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Steve Ballmer to retire as Microsoft CEO

Steve Ballmer to retire as Microsoft CEO

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer is to retire from his role at the company, with a successor to be chosen and named in the next twelve months.

Microsoft has announced that current chief executive Steve Ballmer is to retire in the following twelve months, despite a recent corporate reshuffle which appeared designed to place him at the centre of the company's operations.

Ballmer joined software giant Microsoft back in 1980 after his friends Paul Allen and Bill Gates proved their decision to drop out of university - Washington State for Allen, Harvard for Gates - had been sound by growing the tiny Micro-Soft (as the company was then styled) to a significant force in the burgeoning computing business. The company's 30th employee, and first business manager, Ballmer has since made a name for himself with a bombastic personality often verging on the ridiculous - starting with an 'enthusiastic' advert for Windows 1.0 and going right through to the infamous howler monkey dance, claims of chair-throwing during meetings and threats to 'f***ing kill Google.'

His critics can celebrate, however: he's for the off. Over the next twelve months, Ballmer and the board are to choose a successor for the role of chief executive officer with incumbent Ballmer stepping down once the process is complete.

'There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,' claimed Ballmer in his surprise announcement today. 'We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organisation and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company's transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.'

The Board of Directors has appointed a special committee to direct the process of choosing a successor. This committee is chaired by John Thompson, the board's lead independent director, and includes Chairman of the Board Bill Gates, Chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and Chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo.

'As a member of the succession planning committee, I'll work closely with the other members of the board to identify a great new CEO,' claimed Gates. 'We're fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties.'

As a suitable send-off for Ballmer, and by popular demand, his crowning moment is embedded below. Just turn your speakers down before hitting the play button.

84 Comments

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Hustler 23rd August 2013, 14:26 Quote
They've given him 12 more mths to drag it down even further?
theshadow2001 23rd August 2013, 14:34 Quote
I think the monkey dance video should be embedded at the end of this article :D
sotu1 23rd August 2013, 14:35 Quote
Either he stays and manages the exit or he bails and leaves a gap in the middle. I'd prefer the former.
Nexxo 23rd August 2013, 14:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001
I think the monkey dance video should be embedded at the end of this article :D

Seconded!
Gareth Halfacree 23rd August 2013, 14:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001
I think the monkey dance video should be embedded at the end of this article :D
Seconded!
Your wishes are my command. (Also, for all the "bit-tech is always late with the news, waa-waa-waa" types: mere minutes from announcement to article, punks!)
RedFlames 23rd August 2013, 14:40 Quote
If he doesn't leave like this I'll be disappointed...

http://thestranded.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/steve-ballmer-o.gif

*watches youtube clip* ... oh, that's what you meant by 'monkey dance'...
theshadow2001 23rd August 2013, 14:42 Quote
Cheesecake!
Nexxo 23rd August 2013, 14:48 Quote
Corky42 23rd August 2013, 14:52 Quote
If they have Chuck Norris on the committee we are sure to get bad A** CEO ;)
Also Is it just me that gets the feeling of, Right i have reorganised everything, now its up to you schmucks to work out what the hell your supposed to do.

EDIT: WOW M$ shares rose almost 9% when the news broke
Gareth Halfacree 23rd August 2013, 15:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Also Is it just me that gets the feeling of, Right i have reorganised everything, now its up to you schmucks to work out what the hell your supposed to do.
For me it's more "we can see your feet sticking out from under the desk, Steve, now man up and collect your P45 (or whatever the US equivalent is.)" Just look at the announcement: Gates didn't say a single nice thing about Ballmer beyond "we're lucky he hasn't gone home in a sulk yet." Compare and contrast with Sinofsky's exit: 'I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company,' Ballmer said at the time, despite Sinofsky getting the blame for the lukewarm reception to Windows 8.

Sometimes, silence is a strong message.
schmidtbag 23rd August 2013, 15:07 Quote
I think Ballmer is trying to leave before the company collapses in his hands, or at least leave before the company reaches it's worst. With tablets gaining popularity, linux gaining more server attention (it's better for cloud servers), the bad publicity of Windows 8, Windows RT, MS Surface Pro, Xbox 1, and the overall absence of Windows Phone, MS has a bleak future. I get the impression Windows phone is considered pretty good, but it came way too late.
Nexxo 23rd August 2013, 15:15 Quote
Everybody who has tried Windows Phone loves it. But they all say that they would never have considered trying it if it wasn't by some coincidence shoving one in their hands. Most people admit feeling scared off because it looks so different from iOS and Android, which to most people look so similar that they confuse them.

Then there is the reputation for a dearth of first-party apps, while third-party apps are often superior. But nobody realises that they exist.

Windows 8/RT has the same problem. Everybody has heard it is crap, but once they use it they actually quite like it. Compare this to Google Chrome, which is hailed as the next big thing while selling dismally.

I think that the problem here is of corporate image. Everybody wants to see Microsoft fail, because it is seen as a monopolising colossus run by suits that oppresses its plucky competitors run by hip geeks. For some reason Apple and Google have really managed to keep that image going, even though Apple and Google now are bigger monopolising colossi than Microsoft.

Microsoft has the big problem of trying to become hip geeks again. Ballmer's monkey dance won't do it. Nor will the dance and click commercials of the Surface tablets. It needs to get rid of its complacent 90's millionaires, and start afresh with new, hungry staff and new ideas.
Burnout21 23rd August 2013, 15:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Everybody who has tried Windows Phone loves it. But they all say that they would never have considered trying it if it wasn't by some coincidence shoving one in their hands. Most people admit feeling scared off because it looks so different from iOS and Android, which to most people look so similar that they confuse them.

Then there is the reputation for a dearth of first-party apps, while third-party apps are often superior. But nobody realises that they exist.

Windows 8/RT has the same problem. Everybody has heard it is crap, but once they use it they actually quite like it. Compare this to Google Chrome, which is hailed as the next big thing while selling dismally.

I think that the problem here is of corporate image. Everybody wants to see Microsoft fail, because it is seen as a monopolising colossus run by suits that oppresses its plucky competitors run by hip geeks. For some reason Apple and Google have really managed to keep that image going, even though Apple and Google now are bigger monopolising colossi than Microsoft.

Microsoft has the big problem of trying to become hip geeks again. Ballmer's monkey dance won't do it. Nor will the dance and click commercials of the Surface tablets. It needs to get rid of its complacent 90's millionaires, and start afresh with new, hungry staff and new ideas.

+1

I thought Microsoft's purchase of Nokia was a positive step in the right direction, it not only saved a known trusted brand, but has also bought diversity to the market place.

..however I am glad the monkey is leaving.
greypilgers 23rd August 2013, 16:01 Quote
I watched the Windows 1.0 advert... Then I watched the 'Monkey Dance'... Then my palm met my face. Hard...
Spreadie 23rd August 2013, 16:07 Quote
Fare thee well, Monkeyboy!
maverik-sg1 23rd August 2013, 16:43 Quote
+1 for Windows phone - although I believe this is a great product because they needed something to give them market share - it works really well (although not including copy/paste on release was a huge oversight).

They should provide companies outside of Nokia with incentives to do more with it, but I doubt they will - more competition for droid/ios can only be a good thing.
ChaosDefinesOrder 23rd August 2013, 17:01 Quote
Can you transfer Microsoft Office files from a Microsoft Windows PC to a Microsoft Windows Phone through USB to open with Microsoft Office Mobile yet?
schmidtbag 23rd August 2013, 17:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
I think that the problem here is of corporate image. Everybody wants to see Microsoft fail, because it is seen as a monopolising colossus run by suits that oppresses its plucky competitors run by hip geeks. For some reason Apple and Google have really managed to keep that image going, even though Apple and Google now are bigger monopolising colossi than Microsoft.
The difference is Apple products are often considered "elitist", and most people don't realize how huge Apple really is. Google gives out plenty of free services that people want and use daily, which makes them pretty hard to hate, even if a product happens to not be all that great. Microsoft is known to ruin business out of anticompetition, they try new ideas whether people want them or not, and they have blatantly greedy business tactics. Obviously Apple and Google do some greedy things, but they're either more subtle about it or their customers find it easier to justify.
Quote:
Microsoft has the big problem of trying to become hip geeks again. Ballmer's monkey dance won't do it. Nor will the dance and click commercials of the Surface tablets. It needs to get rid of its complacent 90's millionaires, and start afresh with new, hungry staff and new ideas.
In principal, you're correct. In reality, you're unfortunately wrong. The reason Windows was so successful for so long is because for nearly 20 years, it operated almost exactly the same; it was intended for the general public, and the general public does not like change. Setting aside the restrictions and tablet-focus of Windows 8, people hated Windows 8 just simply because it was too different. I personally hate MS and Windows in general, but I actually thought Windows 8 was pretty good. Actually, my personal gripe with Windows 8 is the redundancy of the old desktop - the classic desktop could've been replaced entirely.

The unfortunate thing is while people want windows for what it's always been, the Windows we've known for the past couple decades is not going to keep with the times. iOS and Android became popular because they not only had hardware that you don't use on traditional PCs but their interfaces were different, so nobody had a reason to expect it to work like regular PCs. As stated by someone else, one of the reasons Windows RT failed is because it was called Windows while being incompatible with most Windows software - people expected a regular PC with a touchscreen and their expectations failed.
faugusztin 23rd August 2013, 17:10 Quote
But how will i calibrate maximum volume on my devices now, without Ballmer defining the standard of maximum ? :D
monkiboi 23rd August 2013, 17:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
Fare thee well, Monkeyboy!

Do you know something I don't? :)

Personally I see this as a good thing as his tenure has been generally lacklustre, apart from W7 imo that is.
Corky42 23rd August 2013, 17:42 Quote
I'm guessing in the next 12 months means it could be sooner if they decide on the new CEO. We may get to know how desperate or not they are to get rid of him if the replacement is announced before the end of this month :)
If not we can look forward to 12 months of speculation, rumors, and odds on who the replacement will be.
RedFlames 23rd August 2013, 19:22 Quote
Ballmer's biggest regret while at MS, according to this...

Vista...

That said there are some [imo] read between the lines type answers in that interview...
impar 23rd August 2013, 20:18 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Everybody who has tried Windows Phone loves it.
What is that common internet expression? "Citation needed"?
NetSphere 23rd August 2013, 21:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
I'm guessing in the next 12 months means it could be sooner if they decide on the new CEO. We may get to know how desperate or not they are to get rid of him if the replacement is announced before the end of this month :)
If not we can look forward to 12 months of speculation, rumors, and odds on who the replacement will be.

Regardless of who the next in command will be, for a CEO of such a huge company, succession planning should mean that the next one will need training and bringing up to speed of everything that has happened and why it happened before. They also need to gradually take control rather than immediately pick up a full plate.

What is quite unusual is that this was announced without anyone in line. Good succession planning should already be in place so that when resignation/retirement is announced, Ballmer would just go, 'Here's XYZ, he's been working with us for a while and you all know him. He'll do a great job and knows everything.' And passing power happens smoothly.

If a good CEO just resigns, share price usually tanks because everyone panics regarding what will happen next. The fact that share price rose, means that (some) shareholders likely didn't have confidence in Ballmer and are happy with any replacement in a 'things can only get better surely?' kind of way.
TheDarkSide 24th August 2013, 09:16 Quote
that was really painful to watch.
Corky42 24th August 2013, 18:30 Quote
I don't think it can be argued he was a failure when it comes to growing the company and keeping the money rolling in, but personally i didn't think he was a good replacement for Gates at the time, and i still hold that opinion.

At the time i thought Ballmer was a glorified salesman, as other people did, and still do. I just hope his replacement is more technically savvy than he was, so Microsoft can go back to being more of a innovations company, than just regurgitating and selling the same old tired tech.
Nexxo 24th August 2013, 18:32 Quote
I'm not sure that Gates was so much better. But yeah: Ballmer is a bean counter, not a visionary. Worse, he was such a poor visionary that he did not recognise the need for one.
Corky42 24th August 2013, 19:04 Quote
Don't get me wrong i wasn't calling Gates a visionary or anything, far from it. But he did have more technical savvy than Ballmer, enough to see a good thing when he saw it and to know what needs to change to make it more usable.

If anything i would say Gates plagiarised other peoples ideas and changed them, sometimes for the better, sometime to the determent of the product.
Nexxo 24th August 2013, 19:08 Quote
Gates did nix the e-reader and the Courier though. And he put Ballmer in charge. 'nuff said. :p
lysaer 25th August 2013, 16:21 Quote
I think Ballmer gets a pretty bad rap, he did do some great stuff one major thing he did was improving communication with developers.

Microsoft has become a lot more open and forthcoming with developers under Ballmers rule than it was with gates and don't even get me started with jobs and apple macs

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk 2
Nexxo 25th August 2013, 17:04 Quote
Quote:

Possibly, but the timing would be stupid. There is nobody lined up to take over, and the company is in the middle of a major reorganisation and transition. I hope there is a plan B.
Corky42 25th August 2013, 18:47 Quote
No one will ever know for sure what happened, if he was forced, persuaded, or decided to leave of his own accord. Although its worth noting the article linked by Parge is just some analyst arguing the case that he was forced out, just like someone argues that we didn't land on the moon :|

@lysaer, do you mean like this....

hMLcKtVwF-A


:)
lysaer 25th August 2013, 21:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
No one will ever know for sure what happened, if he was forced, persuaded, or decided to leave of his own accord. Although its worth noting the article linked by Parge is just some analyst arguing the case that he was forced out, just like someone argues that we didn't land on the moon :|

@lysaer, do you mean like this....

hMLcKtVwF-A


:)

I think the guy is epic lol, he has character also he's hot arrogant like a lot of other people in the industry.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
SexyHyde 26th August 2013, 00:14 Quote
The board and shareholders have wanted him gone for years. Windows 7 gave him a lot of time. but his cards have been numbered for a few years now. Forbes published an article declaring him the worst CEO http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2012/05/12/oops-5-ceos-that-should-have-already-been-fired-cisco-ge-walmart-sears-microsoft/3/ It'll be interesting to see who takes over and if they can steer microsoft back from the brink, or will they continue to stagnate and slide.
Corky42 26th August 2013, 08:54 Quote
That Forbes article harks back to my opinion about Ballmer being a glorified salesman...
Quote:
An insane bet for any CEO – and one that would have been avoided entirely had the Microsoft Board replaced Mr. Ballmer years ago with a CEO that understands the fast pace of technology shifts and would have kept Microsoft current with market trends.
Would a more tech savvy CEO have been able to identify the problems with Zune, Windows CE, and Microsoft's other early forays into the mobile market ? Even if the board chooses a new CEO with a better understanding of technology is it to late to turn things around ?

I think Ballmers first comments on the iPhone speaks volumes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ballmer
500 dollars? Fully subsidized? With a plan? I said that is the most expensive phone in the world. And it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard. Which makes it not a very good email machine.

EDIT: Its would seem Ballmer Departure From Microsoft Was More Sudden Than Portrayed by the Company
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
According to sources close to the situation, the departure of CEO Steve Ballmer from Microsoft last week was more sudden than was depicted by the company in its announcement that he would be retiring within the next year in a planned smooth transition.
Nexxo 26th August 2013, 21:19 Quote
Ballmer is an idiot. I remember when the first iPhone was launched, and I could see that it was BIG. Heck, I remember the first iPod and thought it was going to be big.

The Zune was a quality competitor let down by a disinterested management which saw media devices and distribution as just not part of Microsoft's core business --this in the face of seeing Apple clean up with the iPod/iTunes combo.

Microsoft: painstakingly engineered by visionary geeks, casually dismissed by gormless business suits.
Corky42 28th August 2013, 14:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysaer
I think Ballmer gets a pretty bad rap, he did do some great stuff one major thing he did was improving communication with developers.

Microsoft has become a lot more open and forthcoming with developers under Ballmers rule than it was with gates and don't even get me started with jobs and apple macs

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk 2

Even though he hasn't left yet, it seems Microsoft has upset developers with its recent announcement about Windows 8.1 RTM not being available to developers http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/appbuilder/archive/2013/08/27/get-your-apps-ready-for-the-windows-8-1-launch.aspx
People are saying things like....
Quote:
“Microsoft's decision to withhold Windows 8.1 RTM to developers and volume license customers is a significant mistake. It further discourages developers and enterprises to adopt its new operating system by introducing unnecessary delays and roadblocks to readiness activities. It really defies logic.”
Quote:
In an world inhabited by pink unicorns and pixie dust, the advice in this post would be sufficient. However we live in the real world last time I looked out the window. In the real world, developers must have access to the RTM bits before GA. The fact that Microsoft no longer seems to understand this truly frightens me.
Nexxo 28th August 2013, 15:55 Quote
Corky42 29th August 2013, 11:27 Quote
Gota laugh when betting firms place odds on who's going to be the next CEO
http://sportsbeta.ladbrokes.com/Specials/Microsoft-Specials/Next-Microsoft-CEO-N-1z0z7huZ1z0z1etZ1z0ys9q/

The top three favorites are...

Stephen Elop 5/1
Kevin Turner 6/1
Steve Sinofsky 8/1
PCBuilderSven 30th August 2013, 21:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnout21
I thought Microsoft's purchase of Nokia was a positive step in the right direction, it not only saved a known trusted brand


Microsoft never bought Nokia, they simply got Elop (a friend of balmer) to be CEO, and made Nokia act in Microsoft's (not Nokia's) best interests. This didn't save Nokia, it destroyed them. Before Nokia anounced it's switch to Windows Phone it's market share and average sale price were both rising, they were the worlds largest smartphone company, and were growing sales faster than Apple. Now Nokia is 9th, loss making, and has seen share crash from being rated the highest possible to junk. Elop combined multiple famous management mistakes (Ratner and Osbourne) to create the 'Elop Effect' - see Elop's Wikipedia Article or, for more detail Tomi Ahonen's analysis.
Nexxo 30th August 2013, 22:38 Quote
Meanwhile in the real world, Nokia was struggling with the fact that since the iPhone, and then Android smartphones hit the market in 2007, its $40,-- share price plummeted to $2,-- by 2012. Why? Failure to respond to the touchscreen smartphone market created by aforementioned competitors after a history of disasterous releases of products that were incomplete, too late and generally crippled by divisional in-fighting (Microsoft-style) and fears of one product cannibalising another, so that all of them ended up neutered. Symbian was on its way out --there was no ecosystem. So Nokia had a choice: join the bear pit that is Android, where dozens of manufacturers are scrapping for supremacy at the feet of a dominant Samsung, or carving out a unique niche of its own by embracing Windows Phone, and doing it really well. Is it a good strategy? Time will tell.
faugusztin 30th August 2013, 23:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCBuilderSven
they were the worlds largest smartphone company, and were growing sales faster than Apple

First part is true, due all the cheap phones with zero margin, but they had nothing to sell for profit, nothing on highend market. It took them up until 2011 to release anything close to the highend market in the era started with iPhone, and that was Nokia N9 and the Lumia phones. They had literally nothing able to compete on market from 2008 until first half of 2011.

Just take a look at those nice charts here :
http://www.nokia.com/global/about-nokia/investors/financials/financials/

The last 2 years (2011, 2012) cleared out the profit they had from already strugling years of 2009 and 2010. Why was year 2008 still relatively good ? Because the market is slow moving, and it took time for iOS and especially Android to take off. But once Android took away any chance for Symbian in 2009/2010 from the market above 250€ and in 2011 from anything above 100€, Nokia had to move in some direction, because Symbian was simply dead and Nokia can't survive from selling sub-100€ phones.
PCBuilderSven 31st August 2013, 11:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
carving out a unique niche of its own by embracing Windows Phone, and doing it really well.

I'm not saying they should have stayed symbian, had they embraced Windows Phone really well and executed it in a strategic manner, that would be fine. The problem is that first they cannibalised symbian sales before they even had any Windows Phone phones to sell. Why would you do that? Before the 'Burning Platforms' memo symbian was still making a profit. Why not keep that at least until you've got lumias to sell? Secondly Nokia released it's first Lumias shortly before WP8 was due to be released, created mass anger when they were left out of the update.
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
They had literally nothing able to compete on market from 2008 until first half of 2011.

Why does everyone ignore the N900 (running Maemo) in 2009, I'm still using one today. While the software wasn't quite finished on release, it was on a similar level if not better to the first WP7 Lumias - and it was improved by both Nokia and the community with numerous updates, and could even be flashed with MeeGo - something not enjoyed by the early Lumias. Overclock the CPU to 1GHz (from 600MHz) and you've got an amazing phone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
due all the cheap phones with zero margin, but they had nothing to sell for profit

Yes and the new WP8 Lumias are sold at a loss. Small margin is better than loss. Nokia can't manufacture them (Lumias) themselves, so has to subcontract them (costing money), has to pay for WP licences for every phone (costs money). The N900 (and later the N9) was manufactured cheaply and had no license fees, so made large profits. The N950, never publically sold, only given to a few developers, sells on ebay for up to €1500. Thats a potentially very large profit margin.
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
The last 2 years (2011, 2012) cleared out the profit they had from already strugling years of 2009 and 2010.

I'm not saying Nokia didn't have problems before Elop. But under the previous CEO (2009 + 2010) Nokia made a profit. Under Elop (+WP) they didn't. Furthermore profits were increasing before the WP strategy was anounced. Your chart shows that 2010 was better than 2009. That recovery was destroyed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Symbian was simply dead

It was the best selling os in every continent except North America, up until the 'Burning Platforms' memo. There was a clear migration path to MeeGo that could have been finished before WP8 was released, and WP7 was unfinished aswell.
Corky42 31st August 2013, 12:41 Quote
Microsoft Cuts Deal With ValueAct
Quote:
Microsoft said it has signed a “cooperation agreement” with ValueAct that will allow for meetings between its president Mason Morfit and the company’s directors and management.

They have been pushing for Ballmer to go, even though they deny or refuse to comment.
Did they push him out ? Will Mason Morfit and ValueAct be a positive or negative influence ?
faugusztin 31st August 2013, 12:57 Quote
1) Because the market ignored N900 too.
2) Symbian was hated since it arrived, even more so since iPhone was released, and Maemo/Meego in 2009/2011 was already too late because there was already a free alternative which exploded to the market - HTC Dream in 2008, HTC Magic/Hero and Motorola Droid/Milestone in 2009, and every other manufacturer soon after that. Maemo/Meego simply arrived too late and on too few too expensive devices to be a factor. You won't attract developers by releasing one super expensive phone, there was only one exception to this, and that was the first iPhone, and it was an excepton only because it was the first of the iPhone era phones. Every later iteration of the iPhones built on the already established ecosystem, Android built on large set of devices in different price categories... Symbian was left alone to Nokia, so was Maemo and Meego - no one was interested in any of these. Windows Phone got a foothold only because of the extreme push from Microsoft - or do you really think the $8 yearly registration fee last year or the current $19 registration fee is because their platform is doing so well ? Just 2 years ago, MS was asking $99 for the same thing.

Unfortunately for Nokia, they were betting on wrong horse since 2006... First Maemo, then Meego, then Windows Phone. If they are going to lose money this year too, they will soon have only 2 choices - get bought by Microsoft, or start producing Android phones.
Nexxo 31st August 2013, 12:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCBuilderSven
I'm not saying they should have stayed symbian, had they embraced Windows Phone really well and executed it in a strategic manner, that would be fine. The problem is that first they cannibalised symbian sales before they even had any Windows Phone phones to sell. Why would you do that? Before the 'Burning Platforms' memo symbian was still making a profit. Why not keep that at least until you've got lumias to sell? Secondly Nokia released it's first Lumias shortly before WP8 was due to be released, created mass anger when they were left out of the update.

Because it did not want to be another Blackberry, desperately trying to extract maximum value from a dying OS instead of pre-emptively reinvesting in a new one?

I doubt that Nokia knew about Microsoft's plans to ditch backward compatibility with WP7 in WP8. But even then, it is a non-problem. Most people upgrade their mobile as a matter of course every 18-24 months as their carrier tries to lock them into a new contract. Your two-year old mobile? Likely functioning as landfill right now.
Corky42 27th September 2013, 09:17 Quote
Ballmer bids tearful farewell to Microsoft, promises it will 'deliver the next big thing'
Quote:
Ballmer ended his emotional speech with Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes' "I've had The Time of My Life" playing in the background before he screamed "I've had the time of my life" and continued to dance and run around the stage.

Why the hell hasn't someone published that on YouTube yet :'(

EDIT: looks like the last part is on YouTube now
tOtFbD5VyyM
Corky42 9th November 2013, 10:03 Quote
Stephen Elop is being tipped to take over at Microsoft and it would seem people are saying he may make some drastic changes. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-08/microsoft-ceo-candidate-elop-said-to-mull-windows-shift.html
Quote:
Besides emphasizing Office, Elop would be prepared to sell or shut down major businesses to sharpen the company’s focus, the people said. He would consider ending Microsoft’s costly effort to take on Google with its Bing search engine, and would also consider selling healthy businesses such as the Xbox game console if he determined they weren’t critical to the company’s strategy, the people said.
Nexxo 9th November 2013, 23:55 Quote
That would not only be a re-hash of the same strategy that caused Microsoft to lose out on the mobile, tablet and e-reader market, and also go directly against Microsoft's vision of "Windows everywhere", so I'll take that with a grain of salt for the time being.
Corky42 10th November 2013, 07:40 Quote
Well sources tell us the mobile and Xbox groups are burning serious cash, apparently the only thing keeping those two looking good on the books is the fact that they get around $2 billion a year in revenue from Android patent royalties.

So it kinda makes sense from a finances point of view, and seeing as both the XBox and mobile side of things have been operating for a long time and still cant make a profit you have to wounder why someone would keep subsidising them.
Nexxo 10th November 2013, 09:49 Quote
Sources are idiots. Why would Microsoft buy Nokia's mobile division (with Elop's help, no less) only for Elop to get rid of it again?

Windows Everywhere, remember? It is quite obvious that the XBox One is positioned as the cornerstone of a smart home of the future (which is the next emerging market). It is not just a game console; it is a home entertainment system. The mobile market is also too large to not be part of. There is no point to having an OS and ecosystem dominating the business sector when everybody's personal mobile and home devices are running on another OS and ecosystem, especially when those OS's and ecosystems start encroaching on the business sector. That's going back to the 90's, when Microsoft lost huge chances because it focused purely on maximizing profits from Windows and Office. Look where it got them.

It also flies in the face of Microsoft's course change towards becoming a devices and services company. So sorry, but it makes no sense.
Corky42 10th November 2013, 11:33 Quote
Well its reported three people with knowledge of his thinking are all suggesting the same thing.

As is said by the journalist writing on Bloomberg, Elop had no qualms about dropping the then-dominant Symbian and at the end of the article he goes on to say...
Quote:
Another clue to Elop’s thinking comes from his handling of Nokia’s mapping and location-tracking software, which is considered a valuable asset, said the people. Rather than use the software to differentiate Nokia’s phones with features such as reliable turn-by-turn driving instructions, he made it into a standalone software business called Here. The product now powers the location services in some Amazon.com Inc. devices.

Also don't forget Elop oversaw the development of Office 365, and when he was previously working at Microsoft he cut a deal with Nokia to offer cut down version of some office programs on Symbian.

And its not just a few people suggesting to dump XBox and mobile, some investors are calling for it to. I mean i get what your saying about it not fitting with the whole "Windows Everywhere" thing, but how long do you give failing departments to turn things around before you cut your losses ?
Nexxo 10th November 2013, 12:40 Quote
Ask Amazon. It's still not running a profit.

Investors are also idiots. They don't realise that it is exactly the strategy that they are proposing that made Microsoft end up playing third fiddle to Apple and Android.

Moreover the fact remains that while at Nokia, Elop dumped Symbian for Windows Phone, not Android. Why would he do that if he considered Windows on mobile devices a bad idea? Microsoft just bought Nokia mobile devices with the assistance of Elop. If that move is totally against his thinking, why would he facilitate it? Why would Elop, after departing from Nokia, be made head of the new Microsoft devices unit responsible for the Surface and Xbox if his plans are to effectively can that department?

Even if Elop has these ideas, it would effectively disqualify him as a candidate for CEO-ship at Microsoft. Microsoft has quite different ideas, and you can bet that these would not have taken hold without the likes of Bill Gates (who is on the selection panel) embracing them.
Quote:
“We appreciate Bloomberg’s foray into fiction and look forward to future episodes,” said Frank Shaw, a spokesman for Microsoft.

Quite.
Corky42 10th November 2013, 13:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Ask Amazon. It's still not running a profit.
But isn't that different ? they have stated they are investing in infrastructure and without looking in to figures i would guess Amazon is growing, while XBox may even lose market share if the negative view of the XBox One pans out to a loss in market share. Windows phone/mobile is doing better though and only accounts for .5 Billion of losses from the total of 2.5 billion those two are losing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Investors are also idiots. They don't realise that it is exactly the strategy that they are proposing that made Microsoft end up playing third fiddle to Apple and Android.
Indeed they are, but if what we are told is true they also carried a lot of sway when it came to Ballmers early retirement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Moreover the fact remains that while at Nokia, Elop dumped Symbian for Windows Phone, not Android. Why would he do that if he considered Windows on mobile devices a bad idea? Microsoft just bought Nokia mobile devices with the assistance of Elop. If that move is totally against his thinking, why would he facilitate it? Why would Elop, after departing from Nokia, be made head of the new Microsoft devices unit responsible for the Surface and Xbox if his plans are to effectively can that department?
I don't think its a matter of thinking Windows on a mobile is a bad idea, its that its losing money. Windows phone/mobile probably has more of a chance than the XBox division as its a growing market (all be it slowly) and only losing .5 billion a year versus the 2 billion of the XBox.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Even if Elop has these ideas, it would effectively disqualify him as a candidate for CEO-ship at Microsoft. Microsoft has quite different ideas, and you can bet that these would not have taken hold without the likes of Bill Gates (who is on the selection panel) embracing them.
But Gates is not the only voice, and didn't Gates want Ballmer to stay.
Who is it that sets these ideas or plots a course for the ship ? is it not the CEO ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Quite.
Yea that bit made me smile, aren't all predictions a foray into fiction ?
Nexxo 10th November 2013, 13:34 Quote
I don't think it is that simple. In this industry you are always playing the long game in a constantly developing market. If Microsoft changes course again, dumping the Surface, Windows Phone, the XBox, Bing, then it rapidly acquires a reputation as a company with no vision, no direction, no persistence, no successful products; just a string of failues and half-followed-through, abruptly abandoned projects.

While Apple and Google show off the next new big thing, neatly building upon previously established infrastructure, and the investor and their friends and families are enjoying their shiny mobiles and tablets by Apple and Android manufacturers, using Google Cloud/iCloud storage services, Apple Store/Google Play apps and entertainment media and Google Docs/iWorks office services, Microsoft keeps churning out the same iterations of Windows and Office over and over, as if it was still the 90's. In this industry you want to be seen as innovative, dynamic, visionary, responsive. Microsoft will continue to be seen as old, staid, unable to get with the times, unable to get it, unable to develop a vision and unable to follow anything through with a history of product failed and abandoned.

Who wants to invest in that?
Corky42 10th November 2013, 18:26 Quote
It's not a matter of Microsoft looking bad because they changed course again imho, company's change course all the time. It looks worse for a CEO to be throwing massive amounts of money away on a department that hasn't returned a profit in the 12 years its been running.

And both Apple and Google, just like any other company shut down departments that don't make a profit after a protracted time, if you give something a try for 5, maybe 10 years and its still not working do you just keep wasting time and money, How much longer do you keep the money pit going ?

You say who would want to invest in that, but i say who would want to invest in a company that cant see a bad investment after a decade of throwing good money after bad.

EDIT: How long would you run a department that loses money before calling it a day ?
Nexxo 10th November 2013, 19:21 Quote
Ask Sony with the PS4. Ask Google with the ChromeBook (especially the Pixel).
impar 11th November 2013, 11:05 Quote
Greetings!

Elops carreer:
Quote:
Is Microsoft Trojan Horsing Itself? CEO Candiate Elop Reportedly Wants to Break up Company
...
A Strange Track Record
Depending on who you ask Mr. Elop is either a quiet genius at saving companies -- or a bizarre master of destroying them.
...
http://www.dailytech.com/Is+Microsoft+Trojan+Horsing+Itself+CEO+Candiate+Elop+Reportedly+Wants+to+Break+up+Company/article33717.htm
theshadow2001 11th November 2013, 23:12 Quote
if Elop can't do the monkey dance then I don't want to know about him.
Corky42 12th November 2013, 00:36 Quote
If Microsoft’s board of directors was frustrated enough to oust Ballmer, why would they stick with his policies? If the new CEO isn’t given a free rein to do whatever he pleases, why even bother bringing in a new face at all?
Nexxo 12th November 2013, 08:21 Quote
Depends what the board of directors was frustrated about. It might not be his policies but how he implemented them (look at the disastrous launch of the Surface). It could be that they are looking for a CEO to realise their vision (better), not bring his own.

Again, why plan to ditch the XBox just as they are launching a new model? Why ditch mobile devices when they just bought Nokia? It sounds more like a greedy shareholder's wishful speculating than the vision of Microsoft's future CEO.
Corky42 12th November 2013, 08:34 Quote
Well i don't see Elop ditching them the instant he became CEO (if that actually happened) but he may give them notice that if things don't improve they may face closure.

Bing is slowly turning things around and has only been going a relatively short time, on the other hand XBox has at best broke even since it was introduced 12 years ago, and the Mobile/phone department has had many failed attempts in the 12 year they have been trying.
Nexxo 12th November 2013, 17:30 Quote
XBox is the only bit of Microsoft that the home consumer actually likes. Moreover it is the bit that the younger demographic actually likes. It would be epically stupid to get rid (oh, wait...).

Windows Phone is actually gaining traction. In Europe it takes 10% of the market and in some countries (Italy and parts of Asia) it outsells the iPhone. Mainstream apps are finally appearing (released just today: Vine. Coming in the next month: Flipboard, Instagram). Again, to get rid of it now would be epically stupid. Moreover, it is not an option. If Microsoft wants to have dominance over enterprise server infrastructure, mobile devices are going to be a part of that. They screwed up twice (once when Blackberry took over a market that Microsoft had all the pieces to dominate, and a second time when the iPhone came along); they can't afford to drop the ball a third time.

By the same argument Apple should get rid of iOS, OSX and iWork, because it is not making any money on them --it is giving them away. But of course that would be stupid because they are integral to the overall ecosystem and experience that Apple users pay good money for.

I think all this speculation is BS. Even if Elop had these ideas, why declare them just before the XBox One is launching? Why co-operate wih buying Nokia? It makes no sense on any level except for some greedy, shortsighted shareholders. And they, frankly, are what is wrong with capitalist industry.
Corky42 12th November 2013, 17:59 Quote
Not sure how mobile devices have anything to do with enterprise server infrastructure :?

The articles say Microsoft's lacks focus, so by dumping these lame ducks they would be able concentrate on their core products and as mentioned in the articles license these out to other company's as Elop done with Office and Nokia's Symbian. Don't forget Elop had a lot to do with Office 365 so i don't think its a stretch of the imagination that making this service available on other devices (Apple, Android) would be attractive to him.

And the reason iOS, OSX and iWork don't make any money is because hardly anyone uses them, or wants to use them, not enough to bother licensing them out anyhow. Microsoft on the other hand could make a lot of money by licensing their OS and Office to others company's such as the hypothetically sold off Xbox division.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
I think all this speculation is BS.
Yea but it passes the time don't it :p
Nexxo 12th November 2013, 18:25 Quote
You'll find out when you want to send confidential documents and emails to your employees out in the field. Or when you want to collaborate on projects with people working away from the office.

Think about it: what good is it to have Office wired into the cloud and Outlook, Lync, InfoPath and all that fancy stuff when you depend on it running on third-party platforms like iOS or Android? Google has already given Microsoft a taste of how it can scupper things when it suddenly decides not to support Microsoft's Exchange servers anymore. You could argue that neither Google nor Apple would have interest in alienating their users who depend on Microsoft infrastructure, but what if they decide to offer their own, competing infrastructure?

Microsoft lost a lot of business opportunities (e-Reader, smartphones, tablets) by "concentrating on core products". It is the reason why it is being outcompeted by Apple and Google and is playing catch-up now.

OK, let's suppose Microsoft ditches XBox, Bing, Windows Phone. Most people use Android mobile devices. Everybody uses Google Search and Google Maps and Google Now. Meanwhile Google suddenly decides to push Google Docs more fiercely, really souping it up and integrating it in its cloud services; kills support for Microsoft Exchange server support on Android phones and tablets and releases Android as a desktop OS which already has Steam and Google Play: plenty of games and media, and since the XBox was dumped there is no incentive to create games for the Windows platform because you can't just port them from XBox. It also decides to stop supporting Windows: no more Google Chrome browser . It might even make its web services unusable on IE (it has already done similar shenanigans on WP in the past).

What is the incentive to stick with Microsoft at all? It offers an OS that has dwindling support by popular software, no games and some expensive business productivity software that functions only in a limited enterprise ecosystem, doesn't play nice with mobile devices and that Google does better and cheaper. Microsoft goes the way of BlackBerry. The PC market gets cold feet and decides to produce and sell devices running Android, not Windows. Microsoft loses its only two cash cows.

The survival of a company lies in its adaptibility to an ever-changing ecosystem: in having a wide genetic diversity to draw on. It needs its fingers in many pies, even if a percentage of them never comes off. What you are suggesting is that Microsoft becomes a highly specialised pedigree animal that can only function in a very specific environment, and does not have the genetic range to adjust and adapt when it is outcompeted by other animals.
Corky42 12th November 2013, 19:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
What you are suggesting is that Microsoft becomes a highly specialised pedigree animal that can only function in a very specific environment, and does not have the genetic range to adjust and adapt when it is outcompeted by other animals.

I'm not the one suggesting it. :'(
I'm merely pointing out why the articles and some people are saying Elop may drop the lame ducks so as to sharpen the company's focus into products that actually make money, and would make a lot more if instead of restricting their products to only running on Windows, they licensed them out to be used on other device.
Nexxo 12th November 2013, 20:04 Quote
OK, OK, what some (shortsighted) people are suggesting (stop crying! Awww geez... sorry... sorry...)
Corky42 13th November 2013, 08:12 Quote
You gotta remember these people also ousted Ballmer at a time that probably wasn't ideal.
Just after the major re-org when people could probably do without knowing their CEO is abandoning ship.

:o now i feel like i have to say sorry to, did i make improper use of a smiley or are you using your brain voodoo on me ;)
Nexxo 13th November 2013, 08:14 Quote
Yeah, but possibly some negotiating has been going on around that. I note that Microsoft has just announced that they're dropping the stacked ranking system of employee performance evaluation (finally!). Another move towards 'One Microsoft'.
impar 13th November 2013, 21:39 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Microsoft co-founder thinks Xbox should be sold-off

A possible sell-off for the Xbox brand by owner Microsoft has been touted for a second time.

http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/microsoft-co-founder-thinks-xbox-should-be-sold-off/0124204
Testing the water?
Nexxo 13th November 2013, 23:04 Quote
The Microsoft guys that got rich in the 90's are now part of the problem. They keep believing that it is still the 90's, when Microsoft had virtually no competition, most computer devices were desktops and a few laptops, and they were all getting fat and complacent on the profits of extracting maximum value from Windows and Office. As such they systematically shoot down any innovation by younger team members because they think they know better --they've got the millions to prove it.

It is not the 90's anymore. They rode a wave, but the sea has changed now. They are out of date and out of touch. I mean, just as the XBox One is being launched he floats this idea --it shows how much awareness he lacks of what is going on.
Corky42 14th November 2013, 07:45 Quote
You never know this generation of consoles maybe the last consoles ever made.
Nexxo 14th November 2013, 07:48 Quote
Possibly. I think it is just going to shift towards cheap, powerful consoles with more open architecture. The future is Steam boxes and more indie development. I think that's a good thing.
Corky42 14th November 2013, 07:55 Quote
Well i was think more of tablets or maybe even phones replacing them.
Nexxo 14th November 2013, 08:23 Quote
People will still want something on a big screen. But you may get dockable cradles.
Corky42 14th November 2013, 08:55 Quote
And for that tablets could just be plugged into the TV, or stream content to it. Maybe they cant do it now, but in 5 or 6 years who knows. We already have NVidia shield and the Steam Machine as proof of concept and i can only see mobile devices getting more powerful.
Nexxo 14th November 2013, 08:58 Quote
That's what I said (sorry, dockable cradles should have read: dockable tablets. It's early in the morning).
Corky42 14th November 2013, 10:34 Quote
Docking stations are so last year man ;)
Build tablets with resonance charging, slap in some super fast WiFi and you all done.

EDIT: didn't want to necro an old thread.
In final shareholder speech, Ballmer defends Bing and Xbox as key parts of Microsoft
Quote:
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer just finished speaking at the company’s annual shareholder meeting — his final one as the company’s leader — and while he didn’t directly address calls for the company to spin off its Xbox and Bing businesses, he called out those divisions as key parts of Microsoft’s broader vision.
Corky42 30th January 2014, 11:25 Quote
Now at 160 Days, Microsoft CEO Search Could Be Nearing Its End With Insiders on Inside Track.
http://recode.net/2014/01/30/now-at-160-days-microsoft-ceo-search-could-be-nearing-its-end-with-insiders-on-inside-track-but-will-an-outsider-still-emerge/
Quote:
According to numerous sources close to Microsoft, the selection of a new CEO could happen within the next week.
Quote:
In tech terms, that is an eon — Google has changed its strategy more times yesterday than the time this search has taken. That is why sources said that the company — after turning in a strong quarter last week and with Chairman Bill Gates re-focused after a spate of international travel — was readying its pick with a goal to announce in early February.
Corky42 4th February 2014, 15:18 Quote
Not meaning to necro an old thread but...
Microsoft names Satya Nadella to replace Steve Ballmer.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25973762
Quote:
Technology giant Microsoft has said Satya Nadella will succeed Steve Ballmer as its next chief executive.

Mr Nadella is currently Microsoft's head of Cloud and Enterprise, which builds and runs the firm's computing platforms and developer tools.

EDIT: His first interview

T8JwNZBJ_wI

EDIT 2: It seems Gates is also stepping down as chairman and instead taking a new role on the Board as Founder and Technology Advisor.

M5BhQVuRcTk
rainbowbridge 6th February 2014, 20:30 Quote
gates should leave the company and do it properly, he either steps down and away or he stays at the helm one or the other, it is unfair on the new CEO to remain on the board "and increase my presence".

As new leader he should dismiss gates or send him on a global trek around the world to refresh what the world is needing (expanding on his population decreasing goals at least).

Gates should disconnect from the net,. www and email for at least 6 months and return a new with new thoughts and feelings.

Also gates could go the way of jobs and Microsoft would be fine.

There should be global black out on Steve Ballmer the fat idiot, what a insult for him to be involved with Microsoft at director level, the guy is a 3rd rate used Tv sales man with a drink problem, but then this is the country that put bush on the stage as its leader for two terms....
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