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posted by janrinok on Thursday January 13, @07:12AM   Printer-friendly

Should Microsoft sell Windows and Office? This former exec believes so:

A former Microsoft executive has offered up some advice for current CEO Satya Nadella: spin off Windows and Office and focus on Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing crown jewel.

Ben Slivka, a 14-year veteran at Microsoft who left in 1999, gave the unsolicited advice to Nadella in an interview with CNBC, saying: "The right thing probably is to bet the future on the cloud."

[...] On top of this, Nadella invested heavily in building out Azure and other enterprise-focused offerings to compete with Amazon's AWS and Google Cloud. By some estimates, Azure hold 20% of the cloud market, below AWS' 32% and above Google's 9%.

According to analysts that CNBC spoke to, spinning off Windows and Office would make very little sense. Nadella has built significant and much-needed synergies between Microsoft's various businesses, in such a way that the rise of one boosts the others.

So what do you think?


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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday January 13, @01:20PM (2 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @01:20PM (#1212397) Journal
    Somebody pays for that work. They obviously don't see it as being as bullshit as you do.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday January 13, @04:59PM (1 child)

    by Thexalon (636) on Thursday January 13, @04:59PM (#1212437)

    Not as much as you might think.

    In big-corporation politics, headcount of your reports is one of the major measurements of a manager's clout (the other one being budget). How much work those reports accomplish, and the profitability of that work, isn't always all that important to said manager's position or prospects of promotion. What also matters a great deal to these sorts is the perceived loyalty or disloyalty among their lieutenants, and the manager's goal is to get said lieutenants to be loyal to that particular manager, not the company, because a loyal lieutenant will help the manager in their political battles, whereas a company-loyal lieutenant will undermine the manager if the manager is doing something that benefits themselves rather than the company. It's not uncommon to have employees whose sole real job is providing political support to their boss when they're asked to, regardless of what their job title and description says they're supposed to be doing.

    There are also, of course, nepotism hires and plenty of other kinds of corporate corruption out there.

    This kind of stuff tends to rear its ugly head once a company has reached the levels of sales that mean that major failures and dangerous incompetence don't actually jeopardize the company's existence. Sooner or later, you get managers who are good at playing the political game rather than good at actually running a business, and then that's what you're looking at, not the idealized profit-maximizing system of Adam Smith's imagination.

    And yes, I've seen this sort of thing in real life.

    --
    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
    • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Saturday January 15, @01:45AM

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Saturday January 15, @01:45AM (#1212827)

      This kind of stuff tends to rear its ugly head once a company has reached the levels of sales that mean that major failures and dangerous incompetence don't actually jeopardize the company's existence. Sooner or later, you get managers who are good at playing the political game rather than good at actually running a business, and then that's what you're looking at, not the idealized profit-maximizing system of Adam Smith's imagination.

      It happens in businesses even when major failures and dangerous incompetence do actually jeopardize the company's existence. Middle managers in too many places manage to maximum their "performance" bonuses, not company profits. Those deciding what is worth giving someone a bonus for are making decisions based on their own set of numbers that they are trying to achieve. The reports that make it to the upper levels are often fantastical reports that are based on reports that are based, somewhere way down the pile of turtles, on reports of actual data. What shows up at the top is what those at the top want to see. There's a reason so many businesses go under or are sold off.