Hedge fund star calls for Microsoft CEO to go

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Mitthrawnuruodo, May 26, 2011.

  1. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #1
    [Article]

    What do you think, is developer-developer-developer-Ballmer a dinosaur, out of touch with both developers, the customers and the stock market, or a sly fox with an ace or three up his sleeve?
     
  2. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #2
    This. Obviously.

    On second thought, I hope he stays right where he is. ;)
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    This quote is them most telling:
    So the hedge fund just bought stock because its undervalued. All he cares about now is a short term gain for his investment.

    While I agree that Ballmer may need to go, at this juncture its premature to call for his stepping down. We need to wait until we see how MS does with WP7/Nokia and win8/tablets.

    I don't take his words in the article to be anything but selfish for his own enrichment and not for the best long term health of MS.
     
  4. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #4
    It is an interesting time. Microsoft should be looking to capaitlise on the Playstation cockup to gain more marketshare for the Xbox. The partnership with Nokia should bear some fruit, Windows 7 is a great product, Office is going stong, Kinect is a huge success. I am a regular user of Bing maps and it is getting better. These all look quite promising for Microsoft.

    However so far the Nokia deal hasn't brought anything, Bing cost a lot, Skype cost a lot, loosing a lot of ground in tablet market (will Windows 8 claw this back)?
     
  5. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #5
    Agreed. To be fair, the last few years have seen some of Microsoft's best products. Windows 7, Windows Phone 7, Office 2010, IE9. All quality bits of software.
     
  6. *LTD*, May 26, 2011
    Last edited: May 26, 2011

    *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #6
    MS Windows/Office cash cow is their biggest problem. They're milking slowly decreasing profits from the same two things they did a decade ago. As long as it keeps making MS money it obfuscates the reality that MS still has little to no presence in the most progressive market segments after almost four years and lulls shareholders into a stupor.

    WP7 is currently circling the drain. We have to wait until 2012.

    That leaves IE9.

    The last few years, if we want to talk 2005 and beyond, have witnessed the wholesale destruction of MS' mobile strategy almost overnight; that's ten years of work vaporized in a fraction of that time by Apple; Vista; the rise of Apple; iPhone, iPad, iOS; MS tablets that have failed; Zune; Kin; Courier concept videos; MS' sinking share value; Apple passing MS in profitability and market cap . . . the list goes on.

    And MS has actually outspent Apple roughly 8-1 in R&D over the last decade! Something is very, very wrong in Redmond. Of course, we keep saying this and nothing ever changes.

    Ballmer is basically a post-turtle.

    When you're driving down a country road and you see a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle. You know he didn't get up there by himself and he can only see in the direction he has been turned. He doesn't belong there; he can't get anything done while he's up there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down.

    It doesn't matter what Einhorn's reasons are. He's absolutely right.
     
  7. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #7
    And it has worked. IMO:

    Windows 7 > Mac OS X Snow Leopard
    Xbox > Apple TV
    Windows Phone 7 > iOS (in the features delivered so far)
    Microsoft Office 2010 > iWork
    Windows Live > MobileMe
     
  8. pivo6 macrumors 68000

    pivo6

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    #8
    I just read the story this morning and this exactly what I thought. The fund manager has a large position and he's looking for a short term bump in the stock price, which this story may provide,
     
  9. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #9
    Why? Why do we have to wait?
     
  10. thatisme macrumors 6502

    thatisme

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    #10
    Lets clarify this a bit:

    -Win 7 & Mac OSX cancel each other out.
    -Xbox Wins. Apple has no console game platform
    -Apple TV wins. It blows Windows Media center / Xbox / PC jumble out of the water for simplicity and effectiveness.
    -iOS > WP7 in user adopted base, application base, install base.
    -Office 2010/2011 bring new features to a 20 year old software package. Apple released iWork in '08. A newly developed version of a productivity pack that addresses the needs of most office users (with exception of power/corporate users). Win to Apple for not resting on laurels.

    Then there are the following:

    - iPod > Zune. Zune is floundering. This observation is based purely on sales, not usability.
    - iPad > ???. Where is MS in this? They don't make the hardware. and currently, they don't make the software.
    - Macintosh > ???. Again, MS doesn't make hardware, and we've address the OS issue above
    - iLife > host of MS applications. MS is simply fragmented, where Apple has developed suites of easy to use programs
    - Aperture > ???. MS has no pro offering that I am aware of

    the list can go on.

    Bottom line is that other than tweaking their core products a bit over time and adding more bloat (or features), MS hasn't really innovated or created much in the way of new, industry leading products. Xbox was a great new product. Kinect appears that way too. But, for a company as large as MS, you should expect more innovation, and not just them huddling around their "cash cow" software.
     
  11. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #11
    I'll go with that yeah. I do think that Windows 7 does have the slight edge, but with Lion round the corner, I doubt that will be the case.

    So what you're saying is that them two products are incomparable? I'll go with that as well to be honest. The AppleTV is no games console.

    But with that mentality, Windows 7 clearly blows OS X out of the water.

    I fail to see the problem with that. The rest of your list goes on about products Microsoft don't even make or are discontinued, so they are hardly comparable.

    Oh, and just one more thing: Windows Server > OS X Server.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    Because I think MS is on the right track with windows, Xbox, and wp7. Why force a man out of his job if it appears things are going in the right direction.

    Now regarding WP7, its clear that sales have been lackluster but if Nokia gives the boost that WP7 so desperately needs then that's a win for MS and ballmer.
     
  13. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #13
    I think you're missing the point a bit here. The article is implying the improvement of the future value of MS, not dwelling on the current state of affairs (as you are, to a point). MS hasn't innovated in a long time because they haven't needed to: Kinect, WP7-8, etc are examples of coming innovations. Yes, perhaps they appear stagnant today, but they are focussing on tomorrow.

    Also IMO Xbox is just as easy to use for media streaming (from my Mac at that). MS should definitely acquire Rivet or Connect360, it would be neat for them to provide such software as free downloads, and show interest in Mac users.
     
  14. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #14
    The very fact that Apple released the iPad and iPhone well before MS and both have gone on to become game-changers - which was evident upon their release (despite MS' massive R&D budget) should have been enough to ****-can Ballmer months ago. The iPod made MS look bad enough. Record Mac sales (outpacing the market for 20 consecutive quarters) amidst shrinking PC sales made MS look bad enough. Then we can shift gears and in addition to all of that pile on everything that MS did wrong (the list is long and distinguished.)

    If all that isn't enough, the share value plunged 57% since Ballmer took control. Aren't CEO's supposed to *increase* value?

    It isn't MS happened to *do well* that's at issue (which wasn't a whole lot), but rather what MS didn't do at all, or did way too late to matter. Given MS' ability, employee base, and R&D budget, they should be destroying everyone in both quality and quantity. They've really done nothing but under-perform, given their immense resources.
     
  15. thatisme macrumors 6502

    thatisme

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    #15
    MS is deploying (and well, I might add) what is considered a hedgehog concept. Ball up and protect what you have and only focus on that core to ensure that you don't lose what got you to where you are today. The problem with hedgehog concepts is what the analyst is getting at... you can be too focused on that core, and be totally separated from the overall market which will most often, pass you by.

    As a shareholder, you want maximum value for every share. When a company doesn't meet that expectation, you lose. To fix that, identify the source, address or eliminate it, and proceed.
     
  16. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #16
    This is the exact mindset that is killing MS.
     
  17. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #17
    Apple released the PC well before Microsoft.
    Altavista released the internet search engine before Google.
    MySpace released the social network before Facebook.

    :rolleyes:
     
  18. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #18
    thank you
     
  19. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #19
    See above.


    Ok,, just wanted to see why, wasn't trying to be a pr8ck about it...... just wondering. :)
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #20
    No problem, I didn't take your post to be negative or anything :)
     
  21. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #21
    Of course it's opinion, did you miss the part where I said "IMO"?
     
  22. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #22
    Actually I did....:)
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #23
  24. bartzilla macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    You're including a bunch of products that Microsoft aren't even attempting to compete in.

    So where's Apple's "enterprise ready" groupware servers, SQL Servers, etc? Those are just two examples of areas that Microsoft have a good product in that Apple have no real presence in at all.

    So this possibly isn't a good metric for comparing the two companies (and I would suggest that to the person you're replying to, as well).

    However, it's clear to me that however you measure it, Microsoft have lost their way a bit under Ballmer, they're losing ground to a greater or lesser degree in areas where they were traditionally strong but haven't had great successes elsewhere to make up for it, to the point where any success achieved with him at the helm may well have been in spite of him and not because of him. Even if you think he's done well, the fact is that he should be doing much better.

    [disclosure, I may well be biased: I used to work with Microsoft and met both ballmer and gates, and *really* did not get on well with ballmer]
     
  25. thatisme macrumors 6502

    thatisme

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    #25
    I agree with you, and that's kinda the point. MS could be in those areas if they chose to, and they could go out and pioneer new areas if they chose to. However, as mentioned earlier, they are hedgehogging; Holding on to their core with dear life, and their markets are slowly eroding away, while new markets take off and they are absent or are/were in somewhat of a laughable position (i.e. Kin handsets).

    MS could do great things, but it appears to me as if there is no real strategic vision for the company. This goes directly to the top dog there...
     

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