Feeds

Ballmer: Microsoft stronger without Bing and Xbox tinkering

Nokia not the new aQuantive, he promises moneymen

The essential guide to IT transformation

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 services” for IT pros, business, consumers and channel partners. Services will be delivered via devices.

Ballmer was speaking at the last annual gathering of Microsoft shareholders he is expected to attend ahead of the 21 November release of the Xbox One.

Tuesday was also the day that Nokia shareholders approved the purchase of their company by Microsoft.

“We clearly have big opportunity in devices," said the man El Reg was the first to describe as looking like Uncle Fester. "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.”

It emerged last week that one of the candidates for his job as Microsoft chief executive, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, is open to unloading Xbox and ready to dump perennial lossmaker Bing in order to narrow Microsoft’s focus on business apps.

“This is really a signature moment in the transformation of the company that will bring together the best mobile device work from Microsoft and Nokia,” Ballmer told doubters.

“The realignment of the company that we announced in July is underway,” he added.

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

“We are operating with a single strategy and starting to work as a single team to a common set of shared goals, high value activities, expressed through devices and services.”

He also tackled the subject of Nokia, raised by one queasy investor, which Microsoft is taking on as a loss-maker and market-share loser. Ballmer was asked to explain how Microsoft could possibly turn that into a successful business.

In answering, the ghost of aQuantive was invoked. aQuantive was one of Ballmer's trademark "big bets" that was supposed to turn Microsoft into an ads publishing and serving powerhouse against Google.

“Certainly, our aQuantive acquisition is not going to go down on the record books as a success. It wasn’t. And I take responsibility for that. 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,” Ballmer said.

Ballmer spent $6.3bn on aQuantive, which was supposed to deliver integrated ads to Xbox Live, Windows Live, Office Live and MSN. aQuantive had actually been a successful and admired operation as an independent company. Microsoft, though, managed to kill it and the company was forced into a $6.2bn write-off in 2012.

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

Gates said that in the hunt for a new CEO, he and fellow board member John Thompson want a candidate able to fulfil a "complex role" running a "complex global business". ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?