Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 8th Dec 2013 22:10 UTC
Microsoft

The Microsoft CEO succession process appears to be stalled. This is a company with immense human, technical, and financial resources; the tech industry is filled with intelligent, energetic, dedicated candidates. What's wrong with the matchmaking process?

The gist: Microsoft needs someone strong enough to stand up to the old guard still looking over everyone's shoulder (Gates and Ballmer) - and essentially dismiss them - since the company needs to look to the future, not the past.

Good luck with that.

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project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

They need a CEO that can drag that company into the 21st century.

A century where last week's paradigm is today archeology.

A century where no company can spend time and money cementing (locking in) it's customers and industry partners. The rug will get pulled out before you've started.

They need a CEO that is happy with the fall of Blackberry, Nokia, the inevitable rise of open and truly commodity technology - knowing that special sauce has limited lifetime. So it's not your business strategy.

They need a CEO whose customers are not 20th century enterpise IT. But today's 21st century heterogenous non-IT-dept companies. Cells. Startups.

They need a CEO whose customers will be tomorrow's 20-something year old. Not yesterday's industry dinosaurs.

Good luck with that.

Reply Score: 7

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Meh. I've had enough with the 21st century and the Metro interface. Throwing every resource at touchscreens and making a system not suited for laptops or desktops was a mistake. Microsoft should have kept what worked well enough.

Reply Score: 9

linux-lover Member since:
2011-04-25

It's like you stopped reading his post after the first line.

Reply Score: 6

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

You mean the part where he said they needed to do away with their enterprise IT customers?

Reply Score: 1

linux-lover Member since:
2011-04-25

You make no mention of enterprise IT.

It's like you read "21st century" and then immediately went to rant on metro when what he said had nothing to do with metro. Modernizing the company (not just it's products, but strategy and corporate culture) does not equate to a new interface on Windows.

As for enterprise IT; personally I don't think it would be wise to get rid of them, but Microsoft should not cater to their every whim in such a way that it negatively affects their other products. Their products need to be attractive offerings to more then just aging dinosaurs, because they won't be around forever.

Reply Score: 3

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

I made no mention of enterprise IT because it was implied by the comment I replied to: stop catering to enterprise, try to become another fashion giant (Apple). Metro seems to be part of that failing strategy, as is everything made for Metro, what with the App store and its mandatory 30% Microsoft tax.

Reply Score: 0

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

> They need a CEO whose customers are not 20th century enterpise IT.

Enterprise IT people who buy the whole Microsoft package from soup to nuts, AD, Exchange, Windows, Office, etc. are their primary cash cow along with OEM preinstall licenses of Windows. That's why Microsoft are so scared of Chromebooks - it's not just an assault on the Windows client machine, but via Google Apps an attack on the entire "back end" that their business customers buy. Single sign on is handled by Google Apps accounts, document editing and storage by Google Drive, messaging by Hangouts, email by GMail, and the machines are so locked down by default that there's no real need for desktop support other than replacing failed hardware. Hell, since all the Google stuff is done through a web browser you can access it all from Windows, OS X, regular GNU/Linux, *BSD, or even recent nightly builds of Haiku. That destroys Microsoft's "you use it at work, so you should probably use it at home" argument.

As for servers, if you aren't running anything that needs Windows Server infrastructure (like, say, managing Windows desktops) then Linux and FreeBSD are fine for basically everything. Microsoft has seen the writing on the wall about this, which is why they contributed Hyper-V driver support to the main Linux kernel source tree - Microsoft Azure looks like a pretty terrible cloud if you can ONLY run Windows on it.

Reply Score: 14

project_2501 Member since:
2006-03-20

The days of big Microsoft backend ... with technical dependencies (call it lockin, call it integration) .. is over.

If you can't see why you don't need AD, then what out, your business is going get killed by more efficient competition.

Reply Score: 1

project_2501 Member since:
2006-03-20

I should have also said, the CEO of the future needs to think in term of product lifetimes that are months, not decades.

Again, good luck with that ye olde MS guarde.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Stephen!
by Stephen! on Sun 8th Dec 2013 22:35 UTC
Stephen!
Member since:
2007-11-24

The gist: Microsoft needs someone strong enough to stand up to the old guard still looking over everyone's shoulder (Gates and Ballmer)


I'd have thought Gates would be too busy with his Gates Foundation to be doing that.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Stephen!
by ilovebeer on Fri 13th Dec 2013 06:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by Stephen!"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

He is. He's very far removed from operations at Microsoft. Suggesting that he's hanging around looking over peoples shoulders is absolute nonsense.

Reply Score: 2

They Should Create A New Company
by siraf72 on Sun 8th Dec 2013 22:53 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

Put together a special projects team under a wholly owned subsidiary. Hire/move/acquire talent. Leave them alone for a year. See what they come back with. If it doesn't suck, let them get on with it.

They've got enough cash to do that initiative several times over in several markets. The MS board needs to start seeing themselves as an information technology investment committee and less as guardians of Windows and Office.

My armchair punditry.

Edited 2013-12-08 22:53 UTC

Reply Score: 7

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Basically what Microsoft Research does.

Reply Score: 8

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Except that Microsoft research is not allowed to produce products... that's a shame.

They should take it one step further - spin-off Microsoft Research into a subsidiary and allow it to create products that might even compete with Microsoft's own.

Reply Score: 3

siraf72 Member since:
2006-02-22

I suspect that is already too embroiled in the bureaucracy and politics. I know they do incredible work there, but how much of that has ever turned into incredible products.

Reply Score: 2

linux-lover Member since:
2011-04-25

Didn't IBM do something somewhat similar with the PC?


http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/11/half-an-operating-system-th...
"But the chairman of IBM worried that his company’s massive bureaucracy would make any internal PC project take years to produce, by which time the personal computer industry might already be completely taken over by non-IBM machines.

So a rogue group in Boca Raton, Florida—far away from IBM headquarters—was allowed to use a radical strategy to design and produce a machine using largely off-the-shelf parts and a third-party CPU, operating system, and programming languages."

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Mon 9th Dec 2013 00:48 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Will that future include stopping being patent racketeers?

Or may be, call Elop to the rescue until MS first burns and then sinks into the oblivion?-)

Edited 2013-12-09 01:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by shmerl
by ricegf on Mon 9th Dec 2013 02:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

They should hire Elop. He could send out an email declaring Windows to be a "burning platform", with a promise to abandon their current product line and transition to Singularity in the next year or two.

Well, it worked great for him last time.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by japh on Mon 9th Dec 2013 10:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
japh Member since:
2005-11-11

It did work out great for him last time.
It just didn't work out great for Nokias mobile phone division.

Reply Score: 2

Thats a loaded search
by drcoldfoot on Mon 9th Dec 2013 01:55 UTC
drcoldfoot
Member since:
2006-08-25

The only CEO for that job would be Larry Ellison

Reply Score: 5

RE: Thats a loaded search
by Deviate_X on Mon 9th Dec 2013 12:53 UTC in reply to "Thats a loaded search"
Deviate_X Member since:
2005-07-11

Crazy idea, Ellison is a extreme enterprise guy

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Mon 9th Dec 2013 02:59 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

The only choices I think would have any kind of success are Satya Nadella and Stephen Elop. Of the two I prefer Satya, but Elop is imho more likely to get the position.

Given the lies (erm, "leaks") by anonymous sources within MSFT ie: Elop planning to spin off Xbox and Bing, it seems like there are powers that be within Microsoft that really fear an Elop pick.

But, its one of the only ones that make sense. Elop understands Office (he ran the Office division for a while which reinvented itself with O365 and released Office 2010 without a hitch) and Nokia so he understands two huge parts of Microsoft moving forward.

If Devices and Services is what Microsoft wants to be, then Elop (or Satya who does services) is the guy.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Nelson
by Fergy on Mon 9th Dec 2013 08:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

The only choices I think would have any kind of success are Satya Nadella and Stephen Elop. Of the two I prefer Satya, but Elop is imho more likely to get the position.

Elop really showed his strengths at Nokia. Going from hero to zero in a really small amount of time.
But, its one of the only ones that make sense. Elop understands Office (he ran the Office division for a while which reinvented itself with O365 and released Office 2010 without a hitch) and Nokia so he understands two huge parts of Microsoft moving forward.

Elop also showed he could take the hard work of Office2007 and give it a slight polish for the re release in 2010. On top of that he took Office into the future with O365 which is... uhm... let me look that up. Ah it is a subscription to Office. Really innovative.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by MOS6510 on Mon 9th Dec 2013 08:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I think Office 365 is quite a good idea. Innovative ideas are nice, but they need to be good as well.

As a company you want your users on the latest version. You can give it away, like Apple with iWork, or continue to extract money, like Microsoft with Office 365.

If your'e in to Office than the O365 plans provide pretty good deals, I guess.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Mon 9th Dec 2013 12:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

iWork is subsidised by devices, while Office is a major product for Microsoft. For MSOffice consumers are not the main target now. It's quite clear from their initiatives and features.

iWork is nice, but that's it. For all it's niceties, it's as viable in most places as Libre/OpenOffice.
That is, you can get things done without major issues... but MSOffice is just plain better.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by Fergy on Mon 9th Dec 2013 14:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I think Office 365 is quite a good idea. Innovative ideas are nice, but they need to be good as well.

As a company you want your users on the latest version. You can give it away, like Apple with iWork, or continue to extract money, like Microsoft with Office 365.

If your'e in to Office than the O365 plans provide pretty good deals, I guess.

Of course it is a good idea. Linux has been doing it for ages. Charging for new versions of Windows and Office should have stopped a long time ago. Just pay a small fee per year and it is your choice if you want to run WindowsXP, 7 or 8.

If MS were a startup their behavior would be fine. But they are a billion dollar monopoly and I expect more from a corporation that has no limits.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by MOS6510 on Mon 9th Dec 2013 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

What would you suggest?

A lot of people/companies kept using old Office versions. When they finally bought a new one they skipped a couple. With O365 they get the latest version and Microsoft makes more money.

So in my view the subscription move has been an improvement for Microsoft and for the user who doesn't have to contemplate wether to upgrade to a new version or not.

The Linux/Open Source way has been to give away stuff for free and ask money for either installing products or support. If Microsoft gave Office away for free, how many people would turn to them for support? Probably a number, but they'd make far less money than they are doing now.

One thing Microsoft should improve is getting rid of all these different versions, because they can lead to serious brain damage trying to figure them out.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by Fergy on Mon 9th Dec 2013 15:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

The Linux/Open Source way has been to give away stuff for free and ask money for either installing products or support. If Microsoft gave Office away for free, how many people would turn to them for support? Probably a number, but they'd make far less money than they are doing now.

I wish Linux would offer something like Android does where you could use just the free stuff but you could get a better experience and better support if you get the paid version of the app. That way something like Libreoffice maybe could get a steady stream of money to really make a valid alternative to Office.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by MOS6510 on Mon 9th Dec 2013 15:16 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I think that would work.

But I think you need some sort of standard Linux distro to run it on, because there are too many ones that have too many little and big differences to make it work.

Android is reasonably standard and has it. These Synology DiskStations basically run Linux and they have specifics apps for them. iOS and OS X have it. Windows has it.

I believe Ubuntu has something like it, but IIRC they don't offer paid apps.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 9th Dec 2013 15:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I'm assuming you are talking about a specific business strategy that you see with some Android applications that are offered for sale in the Play Market, rather than the operating system itself.

You realize that business model is only possible if a single company owns the copyrights to the software. Just like when Sun/Oracle gave open office for free, but also sold star office which "had more features" and support. So a specific application developer can do that, and several have in the past and some currently do that ( mysql).

Edited 2013-12-09 15:26 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by Fergy on Mon 9th Dec 2013 18:16 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

You realize that business model is only possible if a single company owns the copyrights to the software. Just like when Sun/Oracle gave open office for free, but also sold star office which "had more features" and support. So a specific application developer can do that, and several have in the past and some currently do that ( mysql).

It is not that simple. It is about easy, fun, altruism, trust, support, brand, collection, social, price etc.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Mon 9th Dec 2013 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I think you severely and almost comically underestimate the logistical feat required to ship a version of Office. The guy has got the chops to run Microsoft, almost uniquely so given his Nokia experience and the fact that the executives moving to MSFT are loyal to him.

The Nokia performance is neither here nor there as its been hashed out to death on this website, I obviously disagree with your assessment of the situation.

Edited 2013-12-09 18:19 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by PieterGen on Mon 9th Dec 2013 11:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
PieterGen Member since:
2012-01-13

If Devices and Services is what Microsoft wants to be...

Isn't the combination of Devices AND Services the problem? A device is (nowadays) a device plus software, an integrated thing, such as the iPad. Good concept, the market shows that consumers want this. This is Apple's way of business. A service is an online thing that people want to use on *any device*. Such as GMail or DropBox. Also a good concept. This is Google's way of business.

However, combining those seems impossible. The Devices have a closed ecosystem, the Services must be open. Microsoft sells Devices such as Surfaces (hardware with e.g. MS Office installed) but look at the Office online offers and compare that to Google Docs. Google Docs is simple, it works online on any device. Office 365 is a hard to comprehend mixture of installed software and online services. I still don't know if I (as a Linux user) can use it, even if I were prepared to pony up the yearly fee.

I would say that in the old days there were two models:
a- Devices (integrated hard & software)
b- Software (pick your own hardware)
With the internet a third model came up:
c- Services (do your business online, on any device that can browse)

Services killed Software. Which leaves us with:
- Devices
- Services
Take your pick, but you can't have both.....or am I missing something here?

Edited 2013-12-09 11:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

v They should use Bing
by ciplogic on Mon 9th Dec 2013 11:24 UTC
Re
by kurkosdr on Mon 9th Dec 2013 18:00 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Microsoft needs a CEO who will put an end to the madness where everyone in MS is a paranoid and every division is a silo hostile to other divisions. 'nuff said.

http://9gag.com/gag/aPv4mwP

Edited 2013-12-09 18:01 UTC

Reply Score: 3