Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Feb 2014 09:51 UTC
Microsoft

Satya Nadella needs to find Microsoft's new "a computer on every desk and in every home running Microsoft software". Here's my stab at it: Microsoft services, sending data to and from every networked device in the world.

The next ubiquity isn't running on every device, it's talking to every device.

Interesting view.

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Devices and services
by avgalen on Wed 5th Feb 2014 10:53 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

When Microsoft announced they would become a devices and services company it felt like a great change was coming.

In the last 1.5 year they made exactly 4 devices that haven't been a great success: Surface RT, Surface Pro, Surface 2, Surface Pro 2.
Their services DID change a lot though. Azure, Outlook.com, Office 365, Azure, "everything else" online, services-built-into-apps, services available on Android and IOS.

and then I realized that "devices and services" company doesn't only have to mean that they MAKE devices and services. They should also allow their services to run on devices that others make and integrate the services from others into their products.

Combine that with all the moving around in the hardware world (Lenovo buying IBM x64-servers and Motorola, Dell forgetting about customizable pc's, basically no more Sony Vaio) and all the Microsoft acquisitions (Skype, Nokia) and you can see that mr. Nadella is going to have a lot of really hard work and important decisions to make. Lets see if he cares enough about consumer to produce 8 and 13" tablets and use his Azure to support 1 appstore for XBox/Phone/RT/PC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Devices and services
by Kochise on Wed 5th Feb 2014 13:20 UTC in reply to "Devices and services"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

How Sega and Atari farted well in the gamin industry by turning 'just' software producers ?

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Devices and services
by Novan_Leon on Wed 5th Feb 2014 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Devices and services"
Novan_Leon Member since:
2005-12-07

I assume your question was: "Have Sega and Atari fared well in the gaming industry by turning into 'just' software producers?"

If we go purely by stock prices, SEGA has done fairly well for themselves since turning into a software publisher/developer. Atari, not so much. I believe Atari filed for chapter 11 last year.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Devices and services
by Kochise on Wed 5th Feb 2014 17:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Devices and services"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Thanks for the typo correction and the answer ;)

Kochise

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Devices and services
by zima on Wed 12th Feb 2014 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Devices and services"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Though the history of Atari is more complex than "turning into 'just' software producers" :p

Right now it is a company using Atari trademarks ...but which doesn't have much in common with the original company, which basically went bust some years ago. Wiki has a decent article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari

Reply Score: 2

RE: Devices and services
by linux-lover on Wed 5th Feb 2014 15:51 UTC in reply to "Devices and services"
linux-lover Member since:
2011-04-25

For devices in the last 1.5 years, you have forgot to mention the Xbox One, which has been selling quite well. Also with the Nokia acquisition, Microsoft is technically now making Lumia Phones as well. With Lumia, Surface, and the xbox one, Microsoft is actually a fairly large producer of hardware.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Devices and services
by avgalen on Wed 5th Feb 2014 16:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Devices and services"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

I forgot to mention the XBox One???? Wow, that was pretty bad. It isn't available in my country (NL) yet, but I should have included it. So that makes 5 devices.

Nokia isn't officialy Microsoft yet, so they don't count.

That makes Microsoft a pretty much irrelevant MAKER of devices for now, but it will be interesting to see what they are going to do both with making devices themselves and supporting devices from others

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Devices and services
by linux-lover on Thu 6th Feb 2014 03:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Devices and services"
linux-lover Member since:
2011-04-25

Although yes, Microsoft isn't directly involved in the design of Lumias, with the acquisition they own the Lumia line as well as the engineering talent. You may not count it as Microsoft hardware, but it's still a huge investment Microsoft has in the hardware space. Even without the acquisition, the Lumias are quite important as they were the only Windows Phones that sold in any significant amount.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Devices and services
by Nelson on Thu 6th Feb 2014 10:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Devices and services"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

From Oct-Dec the totals are around 7.4M (Xbox360+XB1) vs 7.8M (PS3/PS4). That isn't a terrible difference, especially considering the Xbox One is $100 more expensive.

Still, the point is that Microsoft is a significant devices company already.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Devices and services
by Nth_Man on Wed 5th Feb 2014 17:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Devices and services"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

> the Xbox One has been selling quite well.
The Xbox One would be being sold quite worse than others if we looked at [some raw data](http://www.vgchartz.com/); I would like to see another source of statistics to compare them.

Weekly Hardware Chart 25th January 2014
Global sales
PS4 151,876
3DS 134,129
XOne 72,751
PS3 67,526
...

Edited 2014-02-05 17:55 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Devices and services
by Novan_Leon on Wed 5th Feb 2014 18:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Devices and services"
Novan_Leon Member since:
2005-12-07

I wish there was a reliable source for statistics as well. vgchartz has a bad reputation in the gaming community for reporting incorrect/unsubstantiated/questionable numbers.

Edited 2014-02-05 18:12 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Devices and services
by linux-lover on Thu 6th Feb 2014 03:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Devices and services"
linux-lover Member since:
2011-04-25

vgchartz doesn't have the best reputation.
Yes I am aware it's not the number one seller, but as of early January it sold 3 million units which is quite substantial. Especially if you look at total WiiU sales and how it's well over a year old. The xbox one is also unavailable in many regions were the PS4 is. Plus it's not sold at a loss: http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/09/06/at-500-microsoft-...

It's a little disingenuous to compare dedicated console sales to a hand-held like the 3DS, especially considering that the 3DS has a much larger library of games since it has been around for a longer period (not to mention old DS games) and is much cheaper. You can get a new 3DS for $200 or less.

Sales also don't mean product quality, the xbox one had a lot of negative press after the E3 fiasco which probably hurt their sales figures.

Plus, I don't really care personally which console sells well, I'm a PC gamer ;)

Edited 2014-02-06 03:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Devices and services
by oper on Thu 6th Feb 2014 05:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Devices and services"
oper Member since:
2012-08-30

> Plus it's not sold at a loss: http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/09/06/at-500-microsoft-...

The headline of that article already says "Microsoft Says The Xbox One Will Break Even Or Make A Profit", and summarizes well the article. If, from that text, someone says "it's not sold at a loss" and brings it as a proof, there's no possible discussion, of course.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Devices and services
by Lennie on Thu 6th Feb 2014 08:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Devices and services"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Define selling well, that department of Microsoft is one of a few departments that are making good profits.

The only reason it is making these profits is because it is the same departments that gets the money from the patents from Android phone OEMs.

So it isn't a good success story.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Devices and services
by shmerl on Wed 5th Feb 2014 18:21 UTC in reply to "Devices and services"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

You are right, MS faces a problem of their own approach which they followed for years - i.e. sickening lock-in and sabotaging of any interoperability. That's not going to cut it anymore if they want to provide services which interest anyone. While their mindset is still dominated with standards hijacking and lock-in, they won't be able to catch up with competition.

It's ironic, because lock-in was their standard method of preventing competition in the past. Today they need to learn how to compete on merit, rather than using shady behavior. It's a novel thing for MS.

Edited 2014-02-05 18:32 UTC

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Devices and services
by Nelson on Thu 6th Feb 2014 01:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Devices and services"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Satya isn't an outsider, he's been doing the things you asked and succeeding at it for years in Server&Tools. Its a $19B business for Microsoft.

Azure is all about interoperability, open source, and standards compliance.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Devices and services
by shmerl on Thu 6th Feb 2014 03:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Devices and services"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Azure was more restrictive in the past, but under pressure they budged, for example accommodating needs of Linux servers. Competition does wonders.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Devices and services
by Lennie on Thu 6th Feb 2014 08:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Devices and services"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Being competitive means being cheaper or similarly priced (or with added value) as the competition:

Basically a VM with Windows is cheaper on Azure than a Ubuntu VM. (I could be wrong, but there is also only Ubuntu and Suse I believe). This still makes the Ubuntu VM more expensive than other providers. So they are not competitive.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Devices and services
by Nelson on Thu 6th Feb 2014 10:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Devices and services"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

This is wrong on both counts. You can provision a VM with your own ISO.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Devices and services
by Lennie on Thu 6th Feb 2014 10:38 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Devices and services"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

And you'll get even less support.

It isn't the same product/service anymore.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Devices and services
by Nelson on Thu 6th Feb 2014 10:51 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Devices and services"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Microsoft doesn't support VMs, period beyond the SLA guarantees. That and they price match Amazon. What are you even talking about?

First you post the incorrect, laughable smear that Linux VMs are more expensive (when Azure is priced based on compute, storage, and size). Then you try again with the smear that Azure is only limited to the preconfigured gallery (also false). Now you're trying again.

Do you even use Azure? Have you ever?

Edited 2014-02-06 10:53 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Devices and services
by shmerl on Thu 6th Feb 2014 16:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Devices and services"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Being competitive is offering better / cheaper service than competitor. Azure competes with AWS, not with Ubuntu. Not offering proper Linux support was offering an inferior service in comparison with competitors. So no matter how much MS hates Linux, they had to budge. As I said, when faced with competition, they are forced to abandon their crooked practices.

Edited 2014-02-06 16:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Devices and services
by Nelson on Thu 6th Feb 2014 10:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Devices and services"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

This was actually after Scott Gu and Satya started running the show. It is entirely understated how bad Azure was in 2010.

Prior to that Azure was only PaaS. Its not so much they became less restrictive as much as its them entering another market.

They didn't "restrict" Linux, they just didn't offer VMs (even running Windows) period.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Devices and services
by zima on Wed 12th Feb 2014 23:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Devices and services"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's ironic, because lock-in was their standard method of preventing competition in the past. Today they need to learn how to compete on merit, rather than using shady behavior. It's a novel thing for MS.

Windows rose also on merit, people forget that it was better than other choices at the time of Win 3.x and 95... http://www.osnews.com/permalink?540890

Reply Score: 2

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 5th Feb 2014 10:53 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

So he's planning to go head to head with Google.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by franko on Wed 5th Feb 2014 11:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
franko Member since:
2012-05-25

I think Google might have the lead in "it's talking to every device" with their buying of A.I and robotic firms.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 5th Feb 2014 12:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

To me it seems Microsoft has an advantage with Windows and Office in the business world. Throw in Azure and OneDrive and perhaps you can make a slick whole of it all.

Google has the advantage of Android and a lot of people already using their services. People rather have the IT department make them access their work file at work/home than move everything to another service (Microsoft).

Google was always able to move faster than Microsoft, but we'll have to wait and see how Microsoft performs under their new CEO.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Fergy on Wed 5th Feb 2014 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

To me it seems Microsoft has an advantage with Windows and Office in the business world.

Seems to me that 'advantage' is shrinking everyday.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by moondevil on Wed 5th Feb 2014 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

On the enterprise consulting world it is business as usual.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by Nelson on Thu 6th Feb 2014 00:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Uh, no it isn't. Office is as strong as ever in the enterprise.

Microsoft is actually even embracing change and transitioning Office to a cloud based subscription model. Things are going very, very well for them per their earnings report.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by Phloptical on Thu 6th Feb 2014 14:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

"To me it seems Microsoft has an advantage with Windows and Office in the business world.

Seems to me that 'advantage' is shrinking everyday.
"

How, exactly, is that shrinking?

Corporate IT 101 -- Windows on the desktop, Windows Server on the VM, MS Office on the workstation, and MS SQL for the DB.

Shrinking because of Linux? Yes, Linux exists in the datacenter but the user population doesn't want to know about it, see it, touch it, or think that it exists. So it runs happily behind the scenes cloaked in the garb of ESX, WAN accelerators, switch OSs, Spam filters, de-dupe devices, SAN OS, etc.

Shrinking because of iPad/Android tablets? Lol....right.

MS was hurt by Windows 8, but by no means have they lost their hold on the corporate world because of it. As long as I can buy end-user hardware and run Win 7 on it, I'm good to go. Just buying time, while waiting for Win 9 to magically fix all the problems.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by Fergy on Thu 6th Feb 2014 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

How, exactly, is that shrinking?

It is all about the apps and the services. New apps and services already start agnostic to windows/linux/mac x86/arm/mips. Older apps and services are slowly converting or dying out. A lot of businesses use a web interface or vnc interface so it doesn't matter what kind of pc they have or if it runs windows. Office might still be the best suite but do you really need it for your job? Is it worth the licensing costs?

Edited 2014-02-06 14:36 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by Nelson on Thu 6th Feb 2014 17:46 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Apparently, yes since Office signed up 3.5M subscribers. Yes. Subscribers. As in recurring revenue.

Office 365 is a $1.5B business. That's aside from the Office licensing behemoth. Licensing revenue is up 10%. O365 grew > 100%

I think its little more than wishful thinking on your part to suggest that Microsoft has any short, medium, long term problem with enterprise.

What platform do you think those services are being deployed on? Azure. Which had YoY growth in excess of 100%.

Reply Score: 4

banana republic
by Paraquat on Thu 6th Feb 2014 00:51 UTC
Paraquat
Member since:
2013-01-25

Microsoft's "advantage" is their abuse of the patent system, prime examples being extorting payments from Android, and their storefront patent-troll subsidiary, Intellectual Ventures. Their latest method of trying to lock-in vendors with UEFI "secure boot" is yet another example of how the company only seems able to compete with lawyers and dirty tricks.

Any normal country would take a dim view of such abuse of the legal system, and would try to put a stop to it. However, in the Banana Republic of the USA where corporate persons have more rights than real persons, I expect more and more laws and regulations to be enacted to protect Bill Gates' fortune. Indeed, protecting the wealthy is the top priority of the Congress and President - there is no duty more sacred than corporate welfare.

Reply Score: 3