back to article Ballmer: Microsoft stronger without Bing and Xbox tinkering

Steve Ballmer has spoken to shareholders of his vision of a diversified Microsoft which includes both Bing and Xbox, with the backing of the tearful Bill Gates. Ballmer said Tuesday that under the re-org that he announced this summer, Microsoft won’t be limited to a single set of activities, rather it would span “a family of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We have moved and are now consolidation from a collection of businesses groups

    That's not english that he's speaking.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      The first known ape to speak at all you do not expect to speak flawlessly.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Just take a look at Xbox One… no other company could have delivered what we are delivering with Xbox One. It is a reflection of what’s possible.”

    Apart from Sony....

    He should feel queasy about the Skype acquisition too. Some of their purchases smack of 'well we have the money so lets buy it and we'll figure out how to make money from it down the line'.

    Bing needs to be spun off and they need to pick a path. They are stretching themselves too hard to cover hardware and the Google service / software model. He says they are working together as one big team under a single strategy, but the sad truth is their strategy is all over the shop there is clearly no direction. How many re brands have their products and services gone through and there is still no unified and easily identifiable portfolio

    Microsoft Network

    Windows Passport

    And I'm probably missing a few not forgetting Windows Live Search then Bing!

    1. mrbawsaq

      Just had a look at the Xbox 1 unboxed on Business Insider. Looks like a piece of crap and WTF is the deal with the power supply (compared to the power cable that ships with the PS4)??? Maybe that's what SB meant - no other games console needs a 6lb power adapter to make it work.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Did they put the Xbone and PS4 side by side... LOL, the Xbone is HUGE. It's also rather noisy I hear.

        1. Frumious Bandersnatch

          It's also rather noisy I hear.

          Really? I just don't know, but I'd guess that it should, in theory, be quieter than the PS4 due to not having an internal PSU to heat things up. I guess I'll wait until both boxes are released and make a decision based on actual reviews rather than AC hearsay, TYVM.

      2. Snapper


        Is 70's cheap plastic Hong-Kong styling back in then?

        Seriously, how ugly is that?

    2. Evil Auditor Silver badge


      Bing needs to be spun off...

      What the heck is Bing?

      1. Steve Knox

        Re: Bing?

        What the heck is Bing?

        Google it.

        1. Evil Auditor Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Bing?

          Well played, Steve Knox.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bing?

        Pronunciation: (bing),

        —n. Brit. Dial.

        a heap or pile.

        Dung heap or shit pile, take your pick.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bing?

        I think they were going to call it something else, but thought better of it and swapped out a vowel.

  3. Bladeforce

    Headless Chickens

    Running away from the slaughterman

  4. chris 17 Silver badge

    any bets on how long EOP will take to bin the good bits?

    any bets on how long EOP will take to bin the good bits?

    and then how long before M$ crumbles?

    He'll ruin M$ as he did to Nokia.

    1. Big_Ted

      Re: any bets on how long EOP will take to bin the good bits?

      First its Elop not Eop.

      Second he did not ruin Nokia he along with the board of directors decided that their strategy at the time for the phone business only.... was a dead end and decided to go the windows route rather than be just another Android phone maker.

      And thirdly, you call Bing a good bit ? it along with xbox have cost MS billions with until now on xbox one no real chance of making money.

      1. Isendel Steel

        Re: any bets on how long EOP will take to bin the good bits?

        hmm - I read EOP or Effective Organisation Project - not specifically referred to but generally what happens when you consolidate - seen a few of those....

        1. Chad H.

          Re: any bets on how long EOP will take to bin the good bits?

          Elop, Flop, what's the difference?

      2. dajames

        Re: any bets on how long EOP will take to bin the good bits?

        [Elop] along with the board of directors decided that their strategy at the time for the phone business only.... was a dead end and decided to go the windows route rather than be just another Android phone maker.

        You say that like would have been a bad thing!

        Nokia had several internal projects to develop their own new OS, and also had Symbian. What they didn't have was a clear idea of which of those OSes to promote above the others and use as the software platform for their phones for the next ten years. The reason for that seems to have been weak management and internal poiltics.

        Picking any one of those OSes would have been acceptable, picking the best of them would have been good -- I don't know of anyone who has a Nokia N9 (running MeeGo) that doesn't love it. Elop didn't do either. He spouted a lot of nonsense about "burning" platforms, swept years of hard work into the bin, and sold the whole company out to his former employer.

        That's not to say that Windows Phone is actually a bad system -- the phone is one the platform that the tiled GUI makes some kind of sense -- but Nokia, of all people, could have done so much better.

        I don't see Nokia going Android as the inevitable alternative to Nokia going Windows, but even it they had gone to Android they'd have done well -- I'd much rather my current Android handset had been made by Nokia than by Samsung because Nokia know how to make hardware.

      3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: any bets on how long EOP will take to bin the good bits?

        Wait, wait wait...Elopologists actually exist in the wild.


  5. Julian Taylor

    Out of the ashes ...

    "Bill Gates, who also spoke at the shareholder meeting, appeared to endorse the Ballmer vision for a diversified Microsoft."

    And what happens when the Ballmer/Elop train of incompetence finally runs out of the billions of dollar cash reserves so carefully built up over the years by Gates? Could it be that when Elop has finally done to MSFT what he did to Nokia that Gates will finally buy back his company? This could be his 1998 Steve Jobs moment.

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Re: Steve Jobs moment...

      As much as I hate to say it, MS might be better if Gates eventually returns to the helm. His OEM-license-lashing in the 90's was really bad, but let's face it - under Gates, Microsoft gave us upgrades that made sense, even if they were buggy and full of holes. Under Ballmer, Microsoft has been forcing unwanted crap down our throats every few years (which seems to be still buggy and full of holes, although to a lesser extent).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll give it a go.

    I'll give CEO a go. First decision - dump Metro. Second - dump the ribbon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'll give it a go.

      Third - dump Windows

  7. Gray

    Fearlessly we choke the chicken

    Ballmer said: "We have moved and are now consolidation from a collection of businesses groups to an organization that’s aligned by function."

    Right ... got that? (Don't try to parse it ... just flow with the words...)

    Then he said: "I think that we should be mindful and thoughtful and cautious and yet I don’t think we should be fearful about doing somewhat larger acquisitions ..."

    Then he conceded: aQuantive had actually been a successful and admired operation as an independent company. Microsoft, though, managed to kill it...

    Taken as an overall strategy, then: "We'll organize to function unfearful of doing more bigger. We'll assimilate until they are us."

    Or taken another way: We'll bravely choke the chicken 'til its services (golden eggs) be delivered via devices (productive orifice). More choking, more delivery.

    I'll take the gizzard, spitted on a stick.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Quite clearly they had to pretend they weren't about the dump the Xbox One, in the week of it's launch.

    The reality is however, Bing, Xbox, Skype are all things they need to ditch to get back to their core, they also then need to work on their ethics somewhat.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Talk

      I don't agree. There is some advantage in a diversified megacorp. I think Skype, properly utilized helps their core, and Xbox. Whether or not it will be properly utilized is quite a different issue. It could be the cornerstone for consumer grade videoconferencing where good enough can win the market over best of breed.

      They do have to return to their roots and stop chasing the consumer tablet market, even if that's where all the glitzified brokers are gambling their stock money. A set of software that reliably does what businesses want it to do. Apple don't have it, and frankly neither does Google who keep selling GMail as business ready mail and calendaring solution. And to a large extent, that's where they went wrong with Windows 8 as well.

      I think they do need to re-org though. Xbox goes to a consumer devices division along with tablets and phones. Windows stays in the business software division, and Bing goes into the search and advertising business. Bing gets a defined period of time during which it gets contributions from the profits of the other divisions (say 4 years) and then sinks or swims. Hotmail/Live/ goes to the Bing division.

    2. Pat 4

      Re: Talk

      " Bing, Xbox, Skype are all things they need to ditch to get back to their core, they also then need to work on their ethics somewhat."

      Given that throughout their history, their most successful years were the fruit of screwing people over by abusing their monopoly stature, or stealing other people's ideas and/or technologies and giving them away for free to keep improving their monopoly position.... your comment totally makes sense.

      If they got back to their "core" of screwing people over, and working on their ethics by completely giving them up... might actually improve their position. The problem is that at the moment... they have pretty strong competition over which they have very very little influence... they can't just kill it, and they can't really buy it.

  9. ted frater

    Looking at the possible 5 that are shortlisted, the only sheriff that should take on the bunch of cowboys currently running M/soft is Mullaly. He has the diciplines from his 37 yrs in the aviation industry to focus on delivering products that are fit for purpose. long needed at M/S. Elop is just another destroyer of businesses.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Nadella or bust. Can the rest of the fuckers in charge and bring in proper engineers. Focus on making good products better and delivering what the customer wants. If you need to use metrics, use them to inform decisions, not to justify them. Above all, listen to your customers and potential customers. Build what people want and they will buy.

      How the hell is a government/military-teat-suckling handout baby going to deliver any of that?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ignorance is bliss!

    Jealousy combined with ignorance produces laughable comments.

    How many of the naysayers commenting here have made billions of $ running a highly profitable mega corporation?

    How many have made even a few million $ at anything?

    Ah, thought so. NONE.

    Why is it that people with no qualifications feel obliged to spout forth such drivel. Do they think they're being funny or clever?

    But then of course only competent people can recognize competence, so they just don't know they speak crap.

    Let's see how many down votes this one collects! People don't like the truth applied to themselves.

  11. ted frater

    I cant speak for others here , but i can speak for myself.

    I do have the qualifications to know what im talking about , and thats in the field of aviation.

    And Boeing makes a lot of money delivering products that HAVE to be primarily fit for purpose.

    Someone that has aviation terms of reference to follow can only be better than the current CEO.

    Who may have a business degree from Harvard,but has failed to move this co forward.

    M/S share price roseon Ballmer's announcement of retirement speaks for itself Anyone who has lived through the past 20 odd yrs or so in the IT business knows the bad s/ware put out by M/S.

    win 98 1st edition, win milennium, vista up to and including win 8 today, which no ones wants.

    The days of the locked in s/ware monopoly are over. M/S will have to to deliver or else suffer the consequences.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Being better than Ballmer isn't hard. But a government/military teat-sucker doesn't know the first thing about providing anything to the mass market. If what you want is bulletproof software that only the top 10% of companies and individuals in the G8 can afford, then your advice is sound.

      If, however, you want to see Microsoft provide quality software for the majority of the world then you need someone like Nadella.

      What you preach would turn Microsoft into something even more restrictive than Oracle. Maybe that's what you want...but it would certainly be a complete and utter clusterfuck for ht rest of the world that currently relies on Microsoft. The transition to "a vendor they can afford" would be messy, it would be expensive and it would be full of security holes and missteps that could well set IT innovation back a decade.

      The whole world would be so busy reinventing the wheel that they wouldn't have time to innovate...and there would be IT for "us" and IT for "them." A digital divide that even generations of effort would be unable to erase.

      Like it or not, Microsoft of today is one of the only vendors bringing enterprise-class software to the masses. They are a major force for commoditisation. I'm pretty sure plane boy would end that virtually overnight.

  12. A Butler

    Have to agree with Balmer

    Their is no sense in ditching either Bing or xBox, people now join an ecosystem, and Microsoft has one of the most complete ones with options in all areas unlike its competition. This is its greatest strength and over time it will make a difference this can be seen already in the Windows phone growth.

    Of course the Reg and a lot of its anti-MS posters would love to see a breakup, hence why they argue such a strong course of action. A successful company like Microsoft always has its share of haters.

    Cost cutting, redundancies, low staff morale and short sighted decisions destroy technology companies like a cancer, example HP.

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