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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Fire local, hire global

Okay, that's not entirely fair. But it does raise some serious questions when Microsoft is simultaneously a) laying off 7 percent of its workforce while b) lobbying hard for more H1B visas to permit it to import more foreign workers.
Up to 7,800 people will be laid off globally, the company announced Wednesday morning. Most of the jobs are within its smartphone hardware business. Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) had 118,600 employees as of March 30, with about 60,000 of those workers in the United States. The cuts represents about 7% of its staff.

This is Nadella's second major restructuring. He announced 18,000 layoffs in Nokia's devices and services business last year, following Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30)'s acquisition of the handset maker.
Of course, I don't think anyone is even remotely surprised that the Nokia acquisition didn't work out well.

Labels:

89 Comments:

Anonymous p-dawg July 11, 2015 8:24 AM  

Nokia used to make pretty good phones. Used to.

Blogger Jim July 11, 2015 8:33 AM  

I not paying any attention to any of the fools campaigning for POTUS until one of them says "I will end the H-1B program". Yeah, snowball's in Hell, I know.

Anonymous TroperA July 11, 2015 8:48 AM  

You know, this country has a word to describe people who put the interests of foreign people over the interests of their own country's people in the pursuit of personal profit:

Traitors.

And as I recall it used to have a hefty punishment, especially when government officials were involved in it.

Blogger Sad Puppy July 11, 2015 8:56 AM  

This kind of thing has been going on for a long time. One previous job they made it very difficult by adding in all these odd hour meetings with the "off-shore" team. Of whom it seemed I always had to fix everything they did.

My last contract they kept pushing me to come up with some work for the "offshore team". I kept finishing everything without the aid of this offshore team - including the people pushing for me to use them. It was funny because they let all of them go except for me when the contract renewal came up. The idea that we need to make busy work for some bunch of guys across the world has always bugged me.

Blogger Sad Puppy July 11, 2015 8:57 AM  

Forgot to mention, this was IT work.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan July 11, 2015 8:57 AM  

See Denninger's latest, it shows that Malaysia leads in progressive labor policy. Obama's administration is a joke, and I don't care that the beltway right thinks otherwise

Blogger Gordon July 11, 2015 9:18 AM  

@4. Sad Puppy:

I have a friend who had to work with the Indian off-shore team. She figured out how the cultural differences operated, and through a quirk, wound up in charge of them. She was able to get good work out of them when no one else could, because she treated them like eager, willing puppies who want to please--but have no self-initiative whatsoever. In return, they worshipped her.

The problem was, management was convinced by then that offshore wasn't working, and when the contract expired, the program ended, and she got laid off. Ain't no justice, and it's foolish to expect any.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera July 11, 2015 9:30 AM  

Okay, that's not entirely fair.

Yes it is. Does even one person in America really want to import millions of Somalians? This is not rational economic action, it is a war on multiple fronts.

Economy of business is merely an excuse to do something they were already doing.by hook and crook in a dozen other ways.

Anonymous BB753 July 11, 2015 9:35 AM  

Switch to Linux. Let Microsoft go the way of the dodo.

Anonymous Poli_Mis July 11, 2015 9:49 AM  

USAA, a very large financial services company that drapes itself in the United States flag and repeatedly states how much they support the United States military, did a great deal this sort of thing back in the early 2000's.

There were several cases where the American IT worker was training a TATA or TCS developer that was coming from Bangalore to take their job. This is why I despise almost anything to do with Java programming because invariably very low skilled IT workers from India are doing all the work.

Blogger Chiva July 11, 2015 10:08 AM  

This transition to foreign workers is not only in IT. Where I work the transition from a development team mainly based in the US is slowly but surely being moved to 'Centers of Excellence' based in China and India. When an engineer in the USA leaves, or retires, the job is moved offshore and 2 engineers are hired. Eventually a skeleton crew will be left in the US for product architecture. I do find it very interesting that program management is not being off shored at all.

Anonymous zen0 the Shut-in July 11, 2015 10:21 AM  

OT

Does anyone know if there have been any dispatches from Occupy Austin?

Anonymous Lulabelle (68) July 11, 2015 10:41 AM  

"OT

Does anyone know if there have been any dispatches from Occupy Austin?"

Maybe they mentioned something on the radio show last night? Not sure. You might check Nate's blog.

Blogger Matt July 11, 2015 11:26 AM  

Estwing is making some tools in taiwan now. This is the end times

Blogger Rantor July 11, 2015 11:30 AM  

Nate commented on the evening during his podcast. but didn't see much.

WIll be at DC meet up tonight.

Anonymous Grinder July 11, 2015 11:36 AM  

Same thing happened to me here in Canada as a software developer for the biggest and most profitable bank and it continues with all the other banks as well. Things are not getting better.

Anonymous The other robot July 11, 2015 11:42 AM  

Where I work the transition from a development team mainly based in the US is slowly but surely being moved to 'Centers of Excellence' based in China and India.

I am the sole YT in a dev team where I work. The funny thing is that even many of the Indians in the company recognize that doing dev or QA in India is not going to work, since all the expertise is here in the US.

The other funny thing is that there are no people of color in dev roles that I can see. They are all Indian, Chinese or YT.

Anonymous Whitey McWhite July 11, 2015 11:51 AM  

Okay, that's not entirely fair.

Sure looks fair to me. Aeoli Pera nailed it.

Anonymous BGS July 11, 2015 11:54 AM  

Did that massive fraud of Indian doctors teach people nothing?

Took me a while of searching to find this, thanks bias search engines http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-33421572

Vyapam: India's deadly medical school exam scandal 8 July 2015 "A medical school admission examinations scandal in India has turned into a veritable whodunit with thousands of arrests, mysterious deaths and the suspected involvement of top politicians and bureaucrats. Soutik Biswas travelled to Madhya Pradesh to investigate."
"By one estimate, some 140,000 men and women have sat exams conducted by Vyapam since 2007. The government says more than 1,000 "illegal appointments" have been made through Vyapam, although whistle-blowers like Dr Rai say the figure is much higher."

Blogger Rantor July 11, 2015 12:07 PM  

Lets see, Microsoft produced Windows 8 to compete with the iPad... bought Nokia to figure out how to compete with iPhone... produced Microsoft Money to compete with Quicken... They have done a lot of these attempts to capture other peoples markets where they have little experience and failed. THey aren't even third place in phones at this point. No wonder they have to fire people --- and outsourcing won't make their product better.

Blogger Rantor July 11, 2015 12:10 PM  

OK, mildly wrong, Microsoft is third in phone market with a whopping 2.7% behind Android (78%) and iOS (18%)

Blogger Rantor July 11, 2015 12:12 PM  

My 9 year old PC running Vista is starting to get cantankerous... Can't imagine buying anything microsoft again though. Not sure I am ready to go Linux...auggh.

Blogger VFM bot #188 July 11, 2015 12:23 PM  

@BB753 at #9: Easy to swtich to Linux if you're some kind of tech god, or even any kind of techie. How about the rest of us?

@Lulabelle at #13: Nate has a blog?


Blogger Rantor July 11, 2015 12:26 PM  

yes, just look at the Voxologisti list immediately to the right of our entries... follow Der Hausfrauherr there you will find Nate, links to his podcast, etc.

Blogger Aquila Aquilonis Fulminata July 11, 2015 12:44 PM  

FYI ... this is about to get a lot more popular.

Blogger Sad Puppy July 11, 2015 12:53 PM  

@Rantor
My 9 year old PC running Vista is starting to get cantankerous... Can't imagine buying anything microsoft again though. Not sure I am ready to go Linux...auggh.

Wow, i'm impressed you attempted Vista in the first place, much less survive for this many years with it.

Blogger Danby July 11, 2015 12:57 PM  

@Rantor and VFM 188
don't dismiss Linux out of hand. It's not at all more difficult than windows..
If you want to check it out, i would have two reccomendations
1) avoid Ubuntu. They seem dedicated to changing the desktop paradigm to something both non-familiar and non-intuitive. There are lots of other distributions, I use Linux Mint.
2) try out a "Live CD". These are bootable CDs that can give you afeel for the particular distro, as well as highlight any hardware incompatibilities.

If you have a 2 or 3 year old system, it is very unlikely to have any compatibility problems.

Try it, you might like it. Many people find the switch to Linux to be less disrupting than switching to Windows 8

Anonymous Jack Amok July 11, 2015 12:58 PM  

You know, this country has a word to describe people who put the interests of foreign people over the interests of their own country's people in the pursuit of personal profit

Sure. Which country are we talking about? Satya Nadella was born in Hyderabad and got his bachelor's degree from Mainpul.

Blogger Cederq July 11, 2015 1:00 PM  

Sad Puppy, there is enough of us old geeks around that use Vista, hell, I used XP and didn't want to change but for a house fire that destroyed my office and my trusty old Dell 3000s that I had to switch since Microturd doesn't support XP and I couldn't find a copy. So yes, some of us looked at Win 7,8, 9 and said, no thanks. Rantor, my Vista is getting cranky too on a 8 year old HP Laptop too...

Blogger VFM bot #188 July 11, 2015 1:00 PM  

@Danby: Guide us. With more particularity please.

Anonymous Lulabelle (68) July 11, 2015 1:05 PM  

"@Lulabelle at #13: Nate has a blog?"

I'm slow to respond but hopefully you saw Rantor's post:
"yes, just look at the Voxologisti list immediately to the right of our entries... follow Der Hausfrauherr there you will find Nate, links to his podcast, etc. "

Blogger James Dixon July 11, 2015 1:21 PM  

> Of course, I don't think anyone is even remotely surprised that the Nokia acquisition didn't work out well.

It worked out exactly the way Microsoft expect it to. They have the rights to license Nokia's patent portfolio.

> ...bought Nokia to figure out how to compete with iPhone...

See above.

> Easy to swtich to Linux if you're some kind of tech god, or even any kind of techie. How about the rest of us?

Linux isn't what it was in the 90's. It works pretty much exactly the way you would expect if you're familiar with Windows. And when it breaks, you do exactly what you would with Windows, reinstall or call someone who knows how to work on it.

Linux Mint is a free download. Directions for making a bootable USB drive with Mint can be found at http://www.everydaylinuxuser.com/2014/05/how-to-create-bootable-linux-mint-usb.html

Just follow the directions and download the version of your choice (most modern machines are 64bit, but you can always use the 32bit version and you can try them all if you want to try out the various desktops). Then boot from the USB drive and try it out. When you're done, reboot and you're back in Windows, none the worse for the wear. If you have a very new machine you may find that some of your hardware doesn't work out of the box. If so, ask for help on the Mint forums.

Anonymous jdgalt July 11, 2015 1:21 PM  

The right is hypocritical when it demands "affirmative action" for American workers who aren't as cost-effective to employ as their foreign competitors.

Blogger bob k. mando July 11, 2015 1:38 PM  

22. VFM bot #188 July 11, 2015 12:23 PM
Nate has a blog?



*snaps fingers*

Ilk card, now please. we'll be tearing that up, toot sweet.



29. VFM bot #188 July 11, 2015 1:00 PM
@Danby: Guide us. With more particularity please.



dude. duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudddddddddddddde.

how hard can ctrl+f for "der haus" be? i mean, even if you can't follow directions, you can handle the find function.

right?

*facedesk*

http://bloggerblaster.blogspot.com/

Blogger bob k. mando July 11, 2015 1:40 PM  

32. jdgalt July 11, 2015 1:21 PM
The right is hypocritical when it demands "affirmative action"



suggesting that making exceptions to the general law is "affirmative action"?

count on an SJW to lie.

Blogger Danby July 11, 2015 1:51 PM  

@VFM 188,
I have no idea what leadership you need.
I'll try
Linux itself is just the kernel and core utilities of the OS. Everything else, anything user-facing, including the desktop, is written and maintained by someone else besides the Linux Dev team. There are multiple tools for every possible job, and many of them will not work together.As you can imagine, that can create a huge complex mess without a way to cut through the clutter, verify software compatibility, provide periodic patches, and making sure things don't break.

In the Windows world, that is all done, more or less, by Microsoft. They tell you what yo can have, how it will work, and if they break it, there's no fixing it. (unofficial motto of the DOS 3 dev team, "DOS isn't done till Lotus won't run")

In linux, that is handled by distros, or distributions. A distro builds an installation set, provides known working software packages, and periodic patches for the system and applications. There are literally hundreds of Linux distributions, some general purpose, some focused on business use, some for specialized interest, and some that are just vanity projects.

Which distro you use will largely determine the look and feel and manageability of your system. So take a look and see what appeals to you.

Most distros will come on a "live CD", actually a dvd, that you can boot from directly. It will be a fully functioning instance of the OS. If it has access to the internal hard drive, you can even install applications, write and save files, etc, without affecting your windows installation. If you decide to install, there is a convenient icon right on the desktop to do so.
You will be given the option to install alongside an existing windows installation (make sure your have enough room first). the installer can shrink your windows filesystem, create a new Linux filesystem, install linux on the new partition and set up a boot manager so that you can boot the system into either Windows or Linux at your choice. Be careful with this. I once had a Fedora installer take out my music drive without asking. But that was years ago.

Blogger YIH July 11, 2015 2:04 PM  

ORLANDO, Fla. — The employees who kept the data systems humming in the vast Walt Disney fantasy fief did not suspect trouble when they were suddenly summoned to meetings with their boss.
Googles 'Disney CEO', finds: Iger was born to a Jewish family[1][5][6] in New York City, New York,[4] the son of Mimi and Arthur L. Iger.[7]
Your chutzpah never fails to amaze me. Yes, Jew, that is your fault.
And yet you still wonder why so-called 'anti-semitism' is on the rise.

Anonymous The other robot July 11, 2015 2:17 PM  

avoid Ubuntu. They seem dedicated to changing the desktop paradigm to something both non-familiar and non-intuitive.

There seems to be more Linux religions (oops, distros) than there are Christian sects (even if you call the SDAs and etc Christians. :-)

Having had to do some interesting work with ZFS recently, I am pissed that the Linux kernel does not seem to have the concept of subsystem cleanup routines for when a process exits ... but that is orthogonal to other issues. It would also be nice to see sizeof(uid_t) being 16 bytes so we can store SIDs in the kernel ... but that is another matter as well.

Blogger VFM bot #188 July 11, 2015 2:35 PM  

I have no idea what leadership you need.

Guidance was the word used, Danby, guidance. Only the Dark Lord of Evil provides leadership around here. "Guidance" is more akin to "help" dictionary-wise.

And despite denying knowing anything about what was requested, you helped out a lot! Thank you!

Blogger 8to12 July 11, 2015 3:04 PM  

I hate to be the one coming to the defense of Microsoft, but here goes...

1) Microsoft's labor policies are not unique in IT. Microsoft isn't the bad apple in the IT barrel, ALL the apples in the IT barrel are bad (including Apple).

The problem is our elected officials keep placing the needs of businesses above the needs of American workers. You see it with the H1B visa program (designed to depress white collar wages) and illegal immigration (designed to depress blue collar wages).

2) Microsoft has been very successful in other areas.

SQL Server (their database) has 45% of the market (Oracle has 30% the other also rans share the remaining 25%).

XBOX (one & 360 combined) had a 62% market share in 2014.

Microsoft Exchange is the dominant e-mail platform used by businesses.

Microsoft Office is the dominant productivity suite for businesses.

Microsoft's server operating systems (Windows server 2003, 2008, 2012, & 2016) are popular and robust. Most other companies have dropped out the the server OS business completely. The choices today are Microsoft or a Linux variant.

3) Windows 8 is a bust

I agree that it was a marketing bust. The decision to try and FORCE users into a new GUI paradigm, instead of allowing them to switch back and forth was just stupid.

But, having said that, I've yet to hear anyone say that Windows 8 was bad on its technical merits. It was a lighter and more robust than its predecessor.

The "write and app once and it will run anywhere" paradigm Microsoft is trying to achieve is not bad at all. It's certainly AHEAD of its competition. The idea that you can write and app and it will run on your desktop, pad, phone & even XBOX--without modification--is a great idea, if Microsoft can pull it off.

Blogger 8to12 July 11, 2015 3:10 PM  

As far as switching to a Linux distro, that ship has sailed. Linux will not--EVER--be a popular desktop operating system for anyone other than geeks.

The most popular Linux devices are Android phones and tables, and Amazon's Kindle Fire. None of which are remotely recognizable as Linux devices by most people.

And, I think that's where Linux's consumer niche with remain. As an OS overlaid with a specialty GUI on a device designed for a specific application.

Anonymous BB753 July 11, 2015 3:11 PM  

As other commenters have pointed out, Linux is quite user- friendly. Just try any version on an old computer, and you'll be hooked! Personally I'm fine with Ubuntu. For text edition, you've got Open Office. If Microsoft doesn't need us, we don't need Microsoft either. Let them sell their crap in India!

Blogger Danby July 11, 2015 3:14 PM  

The "write and app once and it will run anywhere" paradigm Microsoft is trying to achieve is not bad at all. It's certainly AHEAD of its competition.

c.f. Java, circa 1992, which Microsoft spent 20 years trying to kill
What MS wants is "write once and run it only on microsoft." not "run anywhere"

Blogger 8to12 July 11, 2015 3:40 PM  

Danby,

Microsoft is in the process of porting .Net to Linux and Apple. So the run anywhere will apply to non-Microsoft systems as well.

BTW, I've worked in both Java and .Net, and truth be told .Net is significantly better than Java (and by significantly better, I mean significantly technically better). Microsoft has a lot of faults, but their developer tools have always been top-notch.

But, you are right, their goal is obviously to wright once and run anywhere on Microsoft products. And my reply to that is: so?

Can you write something for an iPhone and run it on your Mac? No. Can you write something for a Mac and run it on ANY other Apple product?

Can you write a Linux Ubuntu application and then run it on an Android phone? What about the reverse?

Can you run any application written for a gaming console (like the PS3) on a phone or desktop?

Java's promise of being able to "write once, run anywhere" never came to pass, because of the diversity of operating systems across devices. This is where Microsoft is doing something different, standardizing the OS across devices.

BTW, Java applications written for Windows will run just as well across the whole spectrum of devices (desktop, phone, game console, and pad) as .Net applications.

Blogger 8to12 July 11, 2015 3:47 PM  

BB753,

For 95% of people, the act of loading an OS onto a computer is too complex, making it too large of a hurdle for them to ever jump over to even try Linux desktop in the first place.

Linux netbooks were probably the peak of desktop Linux penetration into the market, and that market is all but dead.

I don't disagree that the Linux desktop experience is now good, but Linux missed its shot at being a widespread, MAINSTREAM desktop OS.

Blogger James Dixon July 11, 2015 4:04 PM  

> There seems to be more Linux religions (oops, distros) than there are Christian sects (even if you call the SDAs and etc Christians. :-)

Pretty much, yes. But just as with Christianity, pretty much any of them will work, and it's entirely a matter of personal preference. Just pick one of the main distros to try out. I recommend Mint because it's relatively newbie friendly.

> For 95% of people, the act of loading an OS onto a computer is too complex, making it too large of a hurdle for them to ever jump over to even try Linux desktop in the first place.

http://symplepc.com/
http://zareason.com/shop/home.php
https://system76.com/

Along with many others.

Blogger James Dixon July 11, 2015 4:07 PM  

> I don't disagree that the Linux desktop experience is now good, but Linux missed its shot at being a widespread, MAINSTREAM desktop OS.

Amazing how much that reminds me of the argument that voting third party is just throwing your vote away. The fact that the majority will choose something doesn't make it the best choice for any given person.

Blogger Danby July 11, 2015 4:11 PM  

No argument about the deficiencies of Java. It's early 90s tech and it shows, badly.

Java's promise of being able to "write once, run anywhere" never came to pass, because of the diversity of operating systems across devices.
First, Java is hardly a failure. Perhaps in whatever world you work in, Java has little or no mindshare. In the enterprise software arena where I work, Java is still huge. Software using Java is still being developed. I don't consider that a good thing, because I'm the guy that has to deal with all the breakage it causes, but it's definitely a giant.
Second, Jave was stymied because MS ( and Apple, and Google, etc, etc) intentionally sabotaged Java, trying, and succeeding, to tie it to an OS or hardware or services platform. Nobody in the OS or hardware arena actually wants write once, run anywhere.

This is where Microsoft is doing something different, standardizing the OS across devices.
No, this is Ms doing the same damn thing they've always done, strongarm the competition out of the market. Desktop is saturated, With everybody who wants one having a PC, or three, and 85% or so of the market, there's literally no more space for MS to grow there. Even with their favorite tactic of forcing business to pay for multiple copies of the Os for a single computer. They had to branch out in order prevent stagnation and to keep the stock valuation up. Since they've failed, often spectacularly, at everything else they've tried (hello Zune!), OS and programming tools was the only option. So they bought their way into phones, manipulated their way into tablets, destroyed the supplier base for netbooks. Literally the only actual Ms developed tech in their expanded device lineup was Xbox, whitch used tech MS originally developed for the Dreamcast.

For me, the question is whether MS is a trustworthy partner in your tech space. You obviously have a different experience than I. I've been in the IT business for over 30 years and I've seen the dirty, terrible, underhanded, dishonest things they've done, not just to their rivals and competitors, but to their friends and customers. I simply cannot trust Microsoft. YMMV.

Blogger threeLegDog July 11, 2015 4:14 PM  

Happened to me. "Managed out" after 20 years and replaced by an H1B.

Blogger Eric July 11, 2015 4:32 PM  

Java's promise of being able to "write once, run anywhere" never came to pass, because of the diversity of operating systems across devices.

I don't know why people say this. The Java application (developed on Linux) my old group developed is being used across our megacorp on old Sun equipment, multiple versions of Windows, and brand new Macbooks. You won't find a single OS-specific line in the code, either.

The only reason you would have "write once run anywhere" problems is if native OS L&F is part of the spec.

Blogger Cail Corishev July 11, 2015 4:51 PM  

Microsoft is in the process of porting .Net to Linux and Apple.

Sounds a little like putting tractor tires on a Camaro, but okay. Hope it goes better than the Unix version of Internet Explorer that they promised back in 1996 or so.

Of course, the problem wasn't that they couldn't port it. IE (like Netscape) came from Mosaic, so it was developed on Unix in the first place. But MS wanted to bundle it on new installs for "free" to kill Netscape and push upgrades to Win95. MS had no real interest in the Unix market, but giving Unix users a free browser could hardly be in their interest. (In theory, it could have taken some more users away from Netscape, but since Netscape was shareware then, the difference in sales wouldn't have been worth much trouble.)

So MS bought a working product, made it less portable, and tried to use it to kill competition. It's an old story, but they never seem to tire of telling it.

Blogger Danby July 11, 2015 5:01 PM  

And when they are done porting it, .net on Linux will be almost compatible. There will be key features that depend on MS technology, and you won't be able to use those on Linux. Sorry, can't be helped. So porting any .net app to Linux will be excessively painful and never work correctly.

We know how this game is played, and so does MS.

Blogger Danby July 11, 2015 5:05 PM  

Then it will be abandoned, because "There's no demand for it."

So they will sell .Net on the "Write once run anywhere" promise, which they have every intention of violating just as quickly, violently, and squalidly as possible.

It's not even open for question, they've done exactly this dozens of times, with every technology they could possibly bring to the table. It's all about forcing others out of the market, not about service to developers.

Blogger Cail Corishev July 11, 2015 5:16 PM  

Eric, yeah, I don't particularly care for Java, but I think it's portable if you do it right. You have to watch out for Microsoft breaking things with their next update, but we're used to that.

The first serious Java app I wrote was developed on HP-UX and had to run on Unix and Windows -- including 16-bit Win3.1 systems. That was rough; the 16-bit version of Java barely worked at all and was missing big chunks of the language. But that was something like Java version 1.1; it's come a long way since then.

Blogger rcocean July 11, 2015 5:26 PM  

I don't know Vox. As a libertarian I worship Bill Gates. And what's good for MS is good for the USA. Frankly, if American employees can't complete they deserve to be fired and replaced. Further, I'm willing to pay anything MS charges me for its software because that's the free market. Which is always right and good.

Blogger Danby July 11, 2015 7:03 PM  

As a libertarian, I worship Bill Gates. And what's good for MS is good for the USA.

As a monopolist and member of the elite, Bill Gates looks to enslave you, destroy your culture, and replace you with more malleable and decidedly non-libertarian people.

So, good luck with that. Let us know how it works out.

Blogger papabear July 11, 2015 7:25 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger papabear July 11, 2015 7:26 PM  

sarc?

Anonymous Jack Amok July 11, 2015 7:49 PM  

I don't know Vox. As a libertarian I worship Bill Gates.

I worked for the guy. He has his good points and his bad points, but at this point, he's not very involved in Microsoft any more. I think the DoJ case killed his interest. If people are going to throw rocks at you for winning, why not find a new game.

Ballmer bought Nokia to bail Nokia out because MSFT had bet their phone strategy on them and didn't want to see them go under. It's too bad really, the Windows 8 interface sucks on a desktop but it's great on a phone and the Nokias are really great phones. Lack of apps kills them, and MSFTs strategy is fubarred there. HTML5/CSS/JS on something like Cordova is actually a functional "Write one - run anywhere" strategy for information-style apps. But even if you have your iPhone + Android app running on that write-once platform, you've got to jump through administrative hoops to get it deployed, even for testing, on a WinPhone. Why bother for 2% of the market?

MSFT needs to open their store up the way Google does with Android, but the ship has probably sailed for that too by now and they really need to (like this layoff probably indicates) start wrapping the whole business up to bury it.

Nadalla thinks he'll save them with Cloud Computing.

Yeah, right.

Anonymous DT July 11, 2015 8:15 PM  

The only reason you would have "write once run anywhere" problems is if native OS L&F is part of the spec.

Which is precisely whey Java's promise never came to pass. No one wants the look and feel of an old Pinto. But a corporation can sometimes force it on the employees.

Then again, just as often the corporation is a Windows house and can go .NET with native L&F.

Blogger James Dixon July 11, 2015 8:24 PM  

> Nadalla thinks he'll save them with Cloud Computing.

The main problem I see with Microsoft and Cloud Computing is that Microsoft and security have never been on speaking terms with each other. :(

Blogger YIH July 11, 2015 8:50 PM  

James Dixon:
> Nadalla thinks he'll save them with Cloud Computing.

The main problem I see with Microsoft and Cloud Computing is that Microsoft and security have never been on speaking terms with each other. :(

''The Fappening'' pretty much showed everyone that the ''clod computing'' emperor had no clothes ;)

Anonymous Jack Amok July 11, 2015 10:10 PM  

The main problem I see with Microsoft and Cloud Computing is that Microsoft and security have never been on speaking terms with each other.

No, the main problem with Microsoft and Cloud Computing is, how are they going to make any money at it? There are lots of things that Microsoft has screwed up in the last 15 years, but letting lazy-assed salesmen talk the company into Enterprise Agreements as the big ticket is up there among the worst.

Blogger Danby July 11, 2015 10:16 PM  

No no no! The Cloud is magic. You can make anything you want happen there and It's All Free! For Everybody! For Ever!

OMG, I am so tired of idiot, non-technical managers demanding cloud solutions for everything from email to application services to security. Security!!?!?!?!?!?! AYFKM?

Cloud services might make sense for personal stuff (maybe, see The Fappening, above) but do you really want your enemies and competitors and every script kiddie in the universe to have access to your data? Where just one employee with a bad password or a vengeful lover can access it and destroy you?

Blogger James Dixon July 11, 2015 11:08 PM  

> Where just one employee with a bad password or a vengeful lover can access it and destroy you?

Oh, it's far worse than that. http://bgr.com/2015/07/08/hacking-tools-pita-encryption-keys-radio-waves/

Blogger James Dixon July 11, 2015 11:10 PM  

> No, the main problem with Microsoft and Cloud Computing is, how are they going to make any money at it?

Well, from Microsoft's viewpoint, yes. From a user viewpoint, security is a larger concern than Microsoft making money.

Blogger Cail Corishev July 11, 2015 11:45 PM  

No no no! The Cloud is magic.

Apparently. I saw an ad the other day: a cancer researcher used to take days to run a test, and now he runs a bunch every day, because of the Cloud! Well, yeah, if you go from running your scan on one desktop machine to distributing it across a bunch of servers, it's going to be faster. But you're also going to pay for it -- probably through the nose, if you're getting it from Microsoft. Putting it in "the cloud" doesn't magically make anything faster.

But the ad isn't for the techs who know that; it's for those managers you're dealing with who just hear "cloud=faster" and eat it up.

Microsoft's always been pretty good at getting companies to buy high-dollar, though, so I don't know if I'd count them out here. More than once I put in 4-digit bids for things like mail or web servers thanks to Linux and my own reasonable support fees, and been turned down in favor of 5- or 6-digit bids from competitors who were selling Microsoft solutions like Exchange backed by expensive MSCEs. There are plenty of managers who take "you get what you pay for" literally.

Anonymous DIY Brain Surgeon July 11, 2015 11:48 PM  

"is even remotely surprised that the Nokia acquisition didn't work out well"

Nokia makes great phones and Windows Phone is the best phone OS by far. I enjoy my Lumia 930 far more than any other phone I had. So no, it wasn't crazy to think that people will love Nokias with Windows if they only try them.

But people are too sheep to try something not considered fashionable by the usual poseurs.

Anonymous WillBest July 12, 2015 12:53 AM  

I think they have something with their Surface pro.

Blogger Danby July 12, 2015 1:18 AM  

But people are too sheep to try something not considered fashionable by the usual poseurs.

"people who disagree with me are stupid and easily led."

There's a winning attitude.

Anonymous DIY Brain Surgeon July 12, 2015 2:12 AM  

If you tried something and didn't like it that's fine. But that's not what we have here...

Anonymous Jack Amok July 12, 2015 2:36 AM  

Microsoft's always been pretty good at getting companies to buy high-dollar,

Au contraire, Cail. Microsoft made it's bones undercutting IBM, selling low-price, ground-up solutions directly to people who needed results now and couldn't wait for the the IT department gods to get the latest IBM solution deployed.

I find it... amusing that they've now taken IBMs place as the company schmoozing the IT bigwigs while someone else solves the workerbee's problems.

Sad, but amusing.

Blogger Brad Andrews July 12, 2015 4:16 AM  

Windows 8 works fine for me, though I run it in the Windows 7 like mode.

I saw very little practical difference between XP, Vista, 7. 8 has grown on me a bit over time and I appreciate not having to change passwords on multiple machines when it changes.

Anyone who thinks Linux will penetrate the mainstream is smoking something.

Windows security problems are due more to its huge status as a target. The Mac is already seeing it's own problems. Linux would have more if it ever developed a significant market share. Attacks happen because of where the money is (users).

Java may also have flaws, many acknowledged in the sw development field, but what alternatives do you propose?

Blogger James Dixon July 12, 2015 5:39 AM  

> Anyone who thinks Linux will penetrate the mainstream is smoking something.

Define mainstream. Linux and Windows largely split the server market. Linux dominates the mobile space (Android, as pointed out above, is Linux). And ChromeOS (also Linux) is growing rapidly. It's only in the traditional desktop market that Linux hasn't taken a significant market share.

Blogger Sad Puppy July 12, 2015 9:09 AM  

@28. Cederq

Oh, I see. That makes perfect sense. In my case I had no disasters during the Vista period, and held onto XP until Windows 7. Win 7 was not too bad and I continue to stick with it.

I got hold of a tablet with Win 8 on it, and it is RT. The thing is nigh useless. I've no comment on Win 10 other than I plan on avoiding it until it is impossible to do so.

Blogger Sad Puppy July 12, 2015 9:43 AM  

36. YIH
That article says it all.

It seems the whole thing boils down to companies trying to save bucks. My full sympathy goes to the native employees being replaced.

And those guys they are bringing in are usually not treated very well by their own firms. I have some sympathy for some of the situations i've seen.

But what if I was to apply for a job.
* I have 25% or so knowledge of whatever technology involved
* It is very difficult to understand my spoken words
* I am completely foreign to the country, state, county, city, and business

It doesn't seem like a good fit on the face of it. And I have spoken with quite a few of these guys, and they are many treated as warm bodies to fill a contract. One of the crazy things i've seen is if the company decided they didn't like a particular guy, they would complain. That guy would be replaced almost immediately, usually within a week. And the previous guy would be stuck here until he could get back home. Then the entire process of trying to teach/train the new guy begins anew.

It's even more entertaining when the management decides to cram AGILE into the middle of this. I will reserve this rant for another time :P But lets just say that management decided they hated documentation, because it might not be kept up to date. So now you have warm bodies being churned in and out at a rapid pace, with very little decent documentation to aid any of them coming in.

Who knew the full deal of the systems? It sure wasn't the poor guys being dragged in from India.

Now that I think about it, I've not seen this tactic be successful for longer than a few months to a year. I had a thought that this was something the board of a company would do when they were planning on selling the company within a year or so. But I doubt this is the case with Disney.

Blogger Cail Corishev July 12, 2015 9:55 AM  

One of the crazy things i've seen is if the company decided they didn't like a particular guy, they would complain. That guy would be replaced almost immediately, usually within a week.

I was talking to an accountant who does the books for a local hog farmer who hires illegals. He said that any time one of them needs to move on -- through your choice or his -- another will show up the next day to take his place. You don't even have to recruit; the opening just transmits itself through the illegal grapevine and a warm body shows up, presumably one who matches the needed skill set as well as the last guy.

All this was presented as a big selling point for illegals, of course. American workers don't replace themselves automatically when they leave, the lazy bastards!

Blogger JCclimber July 12, 2015 12:49 PM  

37. The other robot July 11, 2015 2:17 PM
avoid Ubuntu. They seem dedicated to changing the desktop paradigm to something both non-familiar and non-intuitive.

There seems to be more Linux religions (oops, distros) than there are Christian sects (even if you call the SDAs and etc Christians. :-)

What kind of crack is that? Because SDAs don't agree with most of christianity that the Pope has a right to overturn the 10 Commandments regarding the sanctity of the 7th day? Or is it because 18 million members still qualify as a cult rather than a sect in your book?


On a related note, I'm happy to note that our church voted down the third, and hopefully final, attempt to ordain women as ministers last week. This time they couldn't even get a watered down version passed this time.

I recall the tactic that liberals like to use "what objection do you have to this ONE brick", as they build a wall. Didn't work. One reason is that they couldn't provide a biblical reason for allowing it, and without that, their mission was sunk. Another reason is that they church membership is growing fastest in those areas of the church which are most conservative, while the most liberal areas struggle with maintaining a 1% growth rate. You'd think some of the liberals would wake up are realize that Liberal idealogy = low growth rate, Conservative idealogy = high growth rate.

Blogger Sad Puppy July 12, 2015 1:36 PM  

And this has what, exactly, to do with the topic at hand of Fire Local, Hire Global?

Blogger JCclimber July 12, 2015 2:25 PM  

In the ministry I'm involved with, we hire outside workers because they generally are the only ones with the language qualifications that we require.
What this has to do with the question, is that we have had to fire local and go global, partly for the absolutely necessary skill set. But it has become vital that we have a rigorous screening process to ensure that they are firmly grounded in what our church believes, with it written into their annual contract.

We've had to fire or ease out 3 in the last three years because their behavior and beliefs were undermining our mission. Previous leadership didn't really care, but since I got saddled with the responsibility, the purging of SJW-type behavior is almost done. And yes, it can be done, one place at a time, one person at a time.

So we've had to fire local and hire global partly to purge the feminist and worldly rot from our organization, not just for the skill set. But even there we've had to screen and keep our vigilance cranked up to 10. It has cost time, money, attention, and sweat.

I think Microsoft is engaging in very foolish short term thinking. But it wouldn't be the first time an American company did that. It wouldn't be the first time that any large organization did that, including churches.

Anonymous Luke July 12, 2015 5:32 PM  

Bit of info about Microsoft:

I saw a large facility last week in San Antonio that is nearly finished construction. I was told it was for Microsoft. The impression I got was that it was in part over 100 million dollars worth of server farm, in a place easily twice the size of a Super Wal-Mart.

And, I was told they have another large place under construction nearby.

Anyone know more about this place?

Anonymous Quartermaster July 12, 2015 6:03 PM  

"I simply cannot trust Microsoft. YMMV."

Back in the 8 bit, CP/M world, we called Microsoft "The Bellevue Bandits." They never did produce a FORTRAN for CP/M with the complex data type, no matter how much "real soon now" they gave us. Ghostware was a specialty for them. We later found out where there efforts were going when what I called the "New Trash 80" came out under IBM's name.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar July 12, 2015 6:59 PM  

You know that cheap labor really is cheap. You can see it in the lack of quality. Remember that Back to the future film where Doc Brown says he's not surprised that a chip failed because it was Made in Japan? Then Michael J. Fox chimes in and says what do you mean Doc all the best stuff is Made in Japan?
Ah the 1980s, where even Globalism and free trade didn't seem that bad. Somehow the shit from China and Indonesia just doesn't show the same degree of quality that those Japanese goods did. Too bad. Those Libertarian Fantasies had a pretty good run before Greed turned to even cheaper labor in the Turd World. Libertarianism is the Last Gasp of Capitalism. The Socialists were licking their lips, and then that Kenyan guy just monkey-wrenched a Century worth of planning by hiring his Wildabeest's wife black best friend.

Blogger Brad Andrews July 13, 2015 4:26 AM  

RT is the problem, not Win 8.

Android will only take over when desktops fade much more significantly. Different targets though and I think that is a long way off. Windows has huge flaws, but is good enough and will stick around until something replaces the platform. It is kind of like VHS. It wasn't the best, but it had some nice things and couldn't be replaced until DVDs and Blu Ray gained the market.

Blogger James Dixon July 13, 2015 7:21 AM  

> Android will only take over when desktops fade much more significantly.

I don't see Android on the desktop ever being more than a fringe market. People simply don't use desktops the same way they use their phones. I can see it being successful on laptops, though I expect some type of ChromeOS/Android hybrid to be most successful there.

> Windows has huge flaws, but is good enough and will stick around until something replaces the platform.

Yep. Inertia is hard to overcome. But when it happens it happens quickly.

Blogger Quadko July 13, 2015 10:56 AM  

Fire Finns and beg for H1B's to replace them? Sounds raciss.

Blogger Groot July 13, 2015 1:35 PM  

38. The other robot

"Having had to do some interesting work with ZFS recently, I am pissed that the Linux kernel does not seem to have the concept of subsystem cleanup routines for when a process exits ... but that is orthogonal to other issues. It would also be nice to see sizeof(uid_t) being 16 bytes so we can store SIDs in the kernel ... but that is another matter as well."

For you newbies, this is the only important thing to remember. LOL. Way to relax them, other robot. Most people get intimidated by remote controls.

And what is "YT"? The only thing Urban Dictionary had for that was "Young Teen" or "Young Tits."

Anonymous Jack Amok July 14, 2015 2:40 AM  

I don't see Android on the desktop ever being more than a fringe market.

Plus, Android has huge technical problems. In a lot of ways, it's like Windows/Dos circa 1990 - the most open platform but with all the associated compatibility and configuration issues, not to mention inexcusable bugs (want to scale an image you downloaded? Go ahead, just realize it ain't threadsafe...).

Sad really. Google is making the same pattern of mistakes (and successes) Microsoft made a quarter century ago, while Microsoft is doing ditto for IBM. Somewhere between a rhyme and a repeat.

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