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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3/6/2014 2:22:44 PM
What technical points? All I see above are hearsay.
With regards to privilege escalation, that was certainly true in XP where every program expected admin access whether it needed it or not. Its not 2005 anymore though.
Since Windows Vista, Microsoft has hardened their OS with UAC, mandatory signatures of all kernel mode and user mode drivers in 64 bit versions of Windows, mandatory ASLR, SecureBoot, ELAM, EMET, SmartScreen, and a bunch of other features. They also are also consistently releasing patches to fix any new vulnerabilities that are found and are quick to release critical updates out of band for serious issues. (Such as the recent IE 10 zero day)
The funny thing is, Microsoft fortified Windows so much that black hats started focusing on IE. When Microsoft hardened that with IE 10 and IE 11, they then switched to gaining system access through third party software like Adobe Flash (who had their source code leak earlier last year...oops). Privelege escalation attacks in Windows are possible (no system is truly secure), but exceedingly hard now.
Linux isn't perfect either, around this time last year a vulnerability in sudo was discovered that.... you guessed it! Allowed privilege escalation to root.
Another one in May of '13 was even uglier:
What's even worse is that the denial of Linux not being as secure as its evangelists would like to believe results in serious bugs and vulnerabilities NOT being reported and downplayed. The Linux Kernel devs are notorious for doing this. Here is an example.
Get your holier than thou attitude checked, Microsoft isn't perfect, Linux isn't perfect, they both have a place in this world.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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