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Prominent hedge fund manager calls for Microsoft's Ballmer to step down - Page 3

post #81 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

Should I really be surprised that people here seem to be passing judgement on Microsoft's products without even using them?

Clearly none of you saying things like "crummy products" and "crappy OS" have used Microsoft's offerings lately. If you had, you would be praising what is on offer:

Windows 7
Office 2010
Office 2011 for Mac
Internet Explorer 9
Windows Phone 7
Zune
Xbox

All of these are truly excellent products, most of them worthy of being the market leader. Certainly the Windows of today is the best ever and I now have far more confidence in the reliability and stability of Windows than I do in Mac OS X.

Microsoft also offers incredibly good support for previous versions, continuing to release updates long after a new version is on sale. This means that Windows XP and Windows Vista are now rock solid (a long way from where they were 6 or 7 years ago).

I want to agree with you but MSFT is almost solely responsible for holding up innovation.
post #82 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

I would like to think that Apple is not that stupid. Microsoft being around is part of what keeps Apple from being nailed with tons of antitrust charges. If they bought Microsoft that protection would disappear.

Perhaps if Microsoft spun out a couple of smaller items like the Xbox or the Zune, Apple might buy those but they should be keeping the computer side of things miles away

And as much as I don't like wishing unemployment on anyone, Microsoft needs to drop the whole retail store project. It's a total joke and from what I heard is bleeding money. Showcases in select major cities makes sense perhaps but trying to match Apple is just a waste.

I've said it before -- MS should release iPad versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint ASAP.

I suspect that Apple, at WWDC, will announce a consolidated version OS X and iOS iWork and interface them through iCloud -- maybe other apps too.

The post-pc train is leaving the station -- All Aboard!
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post #83 of 116
Please God, Don't let Balmer get replaced!
post #84 of 116
I'm going to argue this point. m$ word was never intended to write a book with. Its purpose is to write 1 or 2 page office messages.

If you are going to write a book, you need to be using FrameMaker, or something appropriate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

. Word also crashes on 500+ page documents with Track Changes turned on.
post #85 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

Ballmer is the best employee Apple's ever had.

Indeed he is! Ballmer is a Tool and I hope he stays at M$. He doesn't have the vision, he doesn't have the foresight. He is arrogant and self promoting. All he has done is ride the M$ wave. Anyone one of us who has posted on this forum could do a better job than him. And that is no joke.
post #86 of 116
"But, who will be the visionary for the future? And, who will be ready to step in as CEO when Ballmer leaves? Those are billion dollar questions."

The same person who has always been the visionary for Microsoft -- Steve Jobs. What's the problem here?
post #87 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Balmer is a tool, but he is not the problem. The company is too diversified, lacking focus. Splitting the company up is probably what needs to be done. Something like this, perhaps:

Computing. Windows, SQL Server, Office, and similar products.
Entertainment. XBox, Windows Phone, MSNBC, Bing

The argument against doing this is you lose the synergies between the various divisions of MS. But it's starting to become clear those synergies either don't actually exist or are not as powerful as assumed.

While I agree with you that each division is lacking focus/vision, I don't see a need to split the company. MS's division heads just need to provide some direction and drive. Splitting the company WON'T solve that. Someone needs some vision for each division and needs to provide this vision to the division heads so that they can provide some direction.

Just look at Apple. Their Mac division is thriving. Although some professionals may say they are ignoring the Mac Pro, laptops are where it's at. Their iPhone and iPod division is thriving.

Time for Steve Jobs to give MS a pep-talk. I'm sure Steve could give the MS divisions some vision and direction!!! LOL
post #88 of 116
"The company's stock has stock has dropped by more than 50 percent"

should obviously read "The company's stock has dropped by more than 50 percent"


Anyways, I thought Microsoft was doing well these days. This guy just wants to get the stock to go up a little so he can sell. He doesn't really give a shit beyond that, and Ballmer isn't doing as bad of a job as he makes it seem.

I say Ballmer should step aside, but just because it's time for someone new, not because MS is fucking up.
post #89 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhyde View Post

"But, who will be the visionary for the future? And, who will be ready to step in as CEO when Ballmer leaves? Those are billion dollar questions."

The same person who has always been the visionary for Microsoft -- Steve Jobs. What's the problem here?

lol funny, but stupid
post #90 of 116
Uh oh...

Looks like trouble...

The "public vote of confidence" usually precedes a decision to leave and spend more time with the family...

UPDATE 3-Microsoft board backs Ballmer over Einhorn
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post #91 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhyde View Post

"But, who will be the visionary for the future? And, who will be ready to step in as CEO when Ballmer leaves? Those are billion dollar questions."

The same person who has always been the visionary for Microsoft -- Steve Jobs. What's the problem here?

The uncertainty about Steve Jobs' health is holding down MSFT stock?
post #92 of 116
Quote:
Einhorn voiced strong concerns over Ballmer's ability to lead the company into the post-PC era, characterizing him as stuck in the past, Reuters reports. According to the report, Einhorn's remarks echoed comments that "some investors have said for years in private."

"His continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft's stock," Einhorn said, as he called for Ballmer to "give someone else a chance" to lead. Shares of Microsoft closed the day at 24.19, up 0.17 percent. The company's stock has stock has dropped by more than 50 percent since Ballmer took over for founder Bill Gates as CEO in January 2000.


This analyst is just stating the obvious:

1- A CEO's position is not a life appointment, but a temporary assignment to meet stated, mutually agreed, business objectives;

2- 8 to 10 years is considered to be the optimal duration for a CEO's appointment, after which he should resign, retire or be fired by the Board of directors;

3- It is important to maintain a renewal of company executives to favour retention of talent, fight dictatorial leaders, corporate abuse of power, misappropriation of funds, escalation of costs, stock option giveaways and misallocation of funds or staff in dubious pursuits;

4- With each new executive, there is a reassessment of corporate objectives and the cost to meet them, as well as an opportunity to examine fresh ideas, new business ventures and corporate strategies.


Resisting change always lead to staleness and escalating costs. In the long term, this means a less profitable company.

Now, if only the Apple Board of directors could hear the call for change...


post #93 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Uh oh...

Looks like trouble...

The "public vote of confidence" usually precedes a decision to leave and spend more time with the family...

UPDATE 3-Microsoft board backs Ballmer over Einhorn

Also note that Ballmer sold over a billion dollars worth of MSFT stock last year. Another clue?
post #94 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post

I feel for the guy but I'm not so sure he's doing a BAD job. He's made some mistakes, but so have dozens of other CEOs; their replacements haven't always been much better. Microsoft is a monstrosity of a ship and it's slow to change course. Nevertheless, earnings look pretty damned good to me. Ballmer is not without his flaws and he is a victim of the times, but I doubt a changeup in CEO will do much for them. Better to stick with continuity with someone who understands the company. Anyone else coming in will be so overwhelmed that I imagine they'd divest most of the company before they make their investors happy. Yet IDK if that's what MS should be doing at this point. From where I'm sitting, you need as much vertical integration as possible to go up against Apple.

That's funny because in the 1990s, Apple was nearly bankrupt and everyone including Microsoft was telling Apple that vertical integration was the wrong direction, that Apple should copy Microsoft's example of licensing their OS. Back then, Microsoft was in a very different position, and any company it competed against would soon find itself under the wheels of a speeding bus. How times change. If anything, Ballmer's failure isn't that he's a buffoon (he is), but that he failed to adapt and change. He's still going at it like it's 1990.

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post #95 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Agreed. Or rather he has done a bad job but it is not all his full fault. A captain is only as good as his crew and frankly I wonder about that crew. I wonder about their skills, particularly in speaking up to their boss.

Amazing how many people are clueless about what a CEO does. If you're the CEO and your crew stinks, it's your job to either improve them or replace them. Read Jim Collins "Good to Great" for example.

Blaming CEO failure on a bad crew is absurd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Jobs is highly involved in all aspects. But he also hand picks his execs and trains them in his way of thinking and doing. They can talk to him in his terms because he taught them. He knows that he can go to them with an idea and say 'how do we make this happen' and they will do it and in a way that he will approve of.

Which is what a GOOD CEO does. If you aren't happy with the staff you have, replace them or train them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratsg View Post

I'm going to argue this point. m$ word was never intended to write a book with. Its purpose is to write 1 or 2 page office messages.

Funny, but Microsoft disagrees with you. For example:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/te...030000125.aspx

Their Word advertising is full of claims that it's suitable for anything from writing a memo to writing a novel. And Framemaker is overkill.
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post #96 of 116
And this guy is absolutely right. Ballmer has been a horrible leader. What was the last new product MS made that really went anywhere? The original XBox. That was ten years ago. Since then, their only successes have been continuations of existing products. Their entire business strategy has been almost completely reactive rather than proactive. Apple tends to see a market and budding ideas before they take off, then takes the time to put those together and craft them into a product that sells. Microsoft waits until someone has ALREADY built the market, then arrives with a competing product that is too little, too late. Just look at the Zune, Zune HD, WinMo (6 and 7), Windows tablets, the Kin, and a whole lot more. Kinect is probably the niftiest new gadget to come out of MS in the past decade, and even that is arguable as it's just an extension of their existing console.

Ballmer is NOT a visionary. He is not nearly flexible and agile enough to lead a tech company. He needs to go and take the axe to a LOT of upper management before he does. I know a guy who worked for MS up until a few years ago. He described what happened under Ballmer: A whole lot of business school grads were hired and completely screwed everything with red tape. Teams now have to follow a buttload of procedures, submissions, and more just to implement ideas instead of just working on it with a bit of oversight like they should. The guys with ideas and those implementing them are tied down and can't get things done fast enough.
post #97 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondgeeza View Post

fair point! confused between uk and american billion here though. i assume billion is million million otherwise it wouldn't be such a biggie.

Here in the US a million is a thousand thousand = 1 000 000.00 (10^6)
and a billion is a thousand million = 1 000 000 000.00, which is known as a miliard or a mil million elsewhere. (10^9) [@diamondgeeza: What term do you use for this quantity?]
A trillion is a thousand billion or a million million = 1 000 000 000 000.00, which is also known as a billion in other cultures. (10^12)
post #98 of 116
If it was up to microsoft, we would all be running windows, and all the Unix platforms and the Mac would be dead. But, I really don't care what microsoft thinks. And I suspect that you don't either, or you wouldn't be here.

I think that the real question here is do you believe the m$ post that you quoted below? And if you do, is your belief based on your work experience, or something else.

As far as your FrameMaker comment, I am not a book author, but I have been required to work on and participate with technical documentation in the multi-3 figure range. FrameMaker is/was a godsend. I would not want to have performed the required work on ms word.

disclaimer - 99% of my FrameMaker work has been on Solaris, not Mac OS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Funny, but Microsoft disagrees with you. For example:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/te...030000125.aspx

Their Word advertising is full of claims that it's suitable for anything from writing a memo to writing a novel. And Framemaker is overkill.
post #99 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

Clearly none of you saying things like "crummy products" and "crappy OS" have used Microsoft's offerings lately. If you had, you would be praising what is on offer:

MS has never "offered" something, they've sold their items, they've licensed their OS, but they've never simply offered anything. It all comes with multiple strings attached.

As far as "on offer," I have used PCs equipped with an MS OS and that's exactly what it was: On then Off. we'd call it the "on-offer" OS.
post #100 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

Should we start a please-let-steve-ballmer-stay-CEO-at-microsoft fan club?

Create a Facebook page and inside a week you'll have 60,000 friends!
post #101 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

Here in the US a million is a thousand thousand = 1 000 000.00 (10^6)
and a billion is a thousand million = 1 000 000 000.00, which is known as a miliard or a mil million elsewhere. (10^9) [@diamondgeeza: What term do you use for this quantity?]
A trillion is a thousand billion or a million million = 1 000 000 000 000.00, which is also known as a billion in other cultures. (10^12)

In the UK, it is also true that 1 million = 10^6, 1 billion = 10^9 and 1 trillion = 10^12.

As far as UK citizens go, It's only people living in the past that think 1 billion = 10^12. All British media use the correct definitions above and have done so since 1974, when we officially switched from "long scale" to "short scale". See here.
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post #102 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratsg View Post

I'm going to argue this point. m$ word was never intended to write a book with. Its purpose is to write 1 or 2 page office messages.

If you're going to be writing one or two page office messages, proposals, etc, then there are some wonderful choices:

TextEdit (free from Apple)
Bean (free)
Pages
myWritings, myTexts Pro, myRichTexts ($20 and under from MyOwnApps)
Textmate

And others that can be found by checking MacUpdate.

Word is useless for long texts and is too bloated for shorter works.
post #103 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

Now, if only the Apple Board of directors could hear the call for change...:

Yes! tell the BoD loudly and clearly that we want matte screens! Matte Matte Matte! Do you hear me? We Want Matte! <ducks...>
post #104 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

Word is useless for long texts

This seems to be a common notion.

It is however, bullshit.

I used Word for my 364 page Electronic Engineering PhD thesis and had no problems. The problem with Word is that the vast majority don't know how to use it properly; it is far more powerful than most people need.
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post #105 of 116
Concern?

I have had as much fun with this story as anybody -- since I first read it on the financial newswires.

But, my initial reaction was that I wasn't comfortable with the story.

I can't say exactly what it is, maybe:

-- the analyst was unqualified for this type of analysis
-- the analysis was faulty
-- improper forum to present his analysis
-- improper recommendation - exceeds financial analysis and recommendation to investors

It feels like this analyst is trying to meddle in the organization and operation of a public company.

A line may have been crossed, here -- and it makes me uncomfortable as an investor.
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post #106 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I used Word for my 364 page Electronic Engineering PhD thesis and had no problems.

From now on I am thinking of you as Dr. H.
post #107 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

From now on I am thinking of you as Dr. H.

I'm just glad I wasn't on his committee.
post #108 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

This seems to be a common notion.

It is however, bullshit.

I used Word for my 364 page Electronic Engineering PhD thesis and had no problems. The problem with Word is that the vast majority don't know how to use it properly; it is far more powerful than most people need.

I'm working presently as CTO in a attorney office, I debug users with MS word every day. I see big files has yours working in Word like a charm. And then if you go a little deeper an start to use "advanced" features made to be useful like the document map view or changes track now you begin to face all sort of weirdness. I discover this week a bug with the document map view being there since Office 97 and never being fixe or come with a workaround ever since. Today one user at the office got its Word lock up with the beach ball for 1 minutes for every command he's doing on an hundred pages document while using the compare document function.

The major problem with MS Office (Win or Mac) come from it's inconstancy. The Mac and Windows version is two very very different beast with different codes and UI. Everything is reacting differently on both OS. Even within the same program you got multiple ways to do the same things and got different results. I once read a old email from Bill Gate complaining on keeping 5 functions for leap years within Excels.

Everything is redundant with Microsoft.
post #109 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

This analyst is just stating the obvious:

1- A CEO's position is not a life appointment, but a temporary assignment to meet stated, mutually agreed, business objectives;

2- 8 to 10 years is considered to be the optimal duration for a CEO's appointment, after which he should resign, retire or be fired by the Board of directors;

3- It is important to maintain a renewal of company executives to favour retention of talent, fight dictatorial leaders, corporate abuse of power, misappropriation of funds, escalation of costs, stock option giveaways and misallocation of funds or staff in dubious pursuits;

4- With each new executive, there is a reassessment of corporate objectives and the cost to meet them, as well as an opportunity to examine fresh ideas, new business ventures and corporate strategies.


Resisting change always lead to staleness and escalating costs. In the long term, this means a less profitable company.

Now, if only the Apple Board of directors could hear the call for change...



Ah, nice to see that the anti-Jobs troll, ouragan, is back!

Been waiting for you to pop for a while now.......
post #110 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Ah, nice to see that the anti-Jobs troll, ouragan, is back!

Been waiting for you to pop for a while now.......

<excised, repeat of months ago, echoic of this catch>
post #111 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I'm just glad I wasn't on his committee.

Why? It was deeply fascinating, honest guv
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post #112 of 116
Apple definitely needs matte displays I hate the glare!

The new Apple keyboard and mouse also need work. The aluminum keyboard is horrible for heavy typing, and well Apple mice have always been a joke. They need work on the ergonomics, real buttons (sensors suck) and a thicker wire (super flimsy now).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

Yes! tell the BoD loudly and clearly that we want matte screens! Matte Matte Matte! Do you hear me? We Want Matte! <ducks...>
post #113 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratsg View Post

If it was up to microsoft, we would all be running windows, and all the Unix platforms and the Mac would be dead. But, I really don't care what microsoft thinks. And I suspect that you don't either, or you wouldn't be here.

I think that the real question here is do you believe the m$ post that you quoted below? And if you do, is your belief based on your work experience, or something else.

As far as your FrameMaker comment, I am not a book author, but I have been required to work on and participate with technical documentation in the multi-3 figure range. FrameMaker is/was a godsend. I would not want to have performed the required work on ms word.

disclaimer - 99% of my FrameMaker work has been on Solaris, not Mac OS.

I guess it depends on whether you think that books area all about layout or if you're more concerned about the content.

Word is more than suitable to write a novel. For the average novel (which is what you commented on), Word is better than Framemaker because of its simplicity. For that matter, iPages, TextEdit or Notepad is good enough. You see, novels are about the content, not about the layout.

Even for a complex scientific book, Word is fine for the author. Granted, it won't produce the finished layout that you send to the printer, but that's what the editor should be doing.
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post #114 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

Word is useless for long texts and is too bloated for shorter works.

Nonsense. I know someone who has written 2 dozen books in Word.

For that matter, I did my PhD thesis in Word.

And it's more than suitable for one page memos.


Now, that's not to say that it's the BEST tool for the job, but it certainly works fine. My biggest complaint about Word is its lousy handling of formatting. But that has nothing to do with the document size.
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post #115 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I guess it depends on whether you think that books area all about layout or if you're more concerned about the content.

Whether you are writing a book or creating some loooong technical documentation, its always about the content. But content is not the point of this discussion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Word is more than suitable to write a novel. For the average novel (which is what you commented on),

I am sure that you could create the next "War and Peace", and type it up in vi just to make a point.

Regardless of my personal preferences, and to move this discussion on to reference other technical writing professionals, I would share that I own many O'Reilly books and manuals. In referencing the Colophon at the end of each book, 90+% of these books indicate that they were created using FrameMaker. None of the O'Reilly books I own make any reference to the use of ms word, or any other microsoft product being used in their creation.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Word is better than Framemaker because of its simplicity.

And I would argue that FrameMaker, or another professional writing tool, is better than word as it has been written to address the needs of a professional environment, vs something that is loaded on to a Packard Bell from wall-mart as value add software.

I really didn't consider FrameMaker that difficult to pick up, but if your having difficulty, I suppose I could loan you a reference manual or two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

For that matter, iPages, TextEdit or Notepad is good enough. You see, novels are about the content, not about the layout.

There's that diversion to content again. I have reviewed my post from this article and I don't feel that I have made any reference to content. If you are making a point here relevant to our discussion, I am missing it.
post #116 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Now, that's not to say that it's the BEST tool for the job, but it certainly works fine. My biggest complaint about Word is its lousy handling of formatting. But that has nothing to do with the document size.

THANK YOU!!!

This is the sole point I have been trying to make.

Given limited resources, many people can make due with what ever is at hand.

But for the best efficiencies and the best end product, it is important to use the right tool for the job you need to perform.
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