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Xerox Cedes Control To Fujifilm, Ending Its Independence (bloomberg.com) 60

mikeebbbd writes: According to Bloomberg, "Xerox, a once-iconic American innovator that became synonymous with office copy machines, is ceding control to Japan's Fujifilm in a deal that creates an $18 billion company." Essentially, it's merging with Fujifilm; a former joint venture operating in the Asian-Pacific area essentially will become the parent company... So much for the company that actually invented the modern graphical user interface later popularized by Apple and Microsoft. "The agreement marks the end of independence for a U.S. company whose roots trace back to the start of the 20th century," reports Bloomberg. "The joint venture will cut 10,000 jobs in Asia as part of the restructuring as the Japanese company struggles with an 'increasingly severe' market environment." While the new company will have a combined revenue of $18 billion, Xerox was acquired by Fujifilm for $6.1 billion.
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Xerox Cedes Control To Fujifilm, Ending Its Independence

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  • MoAD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @07:04PM (#56044203)

    Thanks for all the R&D over the years.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    • Re:MoAD (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @08:35PM (#56044797) Homepage Journal

      I was there one day and walked by an office that said John von Neumann. I don't think he showed up very often.

      What a poster boy for not allowing the accountants to run the business. They owned 30 years of the future of computing, and squandered every bit. They could have been Apple and a few other companies, combined.

      • by jonwil ( 467024 )

        If you want to read more about the backstory behind Xerox PARC and what went on, go read "The Dream Machine: J. C. R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal", its got a whole section covering what went on at PARC.

        There is no way the Xerox Alto (or some derivative of it) would have been profitable as a commercial product back in 1971, the cost to build one was too high. Even as late as 1981 when the Alto-derived Xerox Star machine came on the market, units were being sold for as high as $1

        • Re:MoAD (Score:5, Insightful)

          by neoRUR ( 674398 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @12:14AM (#56045559)

          And what did it take to change the whole Future of Computing?

          One Guy, who attended the PARC meetings. ( I was at a few, many years later.)

          This one guy would show off his home made "Computer" with these cheap chips that he would make do things that the chip makers didn't think was possible.
          And he made it so inexpensive that everyone would eventually have it.

          The Innovation and Synergy was there in those people and the enthusiasm of building these things for fun is really what drives the future.
          Yes it took someone else with a business sense to bring it to the market and not get ripped off or sucked into a larger company.

          The innovation is still here, if you have the passion to look beyond the normal.
          The cycle will continue with these new companies replacing the larger ones now in new markets.

          Steve 'Woz' is the guy and there should be a statue of him.

        • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )
          I'm thinking of the movie about Steve Jobs has a scene where he and his group walking towards the PARC office. People inside, "don't let him in or he will steal all our secrets!" or some phrase like that. Later in same movie, Bill Gates pushing what looks like a LISA on a cart yelling, "I want this in our Microsoft products!"
      • Re:MoAD (Score:4, Interesting)

        by UnixUnix ( 1149659 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @06:44AM (#56046425) Homepage
        The executives who had wanted Xerox to go the computer route having lost the boardroom war would have been fired had they been in just about any other company. But Xerox back then took pride in never firing anybody; so in my consulting work (Xerox El Segundo) I got to meet and work with some said executives who had been demoted to engineers, and heard about the winners' motto ("we are a xerographic company!"), as well as tales of what might have been.
        • The executives who had wanted Xerox to go the computer route ...

          Xerox went the computer route! They purchased Scientific Data Systems (SDS) from Max Palevsky in 1969 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Palevsky [wikipedia.org]). SDS (renamed Xerox Data Systems or XDS) was based in El Segundo. Was this before your time?
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Apple and Microsoft are crying that they'll have nobody to steal ideas from now.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      > Thanks for all the R&D over the years.

      Yeah, I'd like to join you, and even add something, too.

      My kid (7yo) got one of those cardboard glasses at school and his teacher just gave it to the students and said nothing. Maybe it was meant to be a surprise, maybe she didn't manage to make it work.

      We were supposed to assemble it. But what next? In a phrase, it took me quite a bit of an investigation till we got it to work as intended by Google.

      The day before my son was "Meh", "Yeah, it's OK"... when thing

  • by kiviQr ( 3443687 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @07:24PM (#56044363)
    great now I will have to Fuji my documents...
  • Ok, that's not going to fly.

  • This transaction closes another chapter in the Big Blue Book of Missed Opportunities: https://www.forbes.com/sites/c... [forbes.com] Just one question: How much Xerox paid to their Top Executives (in the 70's and 80's) for squandering their world changing technical discoveries?
    • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @07:49PM (#56044505)

      How many billions has Xerox wasted on acquisitions and mergers in the past 10 years?

      I worked for a company that Xerox bought, and then three years later Xerox sold most of us to a different company, and spun off the rest to a new company.

      Ursula Burns, just like Meg Whitman, ruined a great company.

      • HP was ruined before Meg came along. It was very frustrating being there during a few of the Carly years and being completely unable to do anything about what was so obviously happening to the company. HP's DNA was in what left to become Agilent. But that was high-margin, low unit count stuff that the management who remained at HP wasn't interested in any longer, even though it contained all of the real innovation in the company.

        Everything after that was another step downward. Not saying that Meg did not do

  • I wonder what Xerox does these days. Do you still have anything like PARC? I know offices still use Xerox machines but still I would think business in that area would still be much smaller than it used to be with the emphasis on paperless. No one use copy machines at home anymore they do everything digital.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes - they. They have both the PARC [wikipedia.org] and (through a joint venture with Fuji) called Fuji Xerox [fujixerox.co.jp], a fraction of FXPAL [wikipedia.org].

      But ... well, FXPal seems to keep mucking around looking for problems for the solutions they invent. I suspect their success rate with that is kinda low. And I suspect similar with PARC these days.

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <eviNO@SPAMevcircuits.com> on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @08:42PM (#56044831) Homepage

    ... Excellent ... seriously though, the writing was on the wall when they hired that woman and started shedding the R&D while refusing to lower prices on their wax based printers because "we are the only ones on the market and people will pay for our patents".

    I know some people working at Xerox, the company became all about following process (6-sigma) and profit and anything innovative that didn't make a profit right away was spun off and then those spinoffs got VC funding and made incredible profits.

    • by macwhiz ( 134202 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @09:17AM (#56046897)

      The seeds of Xerox’s destruction were sown well before Ms. Burns.

      Start with the company’s geographic layout. The heart and soul of Xerox was in Rochester, NY, where the company’s manufacturing plant and xerographic engineers resided. The majority of Xerox employees were in Rochester. But in 1969, the company moved its corporate headquarters and executives to Stamford, CT. While engineers may dream of having the suits an eight-hour drive away, I think it divorced management from operations. You can’t effectively manage a company when you have no idea what goes on there every day.

      Locating the R&D labs on the other side of the country probably didn’t help, either. True, Palo Alto was in the heart of Silicon Valley innovation, but at the time Rochester wasn’t exactly a scientific slouch. “Out of sight, out of mind” was a big factor in how Xerox execs treated PARC.

      And the management wasn’t great even in the mid-90s. Half-baked ideas from on high were a constant annoyance when I worked there. For example, Xerox offered the Total Satisfaction Guarantee: If for any reason you aren’t satisfied with your Xerox device, Xerox will replace it with an identical model or a current model with comparable features for three years after purchase. Xerox released the model 4900 color laser printer. A year later, they brought out the model 4915, which was much improved—but had identical hardware. A 4900 could be upgraded to a 4915 with a few stickers and a new ROM DIMM. Management wanted to charge users for the upgrade kit. It didn’t take long for customers to figure out that they could “TSG” their year-old 4900, and the free replacement would be a 4915. It took a while for management to figure out that the costs involved with sending a technician to pack up the large, heavy 4900 and replace it with a brand-new 4915 far exceeded the cost of mailing out a ROM DIMM and a few stickers.

      The TSG was a great sales tool, because it made buying the more-expensive Xerox equipment risk-free. But Xerox didn’t think through the implications of the guarantee: that it enabled free trade-ins for upgraded equipment, that equipment needed to be bulletproof to avoid a stream of TSG calls due to product flaws (DocuPrint, I’m looking at you), and how it would eat into what would otherwise be a very healthy profit margin supposedly justified by the Xerox brand.

      • by jerpyro ( 926071 )

        I seem to remember that Kodak, who as I understand it had the first digital camera and buried it, did the same thing with their R&D and that was *in* Rochester. this isn't a new pattern.

        Also ironic: Local shops in Rochester in the '80s wouldn't even stock Fujifilm because it was Kodak's big competitor.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          I seem to remember that Kodak, who as I understand it had the first digital camera and buried it, did the same thing with their R&D and that was *in* Rochester. this isn't a new pattern.

          New York was the technology hub before Silicon Valley. It was the technology innovation hub led at the time, no doubt, by an "Edison" who claims to have invented something called a "light bulb".

          Technology moved west with the whole Silicon Valley thing - i.e., once the transistor and IC were developed.

          The old big tech fir

  • So, what do we call them now? Fujirox or Xerofilm?

  • ...when Trump talks about how he's going to "make America great again"?

    Asking for a friend.

  • 00:00:00:00:00:00 [macvendors.com]

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