24 August 2013

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft, is it too late?

Ballmer finally announced his plan to retire -- but is it too late?

Ballmer to retire: Can Microsoft change? - CBS News: "The timing of Ballmer's decision, coming as it does after major strategic flops, suggesting that it may not have been entirely voluntary. But whatever the cause, it's not clear what actions a new CEO can take to put the company back on course."
Windows 8.1 fall release won't save Microsoft
Microsoft Surface: Mobile strategy looks shattered
Microsoft earnings fall well short as Surface flops

Moving forward"...This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do. I take this step in the best interests of the company I love; it is the thing outside of my family and closest friends that matters to me most.... " (Steve Ballmer - Aug. 23, 2013, Text of an internal email from Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer to employees regarding his plan to retire, at link above)

For Steve Ballmer, Resistance Was Futile - Ina Fried - News - AllThingsD: "...Ballmer was famous for discounting pretty much all of the products that have defined the recent computing age. His comments about the iPhone in 2007 to USA Today distill it perfectly: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.” The result of such thinking? The PC industry is tanking, and Microsoft’s longtime partners are struggling in an era where mobile devices — mostly made by others — are flourishing. Windows 8 was a stab at redefining the company’s operating system for a world sure to be dominated by mobile devices. But, as shown by the tepid response to the software — and to the initial Surface tablet device the company makes itself — Microsoft has a long way to go in that effort. It’s like that across the Microsoft empire, which too often feels like it is in its sunset. . . ."

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months: "Microsoft Corp. today announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation . . ."

Microsoft's next CEO: Who's on the short list? | ZDNet: "Microsoft is starting a formal search process for its next CEO, following the news that Steve Ballmer will be retiring from that role within the next 12 months."

Microsoft Says Bribery Investigation Includes Russia - Bloomberg: "The statement followed a Wall Street Journal report that federal regulators are extending their examination of the company’s relations with business partners that allegedly bribed foreign officials for contracts. The investigation had earlier looked into allegations made by a former Microsoft representative in China, and the company’s relationships with resellers and consultants in Romania and Italy, the newspaper said."

Windows 8: Lenovo brings back Start menu, sidesteps Windows Store with Pokki - GeekWire: "Lenovo, which recently took the title of world’s largest PC maker, is going around Microsoft to restore something much closer to the traditional Start Menu in its Windows 8 machines, in addition to letting users sidestep the Redmond company’s built-in app store."

Microsoft outshines broader market
What Nasdaq technical glitch? The big news on the Nasdaq Friday: Microsoft's (MSFT, Fortune 500) stock is soaring following news that its CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months. The Microsoft news kept the Nasdaq in positive territory.

Google buys augmented reality display patents from Foxconn
Google has bought Foxconn's Hon Hai Precision Industry display patent portfolio as the search company ramps up its development of Google Glass. Hon Hai, a major supplier for Apple and other top IT brands, sold a portfolio of Head Mounted Display (HMD) ...

Apple battles US over scope of e-books injunction
Chicago Tribune
At issue is how to ensure that Apple does not violate antitrust law, following a July 10 ruling by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan that it had conspired with five major publishers to undermine pricing by rivals including Amazon.com Inc ...

Icahn turns up the heat on Apple stock buyback - Aug. 22, 2013: "The activist investor said the pair plans to have dinner in September, and that Cook "believes in buyback and is doing one. What will be discussed is magnitude.""

Carl Icahn and Apple CEO Tim Cook to discuss buyback proposal ...
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who owns a major stake in Apple, is planning to discuss expanding the company's share buyback program with Chief Executive ...appleinsider.com/.../carl-icahn-and-apple-ceo-tim-cook-to-disc...

Apple Acquires Embark For Transit Maps
From 2007 until last year, Apple and Google worked together on the Apple-owned Maps app that comes with Apple's iOS mobile operating system. But relying on Googleas a supplier of backend map data became untenable as the two companies began ...

Amazon Is Said to Have Tested a Wireless Network
Amazon has moved deeper into wireless services for several years, as it competes with tablet makers like Apple Inc. (AAPL) and with Google, which runs a rival application store. Amazon's Kindle tablets and e-book readers have built-in wireless ...

Yahoo tops Google in US Web traffic in July
Microsoft properties, Facebook and AOL rounded out the top five. Granted, the rare monthly win for Yahoo does not include search and mobile results. But it is, by any measure, a landmark achievement for a company left for dead by many. Yahoo and Google ...

Apple, Samsung do not have to disclose profit details -court
(Reuters) - Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd do not have to make public the financial details submitted to a U.S. court during high-profile patent litigation, a federal appeals panel ruled on Friday. The Federal U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in ...

Why Apple customers should worry about security
Computerworld (blog)
Among the many walls Apple has built to protect users of its mobile gadgets is the App Store. Unlike Google, which allows others to provide Android apps through their own online stores, Apple keeps that business all to itself. Not only does this keep ...

Apple's iWork for iCloud Beta now open ...
Apple has previously offered iWork for iCloud Beta to developers. The company also quietly tested out the service with some invited users. It appears now, however, that the apps are available to anyone on iCloud. Apple announced iCloud for iWork at the ...

Report: Amazon Is Testing Its Own Wireless Network - Gizmodo
Casey Chan
According to a Bloomberg report, Amazon has tested its own wireless network. As in a network that people ... Report: Apple's Future of TV Is an Actual Television ...

Alan Henry
Android/Web: We already love Google Keep, but today it picked up some useful updates. Now you can add time and location reminders for your to-dos, add ...

HEARD ON THE STREET: H-P's Separation Anxiety - WSJ.com: "The story is similarly bleak in H-P's other businesses. The PC market hasn't stabilized as Ms. Whitman says she anticipated. Meanwhile, the 4% drop in sales of high-margin printer ink would have been worse without the effect of rising inventory, suggesting end-user demand is weaker still."

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