back to article Brit software giant Micro Focus takes a bath after share price crashes 30%, sales tank

The share price of Micro Focus is taking a battering on the London Stock Exchange, plunging 30 per cent this morning after the home of ageing software brands lowered revenue guidance. The firm - a retirement home for ageing software businesses - revised its outlook for the year ended 31 October from a previously estimated top …

  1. AMBxx Silver badge

    Anyone surprised?

    Their website bangs on about Agile & DevOps, then you look at the software they own - all last century.

    Lots of great buzzwords though.

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: Anyone surprised?

      Just ask a COBOL developer how well last century software pays.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anyone surprised?

        Just a shame Micro Focus sell expensive COBOL upgrades that no one wants to buy rather than COBOL developers that are still in demand.

        The secret is to artificially force the upgrades.

        1. snowflakemcgee

          Re: Anyone surprised?

          i will shed no tears when they finally roll over dead and sell their 'assets' to an equally impotent software museum company - likely Computer Associates. they sold me on a COBOL upgrade license. sadly the sales person lied to me with regards to the licensing - years later, salesman gone and the audit team came sniffing around. ended up costing up a considerably sum to be 'compliant'. it was a wonderful day when the came around the following year for an audit to tell these smug prigs that their software and been depreciated, the servers it ran on turned down, and wheeled out the local recycle company. good bye MF....sadly i can't really type what the MF really stands for.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anyone surprised?

            >>MF....sadly i can't really type what the MF really stands for.

            Muddy Funster?

      2. James Anderson

        Re: Anyone surprised?

        Not very well -- unless you are based in Chenai.

      3. JLV

        Re: Anyone surprised?

        Yes, despite MicroFocus’s pricing for its compilers. Which probably does nothing to mitigate the attrition of older COBOL professionals by onboarding new talent. That, in the long term, is not good for the golden goose’s health.

    2. Andy Non

      Re: Anyone surprised?

      I have happy memories of developing PC based software using Micro Focus Cobol back in the late 80's or early 90's. It was a nice language to work with. Made a change from Gwbasic and Clipper.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Anyone surprised?

        >Micro Focus Cobol back in the late 80's or early 90's. It was a nice language to work with.

        It also had some nice dev tools, such as Animator, which I suspect are still missing from Visual Studio et al ...

      2. OldSoCalCoder

        Re: Anyone surprised?

        Back then they also had a software system called Dialog that would gen (non-standard to say the least) COBOL that let you do drag & drop front end development for pcs. Unheard of. I never - ever -had a time when I said 'Gee, I really need (x) to get my job done. It'd be great if COBOL had (x).' It just worked.

        I recently started to look at the wonderful world of web development, which means knowing HTML5, CSS3, bootstrap 4, javascript, jquery, php, ruby, python, functional programming, the use of chrome's debug, visual studio code's debug, then spend 10 days trying to get any version at all of netbeans to debug and still no drag and drop front end. (Yes, everyone says they have a 'drag and drop' tool but the people who actually use those tools wind up saying 'Just open up Notepad and do it yourself.')

    3. Qumefox

      Re: Anyone surprised?

      Sometimes that's because there isn't really a better product around. ZENworks suite for instance. Back when I did IT for education, there's no way we could have managed what we did with the staff we had without it. And replacing it would have taken at least half a dozen other products and cost significantly more, and still needed more staff to cope.

      I've reaaaaly been trying to get my current employer to pick up at least parts of it. However without education pricing, that's a much harder sell.

    4. Velv

      Re: Anyone surprised?

      And yet in the year 9995 someone is going to be digging up and reviving dead COBOL developers from the late 20th Century saying "we think you know something about adding extra digits into the dates in COBOL programs"

  2. MrKrotos

    WTF is....

    a "deteriorating macro environment"?

    I have heard that excel is rubbish now days, is that the reason?

    1. Rohime

      Re: WTF is....a "deteriorating macro environment"?

      i expect is means "nobody wants to buy expensive 'enterprise software' anymore"

    2. a pressbutton

      Re: WTF is....

      Another term for bit rot?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    9 billion lbs. of fertilizer, not so many seeds.

    Micro-Focus purchased HPE's "Macro" mess.

    Yeah.. that was going to get fixed in a year.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The curse of HP

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other news, Pope confirms Catholicism rumour.

    “Weak sales execution has been compounded by a deteriorating macro environment resulting in a conservatism and longer decision making cycles within our customer base,”

    And the other quote "salesforce attrition".

    OK. So let's think about this....

    The salesforce left the company,

    Sales execution was weak

    The "macro environment" meant longer decision making.

    No Micro Focus, wrong. It's much easier than that. You treated your salesforce poorly. You recruited mobile phone salesmen to sell multi-million dollar software products with no training. You eliminated a significant number of pre-sales consultants because "they are too technical". You take existing products and attempt to make them 'current' by just writing an integration and calling it a new product (RPA <> Ops Orchestration integrated with Functional Testing).

    Your customers are losing patience.

    The fact that COBOL is their biggest earning product says more about licensing and maintenance practices than product innovation.

    My Prediction :

    MF proudly say that they have never retired a product. They now have too many products to maintain them all. This strategic review will see products being dropped.

    My prediction : MF proudly state that they have never

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: In other news, Pope confirms Catholicism rumour.

      "Macro environment" means factors outside the company, like the fact that a Raspberry Pi is way more powerful than the computers their products were designed for.

  6. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    surprised it took this long

    I'm surprised it took this long. I've been to places with old old software, but they don't go around looking for updates for it; and they were generally keeping the old old versions of windows (or dos!) to run it. I'm simply surprised there's enough sales revenue in most of these product lines to support a company still selling them.

  7. Freddellmeister

    What could improve the article would be to list not only what Microfocus Acquired but also what they have already sold, like SuSE.

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