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Satya Nadella At Six Months: Grading Microsoft's New CEO

samzenpus posted about a month and a half ago | from the making-the-grade dept.

Microsoft 151

snydeq writes The future emerging for Microsoft under Nadella is a mixed bag of hope and turmoil, writes Woody Leonhard in his review of Nadella's first fix months at the helm of Microsoft. "When Nadella took over, Microsoft was mired in the aftermath of a lengthy and ultimately unpopular reign by longtime CEO — and Microsoft majority shareholder — Steve Ballmer. Given the constraint of that checkered past, some might argue that Nadella hasn't had enough time to make his imprint on every aspect of Microsoft. Yet there have been many changes already under Nadella's watch, and patterns are certainly emerging as to the kind of company Microsoft will be in the years ahead." Leadership, product lines, financials — Nadella's scorecard shows strong strategic leadership, particularly around the cloud, but Windows and devices are murky at best, with Microsoft employees "taking it in the shorts, and not only in Finland."

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Atlas Shrugged (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601079)

Is there anybody out there even pretending to pay attention to anything?

Our economy is truly a disaster. Welfare use up. Unemployment up. Crime up. We are literally being invaded by foreign nation states. I could go on and on about the real things that our government should be doing to benefit our society and our liberties.

But what do they actually do? Not just nothing, hell, if they would just do nothing we would be in pretty good shape.

They are working against us in every concievable way! Sin taxes on fucking SUGAR! This is the priority?

Good fucking god people, wake the FUCK UP!

We are being driven to ruin by the very people that the founders clearly knew we would have to face, and the very reason the BOR was created to protect against.

If they fail to do the constitutional duties that we all know they should be doing, PROTECT THE BORDER is job number 1, then they should all be removed from office, every dammned one of them.

No, ingoring border security is not enough! They are actuallly bringing Ebola patients in! And they stand around lecturing us about FUCKING SUGAR IN OUR DRINKS!

These fucks make Atlas Shrugged look like it was a documentary.

Oh yes, it was, I forgot, she wasn't writing about things she thought might happen, she was telling us what she saw happen in Russia and was waring us that it would happen here. Who the fuck knew that?

Hey you assholes, why don't you wake up from your Tumbler videos of the Kardashains asses or whatever the fuck it is and consider, just for the sake of fucking argument, for five fucking seconds, that Rand was actually spot on right in that book, and where that put you and your future? Huh? Do you even have the capacity to think that far out? Go on then you socialist scumbag fucksticks, take off your I Hate Bush T-Shirts for five seconds and wake up to the real world.

You are being lied to.

                                Hey look!

                                EBOLA TERROR AS PASSENGER DIES AT LONDON AIRPORT...

                                http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ebola-terror-gatwick-passenger-collapses-3977051

                                2nd American infected returns to USA Tuesday...

                                http://news.yahoo.com/american-missionary-ebola-serious-condition-ahead-us-return-162134496.html;_ylt=AwrSyCUnt99TO1AAubLQtDMD

                                Atlanta hospital receives hate mail...

                                http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/atlanta-hospital-receives-hate-mail-for-treating-aid-workers-stricken-by-ebola-virus-9645199.html

                                Residents Worried...

                                http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2014/08/03/atlantian-concerned-ft-worth-doctors-ebola-spreading

                                EMIRATES suspends flights...

                                Panic grows as Nigeria doctor infected...

                                http://news.yahoo.com/nigeria-says-doctor-treated-ebola-victim-contracted-virus-004047580.html;_ylt=AwrTWf3FsN9TMTsAroPQtDMD

                                Sierra Leone's 'very essence' in danger...

                                http://news.yahoo.com/ebola-hit-sierra-leones-very-essence-danger-president-130020519.html;_ylt=AwrTWfxQsd9T31IAoZHQtDMD

                                Bodies dumped in street...

                                http://www.breitbart.com/system/wire/ap_bae30c075dc9406ebb0baf0d173a6233

                                FLASHBACK: From Pigs to Monkeys, Ebola Goes Airborne...

                                http://healthmap.org/site/diseasedaily/article/pigs-monkeys-ebola-goes-airborne-112112

                                Nah, nothing to worry about there. Let's bring in more poor and sick and gang banger drug dealers from some dammned third world shithole. Why the FUCK NOT?

Re:Atlas shagged your comments (1)

stevez67 (2374822) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601141)

Somebody is off their meds again.

Re:Atlas shagged your comments (-1, Troll)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601387)

Somebody is off their meds again.

They must have forgotten to take the bi-partison approved "rose color glasses" pill sold in "donkey" (blue) or "elephant" (red) variants. A purple pill for independents is also available.

Available from your health care provider today courtesy of ObamaCare.

Re:Atlas shagged your comments (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601797)

Actually, it thinks its self medication is working.

Re:Atlas Shrugged (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601677)

Dude, you've cracked. Turn off the computer, put down the copy of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, and go lay down for awhile. Deep breaths. Relax.

Re:Atlas Shrugged (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601909)

You forgot to wave your arms in the air while you were running around yelling "Fire! Fire!".

Re:Atlas Shrugged (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47602321)

Plan Scare-the-crap-out-of-idiots is proceeding nicely.
Time to enact plan Separate-scared-idiot-from-money! Alex Jones Ads for Ebola-Stop are Go!

Plan name-plans-with-names-to-hide-their-real-purpose has been delayed pending Nancy's return from vay-cay.

Microsoft has a new CEO? (4, Funny)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601117)

Why doesn't somebody tell me these things?

Re:Microsoft has a new CEO? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601127)

You might try Slashdot [slashdot.org] . :)

Re:Microsoft has a new CEO? (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601171)

It was pushed out as a bug fix update and bundled in with a bunch of others so you wouldn't notice that they're trying to fix a major problem.

Re:Microsoft has a new CEO? (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601269)

Failure configuring Windows updates
Reverting changes
Do not turn off your computer.
[spinning pearls animation]

Re:Microsoft has a new CEO? (3, Funny)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601529)

CEO SP2

Re:Microsoft has a new CEO? (5, Insightful)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601565)

Because at the end of the day it is "business as usual" -- no one really gives a fuck about Microsoft's new CEO.

Microsoft still doesn't a fucking clue about UI, it still shits on PC gamers with its crappy [google.com] GWFL (Games For Windows Live), the Xbone has the stupidest marketing name ever, XP is still holding on because business can't be bought off with the latest untested shiny, DX12 will be only available on Windows 9 as MS tries to force gamers to upgrade, etc.

Re:Microsoft has a new CEO? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601607)

Weren't they going to kill GFWL?

Re:Microsoft has a new CEO? (1)

netsavior (627338) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601751)

yeah, but it is only half-killed. You still have to install it to install the game, but it doesn't do anything besides cause crashes if it is not installed.

Re:Microsoft has a new CEO? (2)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601825)

Because at the end of the day it is "business as usual" -- no one really gives a fuck about Microsoft's new CEO.

Microsoft still doesn't a fucking clue about UI, it still shits on PC gamers with its crappy GWFL (Games For Windows Live), the Xbone has the stupidest marketing name ever, XP is still holding on because business can't be bought off with the latest untested shiny, DX12 will be only available on Windows 9 as MS tries to force gamers to upgrade, etc.

Weren't all those things done during the "lengthy and ultimately unpopular reign" of Steve Ballmer?

"mobile first" strategy (1)

postmortem (906676) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601121)

Well if MS can make mobile devices more productive for the businesses ... then there's something good coming out of new CEO.

Usability next Windows does matter a lot, even with this mobile and cloud focus. The PC platform is starting to recover a bit, mostly due to Windows XP demise.

Re:"mobile first" strategy (5, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601303)

The problem I see with this is that even if Microsoft is starting to turn things around. "Employees are taking it in the shorts." That is what is really going to hurt. With the number being cut loose in the many thousands, and no clarification as who those thousands are, Microsoft now has pretty much everyone scared of losing their job.

That doesn't translate well into a strong improving company. People are going to spend a good amout of their time trying to find the exit, not making the company better.

Re:"mobile first" strategy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601595)

With the number being cut loose in the many thousands, and no clarification as who those thousands are...

No clarification who they are?

You're joking, right?

It's simple - did you formerly work for Nokia before drawing Microsoft pay checks? Odds are enormous that you won't be drawing Microsoft pay checks for much longer...

Seriously, the vast majority of the layoffs are going to be Nokia's workforce.

Re:"mobile first" strategy (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601625)

uhhh...hate to say it but almost always employees who are "scared of losing their job" work harder and become, at least short-term measurably more productive.

nothing motivates like fear.

Re:"mobile first" strategy (4, Insightful)

blue9steel (2758287) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601689)

In my experience that means the appearance of work triples while actual productivity drops by half.

Re:"mobile first" strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47602753)

And Balkanisation - don't forget that.
You and your team are fucking marvellous - those suckers down the hall? They're a bunch of clueless morons though.

Re:"mobile first" strategy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601709)

Been there. Done that. Yep, I sure worked a lot harder. But it was mostly on pushing resumes out the door and getting job interviews. Kissing your boss's ass and hoping not to be homeless next month is no way to live, especially when your boss and his boss are all in the same boat. Much better to spend your time finding a company where you have a future.

Of course, everyone else feels the same way. A year or two down the road, the only folks left are the ones who can't find work elsewhere. Not exactly the cream of the crop there...

Re:"mobile first" strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601783)

Or go looking for something else...

Re:"mobile first" strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47602209)

From my experience, those who are scared of losing their jobs probably subconsciously feel they aren't working up to expectations. The people who feel they are exceeding expectations are probably looking elsewhere and/or leaving, because they options. Its a lose lose situation, the ones you want to get rid of seem productive and the good ones are on the way out.

Re:"mobile first" strategy (2)

Kelbear (870538) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602003)

Well, let's look at it more closely. If he'd announced a massive general layoff at all levels due to falling profitability, I'd agree that it's a sign the company has one foot in the grave.

But really, a little more than 2/3rds of the layoffs are redundant positions taken on in a recent acquisition. Layoffs are always sure to follow in large acquisitions like this. The remaining third is targeted at MS itself to reduce the layers of management that they've accumulated (i.e further reducing redundancies)

MS was also heavily panned as a company from a financial perspective for piled on bureaucracy, redtape, and piling resources into dead-ends. Under that light, wouldn't it make sense for MS to reduce bureaucracy, red tape, and dead weight?

Really, at this point, the only thing this CEO is known for is announcing a restructuring of MS that has been called for, for some time now.

If he had fired core personnel from the profitable branches of the business, then he'd be hurting the company in the long term for short-term savings. But in THIS case, he's getting rid of redundancies that are hurting the company in the short-term AND in the long-term.

Today, MS is seen as simply a dividend stock with strong profits but little growth to look forward to. But they have a considerable cash balance and they're increasing cash flow from the layoffs. Cash allows a company to try things, and to change things, and so long as they've got the cash for it, there's still the possibility for them to put the cash into a successful venture. 6 months in, it's too early to determine whether this new CEO has found such a venture, it's also too early to write him off.

In the meantime, I hope these employees will get decent severance, and hopefully an even better job elsewhere at a company that needs their skills. There's no sugarcoating it, there is an immense human cost to putting 18,000 people out of work, that will likely affect many more lives than just the 18,000 employees.

Re:"mobile first" strategy (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602043)

The cuts this time round looked much less random than those in 2008-9. I don't actually know anyone (who is still working) who is actually scared of losing their job.

Re:"mobile first" strategy (5, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601795)

I learned quite a bit about Nadella from his e-mail which notified around eighteen thousand employees of impending layoffs and contained the word "synergies" no less than three times. Even his buzzwords are stale and unimaginative. This man either has no real vision, or he's very bad at communicating a clear vision. The article was correct in giving him a very bad grade in communication.

The one-platform tech base strategy actually seems sound, though, and in truth, is how they should have been pushing Windows 8 - not as a touch-first OS like we got, but one that's touch-capable, able to integrate seamlessly with other small form factor touch-focused Microsoft devices by using a unified API (write once, deploy everywhere). There's a lot of legacy products out there that people will still depend on for decades to come, and businesses are made nervous when the creator of the OS on which they depend veers off in a new direction, seemingly abandoning the current platform on which you rely.

It's a bit ironic to me that in trying to aim for the future, Microsoft is taking for granted and ultimately risking the core audience on which they've had a solid lock for the past twenty years. We'll see if Nadella manages to remember that while the desktop is no longer the face of new technology and is dwindling in importance, it's also a platform which is not likely to disappear as a significant market anytime in the near future. Rather than using that platform as a bully-pulpit to push it's other platforms, Microsoft needs to make it's other platforms compelling and attractive in their own right, and then demonstrate to businesses the value of a simple cross-platform deployment strategy, all while leaving it's "legacy" desktop platform in place in order to support more heavyweight computing tasks that individuals and business will still inevitably need.

Microsoft - a company time has passed by (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601133)

The importance of Microsoft is a thing of the past. It has been eclipsed in all major areas except its Office software. It has tried frantically to wedge its foot in the door in such disparate areas as phones, games, personal electronics, media, and finance. It has been out-competed at every turn by other, more agile and newer, companies. It is simply a matter of time before most people life their lives free of the Microsoft parasite and unless you are a corporate lackey, you can actually do so right now.

Re:Microsoft - a company time has passed by (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601273)

You've got to be kidding, trolling or ignorant as hell. Just because you want MS to be irrelevant doesn't mean they actually are, like it or not.

Mozilla - an organization time has passed by (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601435)

What I find particularly interesting is that your argument applies, pretty much word for word, to Mozilla just as well as it applies to Microsoft.

The importance of Mozilla is a thing of the past. It has been eclipsed in all major areas except its Desktop Browser software. It has tried frantically to wedge its foot in the door in such disparate areas as phones, games, personal electronics, media, and authentication. It has been out-competed at every turn by other, more agile and newer, companies. It is simply a matter of time before most people life their lives free of the Mozilla parasite and unless you are a political correctness lackey, you can actually do so right now.

This probably shouldn't be surprising, though. Mozilla arose as a response to Microsoft's 1990s-era tactics. Mozilla's only remaining product that still sees any use, the desktop version of Firefox, was meant to compete directly with Internet Explorer back when it was the dominant browser. As the Microsoft of the 1990s has slowly faded, morphing into the rather different organization that it is now, the driving force behind Mozilla has lessened.

This may explain why Mozilla is such a mess right now. Like Microsoft, their cause is gone, and they're being out-competed at every step by Apple, Google, and other organizations. Their new products are me-too responses to what others have been successful at doing years earlier. They've trashed their existing products through horrendously botched UI redesigns. Their leadership and mission is in turmoil. There has been one scandal after another, from all those shenanigans involving their former CEO offending certain small but vocal groups to the recent MDN email and password data leak.

While some may have seen Microsoft and Mozilla as opposites, today I think they're more alike than they are different. They're both becoming increasingly irrelevant in a fast-changing world that really has no need for either of them. And neither really knows how to compete in this very different landscape.

Re:Mozilla - an organization time has passed by (2)

ADRA (37398) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602345)

The world certainly needs both companies, even if Mozilla simply exists to keep companies honest, and Microsoft giving competing products and services companies a bar to step over. Microsoft could easily be in business 20 years paying out fat dividends without any significant product 'development' effort at all. Their market is very entrenched, and much like UNIX, some shops just can't justify moving off the the platforms given the amount of sunk costs +mintainance vs. replacement.

Re:Microsoft - a company time has passed by (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601611)

The competitors (Google, Apple) are chewing Microsoft's ass, but even in the worst case scenario I expect Microsoft to be around for at least three decades. As long as they vaguely point their ship into the right direction, they will be coasting along just with the sheer power of the resources they have available (pure cash, dominance of the PC market, relations with HW makers, and developers, developers, developers).

Microsoft majority shareholder? (5, Informative)

ZipK (1051658) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601161)

CEO — and Microsoft majority shareholder — Steve Ballmer.

Ballmer doesn't hold a majority stake in Microsoft. In fact, no one does. Ballmer holds the largest individual stake, but his stake is in single digits as a percentage.

Re:Microsoft majority shareholder? (2, Informative)

ZipK (1051658) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601207)

Ballmer is the fourth largest shareholder, behind Blackrock, Capital Group and Vanguard. Blackrock's stake is 5.4%. http://blogs.seattletimes.com/... [seattletimes.com]

Re:Microsoft majority shareholder? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601335)

why does this failure to read get modded insightful? the gp said "individual",
unless you are the supreme court, i would expect that your definition of
individual does not include "blackrock", "capital group" or "vanguard".

Re:Microsoft majority shareholder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601471)

Because the link to the blog provides additional detail that supports the point in the preceding comment, and wasn't intended as a rebuttal? Both comments contradict the OP's claim that Balmer is the "Microsoft majority shareholder."

Re:Microsoft majority shareholder? (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601485)

When it comes to investing, at least, "individual" pretty much always refers to entities - not persons.

Institutional investing is the norm nowadays. Knowing what person owns the most stock compared only to other persons doesn't give you any worthwhile information.

Re:Microsoft majority shareholder? (2)

Desler (1608317) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601459)

Those would be institutional shareholders. He said individual shareholder.

Re:Microsoft majority shareholder? (1)

jbengt (874751) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601519)

No, he said individual stake.

Re:Microsoft majority shareholder? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601727)

you two: go get a room.

Re:Microsoft majority shareholder? (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602539)

Thanks, I was wondering how that could be true. I'm shocked, shocked, that poster got it wrong and a /. editor didn't catch it. What are the odds?

Devices (4, Funny)

Teun (17872) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601167)

I hope he doesn't do away with their best product, the Microsoft mouse.

It's the one product they have that is Compatible.

Re:Devices (2)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601397)

I hope he doesn't do away with their best product, the Microsoft mouse.

It's the one product they have that is Compatible.

Or the Microsoft Natural Keyboards...

Re:Devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601451)

No, those can die.
Slowly.

Re:Devices (3, Funny)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601467)

Funny how their most lauded products are the one they were trying to do away with in the design of Windows 8's UI.

Re:Devices (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601995)

I've had 2 different MS Natural keyboards, both of them had a key that didn't work. Seriously. 2 different ones, purchased way apart from each other, from different vendors.

I searched online and people talked about "fixing" failed keys on these keyboards with a cut piece of a drinking straw. Obviously it was a bad enough flaw to where many other people had issues with them.

Fuck M$ hardware, just like Fuck M$ software.

Re:Devices (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602653)

I've had 2 different MS Natural keyboards, both of them had a key that didn't work. Seriously. 2 different ones, purchased way apart from each other, from different vendors.

I searched online and people talked about "fixing" failed keys on these keyboards with a cut piece of a drinking straw. Obviously it was a bad enough flaw to where many other people had issues with them.

Fuck M$ hardware, just like Fuck M$ software.

Funny. I've used them exclusively since 1997. My original I bought in 1997 didn't die until 2004 or so when after the 3rd or 4th spill something shorted the circuitry. I was never a fan of the 1.1 version due to it being a little tighter together on the keys and the odd placement of the arrow keys (I had one at least temporarily...). I've since gotten two more at home - one wireless (which sucks for batteries as its not bluetooth) and another wired. I've been using them at work since 2008 (both present and past employers).

Now, the newer black ones do seem to have the white lettering wear off faster than the old white ones did; but I don't see that being an issue since I'm a touch typist - in part due to using the keyboards themselves.

Also, a quick google search did not show what you describe to be very common, and as with anything there's certain to be an occassional bad one in the mix.

Re:Devices (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601643)

I hope he doesn't do away with their best product, the Microsoft mouse.

wrong.

microsoft bob...FTFY

Devices (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601925)

And some of there webcams. (the Windows drivers suck, but the hardware is quite nice on Linux)

Re:Devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47602015)

Maybe it is Funny, but it's at least anecdotally true. The only thing I've bought from Microsoft in the last several years are Intellimice. I just can't quit that discrete scroll wheel.

Sadly, yes (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602575)

I'm on my second 5-button Intellipoint mouse. The software for programming the buttons is so much better than any of the competitors I've tried. Really wish they hadn't killed it. Apparently I'm not alone, they go for a premium on ebay.

Not that hard IMO (3, Insightful)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601251)

How hard can it be to be replace Ballmer? Vista, Zune, Media Center and Metro. Half of them really bad, the other two (Zune and MCE) were abandonned. MCE was a really good product (still using it on one of my machines), Zune could have been something too.

They need to innovate, Tablets are replacing laptops, computers are fast enough to not need replacing (Mine is around 7y old) and competing office suites are good enough to replace Office in most cases. That means less Windows & Office licenses in the consumer market (beginning to change in the business market too)

Re:Not that hard IMO (4, Interesting)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601407)

Some very astute comments.

Apple has seen the light in not charging for OSX. They will make their margins elsewhere.
On the othehand, Microsoft can't even give Windows 8 away so they have a precidence already to not charge for Windows.

If they don't, where is the money (viz income) going to come from in the Operating System space?
They don't seem to have a clue really.
Their focus on the 'cloud' could have a big impact on their bottom line. Can they charge a $200-$1000 license fee for an Instance that may only last a few hours/days/weeks? Nope.

so, once again... Where is the income going to come from?

Satya is IMHO between a rock and a hard place. Balmer has left him up shit creek without a paddle.
IMHO, it will be up to his successor to make or break MS. Satya will fix a few of the more obvious things that are wrong with MS. Then he'll head off to pastures new, a very rich man.

Personally, I think MS is at a crossroads. They might do well to look at the maschinations of DEC in the 1994-1997 timeframe. I see a lot of similarities with MS in 2014.

apple should charge for OSX on any pc (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601443)

apple should charge for OSX on any pc and what will happen if windows 9 flops??

Apples hardware choice is way to limited and there will be a lot of good hardware out there that will need a good OS. Linux is too scattered and is lacking apps that you can get on PC and MAC.

MS needs to make windows 9 good and forget about windows 8.

Re:apple should charge for OSX on any pc (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602047)

apple should charge for OSX on any pc and what will happen if windows 9 flops??

Bahahahaha. Oh, you were serious? I don't see it happening. Part of what allows Apple to do what it does is the fact that they control the hardware. They've even gone as far as to design their own mobile chips. Opening up OS X to a massive number of hardware permutations will lead to support nightmares at the very least.

Re:apple should charge for OSX on any pc (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602389)

Part of what allows Apple to do what it does is the fact that they control the hardware

I don't think that's necessarily true.

What we tend to think of as personal computer problems might just be Windows problems. I'm willing to buy the notion that tight and close driver development are absolutely points in Apple's favor, I'm curious as to what the day to day life is like with a Hackintosh.

That being said, Apple will never do OSX as generic PC OS unless someone can come up with a really compelling reason other than OSX on every desktop. This isn't 1992 anymore and shipping an OS isn't the whole product story anymore. Not unless life with such a machine actually turns out to be really good. Like, giving ice water to people in hell good.

$100 Billion in cash solves a lot of problems (3, Interesting)

sjbe (173966) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601747)

If they don't, where is the money (viz income) going to come from in the Operating System space?

Windows is going to be a cash cow for some time to come. I really don't see that changing even with the debacle that is Windows 8.

Satya is IMHO between a rock and a hard place. Balmer has left him up shit creek without a paddle.

Not really because he has one HUGE card he can play. Microsoft has approximately $100 billion in cash and cash equivalents. They can simply buy other companies if their core business starts to erode faster than they can build up new businesses. They have almost enough cash to buy both General Motors and Ford at their current market caps. They could buy Hewlett Packard in cash and have enough left over to buy Best Buy, Blackberry, and the wildly overpriced Tesla Motors.

Microsoft may have serious problems in their Windows and Office business but they are by no means stuck for options if they care to exercise them.

Re:$100 Billion in cash solves a lot of problems (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47602165)

Not really because he has one HUGE card he can play. Microsoft has approximately $100 billion in cash and cash equivalents. They can simply buy other companies if their core business starts to erode faster than they can build up new businesses.

You're underestimating Microsoft's ability to destroy everything it touches. I have two words for you: aQuantive and Danger. Both wiped out completely. Ms had to write-off every last cent of goodwill from those acquisitions that they had on their books.

The thing is, the culture at MS is toxic. The inmates are ruling the asylum. Anything they attempt to right the ship is likely to fail because no matter how logical and well intentioned the strategy is, it will have to overcome internal politics, empire-building, technical incompetence and all the other ills that plague MS. That place makes Lord of the Flies look like a vacation.

Re:$100 Billion in cash solves a lot of problems (1)

sjbe (173966) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602531)

The thing is, the culture at MS is toxic. The inmates are ruling the asylum.

Then it sounds like a good old fashioned purge may be just the medicine the doctor ordered. Cull the biggest troublemakers and adjust the incentive structure to something sane. It's a virtual certainty that 10% of the people are 90% of the problems.

Re:$100 Billion in cash solves a lot of problems (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47602725)

I used to believe a "purge" is what they needed. Then came the 2009 layoffs.

I had left MS several years ago and in my new job, right across the lake, I would see a steady flow of MS candidates, most of them mediocre.
Then in late January 2009, MS announced its first ever mass layoffs. We got a tidal waves of resumes and spent a few weeks doing a lot more interviews than usual. To my surprise, those candidates were WAY BETTER than anything we'd seen out of Redmond. We literally had our picks. I had to turn down people I would have killed for 2 weeks prior.

What that told me is that the system is so screwed up, politics are so ingrained, that in the event of a purge, the troublemakers will be the ones to save themselves. The rules of the purge will be decided by those who are the problem.

Even assuming that they changed their review system, I don't think people will alter their behaviors. They've been tricked before. I think it was in 2005 that Lisa Brummel, VP of HR, announced that "the curve" was dead (i.e. there wouldn't be a required quota of underperformers anymore). That was a lie. Anybody who believed it and let their guard down got hammered at review time. At this point any attempt to end the political chicanery will be seen as yet another dirty trick.

Working at MS is like going to the Thunderdome every day of your life. You have a stick or a knife, or a chainsaw, and the guy in front of you has a weapon as well. And all the sudden Tina Turner yells "it's over, put down your weapons, no more fighting, from now on everybody wins". Would you feel comfortable being the first to let your guard down? There's no coming back from a culture where backstabbing, lying, stealing and taking credit for your colleagues' work are everyday occurrences.

Re:Not that hard IMO (1, Troll)

ADRA (37398) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602603)

Apple subsidizes the OS in the cost of the overpriced PC, so it certainly isn't a free product. Plus, they charge for upgrades further sallowing your argument.
People who aren't of the pirate variety sure do pay for Windows 8 when they build their DIY kits. Most are probably gamers or PC enthusiests at this point, but people still do build PC's from parts. And of course essentially every new consumer PC runs windows and still hasd a healthy sales record. I'm sure many will also use Linux like myself but to assume that Windows 8 (or any edition) can't be given away is very narrows sighted.

DEC 94-97 had what? A not so popular PC compatible platform outside of graphics maybe, a low market share UNIX, and a DOS which was a good DOS, but still DOS in a windows world.

Windows still dwarfs all other OS's in the market space of consumer PC's. Consumer PC market has contracted, but contraction doesn't mean collapse. No Tablet on earth has been able to convince me that Tablets are replacing the PC; they're augmenting and bleeding soft corner cases certainly, but not replacing.

Re:Not that hard IMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47602699)

DEC 94-97 had what? A not so popular PC compatible platform outside of graphics maybe, a low market share UNIX, and a DOS which was a good DOS, but still DOS in a windows world.

And a lot of places still running VMS, which HP basically pissed away. VMS supported "cloud" technology (implemented via dynamic clustering) even back then.

Re:Not that hard IMO (1)

TMYates (1946034) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601441)

I still use Windows Media Center on all my machines running Windows 8.1 Pro. Though they may not be actively developing it anymore, I would hardly call it abandoned when they still support, update, and ship it. Though in reality, the main reason they are not actively developing makes sense in some ways. With Hulu, Netflix and other video providers now making standalone apps for Windows 8, there was not a need to continue development. There is a video app, music app, and pictures app that split the functionality out of Media Center. Everyone seems to hate Windows 8.X, but for my computers hooked up to the TV, it seems to work out well navigating from afar. The Media Center remote control also works for navigating the start screen (to a point). The only thing I wish Microsoft would do is split out the TV app from media center and put it with the other apps like Xbox Music, Video, etc... That is the only reason I still use Media Center.

Zune was an awesome product (still have a Zune HD), but just late to the game. Apple was already trying their best to phase out older style iPods in favor of the iPod Touch. Everyone was wanting either the iPhone or the iPod touch and killing the sales for the other iPods. Microsoft tried to follow a route of moving the Zune app to their Windows Phone platform, but they failed to have Wi-Fi only version like Apple. Once they did that, Zune started to fade out in favor of the Xbox title.

Re:Not that hard IMO (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601583)

It is even worse than you seem to think. The OS doesn't matter anymore. Everything is in the browser and cloud now.

Microsoft has nothing left to hold us hostage with.

Re:Not that hard IMO (1)

metac0rtex (3682733) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601621)

+1

Re:Not that hard IMO (1)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602465)

File Formats.

Re:Not that hard IMO (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601811)

I still use windows 7 MCE as my DVR. Its the only solution which works with CableCard and allows recording HBO and other premium cable. It will be a shame if MS abandons it completely in windows9

Re:Not that hard IMO (1)

hey! (33014) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601971)

How hard can it be to replace Ballmer? Very, very hard. But I think that's not he question you meant to ask. That question, I believe is this: How hard can it be to do *better* than Ballmer?

Not enough time to write a sensible review (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601283)

Given Nadella's short time so far as Microsoft CEO, some might argue that it would be stupid to try to review his progress so far. He hasn't had time enough to supervise a whole release cycle of Microsoft's most important products (not Windows nor XBox nor Office), but who says it would be a pathetic attempt at click-bait to write some nonsense about what he's done so far. Corporate culture takes a decade to change in an organization as large as Microsoft, but let's go ahead and scribble down whatever stupid thoughts pop into my head. There's no statistically significant evidence, but let's grab some random noise off the latest data and pretend like it makes a meaningful trend. We can't see the path forward, but I don't know why I shouldn't make a blend of wishful thinking, delusional futurecasting and gibberish to create a document that will drive ad revenue. The products of Microsoft are varied and numerous in amount. One thing they produce is Windows, or as the Indians call it, "Maize". In conclusion, Microsoft is a land of contrasts.

Re:Not enough time to write a sensible review (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602033)

I'm asking sincerely: is this the output of a Markov chain? Or as the French call it, "Bonjour!"

Re:Not enough time to write a sensible review (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47602173)

Haha, no. But this type of stupidity recurs often enough that you could probably save some time by cooking one up. This is my universal translator. Unfortunately, so far it only translates into an incomprehensible dead language. Hello! Bonjour! Crazy gibberish!

Re:Not enough time to write a sensible review (1)

greenwow (3635575) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602293)

It isn't time on job that makes it stupid. It is the fact, and several board members hinted at it, that he was picked because of his race. That makes him just a figurehead rather than a real leader. That means he isn't responsible for the slide in Windows 8 market share because he is just doing what he is told.

What is his job? (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601367)

Before you grade his performance first decide what his job is. Whether he is going to be graded as a doctor trying to save a dying patient? Or a doctor doing terminal care, pain management etc to ease the passage? Or transplant surgeon who should harvest usable organs for transplant? or is he just an undertaker brought in to dress up the corpse for one last ride in the Cadillac?

[The car analogy is left to the astute reader].

Re:What is his job? (2)

tomhath (637240) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601501)

He's the Chief Executive Officer of one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world. His job is to see that it remains that way.

Re:What is his job? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601661)

No, his job is to remain a politically correct figurehead for the people that really run our company. As we all know, he is not competent, and he was picked for the job only because of his race. His job is to stay out of the way of the people that really run this company.

Re:What is his job? (1, Troll)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602241)

Do you realize Indians (from South Asia, not those mistakenly named Indians by Columbus) are Caucasians?

In fact when the Chinese Exclusion Act stripped Indian Americans of their property rights in the early 20th century, they argued the Act did not apply to them because they were Caucasians. It went all the way to the SCOTUS where Chief Justice Sutherland ruled, "yeah yeah Indians are Caucasians, but the law still applied to them because when the Congress said Caucasians they meant White, and the Indians are not White, so off you along with the Chinese."

Re:What is his job? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602235)

If we're going with medical analogies I'd say CEO make a prayer and take credit if the patient recovers and throw up their hands and say I did all I could if it fails.

Ballmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601391)

The new CEO makes Ballmer look like a genius and a far sighted visionary.

Re:Ballmer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601481)

Just because he was picked for his race doesn't mean he is an incompetent as he first seems. He might actually be competent.

Straightforward guessing where he wants to go.. (4, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601453)

Too early to try to measure 'success'.

shows strong strategic leadership, particularly around the cloud

So far there isn't anything particularly different about his time there as far as degree of success in the 'cloud' market. In terms of Azure, it's a tricky proposition for a company that is ostensibly a high-margin company. Going toe to toe with Amazon, a company that has repeatedly shown it is not shy about operating on margins so thin they are at high risk of actually operating at loss in a given quarter (I would say the same thing about IBM's foray into the space).

I suspect Windows is there to stay for the foreseeable future (it is about the only product they have with a pretty proven market acceptance that is also consistently profitable). Devices I think will go away, as it should. They let Google and Apple get ahead in the broad ecosystem strategy and the vertically integrated strategy respectively, leaving no room for MS really. MS has to figure out how to somehow undercut Android cost for partners or give up on owning the underlying platform. Either way making devices in house will not be winning them any favors, Apple has shown the most success and the most loyalty and yet their share still is going down in the face of the huge ecosystem of android vendors.

xBox would make more money as something sold to a third party, who probably would do better with it than microsoft has.

Nadella is part of the problem. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601511)

I was an MS employee for 10 years (roughly from the mid-90's to the mid-00's).
It is a company that is fundamentally dysfunctional, especially in the way it identifies its top performers.
Nadella rose to the top under that system. There is no way he is the man to fix it.

A few years ago I had a lapse in judgement and interviewed to go back. What I saw was scary. The technical questions were way too easy. I suspect that the employees asking them found them hard. The hiring manager was a Director and had trouble understanding moderately clever/optimized solutions to CS200 problems. Portions of the interview process that dealt with management style, corporate culture and cultural fit left me with the impression that things had gotten way worse since I'd left as far as micromanagement and internal politics went.

In the end they made me an insulting offer, which in retrospect I am eternally grateful for because it was really easy to turn down without any second thoughts whatsoever.

Re:Nadella is part of the problem. (2)

blue9steel (2758287) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601711)

The hiring manager was a Director and had trouble understanding moderately clever/optimized solutions to CS200 problems.

I fail to see why that's a problem unless he was the one conducting the technical portion of the interview.

Re:Nadella is part of the problem. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601743)

The hiring manager was a Director and had trouble understanding moderately clever/optimized solutions to CS200 problems.

I fail to see why that's a problem unless he was the one conducting the technical portion of the interview.

It's a problem for two reasons.

1. Yes, he was conducting an interview that was partly technical in nature. So he asked me that lame CS200 question. Because the question was so easy I thought I'd present an optimized solution. Big mistake. The dude didn't have the chops to understand it. He was _really_ confused. Actually I suspect that he had learned the textbook answer and that's all he knew.

2. I don't know if you've ever worked in software development under a technically incompetent manager but I can assure you from personal experience (10 years at MS) that it's horrible. Basically you can see asinine decision after asinine decision being made. You _know_ the project is headed for the cliff and there's very little you can do to fix it because the guy in charge who's smarter than you (Why would he be your boss if he wasn't? The all powerful "system" is infallible) doesn't know any better.

Re:Nadella is part of the problem. (1)

31415926535897 (702314) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601791)

I'm curious what the interview questions were, if you wouldn't mind sharing.

I interviewed with ms back when I was in college (in the early 2000s) and remember my questions along with those of my classmates. They seemed challenging at the time but now seem trivial based on the real world experience I've gained.

Do you have some examples you'd be interested in sharing?

Re:Nadella is part of the problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601857)

I'm curious what the interview questions were, if you wouldn't mind sharing.

Stupid sorting crap. I think they also asked me to convert an int into a roman numeral string.
Basically they were all questions I myself had asked dozens of times as an interviewer.

They seemed challenging at the time but now seem trivial based on the real world experience I've gained.

I was an industry candidate with over 10 years experience. They should have challenged me more than that.I suspect they didn't because they couldn't. Big red flag. I pick jobs where I have room to grow and learn. That was unlikely to be the case there.

Re:Nadella is part of the problem. (1)

gwstuff (2067112) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601801)

This post would have been much more informative if you had included the questions they asked you, how you characterized the dysfunction in how MS identified its top performers. It sounds like you have a good story to tell...

Re:Nadella is part of the problem. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47602017)

how you characterized the dysfunction in how MS identified its top performers

When a director in a software development org can't wrap their head around a CS200 type exercise, it is pretty clear that they do not belong. People like that are now the norm at MS. It wasn't the case 15 years ago. It is now.

I have worked at MS. I have interviewed MS employees who were trying to leave. I have worked with / for ex MSFTees. My rule of thumb is, anybody who was at MS in a management role is useless. My first job after MS was across the lake. I saw 3 managers come there from MS (two of them directors) and be told to pack up within a year. They all went back to the mothership.

I have since moved to the Bay area and the worst manager I've had here was from .... surprise, surprise ... MS. So incompetent it was comedic. The most technically advanced feedback I got from him was "can you add color to that chart?". He was unsurprisingly dismissed after less than a year and went straight back to MS.

That's not to say there aren't good people at MS. I've met some. But almost without fail they're individual contributors. And the review system almost always fails to identify them as valuable employees. Actually some of the best people I've ever worked with I hired during the early 2009 MS layoffs. Somehow that round of cost-cutting seemed to target individual contributors with 10+ years of experience. Those guys were great. Much higher caliber than our typical MS interviewees. That alone tells me that Redmond HR doesn't do a good job.

Re:Nadella is part of the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47602771)

That's not to say there aren't good people at MS. I've met some. But almost without fail they're individual contributors. And the review system almost always fails to identify them as valuable employees. Actually some of the best people I've ever worked with I hired during the early 2009 MS layoffs. Somehow that round of cost-cutting seemed to target individual contributors with 10+ years of experience. Those guys were great. Much higher caliber than our typical MS interviewees. That alone tells me that Redmond HR doesn't do a good job.

The people you're seeing are what Mini-Microsoft [blogspot.com] refers to as "Kims". The people who do good work and stay away from the politics get the boot and the soup left behind on the mothership just keeps getting more concentrated.

Nadella's attempting to stir up the mud but with the way things are going, no good will come of it.

Re:Nadella is part of the problem. (1)

eulernet (1132389) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602441)

I'm sorry, but I think you don't understand the goal of their performers' ratings.

The goal is not to find the best technical developers, but instead to find who are the best self-sellers, in other words people that know how to present themselves in a shiny light.
This is why Microsoft attract so many "top talents", and why you don't fit in their culture anymore.

Re:Nadella is part of the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47602633)

I'm sorry, but I think you don't understand the goal of their performers' ratings.

The goal is to find the best people to accomplish the goals of the company. If MS was selling PowerPoint decks, I'd say the evaluation system works great, as they have the best people I've ever seen bar none in that particular discipline.

Unfortunately their goal is to sell software and devices. As far as making good software, I don't think MS attracts the right people. Not anymore. When it comes to devices, they never "had it" in the first place.

Keep in mind that the public failures are only part of the iceberg. I have seen an incredible number of projets fail internally before the general public even knew they existed. Some of those projects would have made fine products. As a matter of facts I've often seen similar software released by competitors years after MS management had determined that there was no market for such a thing.

Nadella's says "Mobile First, Cloud First" (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601527)

They can certainly both be priorities, but they can't both be first - at some point, there will be circumstances that require one of these gets prioritized ahead of the other.

Nonsense! (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602625)

As long as everyone gives 110 percent, both can come first!

Great Job So Far (4, Interesting)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a month and a half ago | (#47601809)

From 18,000 job cuts m$ has a fine leader at the helm. Maybe we can see more reasons to flush the H1B visa?

Re:Great Job So Far (2)

jsepeta (412566) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602313)

not with a native from India at the helm.

Feyd looked good after Rabban! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47601967)

Well, even Feyd Rautha looked good after the Beast Rabban, so I don't know what that proves. Maybe Microsoft planned it this way. The last few years have been such a disaster with Windows 8 and Windows Phone that almost anyone would look good. All the new CEO really needs to do is get rid of Win8's worst features, which may have been part of the plan. I'm not sure what the new guy (I can't ever remember his name - I want to write Nutella) has actually done. He's pretended to like open source, but MS has done that before.

Re:Feyd looked good after Rabban! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602471)

+1 Dune reference

No Hope (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about a month and a half ago | (#47602285)

Nadella is a puppet as long as Gates and Ballmer on on the board of directors. And I'm not sure Bill would have allowed a true renegade to take over the CEO position anyway.

Going to take time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47602407)

Actually I think its business as usual with Microsoft. I think that nothing can be done about Windows 8 at this point. Its another Vista failure and Microsoft will be quick about moving beyond it ASAP. Xbox side of Microsoft is leaning itself out and so I suspect to see a aggressive marketing strategy this Fall. Microsoft's biggest failure is not Windows 8 but rather Windows phone. I doubt this will turn around and Microsoft will have to decide if doing phones directly or even indirectly is possible.
This is a big deal because while Google does not make money on Android per say. It does make ad revenue from its OS and hardware partners. Apple is of course Apple and while they may not be the best selling anymore or have the smartphone market exclusive they used to. They have a following of wealthier consumers who will continue to feed their coffers. Microsoft is trying the bottom feeders of the smartphone world and that won't fix what is wrong. I think you really have to say that Microsoft has a lot of question marks on many of its core services and products. Its not as though most of those products are going away or that Microsoft is in some serious financial trouble. But Nadella has some real work cut out for him in order to lean out and re focus Microsoft from a former CEO bent only on being more like Apple. The question is, how long will Microsoft board give Nadella to fix Microsoft?

Thank God for immigration (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47602485)

No longer are immigrants an underclass, now they can take over upper level management. I am all for this democratization. We need to encourage immigrants to enter into even more powerful positions. Woudn't it be great if the CNBC staff of talking heads were all replaced by illegal immigrant gang members. What about congress. Perhaps we could replace Nancy Polossi (sp) with an illegal. After all it is not fair that Nacy should have this position of leadership just based on the fact that she and her family has been in the USA forever. By abdicating her position to an undocumented migrant she would be showing that she really does care about the disadvantaged minorities.

Why do we allow indians to enter the USA, when India does not allow Bangledeshies to enter India. I know because Indians have balls, and USians do not. It is only right that the strong should take over the weak.

-Elect and illegal immigrant to congress today.

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