Tag: Steve Ballmer

Microsoft to waste $9.5 billion on R&D

IDG reports here that Microsoft will spend $9.5 billion on R&D this year.

What the heck are they going to spend it on? Bill Gates, quite notoriously, told me at a Berlin Etre quite some years ago that the cost of developing Longhorn was more than the US government spent putting a man on the moon.

Well, that was quite a waste of money, wasn’t it?

IDG quotes Kevin Turner, he’s Microsoft’s COO, asHampi Coracles - pic Mike Magee saying that most of the money would be spent on cloud services. He also apparently said that Redmond will re-invent the company based on cloud services.

Well, the first thing he should maybe do is not waste quite as much money on R&D and buy a really great “cloud” service called Dropbox – it’s so much better than anything those Google people do.

The second thing he should maybe think about is wonder how the heck Microsoft is going to compete with IBM on these so-called cloud services.

Thirdly, perhaps he should spend $3 billion on a fabrication plant and hire loads of bunny people because Jerry Sanders III was quite right, only real men have fabs.

Fourthly, he should shout at Steve Ballmer a lot and say don’t waste time competing with Apple and abandon any ideas of developing a uPad or a uPhone.

Fifthly, er that’s it.

At least 2,500 women fancy Ballmer, reckons OnePoll

Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer has emerged as the hottest thing in tech as he ticks most of the boxes on a OnePoll survey of what women secretly find attractive.

2,500 women were surveyed on what qualities turn them on, and according to their responses enthusiastic dancer Ballmer seems to be what does it for most ladies.

Most women yearned for a “geeky” man, who was a bit “cuddly” and unafraid to dance in public. Although this might come as a shock to some as these are women’s secret preferences because almost one in five women would never admit what they really find attractive.

Another geek that, according to this survey, could do it for the ladies is Apple founder and professional hairy-man Steve Wozniak. The Woz would drive the women surveyed wild with his grey hair and glasses, apparently.

Ballmer is well known for whipping up his employees into a frenzy with his enthusiasm and ‘dancing’ and it seems the ladies like this too.

Other erotic qualities most sought after include crying at soppy films, being sweaty after sports and reading books.

Unfortunately, both Ballmer and the Woz are spoken for. It seems all the best ones are taken…

Yahoo and Microsoft set out their search strategy

Microsoft and Yahoo have set out their stall for future search following the approval of their alliance by US and European regulatory authorities.

Microsoft said that it will take over Yahoo’s paid search platforms and algorithmic stuff  while Yahoo will become the sales force for all of its premium search advertisers across the world.

When that’s done, there will be more opportunity for web publishers to make money because of the larger pool of search queries, said Microsoft. The date for completing the first stage is likely to be by the end of this year for the US, but it may take as long as two years for the rest of the world to play catch up.

Yahoo will look after high volume advertisers, SEO and SEM agencies, while Microsoft will rep for self service advertisers.

So it looks like it’s going to be a long and tortuous affair, with the companies having to suffer phone calls, emails, and even webinars that will be hosted on www.searchalliance.com. Carol Bartz and Steve Ballmer, the CEOs of Yahoo and Microsoft, made suitable congratulatory noises about how great the deal is for both companies. No doubt Google is sniggering in the Googleplex.

We wonder if anyone ever told Microsoft that the Yahoo HQ, pictured above, is on the bad Feng Shui side of the highway?

Microsoft water boards journalists

Microsoft may have impressed crowds with their “all phones will be Zune phones” message at MWC in Barcelona on Monday, but it didn’t do much to impress journos, who they left languishing in the pouring rain outside the press conference venue for 45 minutes before plonking them in front of telescreens on the floor.

“What do you expect me to do about it?” a perfectly dry Microsoft PR bunny whined pathetically at this drowned rat of a hackette. “Er, let us into the lobby at least?” But there was no persuading her. Swearing not-so-silently, I resolved that my next phone would be an Android.

After a further 10 minutes of drenching, Microsoft PRs formed a human barricade, and using their best fascist impersonations, barked orders at the dripping press as we were shoved into yet another registration queue. Security at Heathrow Airport was more pleasant.

“oh, you’re press,” snivelled one of Microsoft’s borgs as she sneered at our press passes. “This way please…” Clearly, resistance was futile.

We were shown in to yet another waiting area, where again, we were groped and frisked for ourpress passes and ID. And then made to sit on the floor. In front of a TV screen. In a kumbaya type circle with 100 other hacked off hacks.

It was all very character building.

Google/Apple take note… the next firm that comes to rescue us from Microsoft’s Guantanamo PR conference will get a devoted fan for life.

Microsoft revamps Windows Phone 7 to "break the mould"

As ancitipated, Microsoft rolled out a heap of information about Windows 7  Phone, which as we reported last week, includes reference designs as well as a re-vamped interface.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, said he told his internal team that they had to deliver a different kind of mobile experience, “in a crowded market filled with phones that look the same and do the same things”. Currently Microsoft holds about 12 percent share in the “crowded” market.

People use most phones to make phone calls or to send text messages, but we suspect Mr Ballmer doesn’t mean that at all.  He’s talking about companies like Apple with its iPhone, Google with its Android operating system, and all the rest that don’t use Windows Mobile software.

For starters, a Windows Phone 7 Series has a dedicated hardware button for Microsoft’s search engine, Bing – whether you want it or not.

Microsoft has decided that phones need things called hubs – the categories being people, pictures, games, music/video, marketplace and office.

Microsoft hasn’t been particularly successful with its mobile software in the past, but has lined up a heap of carriers including AT&T, Orange, Sprint, Vodafone and others, as well as handset vendors like Dell, HTC, HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm to help it make the Windows Mobile reference designs

They’ll be ready by “holiday 2010”, by which we presume he doesn’t mean Easter, or Whitsuntide, but the end of the year.

More moaning Microsofties come out of the woodwork

Last week Microsoft was trying to play down comments by one of its former executives that the outfit had become a place where bright ideas were killed off by a Byzantine system and middle management intrigues.

However it is starting to look like more moaning Microsofties are crawling out of the woodwork to attack the outfit.

Beta news has been collecting a file of the moaning and is coming to the conclusion that middling, middle managers run Microsoft.

One 13 year veteran said that phrases like “Killed over politics,” “Deeply dysfunctional family” and “Poor worker bees” all get used a lot among staff.

One said that it became clear to him that Microsoft had turned the corner. While there were still a lot of smart people beavering away on various projects, but they were largely hamstrung by multiple levels of largely ineffective management.

The intellectual rigor demonstrated by much of the management was sadly lacking. In some ways it was funny, but mostly depressing, one told beta news.

When he started at MSFT in 1996, there were six people between me and Bill Gates. In 2009, there were 13 people between him and Steve Ballmer.

“There are good managers at MSFT. I’ve seen them. There just aren’t very many, and they’re swimming against an internally focused, reward-driven culture that puts the highest value on visibility,” he said.

 

Steve Ballmer fails to make the Intel grade

The guys at the Consumer Electronics Show obviously wanted to find out if Steve Ballmer’s keynote made the grade.

Attendants were asked to fill in a questionnaire assessing the keynoters presentations.

One question was whether Steve “Shrinking Violet” Ballmer enhanced Intel’s corporate image.

We’re not entirely sure he enhanced Microsoft’s corporate image. It would be fun to see Paul Otellini from Intel presenting for Microsoft.

The SNAFU is pictured below.

Ballmer's presentation

Kiwi school stands up to government and Microsoft

A New Zealand High School has told the Government and Microsoft to go forth and multiply and saved a bomb by running only open saucy software on its machines.

Microsoft and the Kiwi government recently signed a deal where by all schools would have to use software blessed by Steve Ballmer.

However Albany Senior High School in the northern suburbs of Auckland has been running an entirely open source infrastructure since it opened last year and it has saved an absolute fortune.

Wikimedia CommonsHowever it has caused a few problems for the school as the cosy deal that the government signed with the National Party government after the latter’s win in the general elections means that most planning documents for education presume an Microsoft infrastructure.

The project was run by Patrick Brennan, lead engineer from Open Systems Specialists and and was turned around in a month. It uses Ubuntu on the desktop and Mandriva for four key servers (one firewall, one storage and two KVM hypervisors). Mandriva was selected because of the ease of using Mandriva Directory Server to manage the school’s LDAP directory, but Brennan said either desktop or server OS could easily be replaced.

The network is not restricted solely to Linux desktops. “We wanted students to be able to bring devices in, whatever they were, and connect them to the network and expect them to work and use it as a learning tool,” Brennan said. Hardware ranging from PSPs to Macs has been connected, with a “hostile network” approach used to ensure security. NFSv4 is used to connect users into the system, allowing them to remotely mount into their home directory on the server via Kerberos.

The school uses OpenOffice, Google Docs, Moodle for managing education content, and Mahara for student portfolios. The Koha software used by the school library was also customised to integrate more closely with the LDAP security system and to allow book recommendations.

 

Ballmer defaces fanboy's mac book

Shy and retiring Microsoft CEO Steve “Chair Chucking” Ballmer has appeared on video defacing an Apple fan’s laptop.

It is the latest in a line of anti-Apple antics which certainly amuse the unwashed. At a company event in Seattle in September last year he snatched the device and pretending to stomp on it while slagging off the hallowed Apple phone.

When Ballmer was visiting  Trevecca Nazarene University in Tennessee, a student handed him an Apple MacBook and asked him to sign it. The student promised the Mac had Windows installed on it.

Ballmer said “oh yeah” in a sarcastic tone before letting out a mischievous laugh and scribbling his name and the words “Need a new one?”

The whole event was filmed for YouTube by Gaines Kergosien.  Oddly, rather than the smug Apple fanboy winning, it strikes us that Uncle Fester comes off better out of it.

Ballmer is starting to become a cult icon for doing strange things in public including bouncing across the stage shouting his message while pulling facial expressions.

Associated Press found a shrink – Dr Peter Langford – who analysed Ballmer’s antics and he came to the conclusion that it was all calculated lunacy, and that he is intentionally playing an over-the-top character.

He probably will not reach true iconic status until he actually punches Steve Jobs in the face or makes an Apple fanboi cry. Just throwing you a few hints Steve.

Foreign journalists email hacked in China

At least two news bureaux in Beiing have had their foreign reporters’ gmail accounts hacked into, according to a member email sent by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China, according to PC World.

The announcement, Monday, says that the compromised Gmail accounts had been configured to forward all e-mails to a mystery address. “We remind all members that journalists in China have been particular targets of hacker attacks in the last 2 years,” said the group’s mass email to members. The Beijing news bureaux have not been named.

Google has assured the affected users that while accounts have been accessed, the content of email documents were not.

While the hacked accounts coincide with a large scale attack on Google’s accounts and servers, the company claims that these attacks are unrelated.

And according to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China, it’s nothing to be too surprised about: “We remind all members that journalists in China have been particular targets of hacker attacks in the last 2 years.”

While accounts have been compromised, it could be in the best interest of journalists to stay with Google’s possibly soon to be pulled Gmail, as Steve Ballmer said Microsoft leaving China was unlikely, whatever-the-weather.