27 August 2013

Microsoft, Ballmer Exit, What Now?

New York Times says Microsoft needs a "catch-up artist" (see article at link below). Sorry, catch-up doesn't work in tech, Microsoft is going to need someone to rebuild and reinvent Microsoft -- quickly develop and issue a successor to Windows 7 for non-touch screen PCs, kill Windows Surface RT, abandon Windows phone,  focus on IE as a cross-platform browser on all devices including Android and iOS, continue to develop services on the cloud -- outlook.com, Skype, Sky Drive, Office 360, etc., and even consider buying Canonical or another Linux platform provider and issue a "Microsoft Linux" for servers, PCs and smartphones (that will run Android apps) -- Bottom line: Bill Gates isn't coming back, and Microsoft needs to move forward and unshackle itself from past errors, out-of-date business models, and false notions of what is achievable in Redmond.

Needed at Microsoft - A Catch-Up Artist - NYTimes.com" . . . . In his memo to Microsoft employees on Friday, Mr. Ballmer pointed to the challenge ahead for the company. At 57, he has decided to make way for a successor who can guide “our transformation to a devices and services company.” No mention of software as such. But a big part of the job for Mr. Ballmer’s successor will be re-engineering Windows and Office for delivery over the Internet onto all kinds of devices including smartphones and tablets, according to Mr. Yoffie of the Harvard Business School. Even if that is successful, the profit margins of the PC days will probably never return, especially when competing against free and low-cost alternatives, like Google’s Android operating system and Google Docs. “But unless Microsoft makes that transition with its core products,” Mr. Yoffie says, “the company is in danger of heading into the kind of crisis it is trying to avoid.”"

Ballmer Departure From Microsoft Was More Sudden Than Portrayed - Kara Swisher - News - AllThingsD: "As AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski wrote on Friday: “Here’s one metric by which Ballmer will be judged harshly. On the last day of 1999, the day before he took over as CEO, Microsoft’s market capitalization was $600 billion. On the day before he announced his intention to retire, it was less than $270 billion.”"

Ballmer forced out after $900M Surface RT debacle - Computerworld: "Steve Ballmer was forced out of his CEO chair by Microsoft's board of directors, who hit the roof when the company took a $900 million write-off to account for an oversupply of the firm's struggling Surface RT tablet, an analyst argued today. "He was definitely pushed out by the board," said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, in an interview Friday. "They either drove him out, or put him in a situation where he felt he had to leave to save face.". . . "

Ballmer Exit Brings Microsoft a Chance for Reinvention - NYTimes.com
While Microsoft in Mr. Ballmer's reign as chief executive has yielded the spotlight to more glamorous companies like Apple, Google and Facebook, it still makes ...

Microsoft's Next Era | TechCrunch
Moments like this happen only once a generation in the technology industry. The announcement of Steve Ballmer's retirement from his post as CEO of Mic..

Microsoft Board in Needle-in-Haystack Hunt for New CEO
The new CEO will also need to help Microsoft hone its strategy, comparable to Lou Gerstner's overhaul of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM:US) The challenge: making up for a lost decade when Microsoft fell behind Google and Apple Inc.

Microsoft's next CEO faces tougher times than Ballmer
But here's the reality: Microsoft's job isn't getting any easier. The tech giant is sprawling and it's unclear whether it can compete with Google, Apple and Amazon -- three companies with more focused businesses. The biggest challenge for Microsoft's ...

The perils of China for Google, Apple: "Several years ago, when Google was making a strong push to boost search traffic and ad sales in China, one of its competitors there reportedly had a cunning idea. The company was said to have compiled a list of alleged violations of China's censorship laws committed by Google, a list it then presented to that country's Internet police . . . . Soon after, visitors to the company's google.cn website were being redirected to the site of Baidu.com, according to my source, a veteran executive of technology and media companies who is now running a consumer Internet start-up he founded. . . ."

Stop Thinking That Tech Hacks Will Fix Our Surveillance Problems | Wired Opinion | Wired.com: "The task of defending privacy from surveillance should be taken up by all citizens, together. As Mark Hagerott and Daniel Sarewitz argued in Slate, “[O]ne of society’s most powerful narratives of democratic struggle — the myth of the individual who rebels against social and political conformity — has been rendered implausible by the development of pervasive security technology.” It’s time to change that narrative so that the notion of a “democratic” struggle in our time isn’t always equated with a solely technological one."

From Google, Uber Gets Money and Political Muscle
Even if Google and other companies are close to developing the technology to enable autonomous vehicles, there are legal issues to contend with. The most likely path towards self-driving cars will be incremental—first they'll park for us, then keep us ...

Apple looks to build market share with the cheaper iPhone 5C
The iPhone created the smartphone market and became Apple's flagship product, making $18 billion in revenue in the past quarter. Yet despite tens of millions of iPhones sold, Apple continues to lose market share to Google's Android. Many have ...

Round 2 in Microsoft, Motorola patent trial
Chicago Tribune
The argument between Microsoft and Motorola -- and by extension Google, which now owns it - is just one facet of a wide-ranging global patent war surrounding smartphone and Internet technology that has drawn in Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics Co, Nokia ...

Microsoft Exchanges Points For Real Money On Xbox Live Today
If you spent any Microsoft points on Xbox Live yesterday, they were your last. The company is doing away with its peculiar system and transitioning Xbox users over to their local currency. Any funny money left in your account will be converted ...

Amazon Web Services Outage Cuts Off Big Names
Wall Street Journal (blog)
Amazon.com's Web services unit had a glitch Sunday that appeared to take down some prominent websites and apps, including Airbnb, Facebook's Instagram and Twitter's Vine video service, according to notices the companies posted to Twitter. Getty.

As Amazon Stretches, Seattle's Downtown Is Reshaped
New York Times
When Amazon executives showed up last year for the first meetings about their proposal to build a new headquarters here — three towers that would draw thousands of workers downtown — city officials were taken aback. Not by the scope of the plan, but...

I Want an iWatch!
Daily Beast
I have an “iWatch” Google alert set to notify me whenever Apple finally announces its smart watch, wired to the smoke alarms inside my house, so any time some tech blog posts a new rumor, it's like Armageddon up in this piece. 130823-iwatch-ross-tease.

Wolverton: Google Glass needs lots of polishing
San Jose Mercury News
For those who have somehow avoided the hype, Glass is the new computer fromGoogle that's shaped like an eyeglass frame. I recently got my first chance to experience Glass. I didn't have enough time to thoroughly evaluate it, but was able to get a ...

Chatter surfaces about 'fast' Apple A7 chip for iPhone 5S - CNET News
A tweet from a Fox News reporter claims that new Apple silicon rumored to land in the iPhone 5S is "very fast," while an Apple-centric blog says it will be 64-bit -- echoing a previous rumor. ... Microsoft: Google's corrupting your kids at school.
CNET Australia

New features ahead: Google Maps and Waze apps better than ever
That's why the Waze and Google Maps teams are working together to harness the power of Google technology and the passion of the Waze community to make ...
Apple - Education - iPad - Apps, Books, and More
Apps that delight. Books that captivate. Videos that inspire. A world of learning possibilities awaits in every iPad. Who knew you could fit so much knowledge into ...

Justdelete.me Wants To Help You Pull The Plug On All Those Pesky Online Accounts | TechCrunch: " . . . A U.K.-based duo consisting of developer Robb Lewis and designer Ed Poole seem to understand that desire awfully well, and they teamed up to create what may be a truly indispensable resource. It’s called Justdelete.me, and as the name sort of implies, it’s a directory of links to pages where you can lay waste to your myriad online accounts. It’s a deceptively simple resource. . . . "

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