Linked by David Adams on Fri 13th May 2011 04:54 UTC
Microsoft In business school the first thing they teach you about CEOs is: it is the CEO’s job to increase the shareholder value of the company. Since taking the position Ballmer has decreased shareholder value, as reflected by stock price, by -56.63%. That. Is. Not. Good . . . Microsoft should be searching for a new CEO right now.
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I can do it
by cefarix on Fri 13th May 2011 05:05 UTC
cefarix
Member since:
2006-03-18

I can take the job.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I can do it
by somebody on Sat 14th May 2011 23:38 UTC in reply to "I can do it"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

well... off course you could;) if Ballmer was capable to get this position and roll it for so long... anyone with IQ>1 can (with some of his comments i was even wondering if it wouldn't be better if next MS CEO would be corpse, wouldn't do any good, but at least wouldn't tank the company either), as long as expected success rate and business vision doesn't change with end of his days.

Reply Score: 2

That article...
by dukes on Fri 13th May 2011 05:30 UTC
dukes
Member since:
2005-07-06

...Is the best description of Microsoft ever. Too bad no one that needs to listen to it will ever do anything about what's been said.

Microsoft has just been 'good enough' for a long time now and just recently their financials have started crossing paths with Apple for the first time in history. Not good. Reminds me of the Titanic.

Reply Score: 5

RE: That article...
by j.dalrymple on Fri 13th May 2011 05:53 UTC in reply to "That article..."
j.dalrymple Member since:
2011-03-29

It's sort of ironic that their business has started tanking just as their flagship products have started to become middlingly good.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: That article...
by BluenoseJake on Fri 13th May 2011 09:25 UTC in reply to "RE: That article..."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Microsoft is tanking? Really? The death of MS has been predicted almost as many times as the death of Apple, and neither has come to pass.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: That article...
by TusharG on Fri 13th May 2011 09:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: That article..."
TusharG Member since:
2005-07-06

"Whatever has start will have end some day!" MS wont die so soon so easily... however in the tech world things are so dynamic, ex: look at Nokia, all though it is still no 1 in mobile market we know it's counting it's days. If MS deal doesn't strike well by end of year then we all will be able to predict what is going to happen with Nokia. The growing threat from Google, Apple, HP is not anymore easy for MS in the OS market. We are also seeing little bit of panic in Intel, due to ARM becoming more and more preferred platform. All I'm saying anything can happen and it doesn't take too long to change in tech world!

Edited 2011-05-13 09:44 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: That article...
by No it isnt on Fri 13th May 2011 10:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: That article..."
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Nokia's situation is exactly like Microsoft's in that while still making money and being a dominant player in the market, they have been losing the hype game for some years now. Yes, they should be doing better, but the chatter surrounding them suggests they're bleeding money, which isn't actually the case.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: That article...
by _xmv on Fri 13th May 2011 10:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: That article..."
_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

not quite. Windows IS a successful product.
Symbian, not quite.

You need Windows. That's the difference. They're not going anywhere.

The XBOX market is also pretty damn good, by the way.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: That article...
by oiaohm on Fri 13th May 2011 10:32 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: That article..."
oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

not quite. Windows IS a successful product.
Symbian, not quite.

You need Windows. That's the difference. They're not going anywhere.

The XBOX market is also pretty damn good, by the way.


Bad news more and more businesses are finding about 80 percent of there desktop space does not Need Windows or MS Office. Symbian most likely be gone in a few years.

Windows Phone OS's most likely will be gone as well.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: That article...
by No it isnt on Fri 13th May 2011 10:41 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: That article..."
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

While it's true that many people don't need Windows (they never did, but they still used it), your comment looks more like wishful thinking than anything else.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: That article...
by gilboa on Fri 13th May 2011 11:48 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: That article..."
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

You need Windows. That's the difference. They're not going anywhere.


I too believe that MS is far from dead.
However, as I others pointed out, I do -not- need Windows, nor do my employer.

The only reason I -use- Windows (VM's) is to port my software to Windows (but even this is slowly being replaced by a combination of mingw and wine - both neatly packaged by Fedora)

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: That article...
by daedliusswartz on Fri 13th May 2011 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: That article..."
daedliusswartz Member since:
2007-05-28

People don't need Windows, Linux, MacOS, Symbian, etc etc.

People do want something though and it's Windows hand over, time and time again.

Don't worry though, 2012 will be the Year of the Linux Desktop.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: That article...
by Laurence on Fri 13th May 2011 11:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: That article..."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

not quite. Windows IS a successful product.
Symbian, not quite.

You need Windows. That's the difference. They're not going anywhere.

Speak for yourself; I've not needed windows for a number of years now. And I'm certainly not alone.

People need an OS. That OS doesn't always need to be Windows.

Reply Score: 4

v RE[7]: That article...
by twitterfire on Fri 13th May 2011 15:19 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: That article..."
RE[7]: That article...
by somebody on Sat 14th May 2011 23:45 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: That article..."
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

"not quite. Windows IS a successful product.
Symbian, not quite.

You need Windows. That's the difference. They're not going anywhere.

Speak for yourself; I've not needed windows for a number of years now. And I'm certainly not alone.

People need an OS. That OS doesn't always need to be Windows.
"

i so wish that you and your thinking would be "people". but parent was right. me and you liking alternative does not constitute as everyone.

windows is still product that is needed by many and i don't see MS tanking unless they simply can't figure out that ONLY all their newer businesses tank. but if they do figure that out, you can simply expect them as lean and mean machine again focused on their strength.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: That article...
by ricegf on Fri 13th May 2011 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: That article..."
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

You need Windows.


For what do I need Windows again? You'll have to remind me - it's been such a long and happy time since...

Reply Score: 5

RE[7]: That article...
by jscipione on Fri 13th May 2011 20:16 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: That article..."
jscipione Member since:
2009-08-22

Perhaps you do not need Windows, but many people do need Windows whether you do or not. People need Windows because Windows runs X, where X is a program that the person needs to run. Often X is Office, which runs on Windows and Mac, but works best on Windows. X might be a game like Starcraft 2 or whatever the cool kids are playing now. In any case there is enough applications out there that run on Windows or run best on Windows to keep the franchise alive for a long long time. So Microsoft will not die any time soon. But because of the Web and Google and Linux and Mac OS X and iPhone people need Windows less than they used to. That is why Microsoft is not doing as well financially as they were 5 years ago.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: That article...
by eMPee584 on Mon 16th May 2011 02:16 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: That article..."
eMPee584 Member since:
2007-01-29

- it's been such a long and happy time since...

O0oh YEAH! it is a good feeling to actually OWN the computer you assembled, without some freak colored toy OS telling you that it is not possible to rename YOUR video file while playing it. Duh.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: That article...
by No it isnt on Fri 13th May 2011 09:53 UTC in reply to "RE: That article..."
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Tanking? AFAIK, their profits for Q1 2011 were among the highest ever. Some people seem to think that since the only way of making money they know of is horse racing, making money is also a horse race. Now Microsoft is starting losing to Apple, so it's time to take her to the glue factory. Unfortunately, many of these morons are journalists.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: That article... - more irony
by jabbotts on Fri 13th May 2011 15:24 UTC in reply to "RE: That article..."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Under a university drop-out software and strategy hacker, the company amassed a monopoly. Under a business school graduate, it's steadily declined. hm....

Reply Score: 2

Comment by mksoft
by mksoft on Fri 13th May 2011 06:47 UTC
mksoft
Member since:
2006-02-25

Nokia's CEO might be interested.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by mksoft
by JAlexoid on Sat 14th May 2011 09:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by mksoft"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

So... Replace one baboon without a vision with another? They even look alike.

Reply Score: 3

the tortoise and the hare
by unclefester on Fri 13th May 2011 06:59 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

This is just another nobody lecturing self-made billionaires on how to run their companies.

Sure MS could create a Skype clone - but it would take years and wouldn't have any brand recognition.

I would place my money on MS surviving another 20 years over Apple any day. Jobs has always bet the farm on a few products. MS sticks to low risk diversity at the expense of growth.

What happens to Apple's share price in 2-3 years years when unlocked $50 WP7 smartphones and $100 Android tablets are sold in supermarkets? How long before every second company has an online app and music store? I guess even Ebay and Facebook will have one soon.

Will people still buy expensive Macs when they can do much faster media editing on cheap server farms or via a cloud-based service?

The success of Apple has always been due to cult marketing hype by sycophants in the media. Mundane products that have been around for years suddenly become absolutely amazing once they have the Apple brand applied. Star Trek had tablet computers way back in the 1960s FFS.

Apple blatantly copied the designs of 1960s German toasters to become the style leader. Online music stores and MP3 players were around long before Apple got into the business.

Reply Score: 2

RE: the tortoise and the hare
by Laurence on Fri 13th May 2011 07:30 UTC in reply to "the tortoise and the hare"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Sure MS could create a Skype clone - but it would take years and wouldn't have any brand recognition.

"Microsoft" is already a much bigger household brand than "Skype".


I would place my money on MS surviving another 20 years over Apple any day. Jobs has always bet the farm on a few products. MS sticks to low risk diversity at the expense of growth.

I think it's the other way round.
Apple have quite a number of profitable products (from their laptops to software (iTunes, Garage Band, etc) to phones to portable music players, and so on).

MS, until the recently, wasn't making a profit on their games consoles. WP7 is under performing and their old mobile OS is already obsolete tech. Zune isn't selling. MS is basically staking their whole company on a few flagship products: Windows, Office, SQL Server.


What happens to Apple's share price in 2-3 years years when unlocked $50 WP7 smartphones and $100 Android tablets are sold in supermarkets? How long before every second company has an online app and music store? I guess even Ebay and Facebook will have one soon.

So long as iPhones and iPods still sell, iTunes will still generate Apple revinue. Such is life with a walled garden.


Will people still buy expensive Macs when they can do much faster media editing on cheap server farms or via a cloud-based service?

Yes because clouds are NOT faster for professional media editing. For one, you'd have to upload your high quality media to the cloud before you could start. Given that most high-end systems cope with media editing just fine already, there's no need to switch to server farms except for a few niche industries. However those that do need server farms already use Linux server farms (eg movie render farms) so that point is moot.

As for the switch to Windows, many media professionals prefer OS X because the tools are (in their opinion) better / more productive in OS X than Windows. eg Logic (pro audio production suite) compared with Cubase.


The success of Apple has always been due to cult marketing hype by sycophants in the media. Mundane products that have been around for years suddenly become absolutely amazing once they have the Apple brand applied. Star Trek had tablet computers way back in the 1960s FFS.

In terms of their consumer products, I agree with you. However consumers have always bought into style and PR*. My girlfriend (for example) buys phones that look "cute" despite having a horrid UI. Apple have always been good at creating a pretty GUI with pretty hardware and then hyping it perfectly. So it's no surprising that consumers buy into Apple.

* Well, those and often price too.

Online music stores and MP3 players were around long before Apple got into the business.

Indeed they have. ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: the tortoise and the hare
by clasqm on Fri 13th May 2011 07:34 UTC in reply to "the tortoise and the hare"
clasqm Member since:
2010-09-23

This is just another nobody lecturing self-made billionaires on how to run their companies.


As opposed to us two nobodies telling other nobodies what they may or may not write?

Sure MS could create a Skype clone - but it would take years and wouldn't have any brand recognition.


I don't think that was the real issue. The real issue here is the price. $8.5 BILLION is an awful lot of money for something that has yet to turn a profit.

I would place my money on MS surviving another 20 years over Apple any day. Jobs has always bet the farm on a few products. MS sticks to low risk diversity at the expense of growth.

What happens to Apple's share price in 2-3 years years when unlocked $50 WP7 smartphones and $100 Android tablets are sold in supermarkets? How long before every second company has an online app and music store? I guess even Ebay and Facebook will have one soon.


You yourself said the magic words above: brand recognition. Apple doesn't participate in the race to the bottom. The more the makers of el cheapo tablets gouge each others' margins, the more people get turned off when the apps from the Facebook store don't work on the eBay tablet, the better for Apple.

I do agree that Microsoft will still be around in 20 years time. After all there still is an IBM. Of sorts.

Will people still buy expensive Macs when they can do much faster media editing on cheap server farms or via a cloud-based service?


What makes you think Apple will not be part of that? Google "North Carolina data center".

The success of Apple has always been due to cult marketing hype by sycophants in the media. Mundane products that have been around for years suddenly become absolutely amazing once they have the Apple brand applied. Star Trek had tablet computers way back in the 1960s FFS.


Yes, and Star Wars had faster-than-light spaceships back in 1978. The first guys to get a working one on the market are still going to make a killing. That really is the lamest argument in the history of OSNews, dude.

Apple blatantly copied the designs of 1960s German toasters to become the style leader.


The German toaster designer doesn't mind. In fact, he is an admirer: http://t.co/AICcQ72

Online music stores and MP3 players were around long before Apple got into the business.


Yes, and nobody used them. I wonder why?

Reply Score: 2

This shows the power of monopoly
by benali72 on Fri 13th May 2011 07:14 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

Ten years into the new century, and MS still can't earn more than half of their income from anything but Windows and Office (these account for ~54% of MS annual revenue).

It just goes to show how hard it is to compete with a monopoly. Even the other parts of MS can't compete with the Windows/Office monopoly!

So now MS is desperately trying to buy their way into new markets with their monopoly money -- eg, Skype, the Nokia deal.

It's tough having to compete for a change!

Reply Score: 3

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Coca-cola has been profitable for 115 years making flavoured sugar water.

Reply Score: 7

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

But they have a cherry flavoured version :-D And there is Diet/Zero, so not only sugar water :-D

Reply Score: 2

I beg to differ
by wirespot on Fri 13th May 2011 07:47 UTC
wirespot
Member since:
2006-06-21

[...]it is the CEO's job to increase the shareholder value of the company.


No, it's not. Share value is an extremely narrow, short term, and often misleading criteria on which to value a CEO.

To all the armchair critics, I recommend reading a couple of posts from Ben Horowitz (of Andreessen-Horowitz venture capital firm) about how they go about valuing a CEO. They're written in an accessible language and will help you understand more about the factors at play:
http://bhorowitz.com/2010/05/30/how-andreessen-horowitz-evaluates-c...
http://bhorowitz.com/2010/04/28/why-we-prefer-founding-ceos/

From one of those posts:
[...]innovations are product cycles. Professional CEOs are effective at maximizing, but not finding, product cycles. Conversely, founding CEOs are excellent at finding, but not maximizing, product cycles. Our experience shows--and the data supports--that teaching a founding CEO how to maximize the product cycle is easier than teaching the professional CEO how to find the new product cycle.


It's debatable whether Ballmer can be considered a "founding CEO" in Horowitz's acceptance ie. capable of breaking new ground in technology. But that doesn't make him a bad CEO. Strictly from a shareholder point of view, Ballmer is doing an excellent job, by optimizing Microsoft processes and adapting as best as possible to the shifting technological landscape. Simply put, he's holding the fort.

A side note: the linked article calls the Skype aquisition "the final nail" in the coffin. It may be exactly the contrary, a sign that Ballmer has figured a new product cycles, or that he's listening to the right people (disclaimer: Horowitz is the recipient of the $8.5B):
http://bhorowitz.com/2011/05/10/microsoft-buys-skype/

It's understandable that shareholders want the kind of revolutionary jump in profits that Google or Apple are demostrating. But it would come with huge risks, any technological breakthrough is an insane bet in the beginning. Some of them don't work out. Are shareholders willing to take those risks, or do they prefer Microsoft share price to trot steadily along with NASDAQ for another decade?

Since Ballmer is still CEO, I think we already have our answer. The only way Ballmer will be replaced is if someone were to get share majority and turn the company around by force. Likely? I think not:
http://finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=MSFT+Major+Holders
http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=msft
(To put figures in perspective: there's 8.43B outstanding MSFT shares, 7.44B in float, of which the largest holder, Bill Gates, has 580M ie. ~6.88%, and they're spread among ~1800 institutions, none of which have more than 3.6% individually. Microsoft is a very "public" company, very much its own animal. Good luck to anybody attempting to force a CEO and strategy change on it.)

Reply Score: 4

RE: I beg to differ
by tylerdurden on Fri 13th May 2011 08:19 UTC in reply to "I beg to differ"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

No, it's not. Share value is an extremely narrow, short term, and often misleading criteria on which to value a CEO.


Actually it is the only criteria to value a CEO of a publicly traded corporation.

Welcome to the wonderful world of corporate stock market capitalism.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I beg to differ
by wirespot on Fri 13th May 2011 08:43 UTC in reply to "RE: I beg to differ"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Say a CEO makes the share value (or margins) of his company inflate artificially (for the short term, of course). In doing so, he sacrifices important assets and damages the company's prospects for the long term. Is that a good CEO? Is that what Ballmer should do?

PS: Please add arguments to your statements and/or links to resources that do that. I've done my research and documented my point above; where's yours? Alternatively, if you have better credentials than Horowitz and your opinion alone is valuable on its own, please provide them.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I beg to differ
by sgtrock on Fri 13th May 2011 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I beg to differ"
sgtrock Member since:
2011-05-13

Quoting a guy who reaped the benefits of buying a piece of a company valued at $2.5B and turned around and sold it for $8.5B two and a half years later as an expert on evaluating CEOs? OK, I can buy that. Sort of. As long as you're talking about the CEO who was running the company prior to the initial purchase.

However, when you are using that to justify declaring the chump who PAID $8.5B for a company worth only $2.5B two and a half years earlier as a good CEO? Not so much. Doubly so when the company for sale is just barely breaking even. Triply so when the chump has has a long string of failed acquisitions over the previous decade.

Reply Score: 3

Ah !
by TBPrince on Fri 13th May 2011 09:27 UTC
TBPrince
Member since:
2005-07-06

What they don't teach in CEO schools (because it's an untold lesson) is that Capitalism, at one point, needs to disrupt value to be able to create more value. That makes Capitalism an inferior production system but a few key figures can make profits out of disruption as well.

Shares value could not raise indefinitely, as it is obvious. If Apple shares weren't valued as toilet paper in mid 90s, Apple couldn't have grown the way it did. And, at one point, Apple shares must collapse to start over again.

The same way, Microsoft had more than 15 years of growing which reflected on shares value. Now shares collapsed and that game can start again.

The blame-CEO game is a handy explanation to justify something which is more than natural, not because CEOs but because current production system.

If I say: Apple and Google shares will collapse sooner or later, that would be a sure bet.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Ah !
by Yamin on Fri 13th May 2011 12:06 UTC in reply to "Ah !"
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

"If I say: Apple and Google shares will collapse sooner or later, that would be a sure bet."

I'm pretty sure creative destruction is at the core of capitalism. It's all the other systems that claim you can have stable institutions and businesses that never fail.

The essence of capitalism is dealing with failure.


That all said, most of the established tech companies should be boring old dividend paying stocks like Coco-Cola. They've established their market. They largely don't because of ridiculous tax laws that tax dividends higher and corporate taxes that discourage bringing the money back.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Ah !
by TBPrince on Fri 13th May 2011 13:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Ah !"
TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

"creative distruction"... that's rather optimistic. ;-)

The essence of that game is burning debt. You make debts, you use debt to get actual wealth, you transfer actual wealth to you via proxy, you don't pay debt and promise your creditors you won't do that again (never ever !) and start over.

That's the essence of it ;-) And that works if you can steal from poor people while will turn into bloodshed if you rob your sibiling.

And about taxes, come on! ;-) Such companies don't pay taxes at all and when they are required to do that, they file for bankruptcy ;-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Ah !
by Yamin on Fri 13th May 2011 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ah !"
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

No the essence of that game is that each institution (company) will always need to prove itself by showing it is serving its customers.

It is a 'good' thing that companies fail and collapse.
It means they are not serving their customers and their failure means someone else can come in and do that job.

This is far better than other systems which try and reform institutions as the self-interest and competence of those in the institution are always a barrier.


If Microsoft falls, it is a good thing.
If it reforms and does well, it is a good thing.

It it doesn't reform and is protected by government somehow, then it is not a good thing.

Reply Score: 2

Executives
by DavidM on Fri 13th May 2011 12:24 UTC
DavidM
Member since:
2006-06-29

I think the Board members should hold a meeting and one of them should stomp around shouting:

"Executives!"
"Executives!"
"Executives!"
"Executives!"

Reply Score: 1

What is the job of a CEO
by spiderman on Fri 13th May 2011 14:09 UTC
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

The job of a CEO is to run a company. It's not about the shareholders! The stock value is a mean to an end, it's not an end. The shareholders are parasites. They may have enough power to dictate their will in some situations but in the Microsoft case they don't. Steve would be well advised to ignore them. Microsoft does have a well funded bank account, it does not need its shareholders. They are there to make some money on its back but they should shut the hell up and get a low profile.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What is the job of a CEO
by ricegf on Fri 13th May 2011 14:43 UTC in reply to "What is the job of a CEO"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Those who own the company are parasites?!? Geesh, you need to quit reading Marx and get out a little more. The USSR collapsed two decades ago - the "parasites" ate its lunch! :-D

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: What is the job of a CEO
by spiderman on Fri 13th May 2011 15:05 UTC in reply to "RE: What is the job of a CEO"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Yes they are, they always were and they will be forever, USSR or not. You should get out a little more, read Marx and learn a thing or two.

Reply Score: 2

Microsoft about to die? LOL
by Darkmage on Fri 13th May 2011 14:59 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

80% don't need Windows? You're dreaming mate. Until Linux has got 100% interoperability with Office. Not just replacement programs but actual interop. Microsoft isn't going anywhere. Anyone who works in IT should know that no product exists yet that can replace Microsoft. I work with a Linux machine, I still have to RDP into a Windows machine to edit Visio diagrams. There's no Linux equivalent that handles .vsd files properly. There are literally thousands of packages that only exist on Windows and which don't have functional equivalents on other platforms. Wine is not a solution to most of those programs either. It doesn't tie into the OS enough to provide the things those programs need. Linux is becoming a great product, but it's still a long way from toppling the Redmond behemoth. Personally I think Linux would do better to try to go after Apple first, before trying to take on Microsoft. Mac has usability over windows. Linux hasn't got anything except source code access which most people don't care about.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Microsoft about to die? LOL
by unclefester on Sat 14th May 2011 13:12 UTC in reply to "Microsoft about to die? LOL"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Personally I think Linux would do better to try to go after Apple first, before trying to take on Microsoft.

Thats what Ubuntu is trying to do.

Reply Score: 2

Please do not compare MS with Apple.
by twitterfire on Fri 13th May 2011 15:02 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

Don't come with that bullshit: Apple has more valuable shares and better profits margins while MS does not.

The truth is Apple shares are hyperinflated while the price of MS shares is slightly underestimated.

That's because speculative activities and because many dumb bastards think of themselves as intelligent investors. While Apple shares can (and will at some point in the future) saw some drastic adjustments, MS shares have potential to grow because, unlike Apple, MS is a solid company.

Also, the bussiness model is different, MS is primarily a software company and its primary bussiness is selling software while Apple makes money from selling songs, MP3 players, phones, tablets and software made by others.

If you compare strictly the software businesses of the two, you see that MS is doing much, much better in that particular field.

That's because, unlike Apple who relies on heavy "borrowing" of design ideas and heavy "borrowing" code from open source projects, MS does it with their own people. See how many software engineers work for MS and how many work for Apple. See how many software projects were developed by MS (starting from scratch, not from "borrowed" code) and how many by Apple. Do compare the complexity of MS software (orders of magnitude higher) and Apple software and finally, do compare the quality of the said software. I'm not sure how good Apple would come out from these comparisons.

Finally, Apple makes a lot of cash now because the world is filled with snobs and dumb people with money. If you are unsure of your sexuality, your physical attraction, your intellect and you see some sexy guy in a Hollywood film, who seems to attract lots of girls and is using an iPad or Mac Book, or if you read a column in magazine and the journalist seems to be smart and is praising some Apple product, what's the first thing you do?

Idk if Ballmer was the best possible CEO for MS, but thanks God MS didn't employed Steve Jobs as its CEO. Otherwise, MS would be the one selling crap products with the letter "i" in front.

I think that MS should concentrate on what they can do best and that is software. Instead of trying to compete with Sony (xbox), Apple (zune), Google (bing). If they come up with a killer os for phones and tablets, if they extend their software business in other directions, I think their profit margins will be much better.

PS. For Apple fans, I'm not saying that Apple is bad and MS good or viceversa. I'm just saying that Apple is selling products of no real value with artistically inflated prices. While you can get some value from your money if you (or your company) buy something from MS.

Reply Score: 2

dukes Member since:
2005-07-06

Don't come with that bullshit: Apple has more valuable shares and better profits margins while MS does not.

The truth is Apple shares are hyperinflated while the price of MS shares is slightly underestimated.

That's because speculative activities and because many dumb bastards think of themselves as intelligent investors. While Apple shares can (and will at some point in the future) saw some drastic adjustments, MS shares have potential to grow because, unlike Apple, MS is a solid company.


Apple's share price is not "hyperinflated". Just because it is currently over $300/sh doesn't mean a thing. Apple's market capitalization at this time is $316 Billion dollars. It accurately reflects the health of the company regardless of how much each share costs.


Finally, Apple makes a lot of cash now because the world is filled with snobs and dumb people with money. If you are unsure of your sexuality, your physical attraction, your intellect and you see some sexy guy in a Hollywood film, who seems to attract lots of girls and is using an iPad or Mac Book, or if you read a column in magazine and the journalist seems to be smart and is praising some Apple product, what's the first thing you do?


Everyone is basically a snob. They just don't care to admit it to themselves. http://bit.ly/kypbmW

Has nothing really to do with a company's product. Bottom line is people buy what they want.


Idk if Ballmer was the best possible CEO for MS, but thanks God MS didn't employed Steve Jobs as its CEO. Otherwise, MS would be the one selling crap products with the letter "i" in front.


No truly successful company sells "crap products". It just doesn't work that way. Apple has been the most successful tech company in recent years with only just a few product offerings.


I think that MS should concentrate on what they can do best and that is software. Instead of trying to compete with Sony (xbox), Apple (zune), Google (bing). If they come up with a killer os for phones and tablets, if they extend their software business in other directions, I think their profit margins will be much better.


This I agree on. I've always thought Microsoft should concentrate on software.


PS. For Apple fans, I'm not saying that Apple is bad and MS good or viceversa. I'm just saying that Apple is selling products of no real value with artistically inflated prices. While you can get some value from your money if you (or your company) buy something from MS.


You don't need to be a "fan" of Apple to enjoy their products. It just has to work as advertised--and they do. That's the value right there. Apple also takes VERY good care of their customers in their retail presence. You can't really say with facts that you don't get value from Apple. That's just a rant based on industry jealousy.

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

You don't need to be a "fan" of Apple to enjoy their products. It just has to work as advertised--and they do.

I had a look at some Android phones at the local Telstra shop today:

HTC Wildfire - AUD249

Samsung Galaxy 5 - AUD149

Huawei -AUD99

Guess what they all worked perfectly despite costing far less than an iPhone (AUD700-900). The only real difference between the Android phones was the screen size and the camera resolution.

The staff were friendly and helpful

Reply Score: 2

Flawed concept
by jessesmith on Fri 13th May 2011 15:30 UTC
jessesmith
Member since:
2010-03-11

The article is painfully flawed. A CEO is there to keep the company being profitable, not simply to inflate the share price. The value of stock options does not equate to real value. Look at Nortel as an example.

Microsoft is posting near record profits these days, they're not in any danger.

Reply Score: 3

Just wait...
by gfolkert on Fri 13th May 2011 16:15 UTC
gfolkert
Member since:
2008-12-15

Now that the Anti-Trust Oversight is about to end...

Then it'll be *BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL*... tromping over all competition with a big stick and not having to worry about it.

Heck why should it worry, its only every had a slap on the patty for violating the Sherman Act.

Just wait, the tyrant Balmer will get his JuJu back again and Glory to the Stock Price Gods will be yet again obtained.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Sat 14th May 2011 12:15 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I read the article and what the writer fails to realise is that Microsoft is now a mature company, they're now like IBM, Oracle, SAP and other mature companies. They aren't going to grow at huge rates simply because the markets that they cater for have matured and thus the growth rate is simply going to follow the market.

As for what Microsoft is doing now, there was a plan around 5 or so years ago to diversify and guess what arm chair experts - diversifying a very large company takes time. People ignore the fact that when Apple was on the bones of its ass the first thing Steve Jobs did was to dramatically cut the company down to size then over the years gradually expanded it out again from its core business.

Microsoft is in the same situation be it with some missteps along the way and miss reading the market in that smart phones are not only targeted at the high end but it is now possible to get a Android powered phone for around NZ$200, which is the price of a mid range 'basic' phone not too long ago. Microsoft believed that the smart phones would remain a niche where as the down scaling of Android has show that when the price is right lots of people want to jump onboard and purchase one.

Fast forward to today and their online services division has finally got its act together - it is no longer trying to be everything to everyone; its not trying to create its own YouTube, it's own wordpress, its own facebook etc. Microsoft has realised that they can make a profitable online service division without needing to rule the universe which is why they've decided to work with Wordpress, buried the hatchit with YouTube and connecting Live and Facebook together. Skype is an example of whether one should spend hundreds of millions trying to build up a brand that may or may not catch on or just simply buy out a company with a winning formula and integrate it into the larger services on offer.

Regarding the future, it appears that Windows 8 and WP7 are feeding off each other in terms of the future direction of Windows - it took a giant book up the ass but Microsoft is responding. Microsoft is very much like Intel - anyone remember how long it took for Intel to finally turn the ship around after the P4 debacle? well, the same situation is happening with Microsoft - Windows 7 and Office 2010 is the first phase of a much larger response to what Apple is offering.

Btw, I am a Mac user but I also own a WP7 device as well - I want to see a strong competitor to Apple so that both Microsoft and Apple are kept on top of the game by putting out better products. For me I'm excited about Mac OS X Lion but I'm also equally as excited about Windows 8 as well if Microsoft continues developing Windows 8 the current direction.

Reply Score: 3

will adapt
by fran on Sat 14th May 2011 12:35 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

One thing that makes a software company like Microsoft different from say a car company is that in bad times they are incredibly flexible and adaptive.

Reply Score: 2

mkay
by twitterfire on Sat 14th May 2011 15:42 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

My toilet has an Arm Cortex A8 incorporated and it runs Tubuntu (short for toilet ubuntu). While the trade press was busy discussing why Linux wasn't taking over the desktop, Linux quietly took over the rest of the world.

Don't worry, 2012 will be the year of the Linux desktop.

Reply Score: 3

Vista
by Gone fishing on Sun 15th May 2011 16:39 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

I would have though the time to get rid of Ballmer was the failure of Vista. You spend about a decade developing and billions of dollars on the next addition of your flagship product. It is possibly the worst OS ever made (judged by the standards of the time) - it is universally hated (for good reason) and....

...you keep the person in charge of this debacle - odd

Reply Score: 2

Research
by twitterfire on Sun 15th May 2011 21:01 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

I wonder one thing though: why the fuck they spend a lot of cash and a lot of man hours there at Microsoft Research if they aren't going to use almost nothing form what the research guys are coming with. I mean they had a lot of bright ideas, they've done a lot of work and for nothing.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Research
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 17th May 2011 05:40 UTC in reply to "Research"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Good F-ing question. I love open source, but the stuff microsoft research comes up with is awesome. They really need to figure out how to integrate that stuff with their existing product base in a compatible manner.

Reply Score: 2