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Microsoft 'Was Sick', CEO Satya Nadella Says In New Book (intoday.in) 242

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has just published a new book called Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone. An anonymous reader quotes India Today: Nadella's push for cultural shift -- and hiring "learn-it-alls" instead of "know-it-alls" -- is largely meant to jolt enthusiasm for a new era of innovation at the company. Microsoft had long depended on the success of its flagship Windows operating system and the royalties it gets for each PC sold with it. But the global PC market is declining, and Microsoft fell behind as Apple and Google led the shift to smartphones. Nadella doesn't take any shots at Microsoft's co-founder and first CEO Bill Gates -- who wrote the book's foreword -- or Ballmer. But he's frank about their disagreements, especially over Ballmer's disastrous $7.3 billion acquisition of Nokia's phone business in 2014.

Nadella also refers to the company's previous organizational structure as a "confederation of fiefdoms" and recounts negative feedback received from employee surveys and emails. "The company was sick," Nadella writes. "Employees were tired. They were frustrated. They were fed up with losing and falling behind despite their grand plans and great ideas. They came to Microsoft with big dreams, but it felt like all they really did was deal with upper management, execute taxing processes and bicker in meetings..." He promises not to squander the new energy felt by employees after years of frustration. So far, it seems to be paying off; Microsoft shares have doubled since he took the top job in early 2014, and the company is attracting buzz for its work in AI, augmented reality and a new effort in futuristic computing.

A former Microsoft board member says Nadella "has made people believe in the future of Microsoft in a way that neither Bill nor Steve really did."
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Microsoft 'Was Sick', CEO Satya Nadella Says In New Book

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  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @06:39AM (#55334765)
    when MS hired him?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2017 @06:46AM (#55334789)

      I'm surprised he doesn't appear to realize one of the reasons the PC market is declining is because there are people out there that are hanging on to their older PCs that still get the job done just to avoid Microsoft's flagship OS and it's spying.

      You know, something that's entirely his fault that happened entirely on his watch.

      • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @07:48AM (#55334987)

        Do you mean designing Windows 10 specs to be nearly identical to the Specs of Windows 7? So older PC's and newer lower powered portable devices can use it?
        Adding enhanced touch screen displays as this is the current trend.

        What Microsoft is seeming to really miss is the change of the PC market to the Workstation market. The Personal Computer is now a Phone or Tablet. However systems built with Desktop Based technologies, are now used for either High End Gaming or Real work. It needs much more focus on Making Windows 10 a productive OS, that really gets out of the way on what you are trying to accomplish.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Touch screens are not the current trend in desktops, and never will be.

        • Do you mean designing Windows 10 specs to be nearly identical to the Specs of Windows 7?

          He probably means the terrible UI changes and transforming the OS into spyware.

        • Do you mean designing Windows 10 specs to be nearly identical to the Specs of Windows 7? So older PC's and newer lower powered portable devices can use it?
          Adding enhanced touch screen displays as this is the current trend.

          What Microsoft is seeming to really miss is the change of the PC market to the Workstation market. The Personal Computer is now a Phone or Tablet. However systems built with Desktop Based technologies, are now used for either High End Gaming or Real work. It needs much more focus on Making Windows 10 a productive OS, that really gets out of the way on what you are trying to accomplish.

          Yeah like how the latest Windows 10 creators edition is incompatible with very ancient Ivory bridge i5s with Intel graphics and NICs?!! (Sarcasm for ancient).

          It wouldn't be a problem if freaking MS wasn't ended support for Windows 10 build 1503.

          Now we have to order 2,000 nice and Nvidia 210 video cards to protect my bosses boss image/ego because he wanted to go cool upgraded to 10 over the superior and we'll tested 7 which doesn't have these insane changes every 6 months!

          No weekends off until December putti

        • that was the entire point of Windows 8 + Windows Mobile: To get back users flocking to Android and iOS. The idea was to lock the user in with a single familiar interface on all their devices, including their workstation PCs. They just failed. Rather spectacularly.
        • Exactly. PCs future lies in those two segments yet they try to force a touch UI on everyone. Not to mention the spying and all the other crap they put in Windows 10
        • by cb88 ( 1410145 )
          While Windows 10's CPU and Ram requirements are similar... the load it places on your hard disk are much higher. I've yet to see a low end windows 10 machine that was a late model upper mid range laptop or desktop not churn it's hard disk practically continually.

          Windows 7 on the other hand has very light intermittent disk activity...
      • by Dan667 ( 564390 )
        I think this is really accurate for a lot of people. Windows 7 is likely my last microsoft os. I have zero interest in the spyware/rent model of windows 10.
      • by slazzy ( 864185 )
        And moving to mobile devices at the same time. I've bought 5 new smartphones, since I've bought a new PC, I'm sure I'm not alone.
        • I've bought three smart phones to one PC, so yeah, my money is definitely not flowing very heavily towards MS these days.

        • I've purchased more desk/laptops than phones, but none of them are running Microsoft operating systems.

    • ...and it'll be sick when they hire the next CEO too ;-)

    • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @07:40AM (#55334959)

      Yes, However sometimes they hire people who they think are part of their culture, as it appears as such on paper, however after in the new position, really change things up.

      I know myself personally seems to have surprised people, after I get into a different position. As my work ethic tells me to handle different positions differently. So when I was working a lower end position, where I followed order, they advance me to a different position. They will find that I ignore and work around stupid one, or where I was friendly to a department, they find I may become their biggest problem... Then when I get promoted again, I may become easy on that department and follow rules...
      Different jobs requires different skill sets, and different sets of personal communication, as each position has a different sets of tools, bigger sticks or bigger carrots.

      I expect Nadella, worked well with the Know it Alls, thus MS Hired him... However in the position he knows these know the faults of these people, and has the power to change this.

    • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @08:19AM (#55335097)

      when MS hired him?

      Probably something like the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem...

      Microsoft is a company that found two of the most amazing cash cows of all time and rode them hard. The problem is that the market started to move on without them as markets are wont to do to companies that are too busy milking their cash cows to be bothered worrying about finding the next one. Microsoft's business tactics made sense during Gates era as CEO but about 10-15 years ago they should have been moving onward to the next thing while Balmer was CEO. Microsoft could possibly have dominated mobile but they were too busy protecting Windows and Office and built a toxic company culture to protect those products. The good news for Microsoft is that they have SO much cash that they can screw up a lot before it becomes an existential problem. They could even just buy their way into another industry wholesale if they had to (they have enough cash to buy both Ford and GM) so that hides a lot of flaws that would otherwise have investors screaming.

      • by Shotgun ( 30919 )

        Microsoft could possibly have dominated mobile

        Unlikely, because...

        they were too busy protecting Windows and Office and built a toxic company culture to protect those products.

        Microsoft built a reputation for being a bully that would bulldoze anything they perceived as competition. They would wedge themselves into a market by using underhand tactics and decimate quality players with back room deals. No one with a clue was going to let Microsoft into the mobile market any more than they had to. The response of the world has basically been, "You have the PC OS and Word. Stay there."

      • they spent billions on a push into mobile, tablet and even console gaming. The trouble is nobody liked the Win8 UI and even if they did developers didn't trust the Windows Store (why should they give Microsoft a 30% cut like they do with Apple if they don't have to?).

        Microsoft is aware they're getting their rears handed to them on phone/tablet. They're just not sure what to do about it.
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      "Was"? - It still is.

    • I wonder if they knew he was going to spend so much time writing books after he became CEO?

  • by transporter_ii ( 986545 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @06:48AM (#55334795) Homepage

    I think this is a clear example of why we should be against monopolies. Microsoft didn't change out of the goodness of its heart. It got where it is now kicking and screaming. And yeah, I still don't trust them, but everyone has to admit, they have taken some steps to move in the right direction. But only because they were forced to by some real competition.

    • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )

      I think this is a clear example of why we should be against monopolies. Microsoft didn't change out of the goodness of its heart. It got where it is now kicking and screaming.

      That sort of thing isn't exclusive to monopolies.

    • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @08:15AM (#55335087)

      The question is there any company/organization that you completely trust?
      If so, then you are probably being misguided.

      • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday October 09, 2017 @11:37AM (#55336441) Homepage

        Not completely and unquestioningly, but certainly there are some companies I trust more than others.

        For Microsoft, it's worse than most. It's not just that I don't happen to trust them, I actively distrust them Or rather, I trust them to do bad things. They have a history of being hostile, controlling, and even abusive toward their own customers and partners. They've had a long-standing culture of being stagnant, and relying on market dominance and vendor lock-in to maintain their relevance. Their older solutions tended to be insecure by design. Currently, their solutions tend to have a design-by-committee feel as well as being overly elaborate.

        There are some bright spots, but, they've generally been a bad company making bad products. Instead of using their resources to build better products that you want to use, they focus their energies on leveraging their market position to force you to use their bad products.

    • but everyone has to admit, they have taken some steps to move in the right direction.

      No, I don't agree with this at all.

    • It's not capitalism if there are only monopolies. Capitalism requires a large number of competitors with approximately equal footing. What we have here is both high-anticompetitive to the core (i've yet to work at a company that didn't do everything it legally could to subdue competitors, and in one case illegally did, rather than actually compete).

      Monopolies aren't good for anyone, period. It's short term thinking at its finest.

      • Monopoly is the natural result of unrestrained capitalism. I think you might be talking about free-market economics rather than capitalism.

    • This is true, but I think we let oligopolies off the hook. I remember in the 90s Microsoft's argument in their antitrust suit was that because Apple existed, they weren't a monopoly and that made things okay. Markets in generally are becoming less and less diverse, with a few major players in each industry. If Apple didn't have the unique culture and leadership that has made them so successful, I doubt they would apply the type of pressure they do. In a similar vein, if it weren't for Apple's unique busines

    • And yeah, I still don't trust them, but everyone has to admit, they have taken some steps to move in the right direction.

      Right direction?! Really?

      I do not care about their internal culture or whatever you think is moving in the right direction. Spying on EVERYONE who uses their software is downright Orwellian.

      The complete stripping of privacy by this company is such a profound thing that they could have invented strong AI or solved the Halting Problem and I would still not agree they are "moving in the right direction".

      Are you a shill or something? Just wow!. Moving in the right direction... my ass. Microsoft needs to be torn

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @06:51AM (#55334797)

    ...will turn out to be tricking its customer base into renting rather than owning its software. He bought off the fiefdoms by picking winners and turning them into rent-receiving franchises.

    As long as few viable alternatives exist for Office and Exchange and Windows remains their nearly exclusive platform and all turn into a rent-seeking business, Microsoft will continue to make a lot of money.

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @07:52AM (#55335003) Homepage

      There are viable alternatives. For 99% of users (which includes me), Google Apps will do as well as MS Word. Especially since Docs learned to do TOC with page numbers. I have Libre Office to work with the occasional docx file sent by customers.
      I used to do all of my documents on MS Office, nowadays I no longer even install the Word viewer.

      YMMV, but I think viable alternatives already exists and have existed for a long time.
      The problem is people insisting on needing a specific WordArt effect or other feature which would take slightly more effort to do in the alternatives.
      Few people actually require all the power features, they're just used to them.

      • One day people on Slashdot will remember that it's the corporate market that is the big money spinner for Microsoft and corporate clients can't just dump their infrastructure on a whim.

        • by nasch ( 598556 )

          In other words, Microsoft is relying on corporate inertia for its profits.

        • No, but they can steadily migrate, and it certainly has happened with some enterprises moving to GMail/Calendar, and some educational institutions have put their toes in the water over Google Docs. There are definitely a lot of organizations who are at least considering a post-MS future.

      • but I do care about compatibility. When I send my resume to somebody in *.docx format I know for sure it's properly formatted. The world's a ridiculously competitive place. Having my resume be a little less readable can be the difference between me getting the job and somebody else.
    • ...will turn out to be tricking its customer base into renting rather than owning its software. He bought off the fiefdoms by picking winners and turning them into rent-receiving franchises.

      As long as few viable alternatives exist for Office and Exchange and Windows remains their nearly exclusive platform and all turn into a rent-seeking business, Microsoft will continue to make a lot of money.

      I know that is what they are trying to do. But I wonder how well this rental setup will work with things like the basic operating system. Basic, but crucial.

      As an example, I use the Adobe Creative Suite a lot. But the version on my computer is old, as in Creative Suite 3. So I thought I'd give Creative Cloud a try. It was very nice. But even with my educational discount, it was going to be around 250 a year to rent it. A kilobuck over 4 years. And while Creative Cloud is very nice, the old CS3 suite is

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Just be aware that as soon as companies discover that they have lost control over their data then things will get interesting.

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        They don't care. Nobody in charge of anything cares because they are only concerned about next quarter and what comes after.

        I actually have a theory that the short-horizon world we live in is some weird byproduct of the baby boomer generation. They're all zeroing in on retirement and are just looking to maximize their retirement income and they literally unconcerned about stuff past about age 80.

        I think it will take about another 10 years, when the boomers are nearly all retired or dead, for anything mean

  • Yahoo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Paradise Pete ( 33184 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @06:55AM (#55334815) Journal
    Long before Nokia, Microsoft also tried to acquire Yahoo for a tidy 45 billion dollars [cnbc.com] They were extremely lucky that Jerry Yang was even more stupid than they were and blocked the deal.
    A few month ago Verizon snapped up the "core Internet assets" for less than 4.5 billion.
    • A few month ago Verizon snapped up the "core Internet assets" for less than 4.5 billion.

      And with the breaking Yahoo hacking scandal, are widely regarded as having badly overpaid for it.

      • And with the breaking Yahoo hacking scandal, are widely regarded as having badly overpaid for it.

        They did. However, as part of the deal Yahoo had to agree to take on 50% of any emerging liabilities, so they weren't totally hoodwinked.

    • How much did Microsoft spend in-house developing Bing? Was it more or less than $45bn? How much of the drop in value of Yahoo! was from Microsoft entering the market as a competitor.
      • How much did Microsoft spend in-house developing Bing? Was it more or less than $45bn? How much of the drop in value of Yahoo! was from Microsoft entering the market as a competitor.

        Yahoo!'s value hasn't been in it's search engine since shortly before the turn of the century. Yahoo's value was as a platform - a huge gaming site, a massive email community, a huge business and stock community, the largest photo sharing/social site, etc... etc... The huge drop in Yahoo!'s valuation had very little to do with

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why is this shit modded up?

      In 2008, Yahoo had a 40% stake in Alibaba. Alibaba is currently worth $462 Billion. Had Microsoft's offer been successful and they held onto their Alibaba stock, it would now be worth $185 Billion.

      Jerry Yang, who you call "stupid", bought 40% of Alibaba in 2004 for $1 Billion.

  • by timholman ( 71886 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @06:58AM (#55334827)

    Before Nadella breaks a rib patting himself on the back, it should be noted that Microsoft abolished stack ranking of employees just before he took over as CEO. If you want to know why Microsoft employees were at each others' throats, and why morale was so low, you need look no further than Ballmer's favorite process for "improving" employee performance.

    Microsoft could have hired a tree sloth to replace Ballmer, and employee morale would still have improved. It had nowhere to go but up after years of stack ranking.

    • Before Nadella breaks a rib patting himself on the back, it should be noted that Microsoft abolished stack ranking of employees just before he took over as CEO . . . . Microsoft could have hired a tree sloth to replace Ballmer, and employee morale would still have improved. It had nowhere to go but up after years of stack ranking.

      Mod parent up, this is spot-on. Stack ranking was a huge self-inflicted wound that turned the company into buildings full of back-stabbing schemers.

      • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

        Remind me; stack ranking was the process where you only got paid more if your collegues fucked-up, right?

        • by Ukab the Great ( 87152 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @09:17AM (#55335347)

          No. It's the process where you continue to have a job if you sabotage someone else's.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Remind me; stack ranking was the process where you only got paid more if your collegues fucked-up, right?

          Yes, and more importantly you got fired if one of your colleagues didn't fuck up.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Stack rankings means the bottom 10% of employees, as voted by their manager(s) and peers, are canned.

          In theory, over time you end up with the best employees. In reality, you get a bunch of office politics and pissed-off workers looking for something more stable.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2017 @07:53AM (#55335011)

      I worked at Ford Motor Company for a year and a half. I really didn't think that the "freakonomics" aspect of forced ranking would be so pronounced (having never worked somewhere that does forced stack ranking before or since). Oh. My. God. It is such and uncooperative atmosphere. People who have worked in the same building for 20 years sabotaging each other and hiding information. Credit theft and "kiss up, kick down" is rampant. Bad behavior is often rewarded or at least overlooked come promotion time because it's so prevalent and someone has to fill the new positions that open in the management hierarchy. A lot of the job is getting buy-in from other teams. One of the most common tricks (that takes a new employee about a year to learn) is for a stakeholder to withhold all objections until the 11th hour of someone else's project, then just dump them all out. We're talking about being on email chains and in meetings for months holding their tongue, and when the project is trying to finalize buy-in, coming up with a laundry list of of complaints that just slipped their mind for the previous 6 months, usually complaints that are difficult to impossible to resolve. At best, this can real fuck someone's project up (this happens a lot to the people in advanced or research by the people working on production technology) and at worst it will full-on kill a project. Many people who do this trick (narcissists mostly) are really, REALLY good at it. Their clueless peers and managers have seen it time and again and never quite picked up on it (because they are too busy with their own issues to pay enough attention to see it). I thought "no wonder the auto industry still can't build decent consumer electronics" at least every day (I worked in the "advanced" wing of body electronics in R&D, so understand that even the R&D organization is not immune to the effects of stack ranking). Thank God I left that shithole, and not only for my back's sake (the pricks don't even have office chairs with an adjustable back).

  • by DeplorableCodeMonkey ( 4828467 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @07:18AM (#55334885)

    Exhibit A: .NET Core.
    Exhibit B: VS Code
    Exhibit C: SQL Server for Linux--in a Docker container.
    Exhibit D: Ubuntu for Windows.
    Exhibit E: Microsoft happily sells well-supported Linux to cloud customers and contributes back to ensure Linux provides what their customers need.

    10 years ago, Ballmer would have probably fired an executive who proposed this plan. Today, being a second coming of Gates or Ballmer would probably be a "career limiting move." Microsoft has pretty much "gotten with the program."

    I just wish that Nadella would aggressively pursue the phone market again, but this time by making Windows installable on Android phones a la Sailfish X. Unlike Jolla, they have the resources to pay and/or strong-arm most Android vendors to permanently unlock their bootloaders. And what's the government going to say to that? It's bad for consumers to have Microsoft aggressively pursuing opening up the hardware? A federal judge would look at Microsoft's opponent like they're nuts.

    • by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @07:33AM (#55334939)

      [examples snipped]

      All of those are half-assed, at best, and are carefully targeted to not overlap with Windows sales. In fact, they are targeted specifically to tie into required Windows licenses.

      Also, it will take a century of full-bore apologizing to even begin to make up for Microsoft's past (and current) behavior.

      NEVER trust Microsoft. EVER!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        [examples snipped]

        All of those are half-assed, at best, and are carefully targeted to not overlap with Windows sales. In fact, they are targeted specifically to tie into required Windows licenses.

        Also, it will take a century of full-bore apologizing to even begin to make up for Microsoft's past (and current) behavior.

        NEVER trust Microsoft. EVER!

        Exhibit A: .NET Core.(no Windows license)
        Exhibit B: VS Code ( no Windows license )
        Exhibit C: SQL Server for Linux--in a Docker container.(no Windows license )
        Exhibit D: Ubuntu for Windows.(Windows license) but you download it for free from Cannoical
        Exhibit E: Microsoft happily sells well-supported Linux to cloud customers and contributes back to ensure Linux provides what their customers need (No Windows license )

        Your point?

      • by ravnous ( 301936 )

        It's no secret that Azure is their big money-maker now. The fact that all these technologies integrate better with Azure than with other cloud platforms shouldn't surprise anybody. Microsoft still exists to make money. But they're not throwing monkey wrenches into the products either. I'm currently working on a weekend project using ASP.Net core that I plan on running on Google as docker containers. I'm using Visual Studio to develop, writing my code in C#, and planning on deploying to GCP. Yes, there was a

      • Also, it will take a century of full-bore apologizing to even begin to make up for Microsoft's past (and current) behavior.

        Facebook carries out mass psychological experiments aimed at finding out, among other things, if they can make people depressed. Google is now accused of trade secret behavior [mercurynews.com] on par with Microsoft back in the 1990s. Apple has now pioneered turning expensive computers into unfixable appliances. IBM, among other things, has basically gutted its American workforce and keeps a token presen

    • You forgot at least one more: Exhibit F: Massive collection of customer data.
    • Counterpoints: Windows 10 Forced Upgrades

      Edge makes itself the default browser despite settings.

      While MS no longer treats Linux as a hostile competitor as Linux is rather unavoidable now, that doesn't mean MS isn't up to some of their tricks.

  • Vomit-inducing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @07:30AM (#55334933)

    "Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone."

    The title is enough to make me puke up my lunch.

    "Save us, Satan Nutella, you're our only hope!"

    • by Chrisq ( 894406 )
      Agree. It will rank with Google's "do no evil" as one of the least appropriate company taglines of all time.
      • People always misquote this, it was "Don't Be Evil", not "Do No Evil". See, you can still do some pretty Evil shit, and still claim to not "Be" evil. Your point still stands, however, and then some.

  • Was? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by OneHundredAndTen ( 1523865 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @07:59AM (#55335039)
    Behind the scenes, MS still is under the influence of the same guys as usual. MS is just riding the storm and biding its time, until it can show its true colors again. Trust MS at your own peril.
  • Microsoft is no different... IBM, XEROX, the U.S. Automobile corporations, Apple... When you get "big", sometimes the "top" has NO IDEA what the "bottom" is going through. The top will say we want X, and the bottom will say how the hell are we suppose to do that? And the top "suits" just say do it.
  • by boudie2 ( 1134233 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @08:38AM (#55335167)
    It's a much better company since the guy from India started running it. When asked for details of Microsoft's sickness, Nadella described it as a particularly virulent form of Ballmeritis.
  • by Ian.Waring ( 591380 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @08:38AM (#55335169) Homepage
    Finished reading "Hit Refresh" by Satya Nadella. On the one hand, learnt that Hololens had difficulty getting funding for some time, with the dev team renaming it as "Project Baraboo" as a piece of gallows humour. It's a town in Wisconsin, home to a Clown and Circus Museum. OTOH, lack of lifetime learning opportunities, the pervasiveness of zero hours contracts, trade deals up in air and rent seeking serves only to undermine our future as a nation (i'm in the UK FWIW). Politicians of all stripes should read the last two chapters; probably the best articulation of building for the future since Eric Schmidts interview with the Queen of Jordan. Good read.
  • by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @08:52AM (#55335229)

    If Windows 10 represents Microsoft's idea of what a "better future for everyone" looks like, that's an excellent indication that Microsoft is still sick.

  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @09:14AM (#55335337)

    Was sick. Heh.
    If Microsoft was sick back when they got Nokia I'd still rather have the lightly sick Microsoft than the pestilence ridden with Windows 10S bullshit, "telemetry" pile of crap with weak excuses that Microsoft has become.
    Windows Phones are dead now, XBox One is a weaker platform than XBox 360 was, the entire Surface line is either a continuation of past products or new models that are not selling well, the company is losing evangelists as a whole in recent years.
    If your fucking grand plan for Microsoft's future is to continue insisting on the piss poor Microsoft Store, on overpriced devices with half backed OS ideas, on privacy erosion, opaqueness, aggressive anti consumer practices for updating to Windows 10, and more of that crap, the only people "believing" in the future of Microsoft are your board members Nadella.
    For the first time in my entire Windows based computing life I decided to delve a bit deeper into Linux, keep a secondary device with Ubuntu, and move most of my stuff to NAS storage devices. It's the one era of Microsoft that is truly making me consider switching to something else.
    I'm not seeing anything in recent years that came close to what Bill or even Ballmer did. Their eras might have had several misshaps, but they all had very strong accomplishments. Keep in mind that Windows 7 was from the Ballmer era. All the crap that came after it was Nadella. He might have created an internal culture of happy people living in a bubble who cannot see the needs and interests of their clients, but that's all that is.
    Augmented reality, which for some stupid reason Microsoft decided to call Mixed Reality when it's really not, is late to the game and has a very weak showing. It's not competing with anything that's out there right now, be it on price for AR in smartphones or in capabilities with Oculus Rift or HTC Vive for PC. It's as late to the game as Windows Phone was, and it'll eventually die off in the same way.
    The stuff that sets it apart from the competition is priced so high that no one can afford it - Hololens. It was the first to show up, and it's still at prototype stage.
    AI talks are coming mostly from Google these days, and "futuristic computing" is just a blanket term that has no concrete feel for the vast majority of consumers.

    But indeed, it's to be expected from the current CEO to think so highly of himself while failing to see what the company had best in the past. It's showing on Microsoft software and products. And if things keep going this way, it'll be the whole reason why I'll quit being a costumer once and for all.

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @09:30AM (#55335451)

    For anyone who was following MS then, it's not a surprise. The stacked ranking system created so much in-fighting and division, it's more surprising that anything got done. It also set up a system where division was favored over cooperation. One of aspects of it was that you could only have a person graded as an "A", two "B"s, and the rest of the people were "C"s on any given team. So good employees avoided working with other good employees because they would get mediocre or sub-par reviews even if they did stellar work. Also teams actively sabotaged each other.

    Case in point: The Kin. When MS bought out Danger, the company had a loyal following of phone customers for their Sidekicks especially among teens for texting. Originally Danger's plan was to incrementally update the OS and phones when they were bought out. That would have taken 6 months.

    However, Danger OS used Java which would never be allowed at MS. The entire OS had to be replaced with Windows CE. The project was independent of the Windows devices division who felt they should have had control of it. Rumors are that they openly refused to assist and actively sabotaged the project. So Project Pink had to redo the whole OS and any apps in a platform without the benefit of the platform curators and creators. Delays turned the 6 months into 18 months. Because of the delays, deals that MS made with carriers were no longer honored and MS had to make new deals. Also at 18 months, most of the formerly loyal customers had moved onto other phones.

    The result was the predictable disaster that was the Kin. It was buggy. It was missing features that other phones had that were deemed vital. It required an expensive data plan. It was pricey. Few teens (which was the targeted demographic) wanted it. The rumor is that only 500 phones were sold before MS killed the project. It cost MS $1B to buy Danger and develop the Kin.

    • by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Monday October 09, 2017 @10:30AM (#55335849) Journal

      What's with the management at big companies that so many could think stack ranking was a good idea?

      It shows that management doesn't know the first thing about managing. How could they be so utterly incompetent at it? Did they skip business management in college, skip college altogether, think they don't need no book learning? How could such people be chosen for management? I can think of several ways: Nepotism, favoritism, Good Old Boys Club, and groupthink in mistaking clueless, pushy loudmouths as go-getters, and still adhering to the religion of The Stick, that is, trying to push people into being more productive with threats, employing slave-driving tactics. Yeah, that worked so great for the Confederacy. Memo to management: the Confederacy lost the war.

      • What's with the management at big companies that so many could think stack ranking was a good idea?

        The same sort of brain damage that makes them think Agile is a great idea.

      • Stacked ranking was designed for one scenario: If the company has gotten too large and needs to trim so fat. Then a year or two of stanked ranking helps reduce the waste and extraneous layers of management and personnel. It was not designed to be permanent which MS did.
        • by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @02:42PM (#55338011)

          How is it not a malicious and damaging thing to do even if its solely used the way that you describe?

          It seems to me that the result of it will be that you'll just keep the best backstabbers and most politically savvy people and lose the ones who, while they may be truly excellent in their jobs, are too "nice" or don't have the stomach for political gamesmanship.

      • Stack Ranking was a concept popularized by `Neutron Jack Welch' of GE fame who could do no wrong in the eighties and nineties. After he left GE, it lagged, and folks figured out that GE had succeeded by borrowing from the future just like many other US companies of the time, and many of Jack Welch's mantras were full of shit. So orgs are dropping his `20-70-10' and other tenets one after the other.

      • You can thank that fucktard at GM that everyone seems to workship (Jack Welch)
  • ...they STILL can't produce a product that will properly and reliably update itself when defects are identified and updates issued. The persistent internal corruption of it's own code/data arrangements are legendary. Without third-party programs for repair (e.g., those at Tweaking.com, including "Windows Repair"), I'd've had to give up many good end-user applications and migrate to Liniux...and my family would have to start all over, learning the ideosyncracies of a FREE product.

    This book, and the compani

  • The one that says "blame predecessor".

    I give him half a year to a year to the "reorganize" one.

  • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Monday October 09, 2017 @10:46AM (#55336011)

    So just put it down? You'd do the same for your dog if it was suffering.

  • Microsoft's history is filled with abuse:

    One fact about Microsoft under Satya Nadella gives a useful overall view. Windows 10 is possibly the worst spyware ever made. [networkworld.com] Quote: "Buried in the service agreement is permission to poke through everything on your PC." Nadella has been CEO of Microsoft since 2014. [wikipedia.org]

    The management of Microsoft by Satya Nadella seems, to me and many others, UTTERLY incompetent: CNET Editor Rails Against Non-Consensual Windows Updates [slashdot.org].

    Possibly Satya Nadella was chosen as CEO of
    • Unless you are an openly racist company , it is natural that Indians will rise to Upper Management given that more than 50% of the grunts in the engineering department are Indians. An Indian rising to the top is statistics. No Indians reaching C level positions when most of your on the ground workforce are Indians (both immigrants and US born) is clear sign that your company has a problem.

  • Microsoft has been a sociopath for so long that it's going to take time without vile actions before I'll trust them. Public speeches don't do anything for me, because they've outright lied too often in the past.

    Maybe after a decade of good behavior I'll trust them. But actions speak a lot louder than words. And corrupting standards is nearly unforgivable.

    • Microsoft has been a sociopath

      In all fairness, if we're going to assign human traits to corporations, then all corporations are sociopaths.

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