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Microsoft Businesses News

Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the retirement!-retirement!-retirement! dept.
jones_supa writes: After leaving his position as CEO of Microsoft a year ago, Steve Ballmer has still held a position as a member of the board of directors for the company. Now, he is leaving the board, explaining why in a letter to fresh Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "I have become very busy," Ballmer explains. "I see a combination of Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking up a lot of time." Despite his departure, the former-CEO is still invested in the company's success, and he spent most of the letter encouraging Nadella and giving advice. Nadella shot back a supportive, equally optimistic response, promising that Microsoft will thrive in "the mobile-first, cloud-first world."
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Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board

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  • by Ckwop (707653) <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @05:29PM (#47707005) Homepage

    Microsoft doesn't have many fans on Slashdot but even the most die-hard of fans must now see that they're in a real bad position.

    The used to be invincible in the consumer space but now the computing device of choice is either the tablet or the smart phone. Precious few of these are Windows based.

    The used to be invincible in the business user space but the move to mobile computing means business people are using iPhone and iPads, not Windows Phones and Surface.

    Then there's Bing, who's only claim to fame is being the world's greatest search engine. For. Porn.

    Then there's Azure. We actually looked at Azure and discovered that the same hardware in EC2 was half the price. If you going to twice as much you might as well give up and go home.

    Then there was the own goal of the latest generation XBox. They managed to piss everyone off for no discernible gain.

    The only area their grip is still strong is PC gaming. For how long, who knows?

    Microsoft is a spent force. They're out of ideas. In a few short years they've gone from being the 800lb gorilla to just struggling just to remain relevant.

    It reminds me of Brazil versus Germany at this year's world cup. I'm not celebrating any more; it's just sad at this point.

  • by mbkennel (97636) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @07:09PM (#47707801)
    | Tablets have also failed in the market. Apple is the only vendor to have seen some success, but that was built more upon hype and the quasi-religious attitude that many people hold toward Apple devices, rather than out of any real need or use for such devices. Outside of a small number of niche use cases, people in general have found tablets to be useless.

    The niche use cases are
    a) reading email
    b) sending messages
    c) using web apps
    d) watching movies
    e) playing games

    which as it turns out are very common.

    However it's true that Microsoft doesn't have a huge play here on the terminal (tablet end), but it does on the service end.

    It just means that now such software will be expected to be readable and usable (for some things) on a tablet terminal as well as a laptop terminal. There's plenty of traveling businessmen who might want to access a service application through a tablet (e.g sales force) that starts in 2 seconds when they're in the airport instead of using the whole laptop.

    For Microsoft, tablets are not an opportunity to make hardware or sell operating systems (the total global revenue from tablet operating system sales is $0), but only as another terminal to hosted applications.

    They should stick to writing business software. Instead of trying to fight and lose against very capable competitors in their primary niches, i.e. Google and Apple, they should compete in the space of general business software. There's much more opportunity beyond Office. Soft targets, for example all of Oracle's horrid non-database application software, where the standards are egregiously low, and make Office seem like a work from Michelangelo.
  • Re:Oh really... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @04:04AM (#47710359)
    Except that Azure is crap and the only reason they are the second is that Google gives even less crap about Google Compute. Amazon is waaaaaaay better in almost any regard (price, availability, API design, documentation, the quality of products, the number of products, and so on).

Those who do things in a noble spirit of self-sacrifice are to be avoided at all costs. -- N. Alexander.

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