Tag: microsoft

Ballmer to China: Censor Bing anytime!

Delightfully understated Microsoft CEO Steve “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Ballmer has shown that his hand is well and truly on the pulse of international sentiment by declaring that his outfit would love to continue trading with China.

While rivals Google are considering pulling out of China so that they can mention the Dalai Lama as being a good bloke without being fined, Ballmer has said to China that it is free to censor his Bing anytime.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEOBallmer said his company intends to stay in business inside of China and obey the laws of that country even if it does mean turning over the names, addresses and emails of people that China does not think are very nice.  If this results in such people being executed in mobile execution trucks and their organs harvested at least they will never be using a rival search or browser.

After having a quiet lunch with  President Obama on ways the government can use technology to cut costs, Ballmer mimed that he had been quite clear that we are going to operate in China, and he was going to abide by the law.

Perhaps it is for this reason that Microsoft has not had its email system breached by Chinese hackers recently.

Realnetworks boss cleans out his desk

After a couple of years watching his outfit drop down the loo, Realnetworks boss Rob Glaser has called it a day.

For 16 years Glaser has watched the media outfit grow from nothing, to something and back to nothing again and now has decided to clean out his desk.

He will still be around as chairman, but will be replaced by Robert Kimball as president and acting chief executive officer. His exit mirrors that of John Giamatteo, the company’s chief operating officer.

All really is not that well at Real.  Glaser set up the outfit after defecting from the Mighty Microsoft Machine.  In the early days it produced some natty  proprietary software formats, RealAudio and RealVideo. It was the early days of the web and Real was the big name in online video and audio.

But Glaser dropped the ball when the internet video boom took off.  Real was duffed up by MP3, Youtube and Apple. To most people Real was a bit like AOL.  It might have been good in the pioneering days of the world wide wibble but now was as useful as one of those early mobile phones.

Glasser didn’t give up.  But his attempts to get back in the running by releasing  DVD back-up got him a court action from the movie studios, which he lost, and little else. Kimball will have to come up with something new fast if Real is not simply going to fall into yet another post-modern definition of illusion.

Ballmer hops in bed with HP

The rather understated Microsoft CEO Steve “Marcel Marceau” Ballmer appears to be running short of ideas for his cloud product.

Microsoft has been seen wining and dining the maker of printer ink, which is more expensive than blood.

Sauces say that the pair have been working out a winning strategy to make money out of cloud based computing when no one really knows what it is or really cares.

The press release which came out of the meeting talks a lot about something called an “extended partnership”, which is handy because Steve  could do with extensions.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEOHowever it appears that the Mighty Microsoft Machine needs HP to provide stack integration and a check of $250 million over the next three years.

The press release says Ballmer’s vision will eliminate complexities of IT management, automate existing manual processes, lower costs and bring about peace in our lunchtime.

Next up HP and Microsoft will design an engineering roadmap to build data management machines.  The Roadmap will point the way to  “converged, pre-packaged application solutions”, “comprehensive virtualization offerings”, integrated management tools and any Happy Eaters on the way.

New-fangled democracy won't cut it in China

According to Winston Churchill – whose mother was American – democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

And while America is the land of the free, and quite a liberty bearer generally, it’s not right to assume that what’s sauce for the US goose is sauce for the Chinese gander.

It’s the most ancient culture in the world, and the only way such a vast country could have been governed is through a centralised bureaucracy that certainly paid no heed to what the Greeks were up to with their curious ideas of democracy.

It’s curious, then, that multinationals like Google, Yahoo and for that matter Microsoft naively believed that because China opened itself up to commerce, a centralised government would just blithely gaze on while an opportunity existed for China’s communist government to exploit source code for its own military and cryptic ends.

But it’s also no surprise that the US government is standing back from the Google affair while it sees how the Chinese government reacts to the search engine’s threat.

Sir Winston ChurchillThat’s because there’s one other foundation on which America is built apart from liberty – and that’s capitalism.  The USA is in debt to the Chinese government to the tune of not short of a trillion dollars – while Google spouts about its security being breached – it’s not in America’s interests to rock the boat too wildly.

China has overweening ambitions and has the resources to put long term plans into action. For most of 2008, I was working in India, which has espoused democracy, and I would hear a familiar complaint from the business people I talked to all the time.

They wished that India wasn’t a democracy so that the essential infrastructure needed to transform the sub-continent into another Asian powerhouse could be pushed ahead without the will of the people getting in the way of the plans.

No doubt it’s a terrible nuisance to have to take into account the wishes of individuals or parties they form when you want to press ahead with plans that are going to put crores of rupees into your pocket.

China’s stance to foreign companies operating in its country is that they have to obey the laws. China is a dictatorship and its laws aren’t created by an indepedent parliament or congress and moderated by an unfettered judiciary. In such circumstances, the normal rules of British fair play and the principles enshrined in the US Constitution just don’t run.

Google, perhaps, should have thought of this before it put time and energy into the marketplace, and not after the fact.