back to article STEVE BALLMER KILLS WINDOWS

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has unveiled plans for a massive restructuring at Redmond. From today, the company’s product groups will be dissolved and resurrected as slimmed-down devices and services teams ready to take on Apple, Amazon, Google and others. Microsoft’s chief executive today announced the death of the mighty five …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of the heads of the old divisions was probably doing a Sinofsky and getting a bit too big for his boots. Nothing like a bit of divide and conquer to keep Nero in power.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Writing on the wall

    But at least they have finally come to terms with their failings unlike RIM/Blackberry where they continue to head towards oblivion with a cry like the Captain of the Titanic..... 'Full speed ahead!'

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The art of a good CEO

    Delegate, delegate, delegate, take no responsibility and then sack or move everyone when you have finished blaming them.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm. don't know. One of the reasons any consultancy will ALWAYS recommend a reorganisation is that it genuinely shakes things things up. I suspect behind this is a massive McKinsey bill, but I actually think this shakeup is a good thing.

    i honestly didn't expect that sensible a move from Ballmer.

  5. xperroni
    Meh

    Real change, or just a niftier chair arrangement?

    [I] honestly didn't expect that sensible a move from Ballmer.

    I feel more inclined to wait and see whether this actually changes anything. So far it looks like just another reshuffling of chairs at the deck of the Titanic Microsoft.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Writing on the wall

    Hmm, actually, as I read this article, the thought that came to mind was: Oh look, they're re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic... pity she's still sinking.

  7. Euripides Pants Silver badge
    Windows

    "Nothing like a bit of divide and conquer to keep Nero in power."

    Not so much a Nero as a zero...

  8. xperroni
    Holmes

    Nothing like a bit of divide and conquer to keep Nero in power.

    The irony is, Nero was actually a quite reasonable guy, who favored diplomacy over military and tried his best to hold the Empire together. He was eventually ousted by those who didn't like how he wouldn't put the armies on march at the drop of a hat. His surviving image as a deranged tyrant who "fiddled while Rome burned" was likewise the result of a smear campaign by those parties.

    So no, I don't think it is fair to compare Ballmer to Nero, though not for reasons the Chief Chair Thrower would approve of.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You might like to check out what C. Suetonius Tranquillus had to say about Nero in The Lives Of The Twelve Caesars! The work is available as a free translation.

    Not entirely reasonable I suggest.

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Re: Writing on the wall

    "But at least they have finally come to terms with their failings unlike RIM/Blackberry where they continue to head towards oblivion with a cry like the Captain of the Titanic..... 'Full speed ahead!'"

    Is that the official MS PR dept line?

    Weak.

  11. xperroni

    Not entirely reasonable I suggest.

    Granted. Still, not once did Nero "restructure" the Roman Empire and tried to make it look as if it solved anything.

    That's plenty more reasonable than quite a few people we have around these days.

  12. frobnicate
    Trollface

    > The irony is, Nero was actually a quite reasonable guy

    Yes, go tell this to Seneca and others. Oh wait... you cannot.

  13. Ru
    Meh

    There appears to be one notable fixed point in the reorganisation. One particular bit of corporate structure that is long overdue for a change, and definitely in need of some new blood. One that seems to have consistently underperformed over the past decade or so, and yet escaped censure.

    Anyone else spot it?

  14. FartingHippo
    Angel

    Oo, oo, I know!!

    Is it a part of the business famed for its simian boogying?

  15. Belardi
  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Oo, oo, I know!!

    They're just firing all the developers, developers, developers, developers.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Oo, oo, I know!!

    How else will they afford to employ another lawyer?

    Android doesn't milk itself you know.

  18. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Happy

    Steve Balmer with one "l"? Runs the stationery cupboard?

  19. MIc
    Facepalm

    ya... all them profits are the result of terrible performance.

  20. Gil Grissum
    FAIL

    That would be Balmer himself. But in order to cover his failure as a CEO, let's reorganize the company into new pointless divisions, including "Devices and Studios"? We talking about recording studios, movie production studios, TV production studios or art studios? None of those studios requires any Microsoft software to product content, so perhaps Balmer just needs to get the heck out and let someone else take the job and get Microsoft on track without reorganizing the company to cover up his failure as a CEO?

  21. hplasm Silver badge
    Windows

    Re: ya

    "all them profits are the result of terrible performance...."

    Not just that- don't forget customer lock-in and stupid inertia.

  22. Yet Another Commentard

    Re: ya

    An old joke:

    A man takes a new CEO position, and on his first day sits at his big desk in his corner office, and with little else to do opens the drawers in the desk. To his surprise in amongst the bits of pencil shavings he sees three envelopes. They are numbered in sequence, and the first one is labeled simply "in case of emergency, open me".

    He forgets about them for about a week, and the first crisis at the firm happens. In despair he recalls the envelopes, and opens the first. It reads simply "Blame the other guy". So the exec does that, the trouble passes, he is exonerated and he continues.

    Some time passes and another disaster befalls the organisation. Realising he can't blame anyone else, and again in despair he decides to open the other envelope. It says "Have a reorganisation." so, to cover his own incompetence he reorganises everything.

    Sadly that was not a permanent distraction, and in the dark hours one night, alone in his office he decides to bite the bullet and open the final one. The message is simply "prepare three envelopes..."

  23. Wade Burchette

    The best move Microsoft could make would be to replace Steve Ballmer with a telephone answering machine. First, the answering machine would be a far superior leader. Second, at least someone at Microsoft will start listening to customers.

  24. Charles Manning

    Old Chinese saying

    "A fish rots from the head"

  25. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    @Wade Burchette

    "Second, at least someone at Microsoft will start listening to customers."

    Boom Boom.

    An oldie but a goodie.

  26. mike smo

    Hey wait a sec, I'm sick of people Ballmer bashing. Anybody remember when he got promoted for that useful paperclip guy in Word? "I can tell your writing a letter.."

  27. Adam 1 Silver badge

    > Anyone else spot it?

    Enterprise, Azure, Desktop, Office & Networks?

    I am sure they would have had something to say though. Probably something with capital letters and ending with FAIL!

  28. Palebushman
    Alien

    @Ru

    You're right on the money.

  29. jai

    Steve Balmer with one "l"? Runs the stationery cupboard?

    "Yes, I'm Steve Balmer. I will have the penne all'arrabbiata."

    "You'll need a tray."

    "Do you know who I am?"

  30. Charles Manning

    Dear downvotard

    Dear downvotard

    Find yourself a stock graphing wbsite.

    Compare NASDAQ to MSFT over the last 20 years.

    Look low MSFT performed pretty well at the beginning and then takes a plunge. MSFT has underperformed NASDAQ by 50% or worse. Shutting your eyes and randomly backing any stock would have been a better policy.

    Now, dear downvotard, notice that there is a knee in the graph - where MSFT went from performing well to performing badly. Looks like early 2000.

    Hmmm I wonder what happened then?

  31. Sammy Smalls
    Meh

    Truly great news.

    Can I have a start button and no TIFKAM now please?

  32. dogged

    Re: Truly great news.

    No. Adapt or deserve to die.

  33. Belardi
    Devil

    Re: Truly great news.

    NO!!

    YOU CANNOT PASS!

  34. Paul Shirley
    Facepalm

    Re: Adapt or deserve to die

    There's more than one way to adapt.

    Moving to a more suitable environment seems to be killing Microsoft better than Microsoft can kill it's departing refuseniks ;)

  35. hplasm Silver badge
    Windows

    Re: Adapt or deserve to die.

    Are you listening, Microsoft?

  36. Knochen Brittle
    Linux

    Re: Are you listening, Microsoft?

    Yes, but strictly through the NSA ear-trumpet encoded in the company's DNA.

  37. wsm

    The man who reinvented Windows reinvents Microsoft. How long before BillG comes back and fixes things?

  38. Euripides Pants Silver badge

    Thursday

  39. Tom 35 Silver badge

    Maybe they will invent clippy for CEOs.

    It looks like your running a company, would you like help?

  40. kevin biswas

    Skype, the failed VoIP web telco

    Huh ? Skype when why what how failed ?

  41. Danny 14 Silver badge

    Re: Skype, the failed VoIP web telco

    Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn

    Does anyone seriously think it was bought for any other reason than to put a back door in, for the NSA?

    (Presumably in return for all the anti-competition stuff mysteriously evaporating)

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn

    "Failed" and "sold for 8.5bn" is a contradiction.

  44. Don Jefe

    Re: Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn

    It really isn't a contradiction. It has been passed around as a multi-billion dollar hot potato with the only winners being those that sold it. As far as a revenue generator to intrgrate into a business it sucks. It is a fine product but it is not worth nearly what it has sold for as can be evidenced by the fact it only makes big money when it's sold.

  45. Levente Szileszky
    FAIL

    Re: Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn

    Only if you cannot grasp the difference between seller and buyer and the subject of this topic (MSFT, the buyer.).

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Skype, the failed VoIP web telco

    but it's invaluable,as it keeps the spooks happy. And this keeps the gov happy. And this makes MS happy.

  47. Phill 3

    Re: Skype, the failed VoIP web telco

    That's a failure of the purchaser's financial advisers. Not the product being bought.

    Though I'm sure they'll break it soon enough. My v2.8 meets all my needs.

  48. Charles Manning

    "Failed" and "sold for 8.5bn" is a contradiction.

    True.

    "Failed" and "bought for 8.5bn" are consistent.

    And, unfortunatley for MS, also consistent with a whole lot of their other recent purchases.

    They! jus!t have! to! buy! Yahoo! to! seal! the! deal!

  49. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Happy

    Re: Skype, the failed VoIP web telco

    "Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn"

    Like MySpace and AOL this a failure for the buyer

    That's a massive success for the seller.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn

    Simple, the value of something is often how much it can earn and how much it will inconvenience the competition when they plan to buy it but fail.

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