I just KNEW you couldn't resist including them.
Microsoft's 99,000 employees face a future without its chief chair-flinger Steve Ballmer who just announced his retirement to a happy Wall Street. He penned a letter to MS staff that was stuffed with classic Ballmerisms, including a repeat of one of his famously sweaty outpourings: "I LOVE THIS COMPANY." Ballmer joined …
Wouldn't it be great if the next brilliant leader decided to allow some of MS's products to interoperate with other systems - like Office for LInux, or Office for Chromebook? I know Office has been available for Mac for years, but when you consider that at one time MS was propping up Apple with cash infusions in order to avoid additional anti-trust hits, that's not so surprising.
But - Office for Linux, or Office for Chrome - those would be big changes.
Office 365 properly supported on all browsers, that'd be a big change. Porting Office to a number of different OSs would be a big cultural change, but to go forward technically you need to decouple from the OS, not bind to more. IMHO, obv....
We run Office 365 here. The web apps in Firefox on Linux are actually very good. I can do all of the Office 365 management from Linux. Funny thing is that even on Windows the webapps and management all works better in Firefox than IE 9 or 10.
What i'd truly like to see is Microsoft Linux would probably be the boldest move any Microsoft new top dog could ever do and i wonder if they just couldn't make a fortune doing it .. hmm must be the beer .. but still ..
nightmarish visions .. ? hmm .. better get heavily loaded with suds . And not a word to Microsoft .. we don't want them to have good ideas LOL
"But - Office for Linux..."
Thanks, but no thanks.
What do we want with a ribbonised, proprietary piece of junk like Office? When we already have LibreOffice and its like.
For the tiny minority of users who need all the esoteric bits of Office it would be better to stay with Windows. For everyone else it's a case of you pays your money and puts up with all of MS's antics re. format(OOXML), UI (think of TIFKAM) or use the free, libre software such as LO.
@nematoad - >"What do we want with a ribbonised, proprietary piece of junk like Office? When we already have LibreOffice and its like."
There are many of us who contract with a large sphere of businesses, and have to deal with MS Office formatted files on a daily basis. LO and OOo still don't offer a high enough percentage of correct formatting for complex MS formatted files. It would be nice to deal with these files without having to run two computers, or dual boot, or run Windows in a VM.
You have made my point perfectly.
"There are many of us who contract with a large sphere of businesses, and have to deal with MS Office formatted files on a daily basis."
That's why we need things like ODF so that people can be freed from lock-in.
MS know this and tried to force their vision of it on everyone via the ISO shenanigans over OOXML. Trouble was MS wanted to have the penny and the bun. Have a common format that everyone would use, BUT it had to be MS's common format so as to ensure that people locked into the Office ecosystem could never escape. Luckily they seem to have failed in this due to the muddled, half-baked specification that they managed to ram through the ISO process. Personally I can't think of any FULL implementation of OOXML, other than Office 2013.
The bottom line is that MS needs to retain the cash-cow that is Office despite the cost and inconvenience to the everyone else.
@ Andy - I don’t know if you noticed but MS office seriously miss-handles a lot of early MS Office stuff nowadays.
And its actually very easy to run Windows in a VM and have an office script automatically convert all the incoming legacy documentation into something safe - no need to ever look at the vm apart from usual windows maintenance.
If your worried about format changes you can even do automated comparisons of the two formats and then get someone to look at at any significant differences. Did this for a company a few years back and there was rarely anything of significance - though of course it does miss the fact Office incorrectly formats some early stuff - but that normally works in LO and OOo anyway.
"What do we want with a ribbonised, proprietary piece of junk like Office? When we already have LibreOffice and its like."
Because the most lucrative use of MS Office is for Excel running macros, which Libre Office and its 'document editor' ilk just don't do.
Cut your nose off to spite your face why don't you....
Wouldn't it be great if the next brilliant leader decided to allow some of MS's products to interoperate with other systems - like Office for LInux, or Office for Chromebook?
Eventually, yes, but right now I think he has much bigger fish to fry.
Linux is nice, but for Microsoft its still somewhat of a niche market, especially when looking at the desktop.
Quite frankly I think the new CEO should start by reversing some of the recent braindead decisions which have really managed to piss people off. Like, for example, ditching TechNet. Or, ironically enough after that "developers" rant, seeing thousands of developers get plain out ignored when they criticized the latest Visual Studio. Not merely bashing; also making it very clear why they wouldn't upgrade as well as sharing what they thought needed to be changed.
For starters they need to start focussing on their customers and what these people really want. Because that's where the money is coming from!
On the day when the typical Linux user pays for applications, rather than ranting endlessly about how the free (as in beer) equivalents are just as good if not better even when they blatantly aren't*, that might happen. Until then, you've a snowballs chance in hell of seeing Office for Linux.
*See every discussion on Photoshop vs GIMP ever for example
On the day when the typical Linux user pays for applications...
I know it's games rather than general applications, but the Humble Bundle guys repeatedly do a "pay what you want" thing. The people downloading Linux copies of the bundle seem to consistently pay more than the others.
It would need a CEO even worse than Ballmer - why should MS help competiting products? Why help Google's Chromebooks when Google is killing every MS YouTube app? Office is still one of the strong reasons to choose Windows and then another pletora of MS software. No sensible CEO would kill that revenues and such a competitive advantage.
If Linux needs a decent Office suite, it's up to Linux developers to deliver it. But till now nor Lotus, nor Borland/WordPerfect/Corel, nor OpenOffice/LibreOffice has been able to deliver that. Why?
@LDS - >"If Linux needs a decent Office suite, it's up to Linux developers to deliver it."
Why should Linux developers HAVE to offer perfect interoperability with a proprietary format?? In fact, what you are saying seems almost impossible.
Wow - all I'm saying is it sure would be nice to be able to deal with MS Office files correctly without having to dual boot or run Windows in a VM - and I'm getting killed here from fanboys for both MS and Linux.
And yes - I would pay for it, as I'm sure many others would.
"Why should Linux developers HAVE to offer perfect interoperability with a proprietary format?"
Because it is a *de facto standard* and exist probably billions of documents in that format?
Moreover now is fully documented, see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc313118(v=office.12).aspx and http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg134034.aspx - thereby it's just up to Linux developers add support for those format. If someone thinks they will damage the "purity" of Linux and thereby the evil MS format should not be supported, well, don't ask MS then to support Linux at its own disadvantage.
It's like Photoshop .PSD format, AutoCAD DWG and others de facto standards. If you want to write any useful applications, you have to support then unless you have enough mass to force adoption of your own format. If you don't, then don't complain people don't use your application. Even MS had to support competitors' file formats when they became standard - it tried its alternative to PDF for example, and failed, despite its mass.
You would pay for it, but MS would be silly to pay development for a software that will decrease its revenues, not increase them.
Well, the Linux purists idea that Linux software should not support "proprietary" standards although fully documented and without royalties is what has doomed Linux as a desktop operating system.
Most users are not interested in the technology or the "purity" of the OS or software - they need to get thei daily job done.
And if that means to deal with MS Office documents, they will get the software that handles that without issues. And because MS Office is the only one able to do it because Linux talibans don't want to gets their hands dirty reading MS specs and implementing them, MS will keep on having a huge advantage and will keep on using it to sustain MS Windows sales - they would be mad renouncing to it.
So keep on dreaming an "Office for Linux", or "Office for Chome". It will never materialize.
@Rampant - >"Wine runs quite a few older versions of office (and photoshop for that matter)."
I used to maintain some of the Adobe Acrobat versions under Wine. I never found that Adobe or MS Office products worked well under Wine. Mostly, they were somewhat crippled versions, prone to unexpected crashing. Can't do a whole lot of real work that way.
Have you ever used Office for Mac? The current version has at least got a reasonable level of compatibility with Office for Windows but it is slow, crash prone and in my opinion, deliberately designed to persuade Mac users to use Windows on their Macs.
Example? I wrote a simple VBA macro to fill a table with some test data; I don't recall quite how many it did and can't find the file anywhere but it took Excel 2007 something like 2.5 seconds to complete. Excel 2011 took over 30 seconds to run the same script on the same machine.
Outlook 2013 is pretty pants though so perhaps one of the suite apps is superior on the Mac side...
Ok he might not fully understand tech or users. But give the guy a break and least he tried!
XP - Good
Windows Mobile - I was connected to work and personal email years before everyone else.
Win 7 - Good
Win 8 - Fast boot very quick. After several months I have got my head around it (But god just give me a Start button and boot to the desktop!)
List of not so good thing, I cannot be bother to list them all ;-)
Icon.....ALL of them if I could
Of course their best days are ahead, He's leaving!
OK, OK, to be fair, he is a competent manager, the problem is that he has no vision beyond what's profitable now. That led to all the 'Me too' moves that MS has made lately. What I kept calling 'taillight chasing'.
But on the cynical side... bailing after he institutes the biggest management overhall in MS history? Maybe he's just realizing what a world of hurt he set up for himself.
um. stability in the company. Whether you like it or not, having a nicely staged succession plan confers stability on the company as everyone knows long in advance that it's going to happen. That's good for investors to see happening. Admittedly, that's exactly how the Chinese government stage manages things, but let's not get side tracked
If he said he was leaving literally tomorrow, then investors would get nervous that a large company like Microsoft had no heads up and no clue who to appoint next. Then the company's stock would suffer.
My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most.
Just how many buzzwords can one pack into a sentence before it turns into utter gibberish?
Over at the Guardian, the main head is: "NSA paid millions to cover Prism compliance costs for tech companies"
Interesting that this was revealed about the same time that Mr. Ballmer announced he would be resigning as CEO of Microsoft. I wonder if, or how, they are connected?
Perhaps the NSA people had trouble finding the Start button?
Will Steve get to pick or will the board do it? Will it be someone internal or an outside appointment - I can't really name any other MS folk now Sinofsky has left?
I wonder why he implemented such a massive reorganisation right before leaving. Shouldn't the person initiating such a huge restructure be the one to see it through?
I suspect he did expect to see it through, but the board suggetsed he goes. But any person capable of leading a 30 billion (?) a year turnover company can pick that up with no problem.
I sit here thinking who will in the whole world will lead the company. On hell of a job from all angles.
I bet a new bloke will be in before November starts.
Any suggestions? Ray Ozzie.
Most of the originals are too old now
The departure of Ballmer is great news. Now perhaps someone with some real vision that has not been polluted by the wrong self defeating culture can come forward and make Microsoft the company as great as it once was.
So many good people left during the Inquisition years; Many of them to create MS competition.
Many of the ones that stayed were just sycophantic douchebags with no scruples or ethics.
CUE THE MASS RETIREMENT OF BALMER'S YESMEN...........
one they still haven't really let go of: believing they have the RIGHT to own desktop computing---and not just at the point of sale, but throughout the lifetime of the user's experience.
"What we really want, what we really really want, is to own you, or more specifically, your wallet. It's about developing the user as a money stream that never dries up, and can never escape. Not that we are alone in this dream of capitalist kleptocratic nirvana, but we have been, and to some extent still are, one of the most powerful players in this game."
"User's rights to own their own computing power and their own data? Pah! What idiotic dream is that? No, folks we'll look after all of the nasty complicated technology, all you need to do is just keep on paying us, over and over and over again; while at the same time we will ensure you have less and less control over every aspect of what you are paying for. Have a nice day suckers [ahem] customers."
"You're not recording this are you?"
All the negativity against Ballmer; he was a good CEO his greatest strength was he was not the usual cut costs, slash R&D merchant; look at the state of HP right now because of Hurd and Carly Fiorina.
He kept the culture of keeping with products even though they were initially not successful however he gave them time to develop and improve, cases include the XBox and Bing.
I do hope the same ethos is kept and products such as Windows Phone, RT and even Windows 8 are improved and maintained.
The company is in a very healthy state in almost every other area: Server Tools, Development, Office
The very last thing Microsoft needs is a slash and burn drive the share price to the detriment of R&D type CEO. Of course that is what a lot of the Android fanbios here would love to see...
To be fair, a slash and burn manager would make Microsoft very profitable in the short to medium term. They have a 100,000 employees and you have to wonder just what the hell that many people do all day given that software development is normally not that labour intensive that you have to have an army of people.
Imagine for example if they simply stopped all expenditure on WP8; they would still make a huge profit margin just collecting patent royalties on every Android sale, not to mention they could hand the whole development mess over to Nokia to try and make it work.
The choice of new CEO will be interesting. Nokia happen to have a CEO who owns a chunk of MS stock, CEO experience at downsizing a large company during market transition.. and probably is keen to move job soon ;-)
I don't know if Ballmer was a good CEO or not, but if I was the next CEO of Microsoft I would NOT cancel Windows Phone.
I'd cancel Windows RT, which is now just a stripped version of Windows Desktop, request a setting to select interface for Windows Desktop (Windows 7, Metro, or XP), and push the project to unify the code bases of Windows Phone and Windows Desktop.
I would also take a long, hard, think about the wisdom of pushing all Windows software to Microsoft Store, and the wisdom of phasing out standalone Office (which has no serious competitors) and forcing users to Office 365 (which does).
Gates did not start Micro Soft or was it Micro-Soft alone, nor did Jobs start Apple or was it Apple Computer alone. And what the hell, neither invented the computer, not even the micro computer. I would give Ballmer some credit though, he started as a vacuum cleaner salesman or something, perhaps his lack of a computer background was the problem for him and his surrounding. And as I think I he was not much boosting and throwing around with his wealth. No Ferrari, no isle, no big yacht. makes me wonder, though.Perhaps I am just ignorant.
All the recent Microsoft products, look bla, annoying, or over priced, so have not sold well, even the cloud stuff looks iffy; this was ultimately Ballmer's fault; so it's about freaking time that jumped up Monkey left, to give those left a chance to fix the business before it stagnates further into irrelevance, then the cash runs out.
It maybe best if Microsoft just dies, so that something more modern can replace it (not Apple), and Linux is too fragmented (Android and Chrome included); maybe a PC-BSD with much better hardware support, because an OS with ZFS has to be better than any OS with stupidly fragile logging filesystems.
Ballmer never said anything that gave me the impression that he cared one iota about computers or anything Microsoft ever made.
Listen to any of his speeches on YouTube, all he does is yell about how Microsoft products "increase productivity" and are "market leaders" and other unjustified, non-technical drivel.
I remember him being "ambushed" by a reporter during the Windows 7 launch and he was asked what his favorite new feature was in Windows 7... after some hemming and hawing, he said that he really liked the button "in the bottom corner" that let him connect to wifi networks. That was his favorite thing about Windows 7. And anybody who used Windows on a regular basis could tell you it wasn't even a new feature. WTF?!
Compare and contrast to Steve Jobs (and Bill Gates), who you KNOW could speak competently and passionately with no preparation about any technical issue. I'm 100% certain that Jobs knew more about Windows 7 than Ballmer did.
So I don't know what Ballmer was passionate about other than going to meetings and yelling, which he could have done any any company. Good riddance. Hopefully they'll find somebody for the position who has a little interest in the field.
There were times in the years leading up to Bill Gates' retirement that I strongly suspected that Ballmer's entire job descriptions was to make Bill look good by being as ridiculous as possible. The monkey dance and the developers speech were two of those times. Then he took the reigns and the craziness didn't stop and I realized that the man really just should not be allowed to be seen in public.
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