back to article Congrats, Satya Nadella. In just five years, you've turned Microsoft from Neutral Evil to, er, merely True Neutral

Stepping into the sweaty shoes of Steve Ballmer was never going to be an easy task. Satya Nadella’s first five years as third CEO of the software giant has brought pain to fans of Microsoft's consumer tech but delight to investors. For many, Nadella is seen as the axeman, ruthlessly cutting through Redmond's detritus amid the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evil Neutral

    So, didn't play DnD then?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: "didn't play DnD then?"

      You need to tap two black and one generic mana to make that comment, friend.

      C.

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: "didn't play DnD then?"

        In that case I'm going to play Theresa May

    2. FozzyBear Silver badge

      Re: Evil Neutral

      Actually, it would be moving from neutral evil to Chaotic Neutral.

      The sheer madness of some of those decisions strongly suggests a madman is holding the reins

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Evil Neutral

        > ... neutral evil to Chaotic Neutral.

        No, they're still extremely evil.

        Saying this as someone who's Chaotic Neutral myself, I can tell you they're definitely not.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Evil Neutral

        I'd call the previous era Microsoft's Chaotic Evil one, under the peripatetic leadership of Steve "What the hell am I doing?" Balmer.

        With SatNad, in my opinion, it's coming down pretty firmly in Lawful Evil. Against whatever good things Microsoft does we must weigh Win10, particularly it's nasty "You will submit to updates and reboots, when I want" authoritarianism. Office365 is no better.

        1. fung0

          Re: Evil Neutral

          Under Gates, I'd have said Neutral Good.

          They ignored laws, were guided mainly by technical expediency. But, for the most part, that worked out rather well for their customers. They made PCs ever-cheaper and easier to use. They resisted the lure of DRM, keeping products like Office and Flight Sim being conspicuously free of creepy malware or dongles. They evolved the GUI while keeping it reasonably flexible, and the kernel to robust multitasking.

          Under Nadella, they're clearly Chaotic Evil.

          The evil? UWP. WIndows Store. The 'Metro' UI. Perpetual 'updates.' Advertising in the UI. Rearranging the UI for no purpose other than increasing lock-in. Firing their QA staff and shipping buggy updates. Continued use of monopolistic tactics to push products that no longer offer any real improvement in the user experience (e.g. Windows 10).

          The Chaotic? Randomly altering and ultimately canceling almost every initiative, including the evil ones noted above, as well as those mentioned in the article, such as Zune and WinPhone, plus some not mentioned so far, such as the excellent Windows CE/Windows Mobile, and the needlessly murdered Flight Sim. (Admittedly, killed by Ballmer, not Nadella.) Spending $2.5 billion for a single videogame franchise. The list goes on and on...

          Clearly, both Chaotic and Evil.

          1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
            Go

            Re: Evil Neutral

            I will make no judgments about Microsoft's moral alignment, but clearly they managed to roll a "6" on their charisma, but have stuck around thanks to the "17" they rolled on constitution.

          2. Mycho Silver badge

            Re: Evil Neutral

            It's almost like a pen and paper roleplaying game doesn't cover the moral complexities of real life.

      3. Avatar of They Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Evil Neutral

        No should be Lawful Evil. In spades.

        Telemetry, can you turn it off?

        No. So still Evil.

        Is it legal? Only in the vaguest sense that it is not being challenged through courts and you signed the EULA by installing.

        So Lawful.

        Neutral means they haven't gone out of their way to be evil. They quite clearly have.

        Argument for chaotic as they don't know what testing is and are releasing all kinds of things from their monkey enclosure.

      4. simonb_london

        Re: Evil Neutral

        "The sheer madness of some of those decisions strongly suggests a madman is holding the reins"

        Or an AI project running on .NET.

  2. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Happy

    Typo or subtle swipe?

    "Microsoft 364 basket"

    Snigger... giggle.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Typo or subtle swipe?

      Well, it is already by Microsoft 362 this year...

      1. A.P. Veening

        Re: Typo or subtle swipe?

        "Well, it is already by Microsoft 359 this year..."

        FTFY ;)

  3. N2 Silver badge

    365?

    360 is closer, but whatever so long as the shareholders aren't affected...

  4. JohnFen Silver badge

    Not even close

    Microsoft now is no less evil than Microsoft then.

    1. Tomato42 Silver badge

      Re: Not even close

      really? the Microsoft that is shipping Linux binaries now and has contributed hundreds of patches to the kernel is the same as the one that was saying that GPL is cancer and the that Linux is a "fad"?

      "factually incorrect" comes to mind

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Not even close

        ""factually incorrect" comes to mind"

        Really? I expressed an opinion. I did not state a fact.

        However, I stand by my opinion. Microsoft's relationship with Linux may (or may not -- we'll see) have changed, but it's never been true that every single thing that Microsoft does is bad.

        On the whole, when I consider what Microsoft has been doing over the past several years, I see no indication that it is any different than they were before. The only thing that's changed is the tone of their rhetoric. Their actual behavior isn't so different to my eyes.

      2. georgezilla

        Re: Not even close

        Embrace,extend, extinguish.

        How is that not still Microsoft's business?

        If I wanted a Microsoft OS then I'd use Windows.

        Microsoft's involvement in Linux is not, will not be, a good thing. Period. FFS, they can't even manage to not eff up their own OS. So you want them sticking their fingers into Linux too? And effing it up as well?

        Eff Microsoft! Eff anyone who is so ignorant to think that they wont eff up Linux too! Or ANYTHING else that they touch. It's in their DNA. They can't help themselves.

        And proof?

        All you have to do is look at their history.

      3. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Not even close

        really? the Microsoft that is shipping Linux binaries now and has contributed hundreds of patches to the kernel is the same as the one that was saying that GPL is cancer and the that Linux is a "fad"?

        I think it's a Microsoft that have admitted they can't just ignore it, badmouth it, or bury it in lame twisted lies and fearmongering. The Penguins have wandered into the park Microsoft saw as theirs and crowded close to their picnic, is close to running all the kiosks and threaten to invade their wine-bar.

        Microsoft have chosen to invite them in instead, and ensure as many uses of the penguin as possible also fill their coffers.

        All the patches most likely do no more than serve Windows/Linux interoperability, and do so to the benefit of Windows and MS. That's not love, that's exploitation.

        1. M.V. Lipvig

          Re: Not even close

          Invite them in, or is this the extend and explore phase with extinguish fast approaching? Learn how it works, contribute code to it, then later contribute code to make it buggy compared to Windoze. Whoever manages Linux, I hope they're paying close attention to M$ contributions to make sure they aren't weaving a web inside that will destroy it from within.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "GPL is cancer"

        GPL is one of the main reason why Linux desktop market share is below 5%. If that means it's a cancer or not is up to you to decide - but it's one of the reason most commercial - useful and needed - software is not ported to Linux. Which in turn ensure MS can do disasters with Windows still knowing users have little other choices but for the simplest needs. Under this point of view, Ballmer was utterly wrong - GPL is a great helper for Windows.

        1. Fibbles

          Re: "GPL is cancer"

          GPL is one of the main reason why Linux desktop market share is below 5%. If that means it's a cancer or not is up to you to decide - but it's one of the reason most commercial - useful and needed - software is not ported to Linux.

          You are aware that making your software compatible with a GPL licensed kernel does not mean you have to distribute your software under the same license, right?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "GPL is cancer"

            Unluckily, it's not only the kernel, but a lot of stuff in user space also is under GPL - didn't you ever notice? Developing commercial applications to be distributed is a minefield - you'll have to be very careful about what you link and how - of course if you want to be compliant.

            Still, the kernel license lead to issue like having by default sub-par graphics drivers and other issues - i.e. no OEM divers for printers and other devices.

            Then you may have to source yourself things like the real fonts you need (why most Linux fonts are so ugly???) because once again licensing is something little heard of in the Linux world.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: "GPL is cancer"

              I see the AC anti-FOSS FUD spreaders are out & about this morning. I was wondering what that smell was.

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: "GPL is cancer"

                I think you can disagree with the FSF and dislike the GPL without being anti-FOSS. Calling the GPL a "cancer" is a good indication that the writer doesn't have much to offer in the way of argument, though.

            2. Hugh McIntyre

              Re: "GPL is cancer"

              ... and yet almost all of the commercial IC CAD software runs on Linux. Apparently they don't have issues, key libraries are under LGPL, and the fonts are fine.

              Probably though this is because these packages previously ran con commercial Unix so Linux is the mainstream successor. Meanwhile other commercial software that didn't previously run on commercial Unix (e.g. Adobe software) don't run on Linux either.

              So this is more of a Linux/Unix-family versus non-Linux/Unix split. Not GPL.

              Even software that needs to include Kernel drivers such as VMware seems to manage to ship a commercial package without GPL issues.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: "GPL is cancer"

          but it's one of the reason most commercial - useful and needed - software is not ported to Linux

          Much as I dislike the GPL, I don't think it's the reason for the lack of ports. This is more pragmatic: which fucking GUI toolkit (QT, GTK, etc)? and will people pay for it?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "GPL is cancer"

            The bad, fragmented GUI and bad tools the other reason, yet that could have tech solutions - what stops many companies is incurring in license issues, and there is no tech solution there, but a big effort to replace all the GPL libraries with something else. And if for any reason you need kernel modules, you're even in a worse situation. Stallman & C. won't go after small developers breaking the GPL - but if a large company with a lot of cash does, they will go after it.

            People will pay for it when they are the people used to pay for the same software on other OS. Evidently you won't target the actual 5% which is mostly made by activists (let's exclude some developers, especially web ones) who don't want to pay for software. But professional users have no issue in paying for software, and they could move to another OS as long as they find the same ecosystem they're used to.

            GPL with all its ideological strict limitations ensures they won't. And Microsoft thinks "thank you".

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: "GPL is cancer"

              what stops many companies is incurring in license issues, and there is no tech solution there

              Except that MS Office on Android (on Linux) sort of disproves that. Google, of course, also understands the importance of imdemnification but the main thing for developers has been a single and, generally (post Android 4) stable API for the whole stack.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "GPL is cancer"

                Can Office for Android run on Linux? No.

                Android is not Linux but the kernel, everything in user space is some variation of Java and doesn't come with a GPL license. Even Android native applications are not Linux ones. Google is not so stupid to find itself bound by the GPL - but not everybody has Google's resource to develop a full stack to avoid the GPL.

                And anyway, using Java without a license put Google in trouble....

            2. Carpet Deal 'em
              FAIL

              Re: "GPL is cancer"

              Every library worth mentioning is under either the LGPL or GPL with explicit linking exception. The only licensing issue is in your FUD.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "GPL is cancer"

                > Every library worth mentioning is under either the LGPL or GPL with explicit linking exception.

                There is a huge amount of BSD, MIT, Apache, (etc) licensed libraries available, with wide adoption & usage.

          2. fung0

            Re: "GPL is cancer"

            There's nothing in GPL that prohibits publishers from making money. And moreover, nothing in GNU/Linux that prohibits publishers from selling non-GPL products on that platform.

            The main reason for lack of Linux ports is both simple and obvious: a small market.

            That won't change until some segment strongly embraces Linux. The best possibility right now would be governments or other large institutions discovering that they can switch to Linux + LibreOffice any time for 99% of their clients, at lower cost, with easier support, and better security - with no more single-vendor lock-in. Even a modest base of enterprise clients would attract further investment in applications.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "GPL is cancer"

              You won't make money when you have to give the source code away. Those who tried, tried to sell support and most of them failed.

              Only a handful of projects under Linux make money, and only because they reuse code written by people backed by huge companies. Not surprisingly, some smaller projects are changing their licenses lately because big cloud providers get their code and resell services without paying a dime.

              You can sell non GPL products, but you have to ensure you don't link and use anything under GPL. Which could be a big effort, if you have to replace many libraries.

              Linux offer a business model which can't work for desktop commercial software, there's no way to make money, so nobody is interested in investing without any chance of a return.

              Many enterprises run far more than an OS and an office suite. That's why Linux can't be a replacement until more software is ported, but GPL is a big roadblock.

              Apple too is not so stupid, and built macOS using pieces from BSD where the license is not so limiting, and developers can be busy writing code, not checking licenses.

              1. Portent

                Re: "GPL is cancer"

                No way to make money selling software on Linux? Well I pay around £200 a year for a personal Jetbrains All Products license to run on Linux. That's more than I spent on Windows wmsoftware when I did run Windows.

              2. Korev Silver badge
                Linux

                Re: "GPL is cancer"

                >Linux offer a business model which can't work for desktop commercial software, there's no way to make money, so nobody is interested in investing without any chance of a return.

                We have global software licences costing over a million running exclusively on Linux desktops.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "GPL is cancer"

                > You won't make money when you have to give the source code away.

                Red Hat would beg to differ.

              4. oldcoder

                Re: "GPL is cancer"

                Developers don't check licenses. Lawyers do.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: "GPL is cancer"

                  Speak for yourself, oldcoder.

      5. oldcoder

        Re: Not even close

        Don't forget... a good bit of those patches were provided due to MS being threatened with having their updates yanked for lack of support.

  5. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Depends

    Slurp has gotten more evil if you are an ordinary user with Spyware-as-a-Service and the rush towards subscriptions instead of standalone products. For enterprise users, Slurp might have gotten nicer as most of the efforts are in areas that enterprises care about and they do not mind subscriptions as much. So depending on where you sit, Slurp is the epitome of evil still and has gotten worse or they are listening to their customers.

    Slurp has a strong disinterest in the consumer market and is retaining its share mostly by inertia and the perception there are no reasonable, viable options by consumers. Once the bubble bursts, the consumer market will be toast and Slurp will end up being an enterprise only vendor. The risk for them is not now but future as many who leave will never come back and many will never become a customer.

    SadNad has a vision of Slurp being an enterprise vendor and screw the little guy. However there a lot of little guys out there. And I have personally seen retailers like Best Buy and Wally World hocking Chromebooks to the masses. They must be selling reasonably well given the shelf space they are given; about the same as for a Bloat box. Also, Best Buy is hocking Macs with the same display area as Bloat. A few years ago you could not find an alternative OS in Wally World and a small Mac section Best Buy

    1. Michael Jarve

      Re: Depends

      It’s true that like most “western” democracies these days M$ had decided the exchange of liberty is worth the cost of “security” for you. I fear that on both the software and political fronts, there is no turning back.

      But I do have to say that living in a rural area, where broadband is usually considered anything above 56.6K dialup, Microsoft’s cloud-first and OSAAS is painful. Not everyone in tech lives on the west coast or major metro regions, where you can get 20-1000Mb/s broadband. Even where you can, the looming specture of metered billing hangs like the sword of Damocles over your head; do I do this month’s patch Tuesday, get Visual Studio, and download the October, er November, um January Service Pack Feature Update? Or do I download all the patches and updates for all the other software I run and have room left over to binge-watch a season of ST:TNG?

      Quite aside from the above mentioned Slurping, it would have been nice if SatNa had taken such things into account. But he has the Silicon Valley ethos of if we cannot have bread, let us eat cake.

    2. Paul 195

      Re: Depends

      If I was worried about data slurping, I wouldn't replace a Windows machine with a Chromebook. Slurping is baked into everything Google does, and is very hard to turn off.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Depends

        Not a comment on whether one should buy a Chromebook but on observation about their availability for the Joe or Jane Six-Pack. The point is a person could go in and buy at a competitive price a Chromebook instead of Windows box. This is much different than a few years ago when there is was nothing else available. I would prefer to a major OEM push a Linux distro.

  6. hitmouse

    "functionality such as the Windows Subsystem for Linux would have been unthinkable under previous regimes."

    They would have thought of calling it the POSIX subsystem (Win NT), then Windows Services for UNIX (XP, 2003).

    1. joeldillon

      Can't speak to WSU, but the POSIX subsystem was an incredibly basic POSIX.1 implementation that was included only as a box ticking exercise for the US government and was pretty much useless in practice.

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Yup; WSU is a very different animal.

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Irony...

          WSL started life as a way of getting Windows Phone to be able to run Android apps - it was developed alongside a code-porting toolset for iOS to address the other side of the mobile app market. The iOS tools were released, but the Android project never saw light of day, probably because while the iOS work would still be viable for Windows PCs, the Android one was only ever going to be used on the mobile devices that Satya was getting ready to kill off.

          RIM/QNX did a similarly clever job to get Android apps to run on Blackberry devices, but QNX had the advantage of being a "Unix" kernel, unlike NT which stems from the VMS world. Now, that said, the NT kernel has always been able to accommodate different userspaces, but mapping Linux syscalls to equivalent functions inside NT must have been a big ball of fun...

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Yes, the POSIX subsystem was pretty minimal (just base POSIX.1, the syscalls and basic standard library). But it sufficed to port a number of UNIX command-line utilities to NT.

        SFU (the official abbreviation for Windows Services for UNIX) was reasonably capable, since it was initially based on MKS Toolkit and later on the Interix product repackaged by Microsoft. The first SFU release was 1999.

        There were, of course, various third-party UNIX-on-Windows implementations besides MKS and Interix, most famously Cygwin but also for example Korn's UWIN. All of those date back to the 1990s.

        WSL is just the new Linux-flavored version.

  7. David1

    Am I the only reg' reader to be annoyed by the ongoing butchery of Skype?

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      No.

      That is all.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      I dumped it once it got bought by E-Bay…

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      I'm no longer annoyed, since I gave it up some time back due to Microsoft's fouling of the product.

    4. N2 Silver badge

      "Am I the only reg' reader to be annoyed by the ongoing butchery of Skype?"

      Dumped it about 3 months after MS acquired them, it's for the best you know.

  8. jake Silver badge

    Microsoft isn't so much evil as irrelevant to me.

    Twenty years without Redmond at home[0], working on my tenth year of no Redmond professionally. Anybody who thinks they HAVE to run/support/whatever Microsoft products is deluding themselves. You don't have to put yourself through the daily headaches if you don't want to. FOSS works. Try it, you might like it.

    [0] Except the lone, air-gapped Win2K machine that runs ACad2K ... and all that should be transferred to a more FOSS-friendly CAD system by Spring.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft isn't so much evil as irrelevant to me.

      You should be able to use ACad on none Win machines these days. Have a look at what they have done with webassembly - autocad in a browser.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft isn't so much evil as irrelevant to me.

        I suggest you read up on how the cute little AutoCAD web app thingie actually works. Toys that require Redmond licenses and a fast network connection to operate need not apply.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft isn't so much evil as irrelevant to me.

      I have no choice. There are no professional photo editing/management apps on Linux that are of good enough quality. Gimp is okay, but doesn't cover the end-to-end workflow in a way LR+PS or CaptureOne do. DarkTable is promising, but still a beta. You then have to consider support for printers, calibrators and colour management. These tools only exist on Mac and Windows and the current crop of Mac hardware sucks, especially the laptops.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft isn't so much evil as irrelevant to me.

      > ... a more FOSS-friendly CAD system by Spring.

      Which one are you going with?

  9. Someone Else Silver badge
    Windows

    Congrats, SatNad...

    You' ve taken a fucked up company, and fucked it up even worse -- something most commentards here at El Reg would not have thought possible.

    You guys never cease to amaze!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Congrats, SatNad...

      If by "even worse" you mean "turned a company in decline into the most valuable company on the planet again (without breaking the law this time)". Then yeah.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Congrats, SatNad...

        If you're not an investor, then how profitable a company is has little to do with whether it's "better" or "worse".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Congrats, SatNad...

        > ... the most valuable company on the planet

        You seem to be fan of the almighty dollar sign, over things like being a boon to humanity.

        A reminder; Enron was wildly successful - a valuable company "too" - for quite a few years.

        As are Monsanto (now Bayer), and Oracle.

        But heck, you're free to hero worship whoever you want.

      3. Someone Else Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Congrats, SatNad...

        If by "even worse" you mean "turned a company in decline into the most valuable company on the planet again (without breaking the law this time)". Then yeah.

        No, I mean taking a company that had trouble creating a solid, stable, working program (like Windows, or Word, for example...you know, their flagship money-makers), and turning them into programs that cannot even be properly updated, then cramming said broken updates down the throat of their captives. For example. That's what I mean by "even worse".

        And the "most valuable company on the planet"?!? Shirley, you jest.

        And if you're by the faintest chance not jesting, then you're simply delusional, and I cannot help you. Just keep drinking that Kool-Aid....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Congrats, SatNad...

          "And the "most valuable company on the planet"?!? Shirley, you jest.

          And if you're by the faintest chance not jesting, then you're simply delusional, and I cannot help you. Just keep drinking that Kool-Aid...."

          Not delusional, I'm just not so blinded by hatred that I can't see past what they used to be to see what they have become.

          These days Microsoft doesn't actually have a monopoly on anything so trying to compare their market capitalisation with companies that did such as Bayer and Enron is ridiculous. Their big earner these days is their cloud computing platform which is an area they certainly do not have a monopoly on.

          But hey, if Microsoft came up with a way to cure cancer or end world hunger, you guys will still find some way to spin that into a hate story too

  10. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Not quite swung the axe...

    While the Surface line has thrived under the CEO’s stewardship, the Mini was a throwback to the Windows RT era – unable to run Win32 apps and lacking the library of the iPad to which it would be compared.

    There are laptops actually sold with Windows 10 S, so MS has just outsourced the unloved red-headed stepchild.

  11. smartroad

    And yet they still suck up your data and personal information like a thirsty man drinks water. Defiantly still Neutral Evil...

  12. big_D Silver badge
    Facepalm

    US Centric

    One problem that Microsoft keeps having, not just under SatNad - doesn't my car have one of those, oh, wait, sorry - is that they release a product in the US market, it has moderate success there, it then gets compared to world-wide sales of competitors, is declared a failure and cancelled before users overseas get a chance to get their hands on it - although a couple of times stuff did reach the UK.

    For example, the Zune, the touch version wasn't bad, but never made it outside the USA and was compared to iPod sales and canned, even though there were many people showing interest overseas.

    The Band, same story, launched in the USA, people overseas wanted one, but it was only ever sold in the USA, Canada and UK.

    Cortana? Hardware not available in many countries. Android and iOS versions still not available in countries where the Windows version is available (the excuse is that the backend server infrastructure is not there to support Android and iOS - why do they need a different infrastructure to the Windows version?!?!).

    If Microsoft made its products generally available, they might be surprised at how well they could sell. But always limiting it to an audience that has always been more critical of Microsoft in the consumer market and then claiming everything is a failure seems like MS wants the products to fail... :-S

  13. LDS Silver badge

    Making Microsoft irrelevant

    Nadella is turning MS from an ISV to a VAR, basically. He's killing R&D and making MS piggybacking more and more on products developed elsewhere, especially by a competitor (? They look very cozy today) like Google.

    Can't MS really develop a browser - while Mozilla can, and need to adopt Chromium? It needs Electron to deliver cross-platform applications? Windows development moves at a glacial pace and it's mostly irrelevant minor features delivered full of nasty bugs - while power users see it dumbed down as far as it can go.

    In the short term it can work and increase revenues. In the long term it can make Microsoft irrelevant - it could become just a cloud provider as others - just a user and reseller of technologies developed elsewhere. Some Chinese companies are going to become more innovative than Microsoft.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Champ

    Yes to Media Center going open source!

    There are still quite a few of us running a Win7 box and Media Center to drive our TVs. I'd love it to go open source, so that it might have a future

    1. Matthew 3

      Re: Yes to Media Center going open source!

      I'd be curious to see how many WIn7 holdouts did so precisely because of Media Center.

      It's why my elderly home PC resisted the near-overwhelming urge from MS to 'upgrade'.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Under Nadella’s watch, Microsoft has had great success

    Microsoft success is my success! With Windows 10 they had great success by pushing me towards linux, after all those years of half-trying (but when push comes to shove...). They have had great success (if not in real life, then in principle) to steer me towards open office (although, frankly, I can happily use my Office 2013 till I die). Other joint successes, let me see. Kind of hard... oh, wait, HOTMAIL, right! OK, when (and not if) they will kill off hotmail with great success, I will switch, with ever greater success, to protonmail or such. Ah, right, then there's skype... yep, still there, lingering, resting, pining (?) for the fjords. Actually haven't used it on my mobile for months, because every new skype update they force upon me now, won't install (rooted phone, surely a coincidence), not even a beta, so in the end I settled for skype lite, which kind of works. I think. Not that I use it any more.

    All in all, great success. MS don't give a flying monkey (...) about me, cause I won't be monetized, and the feeling is returned = total alignment of business and life goals :)

  16. devTrail

    Actually I can only see a cosmetic change

    As far as I can see Nadella simply chose to sail in safe waters. He axed all the consumer products because understood that Microsoft is not very much appreciated by the consumers, they buy Windows desktops just because they can't find anything else around. Then he concentrated the efforts in the enterprise sector where they can put some pressure with the help of their monopoly. Where they didn't have a monopoly as in the cloud sector they thrived by price dumping.

    As for the acquisitions I won't comment on Minecraft since I know nothing about it, but LinkedId doesn't seem to be so successful, it turned into a job search platform like were Monster or Indeed, people who are not looking for a job no longer log in, profiles are outdated and forums submerged by marketing spam have been abandoned. Github is too early to say, but developers are not really happy about it.

    So Microsoft is still going on in the same way, living off the earnings in the sectors where they have a monopoly. What changed between Ballmer and Nadella is just the image in the media, they designed around the two persons two completely different characters.

  17. TiddlyPom

    Microsoft neither love nor hate Linux - they just want to maintain their revenue stream

    Microsoft are just a company and look after their own interests. Their business model still relies on users paying one off licence purchases or a subscription model (e.g. Office 36x). Embrace, Extent, Extinguish is still there. That is why Microsoft are adopting the Chromium engine - to try to stop the rush of people away from Edge. There is nothing remotely community minded in any of this. Having the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is not about being 'nice' to the open source community. It is about trying to stop developers moving away to Linux onto Linux for their own day-to-day usage. The same goes in porting SQL Server to Linux. Companies are leaving WIndows Server for Linux in droves for their high-end server usage. Porting SQL Server to Linux makes perfect sense in terms of trying to maintain a revenue stream. As this article says, it is neither good nor bad just common business sense.

    Buying Github means Microsoft can maintain a small revenue stream from some of their bigger customers. That's just running a business. It does not mean Microsoft have changed their spots. What Nadella has done is to move with the times and moniterize other revenue streams (like Azure). Businesses that do not adapt do not survive. Any reasonable CEO knows that.

    I run Linux on both desktop and server and it works for me. I am one of the few Linux users who bother to play games on Steam. Running Linux on a laptop would not work for anybody who relies on particular proprietary software (e.g. AutoCAD) that does not run on Linux. I fully understand that. For most home users and many businesses it would. This is a big threat to Microsoft's business model (although whilst there are so few PCs or tablets preloaded with Linux, it is not much of a threat at the moment!). Nadella understands this as well hence the need to win hearts and minds - otherwise as stated by others, Microsoft becomes just another cloud provider. Many hate him but in terms of keeping Microsoft relevent and afloat, I think Nadella is doing a reasonable job.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft neither love nor hate Linux - they just want to maintain their revenue stream

      > I am one of the few Linux users who bother to play games on Steam.

      There seem to be quite a few of us.

  18. VulcanV5
    WTF?

    Omnipotent

    Baffling, the characterisation of Nadella in this article. As the overseer of The Creator and the facilitator of thousands of miraculous Win10 installs on computers whose owners knew nothing about it, Nadella is very obviously not a mere (neutral) mortal but an all knowing all-seeing god who walks amongst us -- especially when our backs are turned.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. steve 124

    True evil

    You forgot providing full access to M$ servers for US Gov ABC agencies and ramming "free" windows 10 down everyone's throat (to ensure those agencies have some datasets to play with, since w10 is chattier than a high school girl on ritalin.

    Neutral... not even

    M$ has become a demogorgon.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice Open Source smoke screen you have there, Microsoft..

    .. shame if someone were to mention Open Standards in public now, would it?

    I'll believe that Microsoft has turned a new page in its history when their products start speaking Open Standards. That you need plugins to make Outlook talk carddav and caldav says it all in my opinion, and don't get me started on their ODF support versus MSOOXML. As a matter of fact, LibreOffice has been found to support .docx better than Word, in that it recently was found to handle table background instructions correctly, where as Word actually did not.

    So no, still not buying it.

  22. Ozzard
    Big Brother

    I wouldn't mind if Microsoft still only wanted my money

    It used to be that Microsoft wanted my money, Google wanted my data, and Apple wanted my freedom of choice. I could choose which to trade for toys in any given situation.

    Now, I can't. Microsoft wants not only my money, but my personal data and freedom of choice as well. I'll still use it where I have to, but non-MS is becoming a much larger part of my life. Especially given Office 36whatever... oh yes, Office 503 Service Unavailable, that's it.

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