The Office for iPad team held an IAmA (as me anything) on Reddit earlier today.  The team is actually rather small and is the same group that writes the Office for Mac applications.  While there was not anything groundbreaking revealed, there were some interesting questions answered. Q: Hi! Where there any unforeseen complications in the making of these apps? How did you handle it? A: Yes, we ran into a number of complications, most of them involving resource constraints. For example, if you opened a document in Word with a lot of comment bubbles, Word would run out of memory. Fixing some of these required re-architecting some features, which is one of the reasons it took us so long.  –Rick To pile on to what Rick said, PowerPoint ran into similar resource constraints for SlideShow. We wanted to make sure that everything worked as you would expect (transitions, animations, etc.) and as you can ...

Read More →

Close observers of Microsoft saw Jon DeVaan’s exit from Redmond software giant as no surprise.  In late September we reported Terry Myerson forced him out of his position as head of CSOD (Windows Core Operating System Division): Myerson has removed some of Sinofsky’s other lieutenants from power including Grant George, Antoine Leblond and Jon DeVaan. (see: Terry Myerson Flexes His Muscle, Removes Sinofsky’s Lieutenants From Power) Devaan was a mentor to Steven Sinofsky and many other high profile employees at Microsoft.  DeVaan had been with the company since 1984 and became a multi-millionaire after the Microsoft’s IPO in 1986.  Many of the standard engineering practices within Microsoft were created by DeVaan after he was charged with the task by Bill Gates himself.  See our post from yesterday: Veteran Microsoft Engineering Leader Jon DeVaan Leaving The Company After 30 Years Just as an aside, for our readers in Seattle, you may recall Jon’s wife, ...

Read More →

Microsoft has granted Mary-Jo Foley exclusive access to CEO Steve Ballmer.  She recently published a discussion with Ballmer about the Surface in which he admitted: “Nobody ever buys Windows. They buy Windows PCs.”  A pretty profound statement in it of itself. “One of the things tech companies really do terribly is build new capability,” Ballmer said.  Unfortunately, when the industry changes, if you haven’t built any new capability, you can become less relevant because the thing you were good at becomes less relevant and you didn’t built capability in a new area.” “We’ve had to do it a couple of times, in fact, from platforms to apps, from now software to services, from OS (operating system) royalties, to OS royalties and devices,” he said. Ballmer called Xbox  ”sort of a signature about building new capability in hardware and devices.”  Microsoft staffed up its supply-chain-team after getting into the Xbox business.  Some of ...

Read More →

    Late yesterday Suril posted: rumor: terry myerson has asked for the ceo announcement to be delayed until spring 2014 It look as if he was at least partially correct, John W. Thompson, a member of Microsoft’s board of directors today provided an update regarding Microsoft’s CEO search. He revealed that they are expected to announce the new CEO only in 2014. Here is the announcement, On Aug. 23, we announced that Steve Ballmer would be retiring from Microsoft within 12 months, and the Board of Directors was launching a search for a replacement, looking both externally and internally. Since then, we’ve been focused on finding the best possible person to lead the company. As we approach the end of the calendar year, there has been natural interest in getting an update on where we are in the process. I’m writing to share this with you here. As the chair ...

Read More →

Edit: Looks like my sources were correct: Microsoft Confirms: CEO Won’t Be Named Until Early 2014 I’ve been inspired by Dina Bass lately.  So take with post with a grain of salt, maybe mountains of salt.  Typically when original rumors are posted on msnews we like to have two other sources of independent confirmation.  The following information in this post is from multiple people, but only a “single source,” so no independent confirmation.  Individuals sending tips often have an agenda, so just keep that in mind. I received an anonymous tip early last week that Microsoft is considering making its CEO announcement late Q2 / early Q3: “[...] the board is now considering announcing the new CEO later than originally planned, most likely at the end of Q2 or maybe early Q3 [...]“ The information did not really make sense to me initially, Q3 would be way too late, giving Ballmer nearly ...

Read More →

Steve Ballmer has been chatting with Mary-Jo Foley over the past few weeks.  ”I pride myself on the fact that we do make a lot of money,” Ballmer said. He gave out some his top five management tips, that might help you do the same: Make sure you see the whole playing field “If the CEO doesn’t see the playing field, nobody else can,” Ballmer said. “The team may need to see it too, but the CEO really needs to be able to see the entire competitive space.” “Ten years from now, will devices look the same as they look today or quite different? And will they be funded primarily by gross margin on the device or will it all be just ads and commerce from guys like Google and Amazon” he asked. “The truth is, whoever sits in the CEO seat needs to have enough perspective to have an intelligent ...

Read More →

Five candidates have made the next round in search for Microsoft’s next CEO, we knew four of them: Alan Mulally Stephen Elop Tony Bates Satya Nadella We now know the fifth.  Microsoft COO Kevin Turner. Three of the five candidates are current Microsoft executives.  As Ballmer previously stated, Elop should also be considered an internal candidate.  Mulally currently serves as CEO of Ford. Source: Dina Bass – Bloomberg ...

Read More →

Australian media magnate and CEO of News Corp Rupert Murdoch shared his thoughts about Ballmer retiring on Twitter: I think Murdoch is partially right in that hedge funds were partially responsible, but not in the way most people think. Ballmer was not forced out, and anyone pushing that narrative is just wrong. We’ll expand more on this point in another post. Follow Mr. Murdoch on twitter ...

Read More →

A new report suggests that Microsoft could reveal its re-org plans as early as Thursday.  Ballmer is restructuring the company around the vision of devices and services, further divided into consumer and business/enterprise sections.  Here is what we believe Ballmer’s current plans are: Winners New cloud computing and business-focused products unit headed by current Servers & Tools head Satya Nadella; Online Services leader Qi Lu could add Microsoft Office and other apps to his portfolio that already includes the Bing search service; Julie Larson-Green, who now co-heads Windows efforts, is in line to be in charge of all devices from Surface to Xbox, as well as music and TV services; Windows Phone chief Terry Myerson is expected to take over Windows engineering and platforms. Meanwhile, Windows CFO and CMO Tami Reller is expected to have a larger marketing job; Skype president Tony Bates gets purview over all of business development, corporate strategy ...

Read More →

In a rare appearance, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will join pop-star Kelly Clarkson in a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the 42nd Microsoft Store in Troy, Michigan this Friday.  The 3,300-square-foot Microsoft store will employ about 45 people.  Ballmer is also expected to present $1 million in software grants as part of the ribbon cutting.  The store is scheduled to open at 10:30 a.m. local time. To fans who arrive at the store, in the Somerset Collection shopping center, will receive free tickets to a Kelly Clarkson concert later that day.  Clarkson has helped open other Microsoft Stores. Ballmer has strong roots in Michigan.  He grew up Farmington Hills, Michigan where his father was an executive at the Ford Motor company.  Farmington Hills & Troy are both affluent suburbs of Detroit, Michigan.  Ballmer currently sits on the board of the Detroit County Day school, where he went to high school.  While ...

Read More →

A reorganization has been in the works at Microsoft for over two years now, as the plan is near being finalized new details are emerging.  The changes would give greater responsibility to executives including Satya Nadella, head of the (Azure) server business, Don Mattrick, who runs Xbox, Qi Lu, chief of the online group (Bing), and Tony Bates, president of Skype.  Andy Lees who was essentially fired from the Windows Phone division, will leave Microsoft sometime between the release of Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone Blue. Ballmer, who is now 57 is looking at potentially retiring after 10 years, and wants this reorganization to allow a natural successor to emerge within the company. Ballmer is still meeting with the board (i.e. Bill Gates) to discuss and finalize changes. The changes are aimed at cutting the number of disparate units and fostering cooperation between products so that Microsoft is more competitive. One idea ...

Read More →