There you go...
The catch is that product isn't selling, actually.
Microsoft’s massive internal reorganisation has given the IT press plenty to think about over the last week. Is this Ballmer’s last throw of the dice? Can the Redmond giant better compete with Apple and Google with its new structure? Some pundits have even talked about the reorg as the moment where Microsoft finally self- …
"and become a full time hedge fund?"
Good question and one any CEO should be asking all the time.
Of course there are reasons why that won't happen to most companies, skills, making profits in teh long term and so on, but when I ran my companies it was one I askd myself - but more shorterm bank deposits than hedge.
But I bet the vast majority of SMEs in Europe sway into better to be hedge territory, as well as larger companies
Microsoft's enterprise products are already the best integrated stack with the lowest TCO on the market - Especially Server 2012 / Hyper-V.
Microsoft need to sort out the consumer side - they have got ahead of the curve - releasing a touch optimised OS way ahead of competitors - but ahead of customers readiness for it too!
If they sort out the learning curve then across the ecosystem they will win. Microsoft have a much more powerful and secure OS than the competition - just look at vulnerability figures for Android, Linux, OS-X, IOS, etc versus the latest Microsoft products - Microsoft have vastly fewer vulnerabilities....And compare the laggy, glitch, unstable insecureness of Android to the smoothness and speed of Windows Phone...
@ AC 17:37
>>Microsoft's enterprise products are already the best integrated stack with the lowest TCO on the market - Especially Server 2012 / Hyper-V.
Bullshit. GNU/Linux and FOSS based VMs are far superior to M$' proprietary spaghetti code. That's why they are the incumbent.
TCO is always higher on M$ products when vendor lock-in is taken into account. Not tol mention the retraining required to use the Windose 8 monstrosity. Then there is the GUI requirement for administrating Windose, and using the M$ Windose console (shudders).
>> Microsoft need to sort out the consumer side - they have got ahead of the curve - releasing a touch optimised OS way ahead of competitors - but ahead of customers readiness for it too!
I can't work out if you are a troll or just ignorant. You call the frankenstein schizophrenic OS that is Windose 8 "a touch optimised OS way ahead of competitors" ? HAHAHA. Clearly you've never used the desktop app (as M$ likes to call it these days). It's the most touch-unoptimised environment ever! It's horrible to use. And the tetris UI from the 80's (metro) isn't much better, especially compared to Android and iOS, which are true touch first OS'.
And M$ isn't "ahead of customer readiness" as you call it, it's just that no one wants anything with Micro$haft or Windose written on it.
>> If they sort out the learning curve then across the ecosystem they will win.
A well designed touch based OS doesn't have learning curve problems. It's intuitive or it should be. Windose 8 isn't, it's a horrible Jekyll and Hyde experience that's bad at both the desktop and touch.
>> Microsoft have a much more powerful and secure OS than the competition
Let's see shall we:
1. Slowest desktop OS out of GNU/Linux and OS X. Valve recently found that the OpenGL version of the Source Engine running on Ubuntu ran significantly faster than the Direct3D version running on Windows.
2. Windose Phone has the weakest app ecosystem, the worst multitasking, the lowest specs (can't even support a 1080p screen). Never gets updates, and when it does, it gets a crippled version (7.8).
3. x86 Windose has the most malware, rootkit infections of any other OS in history (probably billions of infections world wide). IE has zero day attacks against it seemingly every month. IE is a component of Windose.
>> just look at vulnerability figures for Android, Linux, OS-X, IOS, etc versus the latest Microsoft products
More vulnerabilities do not equal more exploits / attacks. Look at the real world exploits running in the wild and propagating to see which is the riskiest OS. In this case it's Windose hands down.
In addition, vulnerabilities often have nothing to do with rootkits / viruses, which is solely the domain of the Windose OS. GNU/Linux has peer reviewed software repositories, and Android has the Play Store, both of which make it virtually impossible to become infected by malware. And in Android's case, it even has a permission system which lets the user see what OS services the App requires before it's installed, with the latest builds containing a service by service allow/deny permission system. That never has and never will exist in Windose.
>> And compare the laggy, glitch, unstable insecureness of Android to the smoothness and speed of Windows Phone...
Laggy, as in Android's case was simply the user perceiving the changing frame rates. Since Jellybean, Android's UI has been running at a constant frame rate vsynced to the refresh rate, thanks to project butter. Exactly the same as iOS, and Windose Phone's silverlight (flash/SWF UI).
I've also seen laggyness on Nokia's Lumia line of phones too, which run Windose. And in terms of unstable or glitches, you can't beat M$' update which bricked many phones, or Nokia's Lumia's which wiped all user data, or perhaps the exploit where someone could send an SMS to a Windose phone and brick it.
"Bullshit. GNU/Linux and FOSS based VMs are far superior to M$' proprietary spaghetti code. That's why they are the incumbent."
Afraid not. Hyper-V is second behind VMware and catching up rapidly. GNU / Foss isn't even in double digits:
Hyper-V also scales better, is faster and is more efficient - e.g. worlds fastest CIFC and NFS file servers are on Windows Server. And it is Linux that has Spaghetti code with a legacy monolithic kernel. Windows Server has a modular architecture - with a hybrid microkernel - and a separate hypervisor.
"Valve recently found that the OpenGL version of the Source Engine running on Ubuntu ran significantly faster than the Direct3D version running on Windows."
Erm yes - the team that was optimising it for Linux as part of their well known on-going spat with Microsoft. If you look at OS Benchmarks, Windows 8 is significantly faster than the latest Linux versions - particularly in fields like Open GL graphics - and performance tests like large file copies. This is still true for the latest benchmarks: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=intel_haswell_win8&num=1
"Windose Phone has the weakest app ecosystem, the worst multitasking, the lowest specs (can't even support a 1080p screen). Never gets updates, and when it does, it gets a crippled version (7.8)."
WP has more apps than Blackberry, has better multitasking than Android and IOS, isn't full of Malware like Android, and at least it get updates - unlike most Android handsets. Oh - and 1080p comes out in September - it's simply a matter of MS supporting the chipset. Personally I think it's pointless on a phone, but it's coming.
"More vulnerabilities do not equal more exploits / attacks. Look at the real world exploits running in the wild and propagating to see which is the riskiest OS. In this case it's Windose hands down."
Oh, but they do in a situation where Linux actually has greater than 1% market share (so not desktops). Android has had more malware in 2 years than Windows managed in 16 - and if you look at say internet facing server you are far more likely to be hacked running Linux than Windows: http://www.zone-h.org/news/id/4737
"Laggy, as in Android's case was simply the user perceiving the changing frame rates."
No it's because it is a crappy OS that relies on a Java equivalent VM / garbage collection and laggyness / glitching is pretty much unavoidable at some stage with a JVM.
Nokias certainly are not laggy. Even the cheapest ones are like lightening compared to an Android handset. There has also never been an exploit where you could brick a WP. All the SMS did was lock you out of SMSs. And I think that + a minor certificate checking one were the only WP vulnerabilities ever! Unlike Android where there are hundreds of vulnerabilities - such as being rooted just by visiting a website!
"TCO is always higher on M$ products when vendor lock-in is taken into account"
Plenty of evidence (Like FTSE 500 use of Windows Server) shows that it is cheaper than the competition....
"Not tol mention the retraining required to use the Windose 8 monstrosity"
No one says corporates have to use Windows 8 yet.
"Then there is the GUI requirement for administrating Windose, and using the M$ Windose console"
You can use only Powe Shell and install your servers without a GUI. Its like Linux shells such as BASH - but far more powerful and object orientated....
Beginning of the end?
In my experience, reorgs are what happens when something is wrong and they just simply do not know what to do. They are followed by a couple more reorgs, finger pointing, firing and in my personal experience in a couple of cases, catastrophic collapse.
The thing I would do at the helm of Microsoft is split it into three or four separate companies with separate stocks and unleash them to fight tooth and claw like the old Microsoft. Move Steve Ballmer to one, bring back Gates to helm another for a while and promote from within for the other one or two.
I would release a Windows 9 that got rid of Metro and returned to sanity and allow anyone saddled with eight to upgrade for free. Get rid of the crippleware editions and have only pro/ultimate.
I would get rid of all the activation nonsense.
I would, if in charge of operating systems and servers, fix the F*9ad0ing bugs before enhancing stuff.
Microsoft has a *ton* of goodwill they need to recover. They have poisoned the well too many times. They need to take the part of their customers and partners for a change.
I would release a Windows 9 that got rid of Metro and returned to sanity and allow anyone saddled with eight to upgrade for free. Get rid of the crippleware editions and have only pro/ultimate.
I would go further, why is there a need for any more than one version? I have never understood this except of course for gouging more money from people.
Also on the GUI front, just make it easier to swap GUIs. Metro is not bad heck I actually find a lot of things faster in it. Others are still faster in the old explorer. Although you can use different GUIs now it needs to be more open and easier dare I say more Linux like in the ease of swapping.
What I would do is disable TIFKAM by default on everything except tablets and convertible laptops. And then allow the user to easily switch between the two interfaces. Emphasis on easily.
I would also bring back Aero and toss the current look-and-feel of Windows 8 in a sack and toss the sack in a safe and then toss the safe in the deepest part of the ocean with a heavy anchor. I understand you need a simplified look for tablets, but what Windows 8 did is an eyesore.
My final requests are to disassociate Windows with Bing, Skydrive, and any other Microsoft service. The app store can stay but ONLY for TIFKAM applications. Stop calling real programs "apps". And stop all the creepy spying on our using habits, such as how long we are using the computer.
"The thing I would do at the helm of Microsoft is split it into three or four separate companies with separate stocks and unleash them to fight tooth and claw like the old Microsoft. Move Steve Ballmer to one, bring back Gates to helm another for a while and promote from within for the other one or two."
Never going to happen.
I'd suggest you look up the terms "effective monopoly" and "vendor lock in"
Microsoft already knows what happens when it has to compete on anything close to a level playing field.
Your logic is fine, but logic has nothing to do with this, your suggestion would never occur for the plain and simple reason of power.
People go into these positions looking for power and what do they want, more power.
You are suggesting Ballmer give up the thing he wants the most!
"After all, Microsoft is still the standard for hundreds of thousands of businesses. And they'd have to retrain millions of staffers before they could make any moves..." -- If Microsoft keeps pushing this Windows 8 paradigm, we will all have to retrain our users regardless. For the organisation I work for, that may not be all that many people, but for organisations with thousands of Windows Desktops and users it will be a massive pain in the arse to retrain for Windows 8. Let Microsoft have a flutter in the 'cool' market with Windows 8, but, Windows 9 needs to cater for the enterprise or there will be trouble.
I work for a rather large company. Tens of thousands of users. I really don't see us ever moving to 8 except in some small departments, mainly because we only just moved to win7 on the desktop. Would there be massive retraining costs if we moved to a different desktop OS? Not really. Because 80 to 90% of everything our CSRs already do is through the browser. Gates was only right about a couple of things. When he recognized that Mosaic and Netscape was a massive threat to MS Windows he was correct. But he's gone now and his replacement sees threats everywhere but where they really are. Things like reorgs make VPs nervous. They like to think they look ahead of the curve. Just saying something like, "I sometimes wonder if Microsoft will even be in business in 5 years." in their presence puts their little heads a spinning. Like a head of an IT department I once worked for that blew 500G on Apple kit 6 weeks before Apple went to Intel making his bosses wonder about his "vision", no VP wants to be that guy.
That puts you on a very short list indeed. Be sure to let us know how you make out. Oh, you do know that four of the top ten enterprise features that M$ brags about were available previously in either Vista or Win7? The only people in our org that are hot for 8 also refuse to read instructions. Everything has to be explained in a video or they won't touch it. I hate gen Xers. Just kidding.
Coat because I look terrible in skinny jeans.
"I work for a rather large company. Tens of thousands of users. "
"Would there be massive retraining costs if we moved to a different desktop OS? Not really. Because 80 to 90% of everything our CSRs already do is through the browser. "
Which suggests a) What runs on their desktop is pretty much irrelevant b)If central IT configures it well enough they might not even realize they are not Windows boxes at all.
Seriously. How much of a home installation is just cruft in a corporate environment?
@Miek - Your argument seems to run along the lines of - Change in IT means I have to re-train users, therefore change is bad. With a side dose, of everything must stay the same, or change on a glacial pace, so no users actually notice.
I've got news for you, all IT changes, it all changes fast. If you can't deal with that, you're in the wrong game. If you think that UIs from 20 years ago are good enough for today's use model, you need to be in another business.
"@Miek - Your argument seems to run along the lines of - Change in IT means I have to re-train users, therefore change is bad. With a side dose, of everything must stay the same, or change on a glacial pace, so no users actually notice.
I've got news for you, all IT changes, it all changes fast. If you can't deal with that, you're in the wrong game. If you think that UIs from 20 years ago are good enough for today's use model, you need to be in another business."
I prefer incremental changes as opposed to all out headfuck and massive unwanted paradigm shifts. Change is not bad, but, change for the sake of change is pointless and unwanted by many organisations. If I wanted a tablet, I would buy a tablet and guess what? I have a tablet sans Windows.
"I've got news for you" -- No you haven't AC, not at all.
Speculation is nice, but here's the real reason: it isn't nice to work in Microsoft. Last year was my final job at Microsoft, and I'm not going back. The team I worked with produced the worst code I have ever seen at that company. They do not hire according to skills and talent, and they do not fire a person for being an idiot. I really think that they hire according to stupidity and incompetence. Do you know what the managers were told to do when Microsoft had that big layoff years back? "Fire your idiots." Do you have any idea how many idiots remained after that? Plenty. Far, far too many.
When I was job searching earlier this year, recruiters contacted me to work at Microsoft. I declined. More than recruiter mentioned that many other people declined to work at Microsoft, for the same reasons as me.
A reorg is only a small part of the picture. Ballmer needs to hire people who give a **** about software and quality. He needs to institute policies that gets the middle management to turn over and go out the door, instead of bad managers going from group to group, doing a bad job wherever they land. Fire the imbeciles writing bad code. (Try this concept: You need to test individual bits in a field. You start your pattern with 0x01. At Microsoft, the next step is to SHIFT RIGHT.)
The company has too much rot in it, and I think Ballmer knows it.
"They do not hire according to skills and talent, and they do not fire a person for being an idiot. "
I think that's what's called a mature bureaucracy.
"(Try this concept: You need to test individual bits in a field. You start your pattern with 0x01. At Microsoft, the next step is to SHIFT RIGHT.)"
Now WTF's that about, unless that's the MSB?
I guess for a certain kind of person MS is a business opportunity, more than a career opportunity.
Once those who worked there have a rather different view.
Exactly what *is* Microsofts product ?
Desktop OS ?
Developer tools ?
Productivity tools (Office et al)
Server OS ?
Network software ?
Commercial products ?
Domestic products ?
Phone software ?
Yes, 20 years ago, the IT landscape *needed* one supplier of all these. But eventually customers started gaining experience in IT, and no longer needed one ring to rule them all.
I think you're right, but the tail is a long one. Look at the two AC comments earlier, spewing the marketing speak of "integrated stack" in an age when interoperability is key and when commoditisation has left integration as an obvious aspect. The trouble is that many still think like the AC. I speak as one with experience of a company where "best of breed plus interoperation" was the key strategy for systems choice, but when one section of the beancounters wanted to install MS Dynamics (which they bought as a perfectly good product, but "integrated" it out of its skull) but that Dynamics installation then started requiring Active Directory, then Sharepoint, the Exchange etc, all of which it expected to be company wide. Their products can't compete on their own. We know this and call it lock-in, and we now fight it. But many don't stop to think that the term "integrated" is an ideal term for marketing as it really has little meaning, or rather, it's got negotiated meaning.
My (small!) company is heavily relying on Microsoft products. I'm using a Windows 7 Professional desktop together with MS Office 2010 Professional, and we have 2 in-house Windows 2003 servers. Some other people involved are more that often relying on Windows XP.
Next to that we also host some websites on a Windows 2008R2 server, and own a Visual Studio Professional license which, at the time of writing, is mainly used for rather extensive ASP.NET development.
Why I think the reorganisation won't mean anything to me? Because the damage has already been done, big time.
Because in my opinion it can't -by far- outdo the impact of Microsoft's decision to quit with the TechNet subscriptions model. THAT is something which really will leave an impact, not only by Microsoft resellers and consultants such as my company, but all over the place. From the single Microsoft systems engineer who is fascinated with this stuff and decides to work on his own expertise by experimenting at home with a testlab, right down to Enterprise departments where an extra server license is out of the question (this will go out of the departments budget); even if it is partly required for testing purposes. That's where TechNet more than often came in.
And Microsoft threw all of that away.
I think there's a lot of trouble ahead as they are financing their failures by tweaking the licencing models of some of their other products to bring in more cash.
SQL Server 2012, the licencing has gone from per CPU to per core. Client installations (i.e. the tools you use to connect to the database and make stuff) never used to be counted, they are now.
Greed is the main reason Microsoft will go under. A Lockdown Monopoly = Greed.
The lockdown has crumbled. i.e. the Accidental Empire/ monopoly is gone.
The world has mobile choices and Microsoft cannot compete when it is a level playing field.
Users everywhere have already voted with their pocket books and it was for Android and iOS and clearly not another mishap virus trap OS cobbled into a mobile sesame street interface that no one likes.
Balmers REORG is nothing but a downsizing. He had better hurry too, because all that is left
is Windows and Office and we all know about the 27% per year reduction in PC & laptop sales that
happened during 2012 and is also happening again in 2013.
Without mobile market share Microsoft is toast.
I am not at all adverse to a large company serving its customers well and making shitloads of money.
What I am against though is a huge corporation that uses its huge profits in one sector to screw around in other sectors and screw them up. Unfortunately MS does this far too much.
We see this, for example, in the way they tried to dabble in the embedded space with Windows CE, their robotic development system and .NET based system. THey poured vast abounts of money into disrupting, but with no commitment and follow through. This damages these sectors rather than doing any good.
Baby-Belling MS would prevent them from doing this.
The biggest problem with a reorg in Microsoft is that there hasn't been a major one in years. Over those years, hierarchies have been established, and every middle manager had developed a fiefdom over which they ruled. Everybody knew where the boundaries were, and how to avoid or bypass them.
My prediction is, instead of the "New workflow' that Ballmer envisages, a mad scrabble for power and position in the new order will effectively overwhelm any cooperation or progress in anything, until the new pecking order is established amongst themselves in the middle ranks,
Ballmer has just set himself to herding cats and putting out brushfires.
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