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Bill Gates is now Founder and Technology Advisor

And the winner of the race for Microsoft's next CEO is: Satya Nadella.
 
Microsoft confirmed today that Nadella is indeed the tech giant's new CEO, and this appointment is effective immediately. This means former CEO Steve Ballmer is officially retired and relieved of his duties.
 
"Today is a very humbling day for me," said Nadella in an internal memo to Microsoft employees. "It is an incredible honor for me to lead and serve this great company of ours. While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more. This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places — as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world."
 
Nadella, who was born in 1969 in India, studied Electrical Engineering at the Mangalore University before moving to the U.S. to study computer science at the University of Wisconsin. From there he worked at Sun Microsystems before finally making his way to Microsoft to work on research for the company's online services division. He's been with Microsoft for over 20 years now and has held several roles, such as the business division on Office, helping to build the Bing search engine, leading the Server and Tools business, and transforming Microsoft’s cloud business.


Satya Nadella 
Ballmer, who announced that he would be retiring as Microsoft's CEO within a year last August, gave a modest congratulations to Nadella as he officially leaves the company after 14 years as CEO and 33 years total with the company.
 
"I have absolutely no doubt Microsoft is in good hands, with Satya and the rest of the senior leadership team that is in place," said Ballmer. "We have so many strong leaders… the future of Microsoft is incredibly bright."
 
Another big announcement alongside Nadella's appointment to CEO is that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is stepping down as Chairman of the Board of Directors today and will instead have a more active role in the company as Founder and Technology Advisor. This new role means that Gates will devote more time to the company and support Nadella in shaping technology and product direction at Microsoft. 

"I'm thrilled that Satya has asked me to step up, substantially increasing my time at the company," said Gates. "I'll have over a third of my time available to meet with product groups and it'll be fun to define this next round of products working together."

The announcement regarding Gates' new position goes hand-in-hand with rumors that were floating around yesterday, saying that Gates was expected to have a more hands-on role in the company once again. 

Microsoft is in the middle of a whirlwind of changes right now as part of a huge restructuring process. The main goal behind the restructuring is unifying Xbox, Windows Phone and PC units, which shows that devices and services are the center focus. 


Microsoft has been struggling in the smartphone and tablet space while competitors like Apple and Google/Samsung dominate mobile. According to TechCrunch, Android's global market share surpassed the 80 percent mark as of November 2013 while Apple's iOS was at 12.9 percent and Microsoft's Windows Phone had just 3.6 percent. 

Aside from that, Microsoft has been dragging its feet when it comes to offering more attractive apps to complement Windows Phone hardware (such as that provided by Nokia) to lure customers in; Microsoft's first homemade tablet, called Surface, was also largely a flop at launch because Windows RT was seen as a half-baked Windows product that didn't run legacy apps, and the Windows 8 Pro version was much too expensive for the typical consumer, and Windows 8 in general created a storm among users who just wanted their Start button back and the live tiles on their desktops to go away. 

The Xbox One had some issues last year as well when Microsoft considered allowing third party companies to ban used games on the console. It also tried to implement the new "always-on" digital rights management (DRM) system. Microsoft later retracted these features after major complaints.


Satya Nadella's first "interview" as Microsoft CEO

A new CEO and bringing Gates in to help call the shots on future products may be the key to avoiding any further catastrophe. In fact, Gates was the one who originally threw around ideas for smartphones and tablet PCs at Microsoft before Apple launched its respective products -- meaning he could bring some great ideas to the table and try to push ahead of competitors.

Prior to Nadella's CEO appointment, a lot of names were reportedly considered during the search. One of the top names frequently mentioned was Ford CEO Alan Mulally, whom many were rooting for because of his reputation as a turn-around guy. He successfully helped Ford return to profitability after becoming CEO in 2006 when the No. 2 automaker had struggled during the late-2000s recession. It was also the only American major car manufacturer to avoid a bailout fund from the government. 

While Mulally has been close with Microsoft and Ballmer in the past, he grew tired of the rumors regarding his potential move to Microsoft, and confirmed that he was staying with Ford early last month. 

Congratulations to Nadella for stepping up. Check out this video of Gates welcoming him to the top spot in the company: 

Source: Microsoft



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RE: Scary
By amanojaku on 2/4/2014 11:18:27 AM , Rating: 5
If you want an OS you can use, then Windows 7 is for you. I can't think of anything that Windows 7 got seriously wrong. I think Windows 8 is technically better (memory management, IO, etc...), but the interface needs an overhaul.

I'm always curious as to what people want in a new OS. These days, an OS is so complete that there isn't much else to offer. Most things we want seem to be application specific, and you know MS can't risk another Internet-Explorer-style antitrust lawsuit.

As a developer, I'd like an API that conforms to an industry standard supported by popular operating systems (it worked for OpenGL). I hate having to recode things for different platforms just because the APIs are different for things like a mouse click.

As a consumer, I'd like a single version of Windows that runs on phones, tablets, and desktops identically. All versions would be binary compatible, allowing you to run the same applications on multiple devices without a software framework (I hate you, .Net). You'd have the option to choose different GUIs, or make your own (Remember LiteStep?). It would draw as little power as possible (my PC is on 24/7). And it would not force application installations to be made through an app store.

What do you want in Windows 9?


RE: Scary
By TheDoc9 on 2/4/2014 12:14:14 PM , Rating: 1
I have some ideas:

1) Make voice commands usable for OS tasks and Office. The system needs to work immediately without training, google has done it.
2) Multiple desktops for power users, switching needs to be smooth as butter like mac os.
3) Polish the UI more, it still feels cluttered. Not metro, the desktop.
4) Better codec support out of the box for audio and video.

5) Take another note from mac os, design the UI closer to the GPU and not the processor.
6) Use direct X as a fall back for everything, GPU companys have started releasing specialized drivers and support. Use them.
7) Fix the office Ribbon, it's still un-intuitive.
8) Loose or significantly change the metro tile interface for phones.
9) Update the expensive licensing structure of professional windows apps. VS, TFS, ect.

I'm sure there's more! ;)


RE: Scary
By JDHammer on 2/4/2014 12:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1) Make voice commands usable for OS tasks and Office. The system needs to work immediately without training, google has done it.


uh huh... that would have to be optional and not default because, if the OS forced everyone to use voice commands how will this work for those with disabilities where they can't speak or are deaf?


RE: Scary
By DiscoWade on 2/4/2014 12:33:44 PM , Rating: 4
My list:
1) Bring back Aero and rounded corners. Abandon the square, two-color, and ALL CAPITAL MENU look.
2) Return a working start menu that can be customized completely.
3) Put more emphasis on Windows Media Center. Possibly even make a specialized Media Center version that strips out features not needed for a proper HTPC. Support extenders again and start encouraging third parties to make extenders. Then work with satellite providers to provide support like that of a CableCard. Maybe even partner with cable and satellite companies to make a WMC box.
4) Stop calling programs "apps". Stop using contractions (i.e. "Welcome to Windows 8. We're sure you'll like it.") and start being more professional with your messages. An operating system is a tool, not a buddy.
5) Bring back TechNet! Not Windows 9 related, but still important.
6) Stop trying to force users into getting a Microsoft ID.


RE: Scary
By SAN-Man on 2/4/2014 4:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
I like these.

Microsoft has been trying to get us to sign up since Active Desktop! I bet most of you don't remember that! :)


RE: Scary
By HoosierEngineer5 on 2/5/2014 1:40:47 PM , Rating: 2
7) Allow internet connection sharing to support static IP addresses
8) Make OS/Office/IE as stable as XP was
9) Make a version that is secure enough to be used as an alarm system (wishful thinking). Even better, make it bootable from a DVD (no possibility of persistent viruses).


RE: Scary
By inighthawki on 2/4/2014 12:34:04 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
5) Take another note from mac os, design the UI closer to the GPU and not the processor.

What exactly does that mean?

quote:
6) Use direct X as a fall back for everything, GPU companys have started releasing specialized drivers and support. Use them.

The entire UI is already hardware accelerated, including now GDI. Their latest technologies have been hardware accelerated as well. WPF and mMtro are composited UIs (XAML) based on D3D9/11 and D2D. WPF and XAML have been available for many years now, and are actually quite impressive.

quote:
7) Fix the office Ribbon, it's still un-intuitive.

I disagree. I feel you are confusing unintuitive with unfamiliar. The ribbon's layout is actually incredibly intuitive. It categorizes common tasks and groups them together with similar functionality. It works great in some applications, and less in others. Office is one of those places I think it works great.

quote:
8) Loose or significantly change the metro tile interface for phones.

Why? This is the one place where almost everyone agrees it works really well. I for one strongly prefer WP to iOS and Android. Also the word you're looking for is 'lose'


RE: Scary
By TheDoc9 on 2/4/14, Rating: 0
RE: Scary
By inighthawki on 2/4/2014 5:34:39 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The Mac os front end was created to be graphic intensive and rendered like a game. In my understanding the entire ui is loaded into the gpu's ram.

Windows has been like this since Vista. The entire UI is composited by DWM using D3D.

quote:
I'm speaking of making it telepathic like ios or a hacked android. Not the stuttering mess it is now.

I feel you are not using the right word here, because telepathic makes no sense. Also how is it "a stuttering mess"? Unless the last experience you had was with Windows XP... (Which btw was also loaded in VRAM, like every display buffer in existence...)


RE: Scary
By inighthawki on 2/4/2014 5:37:43 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Lastly, if the tile interface works so well then why aren't more people using it?

Sorry missed this one at the bottom.

Actually a lot of people have been taking cues from the WP UI. iOS7 clearly took a large inspiration from it. Maybe not the live tiles, but metro in general. There has been quite a lot of news recently (Samsung for example) of OEMs showing off Android UIs which are very clearly heavily based on the live tile based model.


RE: Scary
By Reclaimer77 on 2/4/14, Rating: -1
RE: Scary
By inighthawki on 2/4/2014 8:00:31 PM , Rating: 2
http://news.softpedia.com/newsImage/Samsung-s-New-...

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/34969/leakedtt-samsu...

They are clearly borrowing from the metro/live tile design. Obviously it's not a direct rip-off, but you would be in denial to claim that it wasn't at least inspired from metro.


RE: Scary
By Reclaimer77 on 2/4/2014 8:15:13 PM , Rating: 2
*pours ketchup on hat and begins to eat it*

Thanks for the links. The second is a rumor, but the first, yup no doubt this "Magazine UX" UI is Metro-inspired.

They're really just taking widgets and allowing them to share borders (something I've often wished for on Android), but you'll get no argument from me. It's very Metro-like.


RE: Scary
By retrospooty on 2/5/2014 11:02:54 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, you have it backwards... Live tiles borrowed the concept from widgets... Then Samsung borrowed it from Windows. Even still, that UI for Samsung is to be short lived. It's already being dropped in favor of a more stock UI...

http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-going-dial-bac...

Respect to Samsung for that.


RE: Scary
By inighthawki on 2/5/2014 11:16:00 AM , Rating: 2
Of course live tiles are based on widgets, but metro is a design language and is more than just widgets. It's about layout, content, fonts, colors, etc. Metro's live tiles obviously takes cues from the concept of widgets, but as I stated in my above post, you would be in denial to not see the inspiration of metro here.

Also I'm not sure what you're getting at with that link. It basically just states that their UI will look different than old versions of the OS. It says nothing about those rumored images.


RE: Scary
By retrospooty on 2/5/2014 11:32:31 AM , Rating: 2
Like I said to you in another thread. Its not who may use it, its who keeps it. HTC kind of used it and dropped it. Samsung has it on its latest tablets, but is already dropping it.

Can you name anything that sticks? Or at least looks like it might stick? Most people seem fairly repulsed by metro in general.


RE: Scary
By retrospooty on 2/5/2014 11:32:32 AM , Rating: 2
Like I said to you in another thread. Its not who may use it, its who keeps it. HTC kind of used it and dropped it. Samsung has it on its latest tablets, but is already dropping it.

Can you name anything that sticks? Or at least looks like it might stick? Most people seem fairly repulsed by metro in general.


RE: Scary
By Reclaimer77 on 2/5/2014 1:17:53 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
but metro is a design language and is more than just widgets. It's about layout, content, fonts, colors, etc.


It looks like a bunch of random sh*t on the screen to me. No offense, but like Retro is saying, this is probably why Metro offends so many people. There's no apparent organization, or pattern, or style. It's just random sized icons with random colors and random crap on them.

quote:
Also I'm not sure what you're getting at with that link.


Well it appears you sorta kinda misled me. Yes Samsung used a Metro-like UI, but apparently dropped it entirely according to Retro. So where does that leave us?


RE: Scary
By inighthawki on 2/5/2014 7:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
Well they haven't revealed what their final UI is like, so we don't know what, if anything, they changed since their other previewed UI. The article only states they are working with Google to make the UI.

quote:
It looks like a bunch of random sh*t on the screen to me. No offense, but like Retro is saying, this is probably why Metro offends so many people

This is very hit or miss and depends on what it is. The windows 8 start screen, for example, is a total disaster. I agree completely. Seemingly random tiles with varying random colors. Pretty ugly.

The windows phone, however, is far more consistent in this regard. The tiles are all generally the same color, and the tile size and placement is more customizable, allowing for a layout that can be more symmetrical and represents more of a pattern to the placement. (Although I will admit that most of the default start screen layouts are just all over the place.)

Some apps do a great job with metro, while others lack. The WP's music app is nicely done, and the panorama views work really well. And for Win8, metro really doesn't shine unless you are on a tablet, but we both know already that metro is out of place on the desktop. Using it on my surface, the experience is quite good. Some apps can definitely use improvements, but the layout and interface is well done for apps that are designed for content consumption. I do also use the new 8.1 music app on my laptop from time to time, which is a lot nicer than the old music app, but obviously still suffers from the greatest flaw of all - always being fullscreen in the metro environment.


RE: Scary
By StevoLincolnite on 3/3/2014 10:45:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There's no apparent organization, or pattern, or style. It's just random sized icons with random colors and random crap on them.


Initially yes.
But you can adjust their position, colour and size, which is what I have done on my Windows Phone so it suits my usage habits.


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