back to article SatNad's purple haze could see Lumia 'killed'. Way to go, chief!

Microsoft's CEO has attempted to explain the future of its mobile platform in a latest public statement addressed to staff. But, this being Satya Nadella, such is the verbal haze that it's hard to make out what on Earth's going on. Nadella's language is becoming a real problem for Microsoft, creating uncertainty where clarity …

  1. Chairo

    So is windows phone

    Now a burning platform?

    It would be a shame, especially after they finally seem to get things right.

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      Microsoft issuing FUD as usual

      But this is the new microsoft, so the FUD is all about itself.

  2. ST Silver badge

    So Windows phone

    is dead.

    Who cares.

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Terminator

      Re: So Windows phone

      And who'll notice?

  3. Danny 5
    Mushroom

    wow

    I'm taken aback. So first they destroy Nokia and now they destroy Lumia? Those two things made me go with windows phone, if i have to get another brand, i may just as well get an Android.

    Then why buy Nokia's mobile division in the first place? They already had a deal that satisfied Nadella's needs. This is truly one of the dumbest things i've seen any company ever do. What on earth is Microsoft doing? First the Xbox one debacle, now this?

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: wow

      It's the "monodimensional" leader approach. They could be good at running a division, when they can focus on a single dimension of the business. When they get promoted at the CEO position, they lack the capability of looking at several dimensions at the same time. So they try to fold the company into a single dimension they can understand and manage. Usually, results are a disaster.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: wow

        "So they try to fold the company into a single dimension they can understand and manage"

        Wouldn't it be good if someone had the idea of appointing CEOs that listened to their direct reports rather than the inner voices? I do sometimes wonder if the bad legacy of Christianity is the whole messianic leader thing, which works for running a religion but is a terrible idea for running a large, complex company beyond the ability of any one person to comprehend.

        Jesus only had 12 followers to manage, and he failed to notice that one of them was up to no good.

        1. dbtx Bronze badge

          didn't fail to notice anything

          His 12 followers were carefully chosen and appointed, "and yet one of you is a devil" he said. "it would be better for him if he had never been born", he said. Read the story.

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Mushroom

      Re: wow

      My cousin, Clippy MetroZune, was talking to Uncle SurfaceLumia about this just the other day.

      Pull up a chair folks for the coming shitstorm when Windows 10 fails...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wow

      Then why buy Nokia's mobile division in the first place? They already had a deal that satisfied Nadella's needs.

      Mr Worstall may correct me on this, but investors get antsy if you're sitting on a pile of cash that isn't exercised unless it's growing so fast that you cannot spend a part of it without being accused of just throwing it away (logical thinking isn't involved here). It means you must be seen to spend it on stuff that has the potential to grow a business, and the mobile part was very much part of the strategy THEN.

      New captain, new "direction" (in quotes, because this guy seems to be incapable of talking in understandable clear text, maybe he has political ambitions?) so some stuff gets ditched. The more costly the ditching, the more ruthlessly strategising it appears to investors who tend to be slightly divorced from reality to start with. The result is probably an up of the share value so that some can ditch some more of it, whereas the entirely clueless are left holding the bag when this ship finally runs aground.

      And running aground it will, what keeps it moving is mass and external flow, not propulsion, and it no longer has a rudder either. Give it time. They'll probably try to buy themselves into some other industries as well without investing enough in understanding them either, and the same will happen: another market MS fails to enter. It just has to look big and expensive and it will again be seen as a strategy rather than for the desperation it is. It's an old game.

      Oooh look, an iceberg ...

  4. J J Carter Silver badge

    I hope Nokia shareholders give a vote of thanks to Elop for getting them $$$Bs for something that is now judged to be worthless.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd agree. All along the world thought that Elop was a Trojan Horse, but instead he was a double agent. Or was that a double-double agent?

      Anyway, I'm with you, that in respect of his fiduciary and professional responsibilities to the shareholders of Nokia, the man has performed brilliantly. Hurrah for Stephen Elop!

    2. Sven Coenye

      If it wasn't that the true cost of this mess is up to 32,000 destroyed livelyhoods...

      1. ST Silver badge
        FAIL

        > If it wasn't that the true cost of this mess is up to 32,000 destroyed livelyhoods...

        That is the unconscionable aspect of it.

        Ballmer parachuted with a bag of billions, and so did Elop. Both of them rewarded for failing. See the icon of this post.

    3. Daniel B.
      FAIL

      Well...

      I hope Nokia shareholders give a vote of thanks to Elop for getting them $$$Bs for something that is now judged to be worthless.

      Not quite so much, it is actually thanks to Elop that something is now worthless. Even if Nokia had stayed on Symbian, they would still be better than the "MS phone division" these days. Everyone know WinPhone was dead since it was announced.

  5. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Between Scylla and Charybdis

    Microsoft historically has seemed doomed to make products that sell in large numbers (like Windows and Office) but which are unpopular with their users, or products that are popular with their users (like recent incarnations of WIndows Phone) but which hardly sell at all.

    I'm sure their aim for a "universal platform" is one that is both popular and sells, but I suspect Windows Phone and decent tablets are just too late for the consumer space. Microsoft has a future in business IT and software development, though, if they find it in time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Between Scylla and Charybdis

      I think they are aiming for unpopular that sells in small numbers.

  6. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    I do wonder

    What those 12,000 ex-Nokians are doing.

    I think there's money in Microsoft for going after premium customers on IOS and Android. Apple's office suite is nice enough but pales in comparison to MS Office for most users. It would be a delicious irony if MS started making more money from SaaS on IOS than Apple. And think of the anti-competitive lawsuits it could afford to wage.

    Conclusion: Go, Microsoft! Go!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I do wonder

      A good attempt at irony. Needs a bit more work, but the effort is there.

      Apple's office suite is nice enough but pales in comparison to MS Office for most users

      .. which is why many install LibreOffice instead. That's another broken monopoly right there.

      The only part of the OSX office suite that is truly beating the heaving cr*p out of MS Office is Keynote, and that is because is natively supports the absolute key ingredient of a *good* presentation: simplicity. MS sells on the basis of features, and that is strangling usability. Keynote is good at driving you to keep it simple, which is design - and Apple understand design very well.

      What I find curious is that there is no replacement for Outlook, even after so many years. Is integration of such functionality patented or something? Replace Outlook with something decent* that talks Open Standards and you'd have a winner, but it just doesn't happen. Weird.

      * I think there is a Linux client that does integration, but it is so dire and resource heavy that my mind refuses to recall its name..

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: I do wonder

        Because you also need an Exchange replacement on the server side. Exchange may be ugly, resource hungry and difficult to administer, yet, coupled with Outlook, it does a lot, in a single solution.

        Actual available replacements put you in the need to put together several different pieces often not designed to work well together, and with clients, and still some features may be missing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I do wonder

          Because you also need an Exchange replacement on the server side. Exchange may be ugly, resource hungry and difficult to administer, yet, coupled with Outlook, it does a lot, in a single solution.

          Actually, THAT is the part you can replace. There are plenty Open Source groupware solutions out there that work rather well and scale properly. If I recall correctly, there are about 5 right now that are reasonable and that are commercially supported.

  7. Mage Silver badge

    enterprises who've bet on Microsoft's end-to-end vision

    Well, that was never going to end well.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When the Microsoft board promoted Nadella, it seemed like the single criterion was "be everything Ballmer isn't."

    What the board seemingly forgot to do is to work out what Microsoft actually needed, and try to find it.

    But at least the chair repair bill has gone down, so some useful savings have been made.

  9. Avatar of They

    I genuinely don't understand MS anymore.

    If I was a share owner or partner trying to back them, I would be very nervous right now.

    1. druck Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: I genuinely don't understand MS anymore.

      You probably are a shareholder, albeit indirectly; given Microsoft's size, most pension funds are obliged to hold a stake.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I ran Satya Nadella's post through an MBA word exclusions filter and here is the result:

    Microsoft.

    1. Daggerchild Silver badge

      One man's garbage...

      Interestingly, Jolla recently announced they'd be divesting their hardware arm to an undecided entity. Well, one hell of a lot of local high quality phone hardware talent was just released into the wild. Whoever snaps that up may find a seat waiting for them back at the same game table.

  11. JLV Silver badge

    Frankly, they don't have a choice

    Phones are immeasurably more powerful now than they were 10 years ago and have emerged as a principal personal computing device. Healthcare IT, a long promised category, is looking to exploit the combination of sensors and CPU muscle. Tablets can serve a lot of vertical markets. Cloud server muscle + phone client is also a potentially interesting combination (I'd say synergy but ... buzzword). Yada, yada, yada...

    MS may not like where it is in phones and tablets. And they shouldn't. Their phones may not be a total technical failure, but they are a marketing disgrace.

    But MS also doesn't have much of a choice but to stick to it. Otherwise, in the long term, they risk becoming marginalized to the desktop category, albeit with a solid chunk of the corporate server market. However, if you look at a who's who of corporate servers 25 years ago, you'll see many gravestones now.

    If I were a shareholder, I would not fancy them exiting. They should trim down all their other fat first and look at the long term. They have a big enough warchest and anything else smacks of short termism..

    Last, if you were looking at committing to MS on any tech and they backtracked here, how would you evaluate your risks then? Silverlight and WinRT were bad enough, this would be a huge loss of credibility for any new undertaking of theirs.

  12. Pirate Dave
    Pirate

    "We’ll bring business customers the best management, security and productivity experiences they need; value phone buyers the communications services they want; and Windows fans the flagship devices they’ll love."

    So, converting this to normal Nadella-speak, their phone strategy is "Business first, Value first, Flagship first".

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blackberry?

    It looks like MS might buy Blackberry and merge its Windows and Blackberry platforms, which could be the reason he is so vaugue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blackberry?

      "It looks like MS might buy Blackberry and merge its Windows and Blackberry platforms, which could be the reason he is so vaugue."

      Merge QNX and its userland with Microsoft's phone OS and its user land?

      Well, Winberry is almost a real thing (whinberry) but trying to do the equivalent of taking one set of chromosomes from a shark and another set from a horse and seeing what comes out is unlikely to end well.

      1. Loud Speaker

        Re: Blackberry?

        taking one set of chromosomes from a shark and another set from a horse and seeing what comes out is unlikely to end well.

        Unless you add lasers! And Windows! Go, Nadella!

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

          I don't know

          Some might are that the management of Microsoft are all Horsharks already

      2. Daniel B.

        Re: Blackberry?

        Merge QNX and its userland with Microsoft's phone OS and its user land?

        No please, no. That's kinda like buying a Picasso and then letting our 4 year old paint all over it, then let your cat use it as a kitty litterbox.

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "I expect Microsoft to kill Lumia, possibly as soon as mid-2016"

    Well now that that has been said, I expect Lumia sales to die by next month.

    1. Daniel B.

      Re: "I expect Microsoft to kill Lumia, possibly as soon as mid-2016"

      A fitting end for the thing that killed Nokia's smartphone platform.

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Windows

      Re: "I expect Microsoft to kill Lumia, possibly as soon as mid-2016"

      How can you kill what is already dead?

      And more to the point, why is there no zombie icon?

  15. arctic_haze Silver badge

    This is a logical move

    Microsoft bought the Nokia phone business to save Ballmer's face. There was no other reason. The platform was burning orders of magnitude more intensively than when Elop took over.

    Nadella is not Ballmer so he needs no face saving moves here. He just wants to stop the money drain on the failed Ballmer/Elop project.

  16. 0laf Silver badge

    Nothing MS makes will ever be fashionable.

    It's when they try to do this that things fall down.

    When they just try to make things work they do ok.

    The people that buy WinPho now are buying a solid phone with a camera. They're not bothered about a huge volume of apps and they;re not bothered abut having the latest flagship phone. They're not buying the lifestyle experience that Apple or Samsung are marketing.

    Those people are harder to leverage money from for Ms and for app vendors

    When MS try that lifestyle marketing thing it just looks stupid.

    It'll be a shame if MS give up on phones, I like mine and I'm seeing them replace Blackberry in businesses since they provide integration with Exchange easily and they're cheaper than iPhones.

  17. PeterM42
    Facepalm

    Nadella killing off Windows Phone?

    Er, no - it has already died

  18. cortland

    If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins383803.html

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