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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 Friday January 14, @12:01AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @12:01AM (#1212547)
    Why do idiots keep posting this shit. Microsoft has licensed plenty of the software in Windows and Office, and cannot open source either of them.
  • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Saturday January 15, @05:09PM

    by Immerman (3985) on Saturday January 15, @05:09PM (#1212950)

    Of course they could - just not the bits they licensed from someone else. Nothing says you have to open source 100% of your code, unless you're using GPL or similar. And actually not even then, unless they're integrating *other people's* GPL code without requiring contributors to transfer copyright or grant Microsoft a more permissive license.

    The GPL puts no restrictions on the copyright holder, only on the third-party redistributors who only gain distribution rights if they comply with the license.

    It would mean that nobody else could distribute an alternate Windows distro without replacing all the non-included non-OSS bits, or at least removing the features that rely on them, but that would likely be seen as a benefit by Microsoft.

    You could certainly argue that doing so violates the spirit of Free Software - but Open Source eschews that spirit by design in favor of more practical concerns, and lots of companies have used variations on the theme over the years.

    I believe Open Office was essentially in that position prior to the donation to The Apache Foundation, and subsequent permissive re-licensing that allowed for the Libre Office fork to exist. And there's lots of dual-licensed projects that have exploit a similar arrangement that allows them to sell non-OSS licenses, often including extra features not included in the OSS version. (I want to say QT was one of those?)