Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella turned the company around by focusing on its core strength in business services; betting big on the cloud; ditching failing lines, mainly the handset business; and opening up the culture.
Really an amazing turnaround; in the technology industry, dominant technology companies in decline, like Microsoft was, don’t make a comeback. I can only think of two examples other than Microsoft: Apple, which required the return of its charismatic founder, and IBM 25 years ago.
Two tips for tech PR people:
Get to the point right away. Get to the point, get to the point, get to the point. I am literally scrolling through hundreds of PR pitches every day, looking for two or three a week that I might write about. ANYTHING that speeds up this process will bump a pitch incrementally higher to the top. Embed content in the email rather than sending it as an attachment — that’s particularly true for Microsoft Word documents. Eliminate ALL throat-clearing prior to getting started. Even salutations (“Hi, Mitch! How is your Monday going?”) are superfluous.
Don’t start your email telling me something I — and my readers — already know. Don’t tell me that the cloud is becoming more popular, or that networks are under attack by hackers, or that software-defined networking delivers cost benefits and added flexibility. If the first paragraph of your email starts with something as kindergarten-level as that, it makes it hard for me to read any further.
In an interview with the Freakonomics podcast, Kelly acknowledges that artificial intelligence will be a threat in some ways, but promises great benefits.
“Artificial intelligence will become a commodity like electricity, which will be delivered to you over the grid called the cloud. You can buy as much of it as you want and most of its power will be invisible to you as well,” says Kelly, who co-founded Wired in 1993 and whose new book, “The Inevitable,” is about the “deep trends” of the next 20 years.
Most people think that most jobs in the future will be taken over by AI — but not their own jobs, Kelly says.
From what we’ve seen of AI so far, it’s most powerful when paired with human judgment. A person working with an AI is a better chess player or doctor than a person or AI alone, Kelly says.
Me, Light Reading:
Companies evaluating open source technology need to be careful that they get all the open source benefits. That’s sometimes tricky, which is why AT&T has defined “three key characteristics of open source software that we consider paramount,” says Greg Stiegler, AT&T assistant vice president of cloud.
Me, Light Reading:
Cisco said Wednesday it is eliminating 5,500 positions, 7% of its workforce, as part of an ongoing shift to recurring, software-based revenue models and the cloud.
That’s not as bad as expected. CRN reported Tuesday that Cisco would be laying off 14,000 employees — nearly a fifth of its workforce of 73,000.
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said Wednesday that Cisco plans to reinvest the benefits of the layoffs in its growth businesses — security, Internet of Things, collaboration, next-generation data center and cloud.
Me, Light Reading:
Open source gives startups an opportunity to shoulder big vendors aside by leveraging the cloud to disrupt traditional relationships, says Martin Casado, a pioneering software-defined networking entrepreneur turned venture capitalist.
Investment firm Apollo Global Management is the favored suitor, according to reports.
And speaking of clouds: Arista is confident it can continue business as usual despite the cloud of Cisco litigation hanging over it.
Red Hat has announced a definitive agreement to add API management to its portfolio by acquiring 3Scale. The acquisition adds an important piece to Red Hat’s strategy to build a complete stack for cloud, microservice and other enterprise applications.
Enterprise data centers are on their way to becoming rare beasts, as nearly every enterprise is going to move nearly all their computing to the cloud, Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy said Tuesday.
“In the fullness of time, whether it’s ten years or 20 years, very few companies will own their own data centers, and those that do will have a smaller footprint than they have now,” Jassy said during a presentation at the AWS Summit in Washington, D.C. and streamed live.
The transition will lead to qualitative changes in the enterprise, Jassy said.
Dude, Microsoft is stoked to be partnering with a Los Angeles startup to provide cloud services to help governments ensure marijuana businesses are regulatory compliant.
Kidding aside, this is serious business. Microsoft is partnering with Kind Financial for technology to governments for “seed to sale tracking.”
At its annual WorldWide Developers Conference Monday, Apple laid out a panoply of upgrades to its operating systems for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Most of the upgrades were for consumers, but Apple distributed some nuggets that could prove valuable for enterprises using the cloud for business.
Midokura on Wednesday announced a $20.4 million series B funding round. But even as it banks the bucks, it’s looking at whether private cloud — foundational to Midokura’s business — lacks legs.
Midokura Scores $20.4M Funding for Cloud Networking [Me – Light Reading]
Microsoft Sees AT&T & IBM as Scary Lessons – Report [me – Light Reading]
Microsoft’s board members are worried that its traditional software business could “evaporate” in a few years, and chairman John Thompson wants the company to be more aggressive in its cloud shift, according to a Bloomberg report.
Quentin Hardy at The New York Times:
SAN FRANCISCO — Imagine building an enormous beach resort, maybe the best in the world. Instead of renting the rooms, you charge guests based on the grains of sand they touch. You charge very little per grain, but if they lie on enough of them, it adds up.
That is one way to think about what is going on at the world’s biggest cloud-computing companies.
Good article. Good metaphor.
Finding the Right Home for Cloud Apps | Light ReadingHow finding a home for #cloud apps is like finding a home for … yourself. – ‘s on
Finalists for Light Reading’s Leading Lights award in the category Company of the Year (Private) include cloud vendors, mobile vendors, and a mobile cloud vendor.
Me at Light Reading.