rather work. Google or Microsoft?

Re:Seems like the buzz has gone from Microsoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513919)

Well, I guess we all wish the guy the best, and hope he enjoys time with his family.
I assume he has enough cash to do so; lucky for him.

Whilst a couple of high-level departures are hardly the "beginning of the end", (and financial people are easier to replace than tech gurus), I was thinking on a broader level here. If you were a senior exec, or a young graduate, where would you rather work. Google or Microsoft?

I was thinking on a more basic level here.

When someone who can afford to retire many times over actually makes the effort to do so, perhaps we could all stop clamoring for the "scoop" to this, and realize that more millionaires should be making this move to prioritize something other than greed in their lives.

Perhaps after watching the world's wealth become crushed in a global meltdown 5 years ago with basically no remorse or reprimand for those who caused it, more and more people are starting to realize where their true wealth lies. The concept of a stable job or a loyal company have gone out the window, that's for sure. Enjoy life while you can.

And this is called "news"? (1)

ras (84108) | about a year ago | (#43513885)

It was news last week. How old does that make it in internet time?

Re:And this is called "news"? (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year ago | (#43513949)

With a 5 digit UID, I'm surprised you're asking. /. has been recycling old news - often more than once - for the past 15 years. It's not even annoying, it's a feature: this place wouldn't be what it is with fresh news, or without people who complain about the news not being fresh. It's a sort of tradition here, I'd be sad to see it go personally.

Quits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513903)

Isn't "leaving the company to spend time with his extended family" a common euphemism for being fired?

Re:Quits? (1)

fitteschleiker (742917) | about a year ago | (#43513935)

I thought it was a euphemism for the company found out he's been fucking an underling.

Re:Quits? (2)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#43513943)

Or running away.

Why? (5, Insightful)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#43513945)

It's a mystery to me why extremely rich men like Balmer continue with the daily drudgery of running a business like Microsoft. Personally I'd buy a huge yacht (inc. surface to air missiles) and sail around the world with a harem of supermodel concubines. For the rest of my natural life...

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

robnelle (541339) | about a year ago | (#43513959)

It's a mystery to me why extremely rich men like Balmer continue with the daily drudgery of running a business like Microsoft. Personally I'd buy a huge yacht (inc. surface to air missiles) and sail around the world with a harem of supermodel concubines. For the rest of my natural life...

For some people it's not necessarily about just the money, it's about the power. Controlling one of the biggest and most ubiquitous companies in the world = a lot of power.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514059)

Who cares about the power? I'd take the harem of supermodel concubines any day. Now that would be living! Especially if you are already an old guy like Ballmer.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514205)

Its not about the power itself. The power is just a form of addiction, sadly.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514075)

Exactly!

And you use this power for evil, like changing the UI so that no one in the world likes it! MUAHAHAHAH That'll teach them!

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513975)

You forgot a famous quote: "I have four words to tell ya.... I! love! this! company! yeaaah..."

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43513985)

John McAfee tried this. But in the case of Ballmer, I guess you'd have to ask yourself what he would be missing if he 'retired'. My guess is that Ballmer enjoys the feeling of importance and attention that running a top company gives him. Plus, he can still enjoy his yacht during the weekends.

Re:Why? (5, Interesting)

c (8461) | about a year ago | (#43514127)

Personally I'd buy a huge yacht (inc. surface to air missiles) and sail around the world with a harem of supermodel concubines. For the rest of my natural life...

Ah, the John McAfee package. Seems to be popular with the techie crowd. We're also having a special this week on the Kim Dotcom plan, if you're interested?

Ah... anyhow, there's probably a reason that these people are extremely rich and you're not. Luck is obviously a factor, but it takes a certain kind of drive to keep playing the game well after you need to.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514227)

Personally I'd buy a huge yacht (inc. surface to air missiles) and sail around the world with a harem of supermodel concubines. For the rest of my natural life...

Ah, the John McAfee package. Seems to be popular with the techie crowd. We're also having a special this week on the Kim Dotcom plan, if you're interested?

Ah... anyhow, there's probably a reason that these people are extremely rich and you're not. Luck is obviously a factor, but it takes a certain kind of drive to keep playing the game well after you need to.

Then it's wasted on them.

Re:Why? (2)

TheMathemagician (2515102) | about a year ago | (#43514149)

Don't you think cruising the world on a mega-yacht filled with every toy imaginable and with a harem of beautiful women would pall after a while? Errr actually no, you're good.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514177)

Yeah, the yacht/supermodel/surface-to-air missile life isn't as great as you'd think.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514435)

What about a supermodel-to-air missile then?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514265)

Me too - which is why we are not super powerful CEO's: we don't have the drive.

Re:Why? (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#43514371)

A fair point.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514267)

It's a mystery to me why extremely rich men like Balmer continue with the daily drudgery of running a business like Microsoft. Personally I'd buy a huge yacht (inc. surface to air missiles) and sail around the world with a harem of supermodel concubines. For the rest of my natural life...

It is often said that this is the difference between who gets rich and not, so it is sort of chicken and egg question - because you ask you won't get that rich ;-). Some people just have an insane drive to work and succeed more, while others want to enjoy life and cash out if ahead by a big enough amount. It is reported that very early on Mark Zuckerberg was offered 500 million USD cash for Facebook. This was while it still was fairly small and unproven compared to today. He declined. Now, some of us might ask incredulously why on earth would you ever decline more money than you can possibly ever need, and continue to toil away around the clock and also risk losing it all? Others, like Zuckerberg, drives on to create an ever bigger success (regardless of what you think of Facebook, he made a choice that increased his net value multiple times over).

Re:Why? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43514275)

Should some cool guy like John Carmack quit making games at the point he has secured enough millions to live a life where "quattro stagioni or frutti di mare" is the most important question of the day?

Re:Why? (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#43514375)

Well, after buying, downloading and playing RAGE, yes, I think he should!

Microsoft Need to compete on Price (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43514129)

Microsoft is a failure in the mobile sector, and you cannot help but notice that Microsoft is *Still* making a 75% gross profit margin, you have to think that perhaps Microsoft might be better competing on price. "Microsoft Windows 8 Professional" from Amazon would cost me $175 the same as the new HP slate. I only list Amazon because its pretty hard to find full(not upgrade) editions of Windows OS.

Re:Microsoft Need to compete on Price (2)

ChronoFish (948067) | about a year ago | (#43514219)

IF Microsoft was just Windows and Word/Office then the call of their demise would be appropriate. IF they were only tied to desktop/laptop machines, then they would be in a world of hurt.

MS will be the King of the desktop all the way down to the time the last desktop is sold. That will be the end of Windows and maybe Office, but it won't be the end of MS.

MS's monopoly will continue to weaken, but with Billions in the bank and more in assets the Company will persist - barring any illegal activities.

However it's relevance with concerns of /. will weaken.

-CF

Microsoft a Office/Windows company (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43514257)

IF Microsoft was just Windows and Word/Office then the call of their demise would be appropriate. IF they were only tied to desktop/laptop machines, then they would be in a world of hurt.

I'm not sure what relevance is to my post, but I don't predict the demise of Microsoft any time soon..In fact I don't even mention anything like it. Microsoft still takes the vast majority of revenue from Office/Windows, and that is not going to change because they make a few dollars on the side from a dying console, or chat....or Windows compatible server products.. Now your point about Microsoft being the king of Desktops is not true since Windows is now a Tablet OS. It simply has the greatest compatibility to legacy Windows Desktop Applications.

Metro 2013 (1)

jacekm (895699) | about a year ago | (#43514195)

Should we start calling it Metro 2013 ?

JAM

Balmer is Robert Mugabe (1)

gelfling (6534) | about a year ago | (#43514289)

Chief psychotic warlord among lesser warlords who, once they're done stealing whatever they can steal, leave under threat of death. Eventually MS will implode.

Orderly succession (5, Insightful)

MrMickS (568778) | about a year ago | (#43514295)

There's nothing really to see here. He's been CFO for over three years, been at the company for much longer. Why not cash in on his various options and enjoy his life?

The doom and gloom about Microsoft on here is all wishful thinking. PC Windows is on a decline in the marketplace and has been since the the iPhone/iPad changed the game. Android has accelerated this by making smart touch devices available at a lower price point. Microsoft are aware of this, the speed of change has caught them out and they are going to stumble a little before they make the right move.

In the long run Office will survive because its a standard, nothing else can claim this. Office 365 gives them the ability to make money from Office without owning the OS. This is the future of Microsoft. Google may have been doing this longer but Office is Office.

Cloud computing/storage is going to be a big money earner going forward. Microsoft have positioned themselves for this. Going forward they would rather provide Windows servers using Azure than sell the OS. As unit sales of Windows server decline, look to Microsoft aggressively market and price Azure as an alternative. Especially in the SME space. Why run your own servers when you can get a reliable DR capable cloud solution from Microsoft. This is where the market is heading.

Xbox Live. The next Xbox is going to be a money earner. They are currently making money with the current service. The new one should come in at a reasonable price and allow them to continue this. It will also leverage cloud based services.

Consumer Windows is the bad news. This will move to become a phone/tablet OS which is where the consumer market is going. The chances are that they will come good, they have a lot of smart people working there.

Oh, and before the accusations start I'm not a Microsoft shill. I've never bought a computer that runs Windows. I just like to look at things a little more realistically. I still expect to get modded down because that's what happens on Slashdot.

Can who killed the start menu / Metro apps in wind (2, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43514305)

Can the people who killed the start menu / Metro apps in an window.

The UI was to big of a jump and to not have some kind of choice is real bad.

Also get rid of the app store only for metro apps.

Re:Can who killed the start menu / Metro apps in w (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43514457)

That would be Julie Larson-Green. She also create the much hated "ribbon UI". Fire her? Nope, the just promoted her to head the entire Windows division.

They didn't make him the CFO for nothing! (0)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about a year ago | (#43514367)

Smart guy! Good with money. Knows to cash out on those share options while they are still high. Before that impending PLUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNGE...

Yeah the execs are parachuting out, but does anyone know who in MS is behind the Windows 8 clusterfuck? Like who was the dick who said to get rid of the Start button because *FUCK* those PC users. If there is a series of unsolved murders in Seattle at the moment it is that guy getting rid of everyone else at that meeting.
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