Microsoft's Gates, Nadella, Bates Initially Opposed Nokia Acquisition; Said Microsoft Should Stick with Software
March 5, 2014 1:33 PM
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Former CEO Steve Ballmer threw a fit until he got his acquisition
Microsoft and Nokia have had a close relationship over the years, where Microsoft provided the Windows Phone software and Nokia made the hardware. But when former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wanted his company to become a hardware maker, many top executives disagreed with such a move -- including current
CEO Satya Nadella
, Ballmer was set on getting his way when it came to the acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services division last year, despite opposition from top-ranking execs in the company. Ballmer reportedly threw a fit that everyone could hear last year when he learned of their opposition.
Microsoft co-founder and current Technology Advisor Bill Gates along with Nadella and former Skype CEO in charge of Microsoft's business development Tony Bates all initially opposed Microsoft's move into hardware, as well as the idea of an expensive Nokia acquisition.
The board didn't back Ballmer's plan to acquire two Nokia units at the time, but after Ballmer's hissy fit in June 2013, the board signed off on a
$7.2 billion USD purchase
of Nokia’s mobile phone business. Nadella had also reportedly changed his mind about the Nokia acquisition, saying it was a good idea after all.
“Nokia brings mobile-first depth across hardware, software, design, global supply chain expertise and deep understanding and connections across the mobile market,” said Nadella. “This is the right move for Microsoft.”
Bates, on the other hand, remained strongly opposed. Earlier this week, it was announced that he is leaving the company immediately, which could be a result of being passed up for CEO earlier this year. There could also be internal frustrations with his opposition of Microsoft's move toward hardware.
But Microsoft team members had a right to worry about the company's future in hardware, as the past has been quite telling. For instance, Microsoft's first homemade tablet called Surface was largely a flop at launch in October 2012. 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.
In July 2013, Microsoft reported the largest earnings miss in at least a decade and took an unexpected
$900 million charge
due to the Surface flop.
Ballmer announced that he would be
retiring as Microsoft's CEO within a year
last August, and Nadella was named CEO in January.
Nadella is currently shaking up the executive ranks and unraveling certain parts of Ballmer's restructuring process.
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3/5/2014 4:43:09 PM
Far from it. I call MS on thier crap, and I know you have been involved in some of those threads as well so you have seen me.
Yes true, I give you credit for this. I've seen you make some rational arguments here, and I can respect that.
Too many others in here though that are simply ignorant children.
"Microsoft is the only one that does the whole package"
No, that's the part I'm asserting is false. Microsoft is a niche player that only does front-office business apps and OS. MS Office, Exchange, and Sharepoint. Take away those three apps and there's no compelling reason to use Windows, there's no market even for Windows once you take those away. And there are ready replacements for all of those apps already today.
Not to mention all the market areas I already mentioned where Microsoft isn't a player at all. The big important stuff. Transportation, banks, stock exchanges, network infrastructure, power generation, etc.
You know, all the stuff that makes the world function!
The world literally does run on UNIX & Linux. Microsoft is just a nice-to-have for the people who sit in an office at a desk; it isn't what powers the world.
"But if MS were to close up and all products deactivated, the entire world's economy would come to a grinding halt. It would literally be the end of the world as we know it."
I don't agree with this for the reasons already mentioned. That all critical functions of society and infrastructure run UNIX and Linux OS's.
"If Windows disappeared suddenly, you wouldn't have a job because the people that pay you wouldn't have a job, becasue the people that pay them wouldnt have a job."
How do you figure? If hypothetically Microsoft disappeared tomorrow, how is that any different from the current situation of Windows XP support ending? All these "people that pay you" were running XP until just this year most likely. Their IT department was forced to react, and upgrade them to a new different OS. Probably also upgrade some of the apps to new versions that are compatible with the new OS.
The level of effort involved in switching a desktop user from XP to Win Eight, isn't much different from switching them from XP to Mac OS or to an enterprise desktop Linux distro. If Microsoft disappeared tomorrow, corporations would do exactly that.
The point being, there are ready alternatives today for everything Microsoft does. Any company so motivated can replace all their Microsoft products with stuff from another vendor. Right now today.
There is no replacement however, for all the critical infrastructure roles that UNIX and Linux perform. Nobody else does those things, nobody has even tried. Certainly not Microsoft.
3/5/2014 4:59:23 PM
"Yes true, I give you credit for this. I've seen you make some rational arguments here, and I can respect that."
Thank you. But is it only rational when I call an MS terd a terd (like the Win8, Xbox One, Surface, Kin terds)? When I am not railing against MS, is it irrational?
"Microsoft is a niche player that only does front-office business apps and OS. MS Office, Exchange, and Sharepoint"
First off, that alone is huge, second, you are missing SQL, and "MS Windows servers" in general, Hyper V and all that goes with it... Not to mention a little known product called "Windows" that all users use to access all of these systems, and even most end users accessing the systems you mentioned that aren't MS. You aren't just massively underestimating the impact, you are totally ignoring cold hard facts on some sort of mission to minimize 30 years of MS's often (but not always) solid efforts.
"The level of effort involved in switching a desktop user from XP to Win Eight, isn't much different from switching them from XP to Mac OS or to an enterprise desktop Linux distro. If Microsoft disappeared tomorrow, corporations would do exactly that."
Your complete lack of knowledge is showing here (either that or you are just trolling). No, you are totally wrong 100%. If Windows disappeared suddenly, you wouldn't have a job because the people that pay you wouldn't have a job, because the people that pay them wouldn't have a job. It wouldn't matter if you did have a job or saved money, because there would be no food in the grocery stores. Money wouldn't move and the entire worlds economy would crash. Fortunately that cant happen, but MS is the only company that can make that hypothetical claim. Every other software company, Google included is childs play. MS IS the business world, whther you like it or not.
3/5/2014 9:54:41 PM
From what I can find, Linux does well in "publicly accessible servers, such as web servers, mail servers or DNS servers on the Internet", with 33% (against Microsoft's 35%). Around 30% is unknown, and rest is Unix, BSD...
But based on server hardware sales, as provided by hardware manufacturers, MS was still on 46% vs. Linux 20%, as of beginning of 2013... a year ago. Not as dominant as on desktops/laptops, but dominant for sure.
3/5/2014 6:58:31 PM
The trick is that ultimately the big companies management makes decisions (including operational ones) based on information prepared in ... guess what, MS products (Excel, PowerPoint).
This of course would not happen as MS can't turn off the locally installed software. Which is the point - the lock-in in the MS products is rarely so tight, that you do not have an escape route.
Linux/UNIX is good for situations, when you can afford to pay quality IT dept. Which is exaclty the big stuff you mention.
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