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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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @02:28PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @02:28PM (#1212410)

    I hate all of big tech pretty equally, just to be clear. But if I wanted Microsoft to thrive in the long term:

    The share of Microsoft's revenue coming from Azure and related services, and Office 365, is growing at a rapid rate. So in that sense, I think Azure is the future of the company. However, I think any sane technology company would be better off using AWS or dozens of other options. I believe the reason Azure is popular is because IT professionals, CIOs, and CTOs that spent the prior twenty years with Office, Sharepoint, Exchange, ActiveDirectory, and Windows desktop are running home to mommy. They go with Azure because the Microsoft ecosystem and products and sales representatives are what they already know.

    So Microsoft's future is Azure, but Windows and Office are critical pillars supporting the on-ramp.

    Now, by reputation, Azure isn't a great cloud. I know rumors can start in countless ways and a lot of the tech industry has a well-earned bias against Microsoft. But my suspicion is that the same corporate culture that leads to buggy experiences and inconsistent user interface features, confusing errors, and so forth in Windows desktop has been applied to their cloud. I'd probably go AWS first - if I'm going to sell my soul to the devil, I want the devil to be ruthlessly efficient prince of darkness and not a cross between Satan and the Three Stooges.