Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 10th Jul 2014 14:45 UTC
Microsoft

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has just published a letter to employees about... Uh, yeah, about what exactly?

The day I took on my new role I said that our industry does not respect tradition - it only respects innovation. I also said that in order to accelerate our innovation, we must rediscover our soul - our unique core. We must all understand and embrace what only Microsoft can contribute to the world and how we can once again change the world. I consider the job before us to be bolder and more ambitious than anything we have ever done.

I've read through the whole thing - twice - but I still have no idea what I'm supposed to take from this. There's nothing concrete, nothing we haven't heard before - it's so vague that I'm not really sure it even has a point to begin with. I think it's supposed to announce some sort of change in direction, but that's the problem - there isn't one.

Especially these two successive paragraphs are startling.

More recently, we have described ourselves as a "devices and services" company. While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy.

At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.

What's the difference between "devices and services" and "mobile-first and cloud-first"?

That's the problem with vague, abstracted drivel from company executives. It's essentially homeopathic communication - so watered down it's essentially just water with zero medicinal effects.

Order by: Score:
Lack of priority
by Aeyoun on Thu 10th Jul 2014 15:11 UTC
Aeyoun
Member since:
2014-05-20

This is in itself a confirmation of the lack of focus and priority. «Mobile-first and cloud-first» is not far from «everything at once!» Especially weird considering its existing costumers want either «computer-first» or «gaming-first».

Reply Score: 6

RE: Lack of priority
by CaptainN- on Thu 10th Jul 2014 17:04 UTC in reply to "Lack of priority"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

I think the emphasis was supposed to be on "productivity." Judging by multiple reports on the memo, no one seems to have gotten that out of it. I guess this phrase was too long; "Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world." This means an emphasis on cloud productivity software - like Office Online, running on cloud platforms like Azure. This is interesting because it's an emphasis on cross platform software - a very new direction for Microsoft.

This is a classic cognitive mistake. Leaders often assume that the people they are leading (especially at tech companies) are more capable of reason, and therefor, better at interpreting more complex reasoned statements. This is not true of any population, even populations with higher average IQ scores, but never the less, it's a common mistake - one that IMHO, is made more often by more thoughtful people.

A little bit of thought put into how to frame his intent in accordance with all the current cognitive science, would go a long way to help deliver that actual intent.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Lack of priority
by bassbeast on Sun 13th Jul 2014 21:13 UTC in reply to "Lack of priority"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Well if the rumors are true the only way Windows 7 got out the door was that Balmer was too busy squirting with his Zune to pay attention to it and from the sounds of it this clown is "Balmer 2.0 powered by Azure" so it may be time to face the fact that MSFT is just never gonna recover.

Personally as a PC gamer I hope they do recover, SteamOS sucks ass and lets be honest, the Linux stack is just too buggy for gaming unless you just rip the whole thing apart and make it little more than an embedded kernel, so when it comes to PC gaming there really isn't anybody else.

Sadly it looks like the antitrust ruling may be the thing that killed it as it looks more and more like the company really needed to be split up to keep it from trashing itself trying to be all things to all markets. It reminds me of the inventor of WinAmp talking about AOHell, how at AOL "it was all about "the service (AOL dialup) and it didn't matter that trying to tie WinAmp to dialup would never work, didn't matter that pushing the service would just kill WinAmp, it was all about the service and all they wanted to hear was "how are you gonna push the service?".

With MSFT its Windows, they can't see that you can't jam Windows onto everything, that it makes NO FUCKING SENSE on devices that aren't X86, its ALL about Windows...and that will kill them as dead as Commodore.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Stephen!
by Stephen! on Thu 10th Jul 2014 15:54 UTC
Stephen!
Member since:
2007-11-24

We must all understand and embrace what only Microsoft can contribute to the world


Microsoft has a sense of humour after all.

Reply Score: 10

Always an Upside
by organgtool on Thu 10th Jul 2014 16:09 UTC
organgtool
Member since:
2010-02-25

On a positive note, Microsoft employees will be able to enjoy many games of Buzzword Bingo over the next several years. Get your gamecards ready!

Reply Score: 6

RE: Always an Upside
by Nth_Man on Thu 10th Jul 2014 17:20 UTC in reply to "Always an Upside"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

On a positive note, Microsoft employees will be able to enjoy many games of Buzzword Bingo over the next several years. Get your gamecards ready!

Yes! It's FUN! Those discourses that treat you like a naive that can be fooled by "impressive" words can also be... FUN!

It's explained in
http://www.bullshitbingo.net/cards/bullshit/
http://lurkertech.com/buzzword-bingo/
and also, each time you enter there, you are shown a new random gamecard that can be used by someone of your team to play with it later.

Those meetings won't be the same:-)

https://www.google.com/search?q=bullshit+bingo

Reply Score: 4

Makes sense to me
by henderson101 on Thu 10th Jul 2014 16:17 UTC
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

Thom, maybe you're just not in the right field any more? It makes perfect sense to me. Mobile first (mobile before desktop) cloud first (cloud services before desktop.) This sits perfectly with the direction MS has been heading with their various services (Azure, OneDrive, Office, Windows Phone, Modern/Metro.) Really, beside the buzz speak, it pretty much tells me that the way they've been heading is here to stay. Maybe that my inner geek is bigger, maybe you just don't understand the industry as much as you think you do? I'm not going to judge you ;-P

Edit: Oh, and when he mentions "devices and services", he's referring to the hardware (phones/surfaces/xboxes) and more traditional infrastructure (OneDrive/Office/xbox gold) over the stuff like Azure, which is a platform to build a new world of services upon.

Edit2: remembering that "mobile" is not equivalent to "Windows Phone", mobile covers all mobile platforms - even competitors (such as the Microsoft apps on iOS etc.)

Edited 2014-07-10 16:24 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Makes sense to me
by kwan_e on Thu 10th Jul 2014 16:21 UTC in reply to "Makes sense to me"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

This sits perfectly with the direction MS has been heading with their various services


Anyone can talk about heading, but the actual thing worth discussion is the engine that's actually powering them to where they're heading.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Makes sense to me
by henderson101 on Thu 10th Jul 2014 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Makes sense to me"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Azure pretty much then.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Makes sense to me
by Lennie on Sat 12th Jul 2014 12:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Makes sense to me"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

No, it isn't Azure per se, it's platform, always platform.

Which means: making developers and users build and use applications tied to their platform and making money selling devices, software and services on which the platform is build.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Makes sense to me
by satan666 on Thu 10th Jul 2014 17:12 UTC in reply to "Makes sense to me"
satan666 Member since:
2008-04-18

I think Thom is right. The bullshit is strong with thisone (Nadela).

Reply Score: 1

Not pointless
by kwan_e on Thu 10th Jul 2014 16:19 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

I wouldn't say it was pointless. I think the point is it's meant to be motivational. Somehow. These kind of things are always more about motivation than it is about direction.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not pointless
by henderson101 on Thu 10th Jul 2014 16:26 UTC in reply to "Not pointless"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

It's a letter to employees. That a Dutch semi-blogger who has no direct connection to Microsoft doesn't understand Microsoft culture and internal politics - really, is that surprising?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Not pointless
by tylerdurden on Thu 10th Jul 2014 18:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Not pointless"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Do you work for Microsoft?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Not pointless
by henderson101 on Fri 11th Jul 2014 12:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not pointless"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

No. I do know a few people that do though. Why is that relevant?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Not pointless
by tylerdurden on Fri 11th Jul 2014 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not pointless"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Well it depends on whether or not one considers hypocrisy to be relevant, I guess.

Cheers.

Edited 2014-07-11 18:31 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Not pointless
by No it isnt on Thu 10th Jul 2014 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Not pointless"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

It's not meant to be understood, it's meant to give employees and investors a warm fuzzy feeling of being attached to a corporation that's heading towards a bright future. Thom is right: it's homeopathy. Placebo.

He's wrong about one thing, though. This isn't limited to company executives. You get this kind of bullshit in all somewhat large institutions, even public universities, that should be immune. It's what goes by the term 'leadership' these days: spread your bullshit so thin that it's hard to identify it for what it really is. Add something about the future into the mix, and you get a pay rise.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not pointless
by organgtool on Thu 10th Jul 2014 19:50 UTC in reply to "Not pointless"
organgtool Member since:
2010-02-25

As a developer, I view motivation without specific direction as corporate floundering. Software developers are often detail-oriented people and "messages" that provide all fluff with no specifics are a waste of time and can even demotivate us since we perceive that our leaders are incapable of providing anything of substance.

Reply Score: 6

General 2cents worth...
by hackus on Thu 10th Jul 2014 16:27 UTC
hackus
Member since:
2006-06-28

First of all, Microsoft is not a mobile, or a cloud company.

If they become one, they will go out of business.

None of the ideas that made the company what it is exists in the cloud space because they can't.

Such as open standards, and interoperation as an example.

LINUX already has all of that captured, and will do so for the 21st century, or until von Neumann machine architecture burns itself out, which I think won't happen in this century.

Honestly, from my perspective, the only reason why Microsoft is around is because people take their really expensive software, and build really expensive to maintain systems are are afraid to dump it because it would be...well...

really expensive.

Microsoft would be a hole in the ground if the anti trust laws were not blatantly ignored and all of the proxy wars it started against LINUX had not slowed LINUX adoption.

OS X is by far a better quality option than Microsoft if you want to go the closed/proprietary route.

Microsoft is truly screwed in my opinion. A Dinosaur sorta rummaging around about a month after the asteroid hit and wondering where all the free plant food went.

Reply Score: 8

RE: General 2cents worth...
by Nelson on Thu 10th Jul 2014 23:40 UTC in reply to "General 2cents worth..."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

MSFT has spent $15B on Cloud infrastructure and has over a million servers in data centers.

Azure is a billion dollar business. So is Office 365. Microsoft has an estimated run rate of $2.3B to $2.6B for their cloud services.

How are they not a cloud first business? Revenue for Azure in Microsoft's last quarter jumped over 100%. Office 365 jumped over 100% as well.

Some of you have a problem with hyperbole. Come on.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: General 2cents worth...
by Vanders on Fri 11th Jul 2014 09:29 UTC in reply to "RE: General 2cents worth..."
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

MSFT has spent $15B on Cloud infrastructure and has over a million servers in data centers.

Azure is a billion dollar business.


The problem with running Clouds, which isn't a problem you face with writing software, is that the upfront costs (I.e. CAPEX, OPEX) are huge. Which means that your margins are pretty damn thin. Azure revenue is high, but the profit after tax is not, AFAIK.

Where Microsoft are winning is the "soft" part; PaaS built around Windows etc. & SaaS like Office360, because once you consider the IaaS stuff a sunk cost anything on top is almost pure profit.

Reply Score: 2

RE: General 2cents worth...
by moondevil on Fri 11th Jul 2014 06:53 UTC in reply to "General 2cents worth..."
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Linux distributions get adopted at the enterprise, because most corporatios are cheapstakes that don't want to pay for UNIX systems.

Funny enough GNU/Linux has left POSIX behind with an increasing amount of APIs and configurations that go against UNIX philosophy and are only available on the said systems. A "proprietaty" open source.

Also brought back the second coming of UNIX wars, by having each distribution offer its own vision of the world.

Besides, if the said corporations do pay for support, GNU/Linux maintenance contracts are barely cheaper than any other OS targeted at the enterprise.

So in the end, the enterprise adoption from GNU/Linux is mostly from UNIX shops.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: General 2cents worth...
by delta0.delta0 on Fri 11th Jul 2014 09:31 UTC in reply to "RE: General 2cents worth..."
delta0.delta0 Member since:
2010-06-01

Linux distributions get adopted at the enterprise, because most corporatios are cheapstakes that don't want to pay for UNIX systems.


http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/files/2013/09/doublefacepalm.jpg

There is so much wrong with this its not even funny...

What proprietary Unix systems remain ? would that be HP-UX or IBM AIX ? Both of which fully back Linux ?

Why would any company waste money ?

A "proprietaty" open source.
really ?

You completely miss the point of why Linux is dominating:

* http://aws.amazon.com/
and with that elastic cloud compute -- Azure is a bad imitation of this..

* http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/

* Xen / Citrix Xen

* KVM

* https://linuxcontainers.org

* http://www.docker.com/

* http://puppetlabs.com/

* http://www.getchef.com/chef/

* http://nginx.org/

* http://www.ansible.com/home

* http://www.saltstack.com/

* http://jenkins-ci.org/

* http://git-scm.com/

Its about massive scale deployment, automation and simple management. Why would anyone use windows when Linux is just better ?

This is the problem with you Windows guys you live in the past always playing catch up with your inferior technology stacks the various Linux stacks have left you in the dust and none of you get how much more advanced Linux is.

Edited 2014-07-11 09:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: General 2cents worth...
by moondevil on Fri 11th Jul 2014 10:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: General 2cents worth..."
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

http://aws.amazon.com/
and with that elastic cloud compute -- Azure is a bad imitation of this..


Amazon also offers Windows deployments.



Lots of startup stuff I never used in enterprise projects.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: General 2cents worth...
by delta0.delta0 on Fri 11th Jul 2014 10:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: General 2cents worth..."
delta0.delta0 Member since:
2010-06-01

Amazon also offers Windows deployments.

Amazon is completely driven by Linux, AWS is built on Xen and Linux ...

Lots of startup stuff I never used in enterprise projects.

Completely confirming my earlier point:

This is the problem with you Windows guys you live in the past always playing catch up with your inferior technology stacks the various Linux stacks have left you in the dust and none of you get how much more advanced Linux is.


Just a quick FYI the tech I mentioned above, some or all used by EA, Amazon, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, eBay, Sky, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, LSE, BAE Systems, Cap Gemini, The Gaurdian Media Group, News Corp, Sony, NASA, Spotify, Atlassian the list just goes on ... Perfect example:

http://www.jobsite.co.uk/job/webops-devops-engineer-croydon-9509060...

Thats a job spec for a UK Government agency:

Good experience and knowledge of Configuration Management tools such as Puppet or Chef


I guess it must be startup stuff right ?

... I suggest you peek over your MS / Windows Wall and see just how much more advanced the Linux side is, it will probably be a rude awakening...

Edited 2014-07-11 10:53 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: General 2cents worth...
by Nelson on Fri 11th Jul 2014 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: General 2cents worth..."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

How is Azure a bad imitation of Elastic in AWS?

Your comments are big on links to random bits of technologies, but little on actual substance.

Shit like Docker is already supported by and augmented by Azure. Same goes for Puppet and Chef.

Same with Git. I use BitBucket + Azure to do continous deployment with Git.

Microsoft has arguably the strongest value prop for On Prem + Cloud hybrids as well.

Let's start talking seriously here, since you opened this can of worms.

I think your fundamental misunderstanding stems from thinking that Azure == Windows. Which is wrong. So Microsoft benefits from all of your links (including Nginx which you can get from VM Depot)

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: General 2cents worth...
by delta0.delta0 on Fri 11th Jul 2014 20:05 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: General 2cents worth..."
delta0.delta0 Member since:
2010-06-01

Shit like Docker is already supported by and augmented by Azure. Same goes for Puppet and Chef.


This doesn't even make sense,

Puppet and Chef have nothing to do with Azure they are configuration management tools that run on Linux primarily - Nothing to do with Azure or Amazon AWS, or any other virtualisation platform.

Docker is linux containers / configuration management rolled into 1. Containers are a form of virtualisation, to run it on azure would mean windows physical -> linux virtual -> linux containers (another virtual). Again it has nothing to do with Azure and Azure cant augment anything to do with this, it runs on top of the Linux stack. You would have to be a fool to run it on Azure, even if Microsoft offer it.

This is what I mean by a bad imitation, you windows guys don't even realise what half this tech does, you guys are so far behind ...

Microsoft has arguably the strongest value prop for On Prem + Cloud hybrids as well.

Where do you come up with this stuff ? You are arguably just making stuff up.

Same with Git. I use BitBucket + Azure to do continous deployment with Git.


Git the same version control system written by Linus Torvalds to manage the Linux kernel? - As I said windows always playing catch up to the Linux software stack.

You use git to do continuous deployment ? seriously ? Nothing to manage it no jenkins? Also take a look at gitlabs I recommend running that on a Linux server on Amazon AWS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: General 2cents worth...
by Nelson on Fri 11th Jul 2014 20:32 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: General 2cents worth..."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

This doesn't even make sense,

Puppet and Chef have nothing to do with Azure they are configuration management tools that run on Linux primarily - Nothing to do with Azure or Amazon AWS, or any other virtualisation platform.


Puppet and Chef integrate with Azure to manage VMs. You can take your existing Puppet/Chef workflow and have it naturally extend to Azure. It also works on Windows VMs.

Azure integration means you get one click Puppet / Chef provisioning without having to ssh into the VM itself.

Funny enough, this actually improves the hybrid cloud scenarios you mock below.


Docker is linux containers / configuration management rolled into 1. Containers are a form of virtualisation, to run it on azure would mean windows physical -> linux virtual -> linux containers (another virtual). Again it has nothing to do with Azure and Azure cant augment anything to do with this, it runs on top of the Linux stack. You would have to be a fool to run it on Azure, even if Microsoft offer it.


Right, and the integration is to allow you to manage Azure VMs running Linux. Its much like how you get simple deployment of docker inside of an Azure VM (azure vm docker create on the cross platform CLI).

If you're interested in how they achieve this for both Puppet/Chef and Docker:

http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2014/04/11/vm-agent-and-extensions-...


This is what I mean by a bad imitation, you windows guys don't even realise what half this tech does, you guys are so far behind ...


"you windows guys" is a ridiculous strawman you've thought up, and the ironic thing is that its actually a parody of your own cluelessness.


Git the same version control system written by Linus Torvalds to manage the Linux kernel? - As I said windows always playing catch up to the Linux software stack.


Yes. I don't care how you see it, but I'll use Git over TFS any day of the week. But this is a recurring theme in Azure, that of choice. If you have a Microsoft shop running TFS, Visual Studio, SQL, the whole nine yards then Azure fits your need.

If you run a Linux setup then you can spin up a VM (many images in VM Depot) and augment it with a PaaS offering (database, caching, message queueing, et all)


You use git to do continuous deployment ? seriously ? Nothing to manage it no jenkins? Also take a look at gitlabs I recommend running that on a Linux server on Amazon AWS.


I use Visual Studio Online as a CI server.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: General 2cents worth...
by delta0.delta0 on Fri 11th Jul 2014 22:15 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: General 2cents worth..."
delta0.delta0 Member since:
2010-06-01

Puppet and Chef integrate with Azure to manage VMs. You can take your existing Puppet/Chef workflow and have it naturally extend to Azure.


Puppet / chef workflow ? naturally extend ? Seriously wtf are you talking about ?

Azure integration means you get one click Puppet / Chef provisioning without having to ssh into the VM itself.


That whole paragraph is vague abstracted Azure marketing drivel.

To any one that has not worked with the tech this might sound like an impressive thing azure provides, to anyone that has used this its complete rubbish..

Puppet relies on an agent running on the server and the puppet server/master handles all of the config management what you have just listed above is complete rubbish, proving you really have no clue how any of this tech works.

Everything you have written sounds like Microsoft PR hot air and rubbish - I am just not interested in replying to you further don't waste my time with Shilled out PR bull.

Oh yeah this link:



is complete rubbish as well.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: General 2cents worth...
by delta0.delta0 on Sat 12th Jul 2014 04:10 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: General 2cents worth..."
delta0.delta0 Member since:
2010-06-01

So to summarize You take the Linux software stack I mentioned, try to twist the whole situation to make it appear like they are all tightly integrated into Azure, or somehow benefit the Windows stack via Azure. To quote you:

So Microsoft benefits from all of your links (including Nginx which you can get from VM Depot)


Your trying to leverage the Linux stack to somehow benefit Microsoft because it can be run on azure when in reality the two have nothing to do with each other and it in no way puts Microsoft on a level pegging.

http://navylifeofapilotswife.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/triple_fac...

Where are the Microsoft equivalents to CoreOS, Ansible, Puppet, Chef, Docker ? To MongoDB, Redis and Hadoop ?

This all technology originating out of the Linux software stack. Proper technology advancing computing, where is Microsoft's contributions ?

You have provided Pure marketing spin so far, when all of this is said and done, the Linux stack is still far more advanced whether on a virtualised or physical platform, Microsoft is still playing catchup and your comments added nothing more than spin to the whole discussion.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: General 2cents worth...
by Vanders on Fri 11th Jul 2014 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: General 2cents worth..."
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Lots of startup stuff I never used in enterprise projects.


You might want to take a closer look at some of the companies who are using that "startup stuff".

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: General 2cents worth...
by delta0.delta0 on Fri 11th Jul 2014 10:04 UTC in reply to "RE: General 2cents worth..."
delta0.delta0 Member since:
2010-06-01

Almost forgot:

* https://coreos.com/

Welcome to the next wave of massive distributed computing, windows will always be playing catch up to Linux ...

Reply Score: 1

RE: General 2cents worth...
by BushLin on Fri 11th Jul 2014 16:18 UTC in reply to "General 2cents worth..."
BushLin Member since:
2011-01-26

I was with you until:

OS X is by far a better quality option than Microsoft if you want to go the closed/proprietary route.


Maybe for home users who's software needs are met by OS X but have you ever tried using it in an enterprise environment? It's a shambles.
Active Directory, fine grained permissions and integration of services is possibly the best thing about Windows other than the 10 year support cycle.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Thu 10th Jul 2014 16:35 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

We must all understand and embrace what only Microsoft can contribute to the world


And pray tell, what exactly that might be? Sly patent trolling or may be more vendor lock-in?

Edited 2014-07-10 16:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Wish I had written this
by Tony Swash on Thu 10th Jul 2014 17:23 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

That's the problem with vague, abstracted drivel from company executives. It's essentially homeopathic communication - so watered down it's essentially just water with zero medicinal effects.


I loved this comment - so cutting. Wish I had written it ;)

Reply Score: 3

Its phase 1.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 10th Jul 2014 17:27 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Its broad and generic, but communicates that they are not a devices and services company anymore. The devices part are not implied by mobile and cloud.

The next letter that announces more specifics will refer back to this. Kind of like how the burning platform memo didn't reference windows phone, but set the stage for that announcement.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Its phase 1.
by 1c3d0g on Thu 10th Jul 2014 18:20 UTC in reply to "Its phase 1. "
1c3d0g Member since:
2005-07-06

You might be really onto something here. For fuck's sake, I hope M$ goes away with the Metro crap forever, bring the damned WinFS file system that everyone has been clamoring for since Longhorn and start paying a lot more attention/focus all their efforts on a coherent, pleasing GUI.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Its phase 1.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 10th Jul 2014 18:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Its phase 1. "
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Uh, I played with WinFS in one of the longhorn previews. It was pretty terrible, performance wise. I don't think they'll ever go back to it. Nor should they really.

Reply Score: 3

The deeper message ...
by fithisux on Thu 10th Jul 2014 19:35 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

Layoffs.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Thu 10th Jul 2014 19:40 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

That's the problem with vague, abstracted drivel from company executives. It's essentially homeopathic communication - so watered down it's essentially just water with zero medicinal effects.


It's more of an effect of issuing a company wide memo to a really large company.

I mean, look at Patton's speech to the Third Army - much of it contains non-specific platitudes and absolutely no reference to actual strategy. That's what happens when you give such a public message to a large assemblage of groups with widely varying jobs and goals. Patton's speech dealt with the most epic of human endeavors, though, and not a software company.

That's just how it goes.

And, yes, I'm aware I just compared Nadella to Patton. Don't read to much into it.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by kwan_e on Fri 11th Jul 2014 00:03 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

I mean, look at Patton's speech to the Third Army - much of it contains non-specific platitudes and absolutely no reference to actual strategy. That's what happens when you give such a public message to a large assemblage of groups with widely varying jobs and goals.


Well, first of all, it's the army. Its strategy is not something that should be relayed in a speech. But I would also doubt how much morale a speech gives to troops. Maybe in the past, vague but powerful speeches probably reached their zenith in WWII with Hitler, Patton, Churchill and others and now a lot of people have heard too much of the same thing to fall for it.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by organgtool
by organgtool on Thu 10th Jul 2014 19:46 UTC
organgtool
Member since:
2010-02-25

This letter indicates that Microsoft is shifting its focus from devices and services to mobile and cloud. This is very interesting since most of their attempts to break out into mobile and cloud so far have gone virtually nowhere. At the same time, I am seeing a lot of other big companies doing the same thing: taking their existing business units for granted and shifting their focus on new endeavors. This is incredibly risky since it gives competitors the ability to move in on Microsoft's biggest money-makers: Windows and Office. Of course Microsoft will continue to work on new versions of these products, but they will also be required to move some of their best developers into the mobile and cloud divisions, spreading themselves thin and opening themselves up for tighter competition against companies that aren't attempting to compete in the mobile and cloud sectors. This is a big gamble and will determine Microsoft's fate. Either Microsoft will emerge as a leader in these new areas that are perceived to offer significant growth, or they will fail in the new sectors and lose ground with their existing products. Based on their recent track record, I have a slightly pessimistic view of this decision.

Reply Score: 2

logical
by Janvl on Thu 10th Jul 2014 19:56 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

You call it "vague, abstracted drivel from company executives".
That is exactly what it was ment to be. a lot of words saying, . . . well eh nothing.

@hackus
Linux will not take over. Lack of drivers, to much choice in desktops and software that is not continued.
I know, I use it as my main desktop.
Believe it or not, I start to like windows 8.1.1.
Almost the same problems!

Reply Score: 6

RE: logical
by alisonken1 on Thu 10th Jul 2014 20:10 UTC in reply to "logical"
alisonken1 Member since:
2006-03-20

Interesting.

"... lack of drivers ..." - All of my stuff works out of the box

"... too much choice ..." - Since corporates dictate what base system and the DE that is used, I don't see too much of an issue there. Also, since I use a single distro, I pretty much have a default DE that I use so don't worry about the choices.

On choice as well - look at cars. Is that "... too much choice ..." an issue?

As far as Linux not going to happen - on the home user desktop that might be an argument, but government entities like Munich have already shown that Linux is viable if corruption and politics are taken out of the equation.

BTW - both my mother and mother-in-law use Linux - and I don't get the support calls I used to get. It just works for them, too.

Edited 2014-07-10 20:15 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: logical
by daedalus on Fri 11th Jul 2014 10:01 UTC in reply to "RE: logical"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

My mother uses Linux too (Ubuntu), and recently a kernel update broke the machine. Sure, it's easy over the phone to say "pick the next option down on that menu when the computer turns on first", but that's not something that should need to be done at all.

All your stuff works out of the box, and that's great for you. Mine doesn't. Perhaps you're lucky, or maybe I'm unlucky, but I needed to do some jiggery-pokery with config files to get my fairly standard graphics card to work properly in my machine. Works under Windows without a hitch. My laptop's sound card has never fully worked under Linux Mint or Ubuntu, but I managed to get output only working after much trawling of forums and command line fiddling.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for using Linux everywhere possible, which is why I have it on my desktop PC, my laptop and some family machines. But claiming it's without problems because your setup is without problems is just silly. It has a long, long way to go before it can rival Windows with regards to hardware support and things "just working".

Reply Score: 6

RE: logical
by No it isnt on Thu 10th Jul 2014 20:30 UTC in reply to "logical"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Linux has better driver support than any other operating system, Windows XP included. And Linux already did take over in the spaces Microsoft want to go for, mobile and the cloud.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: logical
by moondevil on Fri 11th Jul 2014 06:56 UTC in reply to "RE: logical"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Except on:

- 3D graphics cards

- Laptop power systems

- Laptop wireless cards

- Hybrid graphics cards

- High resolution monitors

- Typical beamers

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: logical
by No it isnt on Fri 11th Jul 2014 12:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: logical"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Yes, yes. Except those, and so what? Linux still handily beats Windows for hardware support. If you want a Linux-compatible laptop, then just buy one of those instead of some obscure crap with an unsupported wifi chip, if those even exist anymore. Besides, the desktop/laptop isn't the most relevant platform these days, not even for Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: logical
by tylerdurden on Fri 11th Jul 2014 21:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: logical"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

That FUD is a bit stale. In any case, what exactly is a beamer? And what are the differences between a typical and a non typical one?

Edited 2014-07-11 21:34 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: logical
by tidux on Thu 10th Jul 2014 20:52 UTC in reply to "logical"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

This smells like a paid shill post. Fuck off.

Reply Score: 0

RE: logical
by Shane on Fri 11th Jul 2014 02:24 UTC in reply to "logical"
Shane Member since:
2005-07-06

Hackus was referring to the datacenter, not the desktop.

None of the ideas that made the company what it is exists in the cloud space because they can't.

Such as open standards, and interoperation as an example.

LINUX already has all of that captured, and will do so for the 21st century, or until von Neumann machine architecture burns itself out, which I think won't happen in this century.


Linux has already won the cloud.

Microsoft is trying to claw its way back into the datacenter by selling Windows as a hosted service instead of just selling Windows licenses.

If you look at the Azure VM pricing, you'll see that an XS Windows VM costs exactly the same as an XS Linux VM. Move to the more beefy VMs though, and the Windows offerings become 50% more expensive than the Linux counterparts. It's a little sneaky, and a little desperate.

And herein lies the problem. Microsoft needs more people to built on their stack, but it also needs to make money on Windows. So it gets creative with pricing, exploring subscription models and building the cost of the product into the service cost.

However, I wouldn't be one bit surprised if Microsoft currently makes way more money selling Linux VMs than Windows VMs on Azure. While we're still debating whether mobile apps should be iOS-first or Android-first, there's no such debate on the server. Cloud technologies are overwhelmingly Linux-first, and have been for a long time now.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: logical
by moondevil on Fri 11th Jul 2014 06:57 UTC in reply to "RE: logical"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

The last three years we made quite a few Windows deployments across Amazon and Azure cloud infrastructures.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Thu 10th Jul 2014 20:53 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

Anyone taking a look at the actual website the letter was released to (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/ceo/index.html) can see that it is just PR messaging.

Buzz words, rallying cries. MSFT has a culture (complete with their own corporate buzzwords, much like many corporate settings) that is unique to them and the employees there.

Reply Score: 3

I can tell you EXACTLY what it is.
by deathshadow on Thu 10th Jul 2014 22:04 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12
What's the point of this post?
by tylerdurden on Thu 10th Jul 2014 22:11 UTC
tylerdurden
Member since:
2009-03-17

It's basically your standard boilerplate, corporatespeak, PR job. Every large corporation does exactly the same, no sane employee wastes time on them, and indeed if you read these things with the right eyes it's obvious how naked the emperor is.

But what's the point of focusing on Microsoft, other than clickbait?

Reply Score: 4

RE: What's the point of this post?
by kwan_e on Fri 11th Jul 2014 00:05 UTC in reply to "What's the point of this post?"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

But what's the point of focusing on Microsoft, other than clickbait?


Because if he doesn't, other people would accuse him of being an Apple fanboy? Not that they'd notice.

Reply Score: 2

delta0.delta0 Member since:
2010-06-01

Exactly this - its very generic pr speak, but I am hoping this new CEO fires all of the shills and the ass hats running around spreading misinformation about their competitors and actually concentrates on producing good tech.

The Microsoft of old (under Balmer and Gates) was a terrible company I am just hoping he can bring some decency, respect and honour to the company. Time will tell ...

I personally don't see Microsoft being anywhere near its current size in 10 years, I reckon they will be a behind the scenes player like IBM too big to die out / fail but not able to compete with the constant influxes of technology being developed in the Linux / open source world. Which is why I don't see them dominating either Mobile or Cloud - I just dont see where the company is heading..

Xbox 1 isn't a complete failure they saved it from the brink, but its being dominated by the PS4.

Windows Phone, I am seeing more of them around, but no where near the same as iphones and android phones. Its again being dominated here..

they still dominate corporate email / Authentication and Desktops AKA Exchange/AD and Windows Desktops.

Other than that I just dont see what they have to offer its all just Meh...

Reply Score: 1

chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

Windows Phone, I am seeing more of them around, but no where near the same as iphones and android phones. Its again being dominated here..
Windows Phone is not doing well. It is facing declining market share lately.

http://bgr.com/2014/07/01/windows-phone-market-share-3/

In the US, WP went from 4.7% to 3.6% YoY. Worst region was China, where their previous 3% market share was almost completely wiped out, now at 0.6%.

Reply Score: 2

Sell now
by Darkmage on Thu 10th Jul 2014 23:06 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

Sell your stock now. Seriously, get the hell out of Microsoft Stock. They are a Software Company, heck one of the few software companies left. Let me repeat that: They are a Software Company. They make some excellent hardware, yes, sometimes, as a fluke, but it's only to operate with their Software.

Microsoft's only strength, their only one strength, has been their software stacks. As much as I dislike using Microsoft Windows and Office and all the other stuff. It IS their number one product/selling point.

I actually feel sorry for Microsoft at this point. They should have worked very closely with select hardware makers to deliver a mac-like experience on some PC hardware, whilst crucially allowing Windows to run on everything as it currently does, maybe work with Adobe and autodesk to bundle some good design/3d software and make the media experience better and lowering the cost, but instead they've tried to become their own hardware company, and they have no idea what they're doing.

From day one Windows mobile needed to be it's own platform, with very tight integration with visual studio, and they should have really pushed the envelope of features/apis, completely ditching win32 on phone. Now they're stuck, stumbling in the dark and they are getting smashed by everyone else coming in and taking over.

I'm waiting to see Google standalone Desktop + Google client/server for business to really kick them when they're down. chromebooks + vdi + windows server has to get replaced at somepoint by chromebooks + google desktop + vdi. When I say google Desktop I really mean a google desktop OS similar to Linux, that operates like a traditional windows desktop. Has a launch menu, icons, applications you can install/remove pretty much the Windows experience, only made by google. It'll have to happen at some point.

Edited 2014-07-10 23:09 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Sell now
by Nelson on Thu 10th Jul 2014 23:33 UTC in reply to "Sell now"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

You live in a dream world.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Sell now
by bryanv on Fri 11th Jul 2014 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Sell now"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

And we all know Nelson lives in a non-dream world.

How's the Nokia mobile unit doing these days?

Oh. Riiight.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Sell now
by Nelson on Fri 11th Jul 2014 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Sell now"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Pretty well? The former devices and services division is still pumping out devices, and in fact the executives have more resources and influence at Microsoft then they ever had at Nokia.

Or maybe you just haven't been paying attention? It is a combination of WP/Nokia executives that are running the show now in WinDiv.

Elop probably is more powerful today at Microsoft than he was at Nokia, given the immense widening of his scope. He now runs all devices at Microsoft from Xbox to Surface to Lumia.

And what about Nokia the company? They have cleaned up balance sheet, strong cash position, and investors are happy.

But yeah, sure, I'm in the dream world. You need to get some perspective.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Sell now
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 11th Jul 2014 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Sell now"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Pretty well?


The devices division had to be bailed out by Microsoft to keep it afloat. It was the big problem child of Nokia, and Nokia got rid of it. Microsoft HAD to buy it, lest it was spun off or bought by a rival.

But sure, "pretty well". Whatever.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Sell now
by Nelson on Fri 11th Jul 2014 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Sell now"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Do you have any evidence to suggest that if Nokia weren't "bailed out" (your words) they'd have gone belly up? (Assuming that's the opposite of being afloat)

I mean Microsoft bought Nokia, and Nokia was in mild financial trouble, but I don't think that automatically means Microsoft bought Nokia because they were in imminent danger. Be it of a buyout (D&S brings with it a bunch of liabilities and debt) or a spin off (spun off into what exactly? Their own company? Nokia certainly didn't have that sort of capital, esp since they had just bought the stake in NSN from Siemens)

If you have evidence showing that though, I'd be interested in reading it.

Most accounts I've read show that Microsoft approached Nokia because of certain inefficiencies in their partnership. Mainly its hard for two completely separate entities to work closely together at the level they needed.

Essentially, MSFT and NOK D&S were almost one company already. This just removed layers and layers of red tape.

Speaking of predictions though, you guaranteed a Surface Phone in 2013 or early 2014? Where is it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Sell now
by chithanh on Fri 11th Jul 2014 22:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Sell now"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

The devices division had to be bailed out by Microsoft to keep it afloat. It was the big problem child of Nokia, and Nokia got rid of it. Microsoft HAD to buy it, lest it was spun off or bought by a rival.
No, Microsoft had to buy the device division because the contract with Nokia was about to expire and Nokia planned to go Android.

Four of the six most recently launched Nokia smartphones are Android based. That should tell you something.

Without Nokia, Windows Phone would have been wiped off the charts. Still, the situation is not good.

http://wmpoweruser.com/latest-kantar-numbers-shows-windows-phone-fa...

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Sell now
by tylerdurden on Fri 11th Jul 2014 18:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Sell now"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

LMAO, classic Nelson.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Sell now
by tylerdurden on Sat 12th Jul 2014 18:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Sell now"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

LMAO, I'm flattered the MS astroturf brigade went out of their way with their alt accounts to down vote.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Sell now
by tylerdurden on Sun 13th Jul 2014 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Sell now"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

ROFLMAO, thanks for proving the point.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Sell now
by Nelson on Sun 13th Jul 2014 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Sell now"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Oh, tyler. Lol.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Sell now
by ricegf on Sat 12th Jul 2014 12:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Sell now"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

The executives have done well, that's true, but when someone asks how a platform is doing, I suspect they mean in the market, not the careers of the executives who've championed it.

"Sure, the Titanic sank, Mrs. Brown, but look how well Mr. Ismay's career is going now!"

Nokia's dominant mobile market is just a memory - WP completely failed to save it, they leapt from their second burning platform, and as you say, Nokia's future is finally looking up.

The July 2013-June 2014 market share data is a disaster for WP in every major market (see bgr link above), and Microsoft has launched a line of Android phones and is widely reported to be readying an Android-powered Lumia phone.

And the theme of this pep talk is that Microsoft will "transform" and be about cloud and mobile productivity for "every person and organization on the planet" - most of which use Android or iOS for mobile, not WP.

That's my perspective. *shrugs*

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Sell now
by Nelson on Sat 12th Jul 2014 15:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Sell now"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

The executives have done well, that's true, but when someone asks how a platform is doing, I suspect they mean in the market, not the careers of the executives who've championed it.


Its not just the executives, actually, it is the mass of employees that transferred to Microsoft. The teams working in Nokia's mobile division are in tact and working/collaborating within MS proper.


Nokia's dominant mobile market is just a memory - WP completely failed to save it, they leapt from their second burning platform, and as you say, Nokia's future is finally looking up.


It depends in how you look at things. From the perspective of is Nokia the company left over doing well in mobile? No, because they're no longer a player.

But not because they failed in the market (in fact, I'd posit a lot of the Lumia sales stall is due to the disruption caused by such a large transition/regulatory period), but because Microsoft solicited the purchase.

Why did Microsoft buy Nokia though? Some (like Thom) would say it was because Nokia was in imminent financial danger, threatened to go Android, was going to be bought out by someone else, or spun off by Nokia.

What my read of the situation is based off of writeups by sources close to the matter (so take with a grain of salt), but the narrative has Ballmer approaching the Chairman of the Board first.

People conflate the Nokia X (which is meant to supplant Asha) with a failure in WP, simply because on the margins some product lines may overlap. Which is usually the case with these things.

As for the Lumia Android. Yeah, I don't think its unrealistic given "new-Microsoft". Wouldn't necessarily be against it if it was close to stock (not with a custom UI) with just Microsoft services in place of Google ones. Maybe even a custom store if the Play Services is a bridge too far.

But, hey, maybe new Microsoft is more pragmatic than me w.r.t Windows Phone sales. So if we see an Android Lumia I at least hope it's not marred by a shitty custom UI.


The July 2013-June 2014 market share data is a disaster for WP in every major market (see bgr link above), and Microsoft has launched a line of Android phones and is widely reported to be readying an Android-powered Lumia phone.


I think disaster is overdoing it, but sales have stalled or declined in markets. Which is definitely bad. But it will go from bad to worse if Microsoft can't take the newly purchased Nokia division and accelerate their pace.

Then it will have been for nothing.


And the theme of this pep talk is that Microsoft will "transform" and be about cloud and mobile productivity for "every person and organization on the planet" - most of which use Android or iOS for mobile, not WP.


Cloud transcends mobile really, and hits all screens across all form factors. Microsoft isn't a non-player as Windows is a massive base for them yet. Xbox is a massive (if dormant) base in the living room space as well.


That's my perspective. *shrugs*


I can see how you got the conclusions you reached, I just disagree on a few things.

Edited 2014-07-12 15:36 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Fri 11th Jul 2014 00:25 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

Thom, Surface Mini (and who knows what else) was delayed when it was done. I assume they just killed it for good and this is the letter explaining why.

Thousands of people worked on that project, and this letter is saying "we'll only do hardware that is productive, and 8" tablets are not."

Thank you for bringing us half of the way. You're right that the letter doesn't mention what it is about.

Reply Score: 2

DRIQ
Member since:
2008-04-28

Microsoft is the productivity and platform company.

What about Linux, BSD, Mac OS, iOS and Andriod?

Are they productivity tools?

Are they platforms?

Reply Score: 1

Hayoo! Member since:
2013-04-13

Microsoft is the productivity and platform company.

What about Linux, BSD, Mac OS, iOS and Andriod?

Are they productivity tools?

Are they platforms?

Say what, again?

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I really don't know what you're trying to say but...

What about Linux, BSD, Mac OS, iOS and Andriod?


What about them? Linux and BSD pretty much powers the Internet, MacOS/OSX seems to be the OS of choice for todays web developers and iOS and Android dominates the mobile space.

Are they productivity tools?


Yes.

Are they platforms?


Yes.

Edited 2014-07-11 07:22 UTC

Reply Score: 4

this call envites people out of the box
by capricornus on Fri 11th Jul 2014 05:50 UTC
capricornus
Member since:
2007-11-17

When I worked for the Dutch Social Services, we once had this call and invitation too. "Let's think out of the box, get new ideas and work at them." What happened: most people stayed in the box and killed the carreers of those that jumped out of it. How they did it? Simple Dutch way: sir, you were disfunctioning, and then, judicially, you're out.

Still, I read here that people are talking about FUN. Our intelligence knows nothing of FUN. It cuts FUN to pieces, and leaves the Inner Child crying and frustrated. I read the invitation twice, and my Inner Child reacted immediately: people are invited to jump out of the box and rediscover the power of Microsoft into new worlds, to go boldly where nobody went before. What an inivitation !

I still use both MS and Linux. I can be amased with what Porteus does with an obsolete, thrown away device.

Reply Score: 2

Typical
by Janvl on Fri 11th Jul 2014 11:08 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

If a linux user says something halfway positive about Windows the flaminng starts.

I use linux as my main desktop with KDE and like it.
I service linux and windows desktops and servers.
I do hope linux gains trackion on the desktop but please not in the android-form which I consider a castrated linux.

Still Windows 8.1 is quite usable. And no I am not paid to say that, some people just have an opinion of their own.
Reactions like "fuck off" stigmatise the writer as intolerant and as someone with personality-problems.

Reply Score: 3

See it all the time
by Drunkula on Fri 11th Jul 2014 13:17 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

I work in a large corporation. I've learned to hate exec-speak.
:-(

Reply Score: 5

Dilbert!
by gehersh on Tue 15th Jul 2014 02:10 UTC
gehersh
Member since:
2006-01-03

It might have come from the mouth of PHB.

Reply Score: 2