"It's nuts for Ballmer to have announced his pending resignation at this time."
Didn't he clearly state in his farewell letter that this timing was not his choice?
Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's phones business – which outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer has since described as a way for Redmond "to accelerate" – appears to be an attempt to add another weapon to its anti-Google arsenal. Ballmer is quoted as saying: "By the early part of this year it was clear to me that perhaps acquisition would …
Quite simply, they need to make products that CONSUMERS want. Right now their strategy is to force feed consumers what MICROSOFT wants consumers to want.
Until they understand that they can't polish the Windows Phone, Surface Xbox and Windows 8 turds to be any brighter, and that they need to reboot, nothing is going to change, no amount of acquisitions, no amount of changing of CEOs, no amount of press bribery.
But Android is absolute dross in comparison and that sells. Google are on about major release 6? And it's still slow, inefficient, bloated, laggy, buggy, insecure and vulnerable to Malware.
Microsoft definitely have the better foundation in the Windows Phone OS. They just need to match the features and the app store....
>> But Android is absolute dross
> YOU are the perfect illustration of why Microsoft is in the toilet right now.
Both of you are right. I've always bought Nexus phones and I've watched Android get better and better and then, after around 4.1.2, worse and worse. It's like Google don't understand what "testing" is.
Android is a great OS that is nice to use, up until Google changes something in a way you didn't like or "updates" your phone to introduce bugs into it while also adding a good feature. Google are going off the rails slowly and they're making Microsoft's job of competing an easier one.
Microsoft on the other hand have great ideas in theory but just don't understand how to temper them with exactly what people want. My friend's WinPho voice recognition does a lot better than my Nexus' quite frankly laughable performance. However, I really want a phone that has more than freaking brightly coloured squares of solid colour for a user interface.
I guess we should all be grateful there is competition in the market place. For me, Google is pushing me (a long term customer) away and both Apple and Microsoft are intriguing me. Come on Apple, release a phone with a screen with 4.5 inches or a smidge more.
Many people said the same thing about DOS and Windows back in the early days. And thy were right.
It doesn't matter. Android has critical mass, Windows Phone does not. It doesn't matter how good Windows Phone, Blackberry OS for that matter is, they are not going anywhere.
But the hardware gets better by the day (who cares about inefficient), there are third party apps for everything (choose the least buggy or vulnerable if you care about it).
Smartphones are a new product, just like personal computers were in the late 80s -- and look who won that battle. The slow, inefficient, bloated, laggy, buggy, insecure and vulnerable MS Windows. It gave users what they wanted: an affordable, flexible system that does whatever the user wants it to do. Anybody think there is a lesson to be learned?
Of course there is a lesson to be learned, but your analogy with Windows is flawed - the number one reason people bought, and still buy Windows is compatibility, and that currently counts AGAINST microsoft.
I use an iphone and an android phone. So I'm neither ifan or fandroid and I still think you're wrong.
Slow? - Not on an N4 no, £139 phone.
Inefficient - Compared to what? Where is a comparison of a windows mobile and android running on the same hardware and being shown to consume what, more ram? more energy, more disk space? What is it inefficent in it's use of?
Insecure - Newsflash, they all are.
Only for Windows Mobile, not all versions (shall we go back to CE and see what's still vulnerable?)
For all versions of android
(Coulnd't find one for 4.3 android alone)
IOS - All versions
Malware - Newsflash they all are.
How about upgradeable?
Ios - all of them (all the phones have been able to upgrade for about 2 years after release to the latest OS)
Android - some of them. - Nexus devices yes, lots of others no.
Windows Mobile - Since we're talking about Nokia here, first Lumia phone...nope not upgradeable.
Lumia 510 Lumia 610 Lumia 710 Lumia 800 Lumia 900
Last one release September 2012, so less than a year ago, can I upgrade to Windows 8 Mobile..nope
So if for example your Windows mobile phone that's less than a year old wants to do.
Update 8.0.10327.77 or 8.0.10328.78*
Google accounts. Windows Phone 8 now supports the CardDAV and CalDAV protocols that allow people to sync Google contacts and calendar information when they get new phones. (Existing phones that are synchronised to a Google account prior to 31 December 2013 will continue to sync as before.)
Nope, you can't do that, it's Windows 8 mobile only.
To be fair, that's the way Nokia has always done it, don't bother to release new software to fix bugs, unless we're going to get sued or we promised a carrier.
So they are in good company with microsoft and all their mobile devices. WinCE upgrades anyone?
Personally, I'd rather have a blackberry than a windows mobile for exactly the reasons above, oh and the fact that nobody wants to develop apps for it, or if they do, it's when ios and android have already had it for a year.
...I can no longer predict what may or may not happen, so much so, that I reckon that this deal will allow MS to finally bolster their presence in the phone market that they will become #2. Phones are now mini computers so it makes complete sense for MS to be directly in this space and not relying on 3rd parties to get it right. They got it right with the Xbox so there is a reasonable chance they will get it right with their new Lumia phone unit.
I think you miss the subtleties. Microsoft needs profit and profit growth from mobile to replace profits declining as pc sales flatten.
If Microsoft does well with its phones, are other phone makers going to jump on the Microsoft Phone platform or are they and Google going to continue to press ahead with Android, which, other than the Microsoft ip tax allows Android makers to start with a lower bill of goods.
Microsoft will be converting its license fees from Nokia into an internal transfer, i.e., a net wash, and their play is to make Windows Phone the clear, undeniable standout in interface so as to justify a higher profit margin on their phones. Otherwise, it's a spec and price war, and Android has the head start.
Why am I not putting Apple into this mix? Because Microsoft sells operating systems and any one who could choose a Windows variant has no access to an Apple os, but can license an Android (or Linux) os.
Did you notice that Nokia is keeping some of its business? After the deal clears, Microsoft will be a customer of Nokia-prime, but Nokia-prime, other than desktops and maybe servers, will not be a customer of Microsoft.
Meanwhile, Nokia had been having difficulties selling phones profitably. Microsoft now owns those difficulties. Redmond knows better than Finland on how to turn it around?
I was joking that the headline could have been written "Nokia Ditches Dying Business, Fires and Outplaces CEO."
Number 2? Samsung, Microsoft (formerly Nokia), Apple, all the other Android makers, all the other Windows Phone makers, if any. I don't see that. Do you think that Nokia was holding back and didn't really want to sell smartphones powered by Windows? That would seem insane to me. If so, Microsoft overpaid for a business and is retaining the wrong people if it's a company that was held back by its sandbagging.
You make some very good points, however, it's now a matter of MS survival to get this right and given a new CEO, unless it's the Eloper, they have a good chance of making great headway.
We are all moving to tablets, phablets and phones and I can understand what MS envisioned when they conceived Win 8. Yes they executed poorly in terms of trying to drag existing users forcefully into this new world and imposing upon them Win 8 GUI in their Win 7 / XP world.
Looking forward MS may well just repeat the mistakes of the past but they do have some notable successes and they could get it right.
To get it right I think they need to ditch MS and Windows branding and just focus on Lumia and Asha because far too many consumers have been burnt by bad MS experiences on the desktop and consciously or sub-consciously will avoid the MS brand.
Fundamentally my earlier point is that business is completely unpredictable, who would have thought at the time that Apple on the ropes would fight back and indeed score some huge winners? Clearly Bill Gates did because he saw something in Jobs and Apple and saved their ar$e$ financially.
We are not "all moving to tablets and phones". I have a tablet, and it's good for reading in bed or playing games while travelling. I have a smartphone and it's good for being able to look stuff up while out and about.
The actual work - and stuff like this - gets done on a PC because it is vastly more powerful than either, with a much better screen, proper keyboard and trackball.
I mean directly and deliberately, rather than just because nobody else wants it... with full control over the hardware like Apple do?
Despite the shoddy BBC news coverage which makes it sound like Nokia hasn't moved into smartphones yet, WP is slowly gaining ground and is at least credible. MS don't need to own the market, just hold a non-negligible share of it, 10-20% perhaps.
I most certainly hope not, but I guess Microsoft are crazy enough to do just that. It would most certainly do them a lot more bad that good in my opinion.
Personally I actually like the Windows Phone (I own a WP7.5 device) but I never liked the weird looks of the Nokia devices. So I ended up with my favourite brand when it comes to cellphones: Samsung.
But if they would stop allowing others to make Windows Phones too then I'll most certainly won't be buying one anymore.
If I was them I'd use some of the increased margins on Nokia devices to fund a little largesse to the WinPho OEMs. After all Android isn't making real money for anyone but Samsung and Microsoft, so dangling a decent margin at device manufacturers* might be enough to move WP up a gear.
* Of course they will be well aware of MS's penchant for stomping the competition, but as long as Google remains the primary target I'd be willing to bet the device manufacturers will go along for the ride. MS can't afford to burn its WP OEMs right now, and won't be in a position to for many years to come if ever.
I dare not even read the BBC coverage to see how terrible it is - I remember for years how they completely ignored the number one smartphone platform Symbian, instead raving on about iphones the entire time. As someone else notes in these comments, it's a sad day for Europe too (I believe Nokia was Europe's number one technology company, and Symbian was of course a Europe-developed OS), but it's hard to blame Microsoft when the European media would rather celebrate only US tech all this time.
Interesting question that you ask - the flipside is, I was wondering if the Nokia software like maps would be made available to other WP phones.
I agree about market share - Apple were doing fine for years with iphone on just 5-10% (not to mention that translated to a smaller number back then in absolute numbers), and still do fine with Mac OS at 6%, after all. http://allaboutwindowsphone.com/news/item/18284_Kantar_data_shows_Windows_Phon.php shows that it is growing.
@Mark. You know that Kantar is just wild speculation, like the old panels they bought, right? A sample size of 3000 worldwide, already known for their disconnection with the biggest public when they were called Nelson or IBOPE, doesn't have much credibility...
Oh, it seems that the truth offended some crybabies... Keep downvoting, it won't change the fact that Kantar is just a panel, has no real numbers just projections made from a very small sample, and that its numbers have as much credibility as the ratings the panels that compose it published before.
If you have any real information, then post it and correct the wikipedia article. Downvoting because you don't like the facts won't change them.
All of the Microsoft smart mobile device and services weaponry appears to be aimed at the Google target – apparently with Elop's finger on the trigger, with an outgoing CEO to guide him.
Poised and ready to shoot himself in the foot by pissing off the (few) other OEMs who haven't fled from WinPhone? You'd think given how things have actually one in the real world, they might have learnt something from the Surface and how OEMs love having their supplier also as their competitor...
"Ah yes, you mean like how Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, etc. stopped using Android when Google bought Motorola ... two years ago ... ?"
That is slightly different, as they could fork Android if Google were to play hard ball with them. Also there is little (no?) cost in terms of license fees AFIK, so it is not the same as Windows phone where OEMs pay out to MS but "Nokia" in effect will not.
Still, I bet there were (maybe still are) uneasy about preferential treatment for new stuff.
"Ah yes, you mean like how Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, etc. stopped using Android when Google bought Motorola ... two years ago ... ?"
Like one said already, totally different. All the OEMs were well established with Android offers. I think the reasoning at Google was simple: if Samsung(from times to times they threaten with other routes, I wonder why...:-) ) and many of the other Android partners abandon ship, Google would have an hardware manufacturer at the backyard to keep things going on. Right now, with Motorola they have a place to play with different paths and create prototypes. If the OEMs can't differentiate their Windows phone offers (UI) and Nokia mastering the black art of miniaturization of cameras on mobile phones, what's left?
I will repeat myself again because the "DIFFERENTIATION" argument its used often and more after Elop used it. It's uter crap.
•We have Bing, Microsoft's search engine, going up against Google's own search tech.
OK, 1 Point goes to Google for a far better product.
•We have Azure going up against the Google cloud.
Can't comment, don't use either
•We have Microsoft's SkyDrive product going up against Google's cloud storage.
Skydrive is more in competition with Dropbox than it is with Google. ( no points given out)
•We have the Windows family of operating systems – PCs, notebooks, tablets and mobile phones – going up against Google's Android device software.
Completely different markets, I can't do with Android what i can do with MS OS's. Google do not have a desktop operating systems. ( at least not one that we can use in the office).
1 Point to MS.
•We have the Internet Explorer browser going up against Chrome.
Neither side wins. The browser market doesn't bring new users; they are merely entry points into other products/usages.
•We have Microsoft Office going up against Google Docs, etc.
No comparison - MS wins hands done...
Yesterday's purchase adds two new weapons.
•Microsoft's Nokia Lumia phones, which will now be pitted against Google's Motorola units.
Google don't need to build their own phone, others do it for them.
1 Point to Google.
•Microsoft is licensing Nokia's really decent mobile mapping services, which will be competition for Google maps.
Fail again for MS, late to market and expensive. Googl's mapping products are mature, free (relatively) and omni-available.
Google = 3 points.
MS = 2 points.
MS are trying to hard to expand into markets which are too difficult for them to master.
In a sense Google provides what we want, MS provides what we need. 2 very different approaches which are extremely difficult to compare.
Winning is just an ephemeral side-effect of being temporarily successful.
•Microsoft is licensing Nokia's really decent mobile mapping services, which will be competition for Google maps.
Fail again for MS, late to market and expensive. Googl's mapping products are mature, free (relatively) and omni-available.
So are Nokia's. HERE Maps is available on iOS and Android as well as WP.
So maybe 3 each.
Can't judge on other platforms, but Here maps on iOS is crap. I was really disappointed after hearing about how good it is on Nokia phones. Partially this judgement is due to the user interface being crap. Apple maps (which have significantly improved, with the best yet to come on iOS 7 which I have in beta) is significantly better. The biggest problem for Apple maps was simple but a large one, the indexing and aliasing of place names / points of interest was crap. It's still not as good as Google maps, but it is probably now about as good as Google maps was just before Apple maps was released (for the UK at least - can't comment for elsewhere). Even when struggling with the Interface and trying to ignore the negative feel it brings Here maps place names and points of interest seemed to be no better than Apple maps.
HERE works I suppose, but it runs in a browser. I hope one of the first things the old Nokia does (which still has the rights to their maps) is come out with a proper map app for Android and iOS, similar to their Symbian and WP apps.
I'd pay for it because it runs rings around Google Maps or frankly anything else on Android.
I basically agree with practically everything you say.
I would just like to point out that Microsoft is in a much worse situation than Google, because Google doesn't really care what platform you use its products with, whereas Microsoft is currently in the process of cannibalizing its Office product to set its presence in "the cloud".
That's all fine and dandy, but even if MS does manage to cloudify Office, sooner or later it will have to open it up to other platforms, meaning it will have enormous market pressure to make its Office 365 available to Android platforms.
That day MS Windows is dead as a dodo. Not because its Windows, but because people don't use PCs all that much at home anymore. Home computing is with tablets and smartphones because they are simple to use. PCs are the tech specialists tool, the platform for heavy computing (programming, CAD, video editing etc).
I'm not saying PCs will disappear, nor am I saying Microsoft will, just that until today, people only had PCs to surf the web, go on YouTube and write their emails/tweets/sms. Now they have many more choices, most of which are a lot easier to come to grips with. So, IMHO, MS is inevitably going to lose this war against Google, whatever happens.
Maybe people will use less PCs - but all the services they run on their phone or tablets often need a server backend on the other side. And Microsoft is no longer on the desktop only, it has a strong server offering as well. Sure, there's Linux also, but MS server OS are getting more and more capable and powerful (see 2012), while Google makes money reselling user data - how long it work is still yet to see... one day someone will awake and understand that internet advertising is useless...
Sorry, it hurts too much to ignore: "less PCs". Perhaps not a native English speaker?
PCs are countable, one, two... many PCs/men/women/cars/pints of beer. So a mini holds fewer people than a bus. A pint glass holds less beer than a litre glass. Fewer PCs are being sold this year than last year. Last year's models are less powerful.
So, a pint glass holds LESS beer than a litre glass. But only a FEW pubs in England sell beer by the litre.
Get the idea?
Would you be so careless with your computer code? Actually, looking at the quality of most code, that is a foolish question, except where the compiler can stop you. Now tell the C compiler to be less fussy and old fashioned, see what it says. More care: fewer mistakes. It is easy, really, if you know what counting is.
Home computing is not done on PCs "all that much"?
I happen to work in this sector and I can tell you for a FACT, they ARE very much used and "tablets and smartphones" are mainly used as "sitting in front of the TV want to check my emails but can't be bothered to boot up the PC". Anything that involves any amount of writing / working, you'll find people in front of their PCs...or Macs, or uhm Linux boxes.
Whilst Google may well be in a better situation, I'm not sure I agree with your reasoning. Google are pushing people into their cloud products far more so than MS. And MS's products, including Office, are cross-platform too (I have One Note and Sky Drive for my Android phone, no different to WP; they've released for Macs for years).
"Home computing is with tablets and smartphones because they are simple to use."
Some people may prefer tablets, but as much as I love my Nexus 7, I still prefer using a laptop. Simpler to use with its keyboard, touchpad and larger screen. And I like just laying it on my lap, rather than have to hold it. And typing on a touchscreen is unbearable. Whilst a few people may use phones at all, I don't find it better. I think the biggest advantage tablets will have for their prevalence is having a far lower cost than laptops. But despite being around for years, we've yet to see the death of laptops - if everyone preferred them, why aren't they already using them, in place of laptops rather than in addition?
For all the people I know buying phones and tablets, they seem to be getting these gadgets as additional devices.
"I'm not saying PCs will disappear, nor am I saying Microsoft will, just that until today, people only had PCs to surf the web, go on YouTube and write their emails/tweets/sms."
People used PCs to write SMSs?
Also remember though, up until the mid-2000s, people weren't doing things like Facebook, Youtube etc at all. There was actually only a relatively small window of time where both people were buying technology to do these things, and when laptops and desktops were the only choice.
So yes, we may find the market size drops a bit - perhaps as much as say 50% of the set of people who only use a computer to browse Facebook/Youtube no longer need a PC. But you'll still have the people who prefer laptops; and you'll also have all the reasons that existed before the mid-2000s for why people had PCs - such as for word processing, printing, games (not all of which translate well to tablets), working from home. I find it odd that on forums where people seem to hate the idea that Windows 8 "only works with tablets" (even though it isn't true), also seems to have the prevalent view that laptops are dead, and we should be doing everything with small phones and tablets.
Also the laptops vs tablet argument is starting to become irrelevant, with tablets that are convertibles and full blown PCs. Did we have these debates about the death of the desktop, because laptops were appearing?
Long term I think Android will be far more prevalent than anything else, because it will be more suited for an increasing number of devices that become computerised (TVs, cars, home appliances, etc). But even though my British Gas boiler now connects to my wifi network, that doesn't mean I'm going to throw my laptop away to do computing on the boiler or fridge-freezer.
I'd also add that Apple would have more to lose if people switch from laptops to tablets, as the strongest market for Macs is in the ultra-portable segment, competing directly with tablets.
Yet another tactic from Uncle Fester that's doomed to fail, you'd think that the time he spent at the top of one of the biggest companies would have taught him something but this is Uncle Fester the arrogancemeister so I suppose not.
The way to dominate a market is not by reacting to competitors but by producing the best (or the most popular - popular & best are not synonyms) product, if you put all your focus into reaction you'll always be at least one step behind.
So Microsoft, don't try to beat Google at their own game but step up your own, make Windows 9 a game changing market leader, listen to what the users actually want and not what you think they should want.
But realistically the Microsoft brand is tarnished and I really think there is an incredible amount of work needed to make them even slightly fashionable, perhaps they should concentrate on their core business products and leave the domestic & leisure markets to those who know what they are doing, perhaps MS could invest in such companies as a silent partner, reaping the profit without any effort as for them a billion here or there is a pretty trivial fiscal risk.
Or get your marketing department to "create" a market in which you can be number one - like unique towns in Britain: the only town which has ... (then a long list of attributes) two public conveniences in the town square.
None of the ancient US software makers seemed to have properly integrated their services they have acquired, I think Apps on a phone are a red herring they typically only provide a "port hole" to one service - Android SDK does have the concept of providing a service to be used by many screen interfaces. MS Office applications played together poorly, obviously written by different (competing) teams, although I accept Excel was about fast calculation and not text layout like Word - there goals were different - is this the US psyche jocks competing and not sharing and helping each other?
> The way to dominate a market is not by reacting to competitors but by producing the best (or the most popular - popular & best are not synonyms) product
'Best' products *never* win in the software industry. Somewhere out there there is a parallel universe where best products do win and I want to live there.
It only got licences to Nokia's patent portfolio and didn't get to buy it, so it's old game of feck you over with bullshit patents isn't on the cards for them here.
Another issue here is just what are other makers of W8 tablets and phones going to make of this ? I think the it just may end up being a Nokia only show.
Personally I hope MS get burnt here as any company who's (soon to be ex) CEO describes FOSS as a cancer is a real insult to cancer patients. Imagine some day in the future Ballmer gets cancer and the Linux powered Radiotherapy machine saves his life. Maybe then he just might choose his metaphors better such as "This is a real threat to our cosy monopoly and may seriously lower the price of computing for the masses".
I hope Elop gets the CEO's job and falls flat on his arse as just rewards for doing MS's dirty work for them and canning the excellent Meego. If I were an institutional investor I would be asking some hard questions about Elop's actions at Nokia and just how much of a proxy he was.
You really want a world without MS? Imagine it properly, not with your rose tinted spectacles.
While Ballmer's cancer remark was in poor taste, YOU actually manage to stoop lower by trying to wish it on a person. Listen, a lesson to use for the rest of you life - and I won't even charge you for it - HATE takes energy. If you don't like someone, fine. If they are not worth your time, why are they worth wasting your energy on?
Instead of hating Ballmer or anyone else, why not put that energy into doing something NICE for someone or maybe even doing BETTER than Ballmer?
You liked Meego? Do you lament all the lovely extinct animals? This is evolution and whether you like it or not, it WILL carry on regardless of your opinion which matters not one jot to the behemoth of progress.
This is like complaining that they stopped making your favourite flavour of Angel Delight and wishing a pox upon their houses. Grow.......up.
> You really want a world without MS? Imagine it properly, not with your rose tinted spectacles.
Sure. There has never been a time that I have not viewed the Microsoft alternative of something as inferior and undesirable. It's only their monopoly lock on desktop PCs that ever allowed them to shove their crap down people's throats. As soon as you give people a chance to pick something else they will.
The failure of Windows on phones and tablets and phones is a clear demonstration of this. So is the limited success of Windows in the server room.
Allow people a choice and they will choose something else.
> HATE takes energy
I more pity Microsoft these days. There are less impotent threats to worry about these days.
"Since Google has become the business juggernaut it is today, no one has beaten it at anything significant yet."
Although MS doesn't lose on all the comparisons - ChromeOS is a long way to taking on Windows's 91% share; and how do Office and Google Docs compare?
I mean, I think it is interesting to note that things are lining up with lots of common products between MS and Google, but whilst MS lose hopelessly on some (e.g., Search), they are ahead on others. Clearly, MS does beat Google on desktop/laptop OS market share.
Not that it has to matter for us. I use Windows and Android; I use One Note and Sky Drive on my Android devices, and Chrome and Google search, maps on Windows. Just don't try to lock me into one company (or "ecosystem", as the marketing types would say).
Except that Nokia is more or less free to start up a new smartphone division. They are about to find themselves with a lot of cash. Microsoft hasn't bought Nokia - lock, stock and barrel. They've made a business deal with Nokia, to take over a large part of their current phone division and to allow themselves to produce these phones and others of the same branding (this includes licensing the patents for said phones).
I hear something about 2015 and Nokia not using their own brand for smartphones till then, which is why I say "more or less free" - but I am not sure how this works exactly.
Either way - with Nokia's experience 1½-2 years might be exactly what they need in order to come out with a superb smart-phone to change the game completely.
Yes, sad, but...is it not better that Nokia SURVIVES and perhaps even THRIVES?
If Nokia hadn't sat on its hands all these years when they were no1 in mobile phones, they wouldn't have been in this position, which I hasten to add, has been a LOT better with windows phone!
RIM or Blackberry or whatever they are calling themselves have done the same and watch them scoot down the nearest plughole unless someone buys them.
Apple's empire (like the Roman) has reached it's biggest, it will now shrink, and what THEY must do is defend its borders in a smaller niche. The 5C is another gambit, treading the ground Jobs forbade.
This will ultimately, be a GOOD thing for Nokia / MS / us. Three choices are better than TWO choices.
Nokia is the only windows phone maker that takes the market seriously, a few others released products then sat twiddling their thumbs; I'd like to see the windows phone platform go Nokia only so development speed can increase and updates can be pushed out globally on the same date the way Apple does it, at the moment updates trickle out over ridiculously long periods.
A nice idea, but the reason Apple can do this is because they were customer centric (give the customer what they want before they even know they want it), and they were retail consumer focused (ie not business).
MS are now trying to play in too many markets, they still have an enterprise software bias, and they never, ever listen to customers. You think that'll change anytime soon?
I'm afraid this is just normal big company M&A - an onanistic activity indulged in by the boards of companies who want a diversion from problems in the core business that require hard work and pain. I know, my employers went on an ill judged European acquisition spree that required multi billion write downs, left the company hugely indebted, and forcing it to sell some of the good businesses it did have, and throw tens of thousands of employees out the door, and left us with a whole range of rag-bag assets in markets where we had neither scale nor purpose. Meanwhile the core business festered for a decade whilst these shenanigans played out, and is now under all out attack from various quarters, and the board still don't know what to do about it.
We'll hear the usual management consultant bullshit about "synergies" and growth. But they always say that. In blunt terms, what will MS be able to do that Nokia's management weren't? Both had unfavoured phone OSs, both had respectable cash piles to support development, both were dependant upon past glories. As the lower end Chinese handset makers show, anybody can knock out a basically competent handset in hardware. What does Nokia bring to the MS party?
Lets face it, all the manufacturing has (or will) end up in China, all the software development will be done in the states, and they won't need many Finn's to specify future phones, inevitably based on something like LG or Sharp touchscreen, Qualcomm and ARM baseband processors, Hynix memory modules, TI and CSR chips for the extra functionality, LG battery, ST Micro accelerometer & compass, and somebody else's camera.
The really remarkable thing is why MS didn't specify their own phone and have somebody else make it, just as Apple have done. No multi-billion assets at risk, can be quietly trialled under another name whilst you practice, and you have access to your OEM's expertise in phone making. Apple aren't the only virtual manufacturer, ARM, CSR, Imagination Technologies have all made a success of this on the inside of the phone. But all the people actually assembling phones are suffering the same fate as the PC assemblers, fighting over wafer thin margins and often making a loss because there's no barriers to entry in this market. And failing to learn the lessons of their own success, MS are buying into exactly the wrong part of the value chain, and doing it at the wrong time.
"By the early part of this year it was clear to me that perhaps acquisition would be a way to accelerate."
So it was clear to you that something may potentially lead to something else.... or in other words: "it was clear to me that acquisition could also decelerate [insert whatever it is]".
As to what is being accelerated... well, I'd rather not speculate.
"I called [Nokia board of directors chairman] Risto [Siilasmaa] right after the first of the year sometime in January, early February. "
The first WHAT of the year? Public beheading of underperforming VPs? Bonfire? What?
I can fill in one of the blanks for your. Ballmer was talking about accelerating Windows Phone's momentum. As the WP's market share is falling, Ballmer expects the purchase of Nokia to accelerate that decline. I have every confidence in Elop's ability to release a new phone that is less successful than Lumia. If he and Ballmer work at it together, they might even do worse than Kin.
Microsoft has been spending a billion a year to get into the mobile market. I think the budget just got increased to ten billion per year. The next flop is going to be spectacular.
If nokia no longer make phone sthere is no reason for them not to try and extract the maximum value from everyone who still does make phones. The phone manufacturers cannot use there own patents in defence because Nokia no longer makes phones. This could get very nasty and may be part of the plan.
If Elop is "coming home" to MS, then that could hardly be his plan, could it? It would only make sense if he was staying at Nokia and felt some inner need to shaft MS for some alleged wrong back in his past.
Who knows, I haven't read the details yet, but it seems ELOP has unloaded what he fucked up in an effort to cover his incompetence. He found an equally moronic patsy in Ballmer and now 7B will get flushed down the toilet and 30,000 people will be looking for a new job.
Google was defeated in at least two significative areas:
- Social networking: its Orkut and Google+ never had the users MySpace had first or Facebook later.
- Messaging: Google Talk and whatever where never a player against MS Messenger and Skype. Insisting on running everything inside a browser made its messaging services awkward to use compared to small, unintrusive, easy and fast native applications.
Even if Blogger is widely used, WordPress is probably ahead of it now. Same for Flickr.
Thereby it is not true Google can't be defeated. It has a huge advantage in Internet searches because collecting data and sharpening the algorithm is something that requires time. But Android is more or less a bunch of free software cobbled together. Microsoft can still catch up with the proper resources and deliver a better integrated mobile OS - as iOS is.
After all WP 8 has truly UI designed for mobile - not the "Windows 3.1 Program Manager" - like other OSes offer, good for "app collectors" only. Sure WP8 still miss many features, has rough edges - but MS is big enough to close the gap quickly. After all Android too had to close the gap with iOS.
Also the EU completely missed the CLOUD ... We are in EU crying about NSA snooping but there is no European alternative at the same scale as Amazon, Google, Azure, Icloud or Facebook… :-( …. Porco Rosso Posted Tuesday 3rd September 2013 13:38 GMT
That is probably certainly in no doubt, Porco Rosso, but which GCHQ runs everything everywhere from Europe and the virtual space with command and control of media tales with intelligent sails/smarter literal ships trailing astute active bait?
You think reality just happens as if by magic all by itself and is not made to happen to order to satisfy a whim and maintain a contrived situation and virtual realities? Oh please, get with the program and pogroms and start thinking. You do yourself a disservice in such a bankrupt state of mind.
But you are not wrong to mention that the CLOUD is where IT is at and where all the fat cats are hanging about ……. expecting to exploit and profit as usual from crumbs from their masters' tables. Things and personnel in positions of heavy influence have changed though and nothing is at it was before, no matter what one be told and led to believe.
PS ..... check out the last few minutes of series 2 episode 2 of "The Newsroom ..... The Genoa Tip" .... for a hint at who is into sarin gas use as a chemical weapon against hostiles?
Whatever modest success WP 8 phones have achieved in the smartphone market has been in no small part due to the excellent hardware designs and respected brand name of Nokia.
If I understand this announcement correctly, future phones will no longer have the Nokia brand name, nor will the hardware be designed by Nokia. It may be designed by some of the same employees, but then again maybe they won't want to work under the infamous Redmond stack ranking scheme. Someone* could well make them a better offer.
*Nokia in the meantime is free to spend the next 15 months quietly working on anything - including presumably a killer Android phone using their unique camera and microphone technology.
(Unless they have agreed not to do that - surely MS have this covered. Right?)
All very interesting. And a bit strange.
To know the frontrunner for CEO is a guy who laid off entire team of employees, shitcanned promising products, bet the farm of a lame duck operating system, systematically ran the company into the ground, and ultimately sold off the withered husk to Microsoft, primarily for its patents and maps.
This is clearly the man to lead Microsoft! Just don't have the misfortune to be in a division he takes a dislike to.
A brand name is to indicate a level of quality in the branded product; branded bread did not contain saw dust.
If you "borrow" the brand name, but not the design and manufacture, what does the brand stand for?
The Nokia brand, in phones, stood for robust, value for money, but competent products - admittedly they had MS style cock-ups on the software sometimes.
At its best Nokia stood for good industrial design integrated with good software. At their best they fulfilled this with some very successful handsets although they also produced a lot of duds too.
The biggest problem had was when they moved to Windows Phone they lost all ability to customize the user experience. All they could do was throw in some extra apps and that was about the extent of their customisation. It meant a Nokia phone running Windows Phone was largely indistinct from a Samsung, HTC or LG phone running the same.
Nokia definitely needed a corporate reorg and to go on a diet but I think their long term future would have been far better served by adopting android. They could have customised it any way they liked, even throwing a Symbian runtime on there it hey wanted while still benefitting from a huge ecosystem of apps. They'd probably selling as many phones as HTC or Samsung right now if they had gone down that route.
...US Filing Number 09/094177.
This is potentially Microsoft's biggest weapon and the most under-speculated aspect of the Nokia buyout.
US Filing Number 09/094177 is the official name for the patent Nokia was using to block both the VP8 and VP9 codecs and which now belongs to Microsoft.
Google need access to that patent otherwise its codecs and its plans to be sole custodian of the WebRTC codec of choice are dead in the water. That means h.265 will have little opposition and become the defecto web video codec for the HTML5 future. This could be disastrous for Google as they've invested a lot of time, effort and money in VP8 and VP9 but not just that they've been pushing everyone other than themselves and Apple into HTML5 based apps for YouTube. If Google is forced to use H.265 as part of HTML5 and patents preventing it from using VP8/9 then the licensing fees are going to take a huge chunk out of Google's operating profits.
This gives Microsoft leverage, they could push for parity with Apple for Google Apps, they could licence it at over the odds (its not a FRAND patent) or continue down Nokia's route and flat out refuse to licence it to Google.
The Nokia buyout is a nail the size of a 747 into the Microsoft coffin.
Because the majority of Microsoft's Windows licenses come from its OEM's.
Now that Microsoft is now fully in the hardware business, i.e. tablets and phones,
its OEM's are going to jump ship before Microsoft's next move which will be to buy Dell
and go head to head with the balance of their OEM's product lines.
I predict Microsoft's OEM's will find a Linux OS to put on their pc's and laptops.
Perhaps Google Chrome which is definitely a candidate, just add more software apps
like Libre Office and Windows 8 is toast!
Mobile users have already proved they don't want or need WindoZe 8.
Microsoft is like a chicken running around with its head cut off!
'But still, it's nuts for Ballmer to have announced his pending resignation at this time.'
No. It will keep Microsoft in the news once the intial furor over the XBO dies down, and the upcoming few months of Apple-fever that is going to follow their 10/9 announcement(s). That is what they're bothered about.
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