back to article The axeman strikes again: Microsoft has real commitment issues

Ever since Satya Nadella took the helm at Microsoft in 2014, his PR people have been grooming him to be an Inspiration Thought Leader, preaching Transformation to the TED Talk classes. This took another step with the global launch of his book Hit Refresh, a "masterpiece" of how to scale up the "growth mindset”. [must-read] …

  1. TRT Silver badge

    Some would say...

    that Microsoft trimming down its product line isn't a bad thing. Please don't stop.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some would say...

      Agreed. They need to take it to the logical conclusion and get rid of Windows 10.

    2. ps2os2

      Re: Some would say...

      Maybe they could trim down to the bone. Then there wouldn't be any more cloud cr** that never works when you need it, but by MS's account the availability is ta 95 percent and hey 95 percent is good enough, right? Hey, there Mr. Robot car would mind taking me home, please? Mr. Robot car: SIr the clouds are wet and it will be iffy if I can get you close, how about Scotland? Apple and a few others are about to put another major chink in MS's armor. Frankly, even if MS ever did get a car on the road I would refuse to ride in it, their attitude towards the customer frankly su***. And I am sure the customer would like to pay extra to use the cloud that doesn't work 5 percent of the time, would they put a meter in the car and every time the car accesses the cloud the costs would go up while driving you to your destination and gets lost.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Some would say...

        I WANT Microsoft to create an AI self-driving car. I really do. I want it to be able to understand everything I say, and I want it to have an emotional core of some kind. And I want it for one reason and one reason only. So I can sit in the back and ask it every two minutes "It looks like you're trying to drive a car. Would you like some help with that?"

        1. jabba the nut

          Re: Some would say...

          I WANT Microsoft to create an AI self-driving car. I really do.

          Well that’s one way to avoid paying alimony, give it to your partner and wait - the blue screen of death will have whole new meaning.

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Some would say...

      "Microsoft has real commitment issues"

      A justification for that might be that a new head (Nadella) can blame all the bad decisions on the previous incumbents and cut all the projects that are failures / money pits / a waste of resources without any baggage or embarrassment...

      "that Microsoft trimming down its product line isn't a bad thing"

      Agreed - any vendor trimming crappy also ran products is generally a good thing for the rest of their products.

      Whilst obviously annoying for those that use any such products Microsoft's share price is likely at an all time high for good reasons. (The one thing that many people agree on that is critical for the future is cloud - and Microsoft overtook Amazon last quarter in cloud revenue, Windows 10 whilst much disliked is already on over 500 million desktops, and corporates are generally in the process of or planning to deploy it.)

      The one mystery to me is that they are still releasing regular Windows Mobile builds. Is there a new killer mobile device range coming (and omg are they going to have to be good for anyone to even think about buying them) or is that going to be soon on the chop list?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go Nad

    Not so much an instruction, but the fact he talks such utter bollocks!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    There are three general breeds of CEOs:

    1. The ones that do nothing but collect the fat pay cheque and bend to the will of their subordinates who really run the company.

    2. The ones that quietly get on, provide a clear direction and generally do the right things for both shareholders and the company.

    3. The sociopathic idiots who got the job because they are able to easily descend to levels of rudeness, untrustworthiness and back-stabbing lying that would make normal people sick.

    It's not entirely clear to me what type of CEO SadNad is, but he sure isn't a type 2.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. TRT Silver badge

      I think he's a number 2.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        @TRT

        As opposed to going number 1?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          @chivo243

          There's probably a mix of number 1 and number 2. He's a cloaca.

    3. Naselus

      Honestly, I'm having some difficulty thinking of any type 2s at any major tech players right now.Tim Cook is a 1; Hurd'n'Katz are both 1s; Ballmer was a 3, Whitman (and, in fact, just anyone HP's had in the last 20 years) is a 3, Zuck is a 3, Marissa Mayer was a 1, Sundai Pichai is a 1; being a 3 is contractually required just to get a job at Uber...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Zuck is a 3

        Honestly, I thought Zuck was a 1, and Sheryl Sandberg does what she wants in the company.

      2. Def Silver badge

        @Naselus

        Musk?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Musk?

          The gland or the person?

        2. Naselus

          Re: @Naselus

          Musk might be a 2. Not sure, though; some of his ventures are clearly batshit crazy nonsense. And he does rely pretty heavily on massive subsidies to actually turn a profit. So he might be a very, very good 3.

    4. John Sanders
      Holmes

      There are three general breeds of CEOs:

      No there are 4 types, the fourth being a puppet.

      Satnav Nutella is a puppet, of whom you may ask?

      The largest shareholder in MS and who could that person be?

      Hmmm.

      1. Rob G.

        Re: There are three general breeds of CEOs:

        HAHAHAH Satnav Nutella... I'm stealing that...

  4. Whitter
    Angel

    OpenSource

    If you are going to dump it, please first consider Open Sourcing the project so others may maintain it if they so choose. If that would bring undesired competition, then why are you dumping it in the first place? If not, then what's the harm? (possibly shared internal libraries, but I doubt there are many of such really).

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: OpenSource

      > If not, then what's the harm?

      Other companies suing you, because silly patents.

      Somebody sues you, because you "borrowed" code.

      The world discovering the "quality" of your code base.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: OpenSource (@ GrumpenKraut)

        "The world discovering the "quality" of your code base."

        That boat sailed decades ago!

        ;^)

    2. greenberrywoods

      Re: OpenSource

      They are not dumping the Groove app. The Groove app will continue to play mp3 and wma files from OneDrive or locally on the machine. What Microsoft gave up was the music subscription service.

      1. Cynical Shopper

        Re: OpenSource

        "The Groove app will continue to play wma files"

        Who?

        1. John Sanders
          Paris Hilton

          Re: OpenSource

          Que?

    3. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: OpenSource

      You have really deep pockets, lots of connected people and the drive to do the music biz deals to provide content for it? That was always the problem. Apple being first and Spotify being good at what they do mean they have hoovered up the biggest and best stables of music for you to buy, rent or browse and Microsoft pretty much sucked in comparison.

      So unless you can do the deals and provide better legal music you cannot afford to opensource it.

      1. James Anderson Silver badge

        Re: OpenSource

        Groove had a decent catalouge. Not as many tracks as Spotify but 20% of Spotify's catalouge is click bait and cruft. vis the 10,000 versions of happy birthday by artists such as Elviz Presley etc.

    4. James Anderson Silver badge

      Re: OpenSource

      Grooves product is music and video tracks licensed from record and movie companies. Good luck with outsourcing that.

      Any current open source media player is better than or equal to grooves' player.

  5. sqlrob
    Facepalm

    If it took until now to realize this, you're kind of slow.

    Remember PlaysForSure and Gaming for Windows Live?

  6. iron Silver badge

    Google cancel services all the time. MS cancel one and suddenly the sky is falling?

    Get a grip people.

    1. sqlrob

      How many of those cancelled Google services were where you bought something?

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      The difference is that whenever Google cancels a service, it offers three to five replacements. Hit me up on Allo if you want more details.

      1. Zippy's Sausage Factory
        Unhappy

        The difference is that whenever Google cancels a service, it offers three to five replacements.

        Still waiting for those three to five replacements for Google Reader over here...

  7. Mikel

    Hindsight

    It would be more helpful to point out this tendency on the service or product's introduction or acquisition rather that in its obituary.

  8. Doc Ock

    Microsoft behaves like the kid in the class with ADHD who's forgotten to take his Ritalin.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The curse of the monopolist

    Much of Microsoft's dithering, and inability to make new successes is because of their effective monopoly on OS and office productivity (and to an extent mail). When you are a multi-billion dollar monopoly, senior management can't comprehend a growth product that in two years time would be "only" a $100m dollar operation (even if as an SMB it would be hailed as one of the fastest growing businesses in the land). They'll sniff and say "your margins are pathetic, look at how many bucks per minute of pure earnings that we get from Office". Any small product or service is denied resources (although often getting a full plate of overhead costs), and in their impatience the bigwigs demand unfeasible growth. That leads to over-promise, under-delivery, management shakeups, and fundamental proposition and marketing errors. A lack of real innovation and real entrepreneurial freedoms mean that these monopolist corporations react late to other people's innovation, and all too often launch weak me-too services, usually destined to fail (Google+, for example). All the time, any internal small growth platforms that might have big potential are unfavourably compared with the sexy, exciting world of M&A. So rather than invest in genuinely new areas, or supporting innovative growth, the big money is pissed on aQuantive, Nokia handsets, LinkedIn and so on.

    If you look at the near monopolists of tech, they're much in the same boat - Alphabet without Google's search engine is a ramshackle collection of doomed businesses. Amazon without the online tat store is just another bit-barn operator. Microsoft without the enterprise desktop monopoly is nothing.

    Actually, it isn't just monopolists - any oligopolistic market features similar crap-head management, hidebound by a sense of incumbency and entitlement, and with a misplaced confidence in their own commercial judgement. If you look at large ERP vendors, UK mobile network operators, or UK energy suppliers, you see the same sort of mindset in most of them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The curse of the monopolist

      I agree with this.

      Many years ago I worked for BT and was responsible for a project which brought in about £50m per year. The Project Director told me that the customer wanted us to employ another 50 people on the project, at a billable rate of around £220k per employee (they were experienced technical people and we paid them around £50k per year). Only he couldn't, as Head Office had a headcount freeze in place (BT was shedding jobs in unrelated areas at the time).

      I was astonished that a company would deliberately damage its own bottom line (and my commission) in this way.

      What you have to realise, he said, is that to BT, £50m per year is a rounding error.

  10. KenJ

    This would be as compared to, oh I don't know, a company like Google?

  11. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Word and Excel get buggier

    I find that hard to believe. I used to be obliged to write a lot of 100+ page documents with tables, figures and cross-references and I never found a version of Word that would not randomly corrupt page numbers, headings, ToCs, formatting and cross references.

    And the reason for that is largely that Microsoft wanted Word to (a) do everything and (b) be compatible with poorly-designed previous versions. I think it's a good thing that Microsoft have realised that they can't do everything, can't be in every space in the market and can't ignore a growing diversity in the ecosystem. The real problem is that they need to identify things they can do well and do them better whereas they are simply shedding the increasing number of things at which they're failing.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Word and Excel get buggier

      > ... I never found a version of Word that would not randomly corrupt page numbers, headings, ToCs, formatting and cross references.

      Wot? That used to be the bloody rule.

      May I add the "document too big" bug that made it impossible to even look at it? I watched a guy splitting his PhD into two pieces, doing ALL numbering (pages, refs, tables, images, bibliography...) by hand. That took the last two weeks before the deadline, two weeks he would have wanted to do far more important work.

      I'll add that that was a while ago, and Word likely has gone less bad than just described.

    2. DJV Silver badge

      "The real problem is that they need to identify things they can do well"

      I'm still using a 1999-vintage MS Internet Keyboard Pro and will be very sorry when it finally kicks the bucket. Mind you, I'd be very hard pressed to think of anything else they actually do (or have ever done) that's anywhere near as good as that keyboard!

      1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

        Re: "The real problem is that they need to identify things they can do well"

        I'd be very hard pressed to think of anything else they actually do (or have ever done) that's anywhere near as good as that keyboard!

        I really liked the "Mystify" screensaver from Windows 3.1

        I miss Mystify...

        1. K.o.R

          Re: "The real problem is that they need to identify things they can do well"

          Curves and Colours, 80 lines, minimum spread, multicolour (Windows 98 version) was my favourite. The XP version had a rubbish selection of colours.

          I'm sure these still exist on the net somewhere, but the whole screen saver concept isn't really a thing any more.

      2. hellwig Silver badge

        Re: "The real problem is that they need to identify things they can do well"

        I miss my Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0. Five buttons + 1-D scroll wheel (never used the left-right feature of recent mice) and most importantly, WIRED!!!

        But apparently those mice weren't sexy enough, remember the Arc mouse?

        Wires, those get in the way, why not use buggy proprietary wireless communications? Five buttons, nah, Four buttons is the key (and we'll map that fourth key by default to "Search",because why the f*ck not?)!!! And well-sized to fit the hand? Nope, low-profile is the way to go.

        Seriously, those were great mice. I'm using some generic chinese "gaming" mouse now because I need the buttons and the wire. Can't imagine there's much margin in mouse technology these days, so why mess with a sure thing? Corporate incompetence is all I can fiture.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "The real problem is that they need to identify things they can do well"

          >I miss my Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0.

          Using a MS trackball optical right now, I've had to replace 2 microswitches in it over time but still the best mouse I've ever owned.

  12. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    "A reputation for flakiness risks long term damage to Microsoft in the enterprise."

    Well, Windows has been various flavors of "flaky" for a good 25 years now, but that didn't seem to hinder BillG from becoming the richest man in the world. Exchange and Outlook have both always been pools of pain for users and admins the world over, but companies continue using them. How many times have Word or Excel taken a crap on their files, but nobody in serious numbers is talking about moving to Lotus or WordPerfect, or even OpenOffice.

    Truth is, everybody knows Microsoft's software is complete crap, but it's just barely good enough to usually work, and Microsoft's past heavy-handed monopolistic practices made sure there aren't any serious contenders anymore even if folks DID decide to jump ship. Apple probably should have ascended to the throne - they had the talent, the money, the cachet, and the ambition, but inertia was never in their favor. I've been waiting for Linux to take over the desktop for, oh, 17 years now, and while it has made inroads, it's sadly suffering the same inertia that kept Apple at bay.

    Remember - Microsoft=Windows, Microsoft=Office, Microsoft=Windows-Server and now I guess Microsoft=Xbox. Anything outside of those four things (maybe MSSQL Server too) is just a dalliance for MS - Azure, Office365, Windows store - those are all just for the "here and now", and could go "poof" at any moment at the whim of MS.

    Just my 2-cents worth. Flakiness is part of the Microsoft landscape.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      "Truth is, everybody knows Microsoft's software is complete crap,"

      It's just that it's still mostly way better than the competition....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Did you ever tried to work with Lotus SmartSuite? I did, suffered a lot... and had no choice but going to Office to have work done. When we switched from Lotus Notes to Exchange/Outlook, you heard sighs of relief.

      I used OS/2 also, and it was a dead end because IBM too didn't believe in it. WordPerfect was so busy to protect its DOS cash cow it missed uers quickly moving to Windows.

      Even Borland, one of the few companies that could score against MS on its own field, committed suicide when it decided it needed to buy Ashton-Tate while true RDBMS were already replacing dBase & C.

      Sad to say, but most of the competition was actually worse than Microsoft - MS did its best to crush them, but they did their best to release more flaky software than MS did.

      More or less the same happened among Adobe, Corel, and Micrografx. Adobe was able to move from Mac to Windows and beat both competitors, that spent time finding new ways to annoy users.

      Linux desktop suffers from the same problems - many so-so application you can try to replace Windows ones, but you have to accept a lot of compromises and suffer to get professional job done. Unless you want to make a statement, you'll go the easier route.

      Thereby Nadella can keep on piling up mistakes, and for a while the ship will keep on staying afloat. But he started to annoy users a lot with Windows 10, and this can be a mistake with far reaching effects - especially if more and more mistakes will be built upon it.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Venerable AC:

        Sad to say, but most of the competition was actually worse than Microsoft - MS did its best to crush them, but they did their best to release more flaky software than MS did.

        I hereby invite you to read the anti-trust trial, you will notice that MS did hide core components of their OS to the competition, components that were needed to develop rich ui's is a well -known example. MS also voluntarily caused 3rdparty software to crash, had Windows/DOS spew out "scary warnings" ... you name it ... I do not understand all the hate for Notes, it is way more than an email server, you can use it as an ERP without being a C/ABAP developer ... you could do so much more stuff with Notes in the 90's already that you still cannot do with the Windows/Office/Sharepoint stack today ...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It is true, but it's also an excuse for many companies that become complacent and were slow to move to Windows and invested too little - Borland had shown it was possible to compete with MS on its own ground - and deliver UIs better than MS ones. Adobe was successful to port its Mac applications to Windows, despite the high graphic requirements.

          Take some time, and read the history of WordPerfect, Lotus, Corel, Borland, etc. - lots of executive mistakes that had nothing to do with MS trying to put obstacles on their path. The same obstacles were put under DOS, and still many companies were able to outperform MS - just they become too fearful to invest in keeping the pace with the evolution of hardware and OS.

          Again, did you use Lotus, WordPerfect and Corel software? I did, and it was too often less usable - Lotus idea of inventing its own UI under Windows - and a less versatile one - was truly a stupid idea. WordPerfect tried to have the same application under DOS and Windows, another dummy idea.

          And all of them were very slow to fix bugs. I spent endless time on the phone with Lotus support to investigate bugs, and they were never fixed.

          Notes was an ugly mail client, and its underlying non-relational database was truly a pain to work with. I never understood companies trying to build applications upon it instead of using a true RDBMS and better tools to develop clients.

          1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

            "Lotus idea of inventing its own UI under Windows - and a less versatile one - was truly a stupid idea."

            An early attempt to develop a cross-platform UI. Not entirely stupid, but it's bloody difficult to achieve. Because of so many compromises usability will be poor everywhere. I remember using Notes 4.5 on a Unix workstation with CDE desktop environment. It looked (and sucked) exactly like 4.5 on Windows and OS/2.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "and for a while the ship will keep on staying afloat."

        Microsoft overtook Amazon AWS in annual cloud revenue run rate last quarter and are growing much faster. I doubt they are going to sink any time soon...

  13. Duffaboy
    Joke

    As Long as we can keep Paint

    Just saying

  14. ocratato

    Downsizing

    MS has been steadily shedding employees for a few years now.

    Managing a shrinking company is much harder than managing a growing one. The main problem is that your best people are actively looking for somewhere else to work, and when they leave they take a lot of the corporate knowledge with them.

    Management will try to slice off entire departments in order to find the numbers that are to be let go. Otherwise the important bits end up getting hollowed out as the best people leave. This would leave the entire company in difficulty.

  15. greenberrywoods

    What Microsoft has said in the past

    First of all, Microsoft needs developers to develop for their platforms. One of those platforms is Windows 10. In the past, Microsoft have said that (and I'm paraphrasing) "if an app or service is not there on their platforms, that Microsoft will then be there" I think what is happening is that Spotify has made some commitment to continue to provide their app and service for Windows 10, for a agreed period of time. Microsoft doesn't want to compete with a non-core service. I think this is a smart move by Microsoft but of course, there will always be those who are disappointed by that decision. Microsoft is offering a bridge to the most popular music subscription service, so at least they're not just dropping whatever small number of customers they currently have.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: What Microsoft has said in the past

      Think of the poor sods, for one second, who spent years on the service, a subscription service, now have nothing !

      The thing is, they were sold "All the music you want" for, say $10/month ... then, after three years, boom, they go, you lost $360....

      A lesson to be had, here ... subscription services will go sooner or later, yours maybe sooner than you expect....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What Microsoft has said in the past

        "The thing is, they were sold "All the music you want" for, say $10/month ... then, after three years, boom, they go, you lost $360...."

        Only as long as you subscribed. You got all the music you wanted. Other "unlimited" services are available so you haven't really lost anything.

  16. MJI Silver badge

    W10 next?

    I would like that, make my job a LOT easier

  17. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    He's here all week!

    It's Satnav 'the shred' Nutella

  18. LesB
    Linux

    Is it just me?

    But every time I see or hear "Davos", my brain auto-corrects it to "Davros".

    Which actually makes sense in this context.

    To me anyway.

    Wibble. Penguin added because I like penguins, not for any Linuxy reason.

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Is it just me?

      The only issue with that is that if Davros was in charge, not only would there be an evil plan for world domination behind it, it would work really really well.

      I think we can agree MS are only up to speed on one of those two.

      1. yoganmahew

        Re: Is it just me?

        @Zippy

        "if Davros was in charge, not only would there be an evil plan for world domination behind it, it would work really really well."

        Ah here, it'd work really well until some old duffer in a scarf or his cricket whites or just a hat bumbled in and reversed the polarity of the neutron flow...

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Is it just me?

          Ah here, it'd work really well until some old duffer in a scarf or his cricket whites or just a hat bumbled in and reversed the polarity of the neutron flow...

          Besides... I seem to recall that in Davros' evil lair(s), there were endless identical corridors and never any Windows...

          Mine's the coat with the sprig of celery in the pocket.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Is it just me?

      "Wibble. Penguin added because I like penguins, not for any Linuxy reason."

      It's really Mr Flibble, isn't it?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    xbone?

    Xbox isn't a great distraction for financial analysts as Sony PS4 is serious competition (if SEGA returned with a bang, they're both fucked).

    When you're a PC software company and your best positive spin is related to a slow and buggy video game console that plays mediocre games, you're playing yourself and hiding nothing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: xbone?

      "When you're a PC software company and your best positive spin is related to a slow and buggy video game console that plays mediocre games, "

      But what if you are a PC company like Microsoft with by some distance the fastest and most powerful games console (6TFLOPs) that has a much more stable and less buggy OS than the main competition?

  20. J J Carter Silver badge
    Windows

    Makes sense

    When you've been plugging away for years but market share remains single-digit and there's no money to made, you may as as well call it a day. As I said to Linus last week.

    1. shawnfromnh

      Re: Makes sense

      Hell Linux is just getting stable and usable to the average person, this is Linux at the tipping point and governments like Germany are going to be full open source soon also. It's not time to give up when everything is just getting good.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Makes sense

        "Hell Linux is just getting stable and usable to the average person, this is Linux at the tipping point"

        Lol. The year of Linux on the desktop?! again...

        "and governments like Germany are going to be full open source soon also"

        The only place that did - Munich - is now desperately looking to migrate back to Windows - after a migration that took ten years - and still left them with many users needing Windows. Linux was a vastly inferior and painful user experience.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need a replacement for Balmer

    To which someone replied “We'll take the blandest man in the building!”

    Microsoft quite likes its burning platforms, at the moment. Its mobile platform is just embers, while its music platform is burning nicely. Whatever happened to the company that would take something like mobile and stick at it ‘til it bloody well succeeded?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We need a replacement for Balmer

      "Whatever happened to the company that would take something like mobile and stick at it ‘til it bloody well succeeded?"

      They are still releasing regular Windows 10 mobile builds! Maybe more devices are coming?

  22. Trainee grumpy old ****

    I wonder

    Is SatNad attempting to be Microsoft's Elop?

  23. DougS Silver badge

    I think SatNad is acting like a CEO

    While it sucks for people using the stuff he axes, he's probably looking back at the books for the past 20 years and seeing all the wasted money. I wouldn't be surprised if it adds up to nearly $100 billion in today's dollars, no lie!

    No new markets Microsoft has tried to enter since Gates retired as CEO have been profitable, not a one. They lost money with MSN trying to copy AOL, with Zune trying to copy Apple, with XBox trying to copy Sony, with Bing trying to copy Google, with Windows Mobile trying to copy Palm/Blackberry, with Windows Phone/Nokia trying to copy Apple again, with their advertising buyouts trying to copy Google again, with Groove trying to copy Spotify, with the original Surface trying to copy Apple a third time, the list goes on and on. Everyone one of those lost billions with a 'b', sometimes not even a single digit number of 'b'!

    Now I don't know if Groove was profitable or not, but competing against free services like Spotify make that very difficult. It was never going to be big earner for them without the advantage of having mobile users ready to buy into their ecosystem like Apple has with Apple Music. XBox is profitable now, if you ignore all the billions lost in the past, so it is probably safe from the axe. Everything else that started post-Gates is suspect....I wonder if Bing is still losing money? I hope Apple or Amazon or someone buys it if they decide to dump it, I'd hate to see Google being handed a monopoly in search!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think SatNad is acting like a CEO

      "they lost money with ... XBox trying to copy Sony"

      Nope - a couple of big errors in that list - MS have now made several billion net on Xbox over total launch costs and it's been profitable for years. And they are just about to launch a console significantly more powerful than Sony's one...

      "with the original Surface"

      Surface has also made them a few billion after launch costs - and is a growing business...

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: I think SatNad is acting like a CEO

        Don't suppose you have a source for these claims? Especially since El Reg has another article just today claiming that they're going to axe Surface by 2019 because it is losing money...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I think SatNad is acting like a CEO

          "Don't suppose you have a source for these claims?"

          See for instance https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/01/27/microsofts-surface-lineup-is-now-a-43-billion-busi.aspx

  24. blazewon22

    Precursor to an Acquisition?

    To quote Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first, you’re last!” Personally I think it’s good to fail fast and dump a product that will affect the bottom line as the music company gouges them for licensing. Pandora, Soundcloud, and Tidal are also struggling to survive, easier to acquire than compete.

    Spotify would be a great acquisition just like LinkedIn was for Nadella. Cloudy days ahead!

  25. SVV Silver badge

    Flakiness

    "A reputation for flakiness risks long term damage to Microsoft in the enterprise. "

    Hasn't harmed them for the last 20 years, so I don't see how that's going to change now amongst the many who wrongly assume there's no viable alternative. He should have called his book "Hit Ctrl, Alt and Delete" and chosen the Shut Down option instead of desperately trying to foist a range of too late "me too" copies of other companies' stuff on an an increasingly uninterested world.

  26. paulf Silver badge
    Facepalm

    IFPI "research"

    IFPI = "International Federation of the Phonographic Industry"

    They did some research and found that, "music remains staggeringly important to people". Well, who knew? In other research:

    The Ursine Association finds wooded areas to be very popular.

    Survey finds Catholics are very keen on the Pope.

  27. 0laf Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Going well really

    As a Google mole SatNad is really working out much better than intended.

  28. Chuunen Baka

    Just like Google ...

    They're just doing what all large cloud based companies do. If a product is not earning, they cut it. Try searching for Google graveyard. I miss Reader most.

  29. Milton Silver badge

    Quelle surprise?

    There is something almost sweetly quaint and naive about people *now* saying they don't trust Microsoft, considering that sentient individuals must surely have realised about the time of ME that this was a chancer company, which has always "innovated" on the back of others' ideas, often with software it bought out or copied, pushing inferior, shoddy product out of the door in a desperate (and, it must be said) largely successful attempt to keep hostage those users who simply couldn't be asked or didn't even know there were better, cheaper, more reliable ways to compute.

    It's beyond belief that anyone believed MS-BS about phones and the laughable UWP during the first bout of propaganda, but for there to be anybody left with faith in MS, let alone the extraordinary fact that so many individuals and businesses which should know better actually trust that company with their most important and frequently confidential data... bizarre. Staggering, and truly, truly bizarre.

    I assume it all really comes down to "Microsoft is all we know about" plus "We're too lazy to change our ways".

  30. ecofeco Silver badge

    Embrace...

    ...extend, extinguish.

    Now for the downvotes from the shills.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone who has paid money for Microsoft's apps and services are not very bright...

    And not just the stuff in the Microsoft Store or in-house services, but also things like Skype subscriptions and Onedrive subscriptions.

    Learn a bit about tech history, especially the history of Microsoft. You're flushing your money down the toilet.

    For a home user, the only things from Microsoft you should pay for are Windows and Office (not the 365 Cloud version). And maybe the Xbox and Xbox Live subscription, though as far as console gaming is concerned, it's an inferior platform to PS4.

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