back to article Ballmer, Gates won't slice up Microsoft

Microsoft held its annual shareholders' meeting in Redmond yesterday, where the company’s boss Steve Ballmer once again rejected the idea – first touted by Goldman Sachs – to split the software vendor up. "I obviously don’t think it is time,” he told shareholders, according to Todd Bishop at TechFlash. “I don’t think it would …

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Coat

Any other term for 'dis-synergy'?

Un-Borg'ed?

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Gold badge

Time to change

I don't think it's helpful for them to split up. However they need a massive shake up in the whole strategy department. If they appointed a new CEO it might help. It's not good enough to just bring in masses of cash from your cash cows, they can falter. Every product needs to succeed and earn profit!

Traditionally for new products Microsoft has waited for someone to create a radical new product that fails, found out why it failed and then produced their own version.

But when a new product has succeeded Microsoft's response can be hit n miss. They appear to have done okay in responding to the Wii, but quite a few years after the party.

If Microsoft themselves released the radical product it just has lacked commitment, been poorly implemented. Tablet PCs are a good example.

It seems there are too many morons in charge who love to see the other teams fail. Internal competition is one thing, but it appears to be internal war at Microsoft.

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MS has improved on failed products?

"Traditionally for new products Microsoft has waited for someone to create a radical new product that fails, found out why it failed and then produced their own version."

Examples please.

There are numerous counter examples:

MS really only got a toe hold with MSDOS which was crap compared to what was out there at the time.

Windows was not nearly as good as other GUI offerings at the time, including those that ran on top of MSDOS and only got traction because MSDOS had already blazed a path.

They bought their compilers, hotmail and many other products/services.

Was Office really better or did it just emerge as the only product left standing in an unfair race?

Mobile offerings: WinCE, Zune, kin....

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Headmaster

Not quite

"Traditionally for new products Microsoft has waited for someone to create a radical new product that fails, found out why it failed and then produced their own version."

"Traditionally for new products Microsoft has waited for someone to create a radical new product and then copied it (either honestly or dishonestly: See Stacker), produced their own version and then leveraged their existing Win+Office monopoly against the originators until they failed."

There, I fixed it for you.

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MS-DOS?

Are you kidding? Have you ever used IBM DOS?

The only other real competitor at the time was CPM, and CPM's only advantage over its competitors was its superior software base (which didnt apply to the x86 market) and the API familiarity (Which did, but DR managed to annoy the small developers by their charging strategy)

Not least of which cos it was $40 compared to the over $200 that DR wanted for CPM, had more features including DIRECTORIES!

.

MS DOS was far superior at its release.

DR-DOS came along later, but that time, the damage was done. Microsoft neednt have bothered playing dirty tricks on Digital research, they managed to screw themselves pretty effectively. If DR-DOS had come out in 1985 instead of 1987, it would have been a different matter.

After that i see your point, however microsoft had the software base, and that counts for a lot.

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Between the lines...

Are Goldman Sachs saying that they think Ballmer's got too much on his plate to handle all of the company?

No mention of all the enterprise departments flogging servers & services. Odd.

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Unhappy

I just can't

hate MS any more. I'm a bit lost. W7 is good, their W7 phones are good and Apple being so closed puts them in a good light.

I'm a bit lost.

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Joke

Wha??? ;-)

Come on Andy, snap out of it.

Tell you what, boot up an old install of WinME and use that for a day or two, oh and then enable the paperclip.

They'll be just the tonic you need to get you back on form.

:o)

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Stop

if you have a copy of IE

If you have a copy of IE your opinion does not count.

Complain to Microsoft, not me.

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Jobs Halo

Agree

Yep, MS is now the least evil. Just wish they would produce more cool consumer solutions. They are top dogs in the enterprise world, time to focus on consumers.

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WTF?

That's just dumb

Windows has moved on, time people did too. W7 is about the most stable general purpose desktop OS available now.

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Gold badge

Just use another OS for a while

Use OSX, or Linux, for day-to-day. Give it a month, and then switch on that machine with Windows again. It will be an eye opener just how much shit you download to keep it working to some degree.

Best cure possible.

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sad state of affairs

when the clowns at Goldman Sucks and the like - who are largely responsible for the most recent economic collapse - are trying to tell a real billion dollar business how to operate... and they have more impact on the share price than the companies actual success.

something seems broken here

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Thumb Down

Bobbins

This sort of nonsense winds me up. Goldman Sachs did not cause the "economic collapse". No niche investment bank caused the credit crisis. The causes are complex but ultimately resolve down to (a) stupid people buying mortgages they cannot afford (and note that investment banks do not sell mortgages, but they do package them); (b) politicians and regulators changing rules to allow banks to make such loans and people to get them.

It is unfashionable to blame the stupid people, or the stupid politicians, or the incumbent regulators. So banks get blamed because everyone hates them anyway.

I do not work for a bank.

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Jobs Halo

Wrong

Actually, it's the banking customers that created the mess by over leveraging. The responsibility is with the borrowers, not the lenders.

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Happy

Company split

The banks are probably wanting a company split that way they can hedge short/long on the stock, offer consulting on the sale, leverage requirement, bond issuance,

oohh and up the price to unrealistically high prices of any IPO or private sell off to ensure maximum bonuses...

yeah let's listen to their sage advice on anything related to finance and restructuring companies and their related debt. I'm sure that would go swimmingly well.

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Stop

the truth is

The truth is that Microsoft would be better split up.

Office products could move over and cover Linux systems too as well as the Mac.

And products like IE could be available on other platforms as well as more than one version of the OS. And the product cycle could reflect consumer needs rather than be tied to an OS cycle.

Forcing consumers to buy a combination of products is never good for them. Even an idiot knows that.

The truth is that Microsoft views many products as just protection for its monopoly. And that means it can't go anywhere. What about that cloud crap? Can it ever compete with Google and others if it always requires hundreds of dollars spent on Microsoft software in order to do anything?

Google and others have a very real advantage in being able to replace almost $700 dollars of Microsoft crap. Microsoft can only hope to continue to force consumers to spend the $700 first.

And keeping consumers ignorant.

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Gold badge

Re: the truth is

Office and IE are already free to develop for whatever platforms they like. At least, they'd be no freer if they were split up into separate companies, because they'd still be answerable to some "parent company" owned by Gates and run by Ballmer.

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Jobs Halo

Nooooo!

Office needs to remain tied to Windows, otherwise it would hurt the Windows platforms business unit. You don't see Apple offering their iProducts for Linux do you? Porting Windows products to Linux would simply be bad for business at Microsoft.

What people have to rememeber is that Microsoft makes vast profits from the enterprise customers. Going beyond Windows with products and solutions like Office, would not be good for Windows OS license revenues.

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Stop

did Microsoft not

Did the Gates Foundation just promise half a billion to aid low income consumers spend less money?

Yes. They did. But, do they recommend using lower cost software? Such as free instead of $700 or so?

Are you kidding? That would not be fraudulent then would it?

If Gates wanted to help consumers he would recommend low cost systems and lower cost software instead of the over priced Microsoft crap.

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Gates Halo

You are so clueless

Jeez. I despair at people. As with everything in life, the relative value of a product is in the usefulness of it to the user. Free is NOT always better. I have no problem paying $200 for Windows because I get what I need from it. Yes, functional equivalents exist for free, but I want actual Windows and if that costs me $200, then fine. It's what I want.

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Silver badge
FAIL

MS - More (of the) Same

Microsoft seems to have lost it's pizzazz as if it's in mid-life crisis.

Ballmer didn't even his base salary for the last two years given he missed his market slots.

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Silver badge
Happy

Leave them how they are

With Steve Ballmer in charge. The Beast needs his firm leadership to fall the rest of the way into the trap. Somebody useful might start changing things and save the company.

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Ok, This Is How I See It.

The shareholders are angry, very very angry because of the way that Microsoft is being run.

They would like to see change and maybe some dividends from their investment too but Bill Gates and his "good friend" Steve Ballmer won't let it happen.

(yeah, well you figure out what is going on there between Gates and Ballmer)

And all the while both Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer continue to divest in the company.

It kind of gives the impression that they are positioning themselves to make a run for cover if and when the reputation of Microsoft becomes completely unsalvageable.

They are probably taking that money and putting it into gold.

After all they wouldn't want to be tied to a fiat currency.

Personally I don't know all that much about the MS Kinect so I haven't been flowing the progress of it but it doesn't look like something I would want even if I had an Xbox.

Windows 7 Mobile is going to be a flop as it already is in the US because of the way it permanently formats and destroys memory cards for use in any other device to prevent people from exchanging information except through the Microsoft network, and most people don't want to be restricted like that.

Zune is a complete joke.

And what happened to the tablets that I was hearing so much bluster about?

They are having a really tough time selling the exorbitantly priced MS Office to businesses who can in most cases do just as well with OpenOffice.

Ballmer is talking about making Windows 8 into a strictly "cloud" based product and that is not setting very well with a lot of people because it would be a pay as you use it sort of thing.

So lately it is turning into one failure after another with Microsoft so I expect both Gates and Ballmer to bail out if the pressure on them becomes any greater and leave the remaining inverters twisting in the wind because they are not going to change their way of thinking or their way of doing business.

Don't be too surprised to someday soon hear the news that Steve Ballmer has decided to move to the south of France and become a philanthropist or some kind of rubbish like that.

Microsoft stock will crash and the remaining decision makers will probably decide to start suing everyone for everything in order to stay afloat.

But that's just my take on the situation.

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FAIL

Look at the new sparkly thing

The way I see it, there is some passionate people over in gaming, their doing cutting edge, its fun. There is the web2.0 crowd, off doing their thing - doesn't matter whether its actually useful, cause it is a hip thing. Then all those left that are burnt out or can't get promoted are left to put face paint on the os and office. No fundament improvements, just mid life nip an tuck.

There has been no improvement since xp and office 2003. Lots of change, maybe some new security that was previously handled by third parties anyway, but nothing else. Leadership, innovation, pride, momentum, it is all just backing up an ally.

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Apple & Google

Speaking on behalf of Apple & Google, I would like to thank Mr. Ballmer for his wonderful achievements at Microsoft. He found Microsoft a city of gold and he will leave it a city of stone anyway.

We applaud your blind following of other company's successes. We hold it very dear to our hearts that with each iteration of your software, it becomes relatively slower and harder to use. We greatly appreciate the the fact, that without your, em, steady hand at the wheel, we wouldn't and couldn't be where we are today.

Thanks you, Steve. Thanks you.

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Gold badge

"dis-synergizing" would be the best thing they could do

"Ballmer added that the company’s Windows tech is applied across its enterprise and consumer businesses, so splitting them up would create (that ugly word again) “dis-synergy”."

Actually, I think Windows is a huge huge drag on various product lines.

Set top box type devices, Windows is not appropriate for them. I'm not specifically talking about XBox, but the set top boxes that Microsoft has periodically tried and failed to launch.

In the phone market the insistence on using the antiquated WinMo kernel for so long dragged down the previous line. It killed the Kin -- reportedly it was about 90% completed when the rest of Microsoft realized it wasn't using WinMo and insisted they start over with an under-development Windows Phone 7 build. I think Windows Phone 7 would have gone a lot smoother if they had not used a WinMo + Silverlight base for it.

Frankly, if other (software) product lines truly sat on top of Windows instead of digging hooks in and "integrating" with Windows, it'd both improve the products and make Windows easier to manage.

But..anyway.. if Microsoft wants to keep going down the present path, fine by me.

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