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7/26/2014
08:36 AM
Michael Endler
Michael Endler
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Microsoft's Nadella: More Than Talk

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella proves he can be a man of action with the biggest layoff in company history and other concrete steps to reshape Microsoft. Now what?

Microsoft Office For iPad Vs. iWork Vs. Google
Microsoft Office For iPad Vs. iWork Vs. Google
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

They say talk is cheap, but that's not necessarily true if you're Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Microsoft stock is up more than 20% since he took over in February and has reached heights never attained under predecessor Steve Ballmer. Microsoft released lots of products during that period, but if you look at what people were really responding to -- at the things for which Nadella was responsible -- it was Nadella's language.

Now it's more than talk. With the announcement of 18,000 layoffs, Nadella has shifted into action. He's no longer reshaping, tweaking, and re-contextualizing what Steve Ballmer left behind, or making the sorts of moves that can remain invisible to outside observers. He's now begun remaking Microsoft according to his vision, and in so doing he's moved to a new stage of leadership, one where actions will increasingly speak louder than words.

It's a big step up from his early days as CEO. Nadella's been justly praised, but it's hard to know how much different Microsoft's product line would look if Ballmer were still in charge. On his way out, the former CEO reportedly gave the go-ahead on Office for iPad, for example, and one assumes Microsoft would have continued to beef up Azure under Ballmer, just as it has under Nadella. That's not to say Nadella hasn't exerted his authority. He reportedly axed the Surface Mini at the eleventh hour, and a lot of the cloud momentum Nadella's currently hyping stems from work he oversaw in earlier roles.

[Does Satya Nadella have Microsoft back on track? Read Microsoft Faces 4 Big Challenges.]

Still, almost everything Microsoft released during Nadella's early reign was already well into development under Ballmer. Nadella didn't bring new products; he brought new packaging for those products, new strategic sensibilities, and a new business vocabulary. His poetic delivery and hipster attire contrast sharply with Ballmer's salesmanship and bombast, a PR victory all by itself.

But by early July, Nadella's rhetoric had begun to grow repetitive. He'd been recycling key talking points to developers, partners, and other key constituencies as he wound his way through Microsoft conferences and events. A recent press tour engendered a lot of goodwill. But as his description of a cloud-driven world full of personalized digital experiences grew more familiar, the topics he wasn'taddressing became more obvious.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Before the layoffs, Nadella appeared almost pre-emptive in his references to first-party smartphones and tablets, for example. They were normally limited to enthusiastic platitudes about the Pro 3, or vague intentions to integrate Nokia and build the Windows Phone market, with help from partners. He seemed to bring up devices, not only to assure audiences that Microsoft hadn't forgotten about its challenges, but also to stop the conversation before it started.

Layoffs seemed inevitable; Microsoft was already undergoing a restructuring effort when Ballmer stepped down, and in absorbing Nokia's device business Microsoft took in some skills overlap that had to be consolidated. But it did not seem inevitable that Nadella would enact the largest job reduction in company history. Even not counting the Nokia layoffs, 5,500 other job cuts -- which included changes to the Windows team and its testing process -- constitute Microsoft's second-biggest layoff ever. It's not clear if these efforts to make

 

Michael Endler joined InformationWeek as an associate editor in 2012. He previously worked in talent representation in the entertainment industry, as a freelance copywriter and photojournalist, and as a teacher. Michael earned a BA in English from Stanford University in 2005 ... View Full Bio
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heartpuppy
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heartpuppy,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/1/2014 | 10:08:03 AM
Re: Let's be a little more serious about the word 'action.'
Wipro Limited (formerly Western India Products Limited) is a giant Indian contractor.   

check out www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/pdf/H-1B_Selected_Statistics_FY2014_Q1.pdf

Currently it alone has 10,000 H1b visa labor in the US.  Over the past 15 years, all the Indian contractor giants imported ~1000,000 Indians into the US to occupy and "upgrade" American's IT brain.

BTW, Chase was hacked last week.  What does Chase, Target, Ebay, Michaels, SuperValu, Healthcare.gov, California healthcare exchange have in common?  They all laid off their American workers and outsourced their IT department to Indians and India; and they all were breached or failed miserably.   Admit it, Indians don't care about American information security and American jobs.  They care about money.

An Indian guru came to an American saying: You are dumb.  Let me replace your brain with a new IQ=200 brain...  For rupees!    Does American take him up on his generous offer?   Yeah, it's hugely embarrassing, but we did.
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Moderator
8/31/2014 | 10:32:38 PM
Re: Let's be a little more serious about the word 'action.'
@heartpuppy,

Wow I've heard of Wipro before & didn't know they're offshore. I just checked their website to see what they specialize in. They claim to have over 143k employees. That seems a little exaggerated but probably not since they're publicly traded. Interesting.
heartpuppy
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heartpuppy,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/27/2014 | 11:19:46 PM
Re: Let's be a little more serious about the word 'action.'
Check out this org:  connect-goal.com/

 

They claim that the growth of legal outsourcing industry in India is exponential.
 Very likely it's true: google "india legal outsourcing". You will find lots of good in-depth coverage, some from NYT.
 Yet no one is raising alarms, likely because the lawyers have the same sense of security and complacency as the software engineers 10 years ago.   If they saw what happened to the American software engineers and connected the dots, they'd probably think twice about this "exponential" outsourcing of this key American industry central to American democracy.

Microsoft also outsource its IP legal department. google "wipro microsoft outsource IP".  It has become a zombie American brand with 80 billion dollar cash to be robbed blind by its suave PPT masters and turned into a giant cuckoo hatchery.  Same fate as befallen Cisco, check out Cisco's recent announcement (bradreese blog: every division with falling or stagnant sales and apparently preparing to sack the survivor nonIndian engineering leader of one of the few growth divisions).   Entire America will suffer the same fate if unchecked.

 

 
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Moderator
8/25/2014 | 6:58:45 PM
Re: Let's be a little more serious about the word 'action.'
@heartpuppy,

Wow I didn't know about the legal outsourcing. That's a little odd, isn't it?
heartpuppy
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heartpuppy,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/19/2014 | 5:49:18 PM
Re: Let's be a little more serious about the word 'action.'
I don't think most Americans understand how dangerously critical the IT situation is.   It's not just a job issue, IT only has 2 million jobs and it's already 50% Indian occupied through the H1b abuse.   The critical problem comes from the dried up American talent pipeline and the national security issue down the road.   We are seeing IT drastically transforming every traditional industry( including policing, military, health, accounting and law).   Yet we are writing off our own young's future and allowing our IT to be taken over by a foreign force with secret agenda, and who has no regard for American values of democracy and equality.   

I'm also concerned about the now widespread practice of low end legal process outsourcing into India.   I antipate a day when Indian law school grads will be taking American bar exams and begin practicing as American lawyers (using the IT game plan to squeeze out next generation of American lawyers).   When the Indian lawyers reach a critical mass, they will be able to defend and legitimize this giant take-over of American democracy, which began with exporting millions of entry-level white collar jobs, now into the stage of a quiet IT take-over without resistance, to end with the take-over of American law, legislature and government.


Their game plan is brilliantly and discretely executed judging from the general lack of American awareness.  I got to admire their audacity.   Back to Microsoft, the rounds of layoffs are still ongoing.   Watch Cisco (recently announcing another round of layoff of 6000 people) for a taste of Microsoft's future.  Cisco is in advanced stages of layoff-worldwide-hire-Indians-at-the-same-time and its cash hoard of 50 billion (mostly offshore) dollars will be raided by its Indian cadres, who are clamoring for the Indian CTO to be promoted to the CEO spot.
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Moderator
8/19/2014 | 5:22:41 PM
Re: Let's be a little more serious about the word 'action.'
@heartpuppy,

I think most people see it & understand what's going on. They just feel powerless. Even worse, they choose NOT to speak out for fear of retribution.
heartpuppy
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heartpuppy,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/1/2014 | 9:07:06 AM
Re: Let's be a little more serious about the word 'action.'
Sorry my tone is not always the nicest.  The way this critical industry is going, is going to be a massive national insecurity issue.  The way the American young nerds are being shoved under the bus while experienced American nerds are being squeezed out the industry, and everyone seems not to see it.   That does upset me.

If Microsoft is turned into a 100% cuckoo hatchery, American IT, even global IT will be undefendable from this brood of hypocritical, racist, nepotistic, self-serving cuckoos.
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Moderator
7/31/2014 | 11:41:22 PM
Re: Let's be a little more serious about the word 'action.'
@heartpuppy,

I was referring to your tone more than the content of your message. It came off to me that you were upset with MSFT, which is why I asked if there was a reason why. I didn't say anything you mentioned was inaccurate.
heartpuppy
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heartpuppy,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/31/2014 | 9:41:45 PM
Re: Let's be a little more serious about the word 'action.'
am I aggressive because i said anything false?

I thought the facts are pretty clear.  The way this layoff is conducted is very strange.  

fact 1: Microsoft has 80 billion dollar cash.

fact 2: Microsoft continues to employ 90000 contractors including Tata consulting services, Infosys, Wipro and HCl, all giant Indian contractors hijacking the H1b visa program for many years in a massive way.  Only 1 month ago Microsoft renewed an IT contract with Infosys.   Apparently Microsoft laid-off techies are not given a chance to retrain to take care of their own IT.

fact 3: giant Indian contractors imported 1 million H1b IT experts into the US in the last 15 years, where the entire marketplace only has spots for 2 million IT jobs.  What happened to the 1 million American IT workers replaced by the H1b visa labors?  They trained their replacement and faded into unemployment or became real estate agent.  those trying to stay in software industry,  are turned down by Indian hiring managers as "overqualified", "poor culture fit", "too old".

fact 4: Computer Science majors in many American schools are occupied by Indian students.   American grads from respectable American universities could not compete with new Indian grads in the IT workplace.  why?  Indian grads could get into a contractor job easily through one of those giant Indian contract firms, given on-the-job training, their career made by getting on one of the ladders under the protective wings of Indian hiring managers and middle managers, maybe even Mr Nadella himself.   American grads get none of these perks, they are just laughed out interviews by the Indian managers, called inexperienced, poor culture fit, stupid and lazy.

fact 5: the way Satya did his grand job cuts: It's protracted, painful and encourages infighting among nonIndian permanent workforce; at the same time it left the 90,000 contractor workers nearly intact.   Mark my words, in a few months, there will be a giant backdoor opened for these Indian temp workers to become full time employees (without pesky interviews that kept so many American grads out of Microsoft) or a giant push to outsource to India.   It's such an old trick used by Cisco, Ebay, VMware & Qualcomm and other tech companies.  It's unmistakably effective, as these companies' engineering departments are now almost completely Indian.

 

fact 6: rumor says entire teams of Indian testing engineers under Indian managers received the coveted promotion to become software engineers (under the curren testing-development job role integration reorg).   Because these are already often 90% Indian teams, they compete only with each other in performance and have nothing to fear but trust that the Great One has their back.  So while everyone else fear for their jobs, the Indians at Microsoft are enjoying gyms, relaxation ,defacto promotions and office politics' spoils.   They are eagerly awaiting the next stage of takeover, where they could become 100% of Microsoft, to inherit the empire and its cash hoard.

American IT industry is besieged by Indian invaders on every front.   Currently at occupation rate of 50%, Indians are 30-40% Microsoft's permanent engineering workforce; more Indians than Americans are employed in IBM; Cisco,Qualcomm's engineering are nearly completely occupied by Indians.  Go take a look at VMWare and Cisco's headquarters and many IT departments for financial/insurance industries, and then tell me if I'm too aggressive in pointing out the quiet IT invasion or simply telling the facts as it is.

In another 10 years at this rate, the occupation rate will go from 50% to 100%.   Now when Indian contractor CGI screwed up Obamacare website,  there are still Google's engineers to the rescue.  In another 10 years, the way Indians keep importing more H1b experts, there will be NO nonIndian software engineer to be found.   Send an email, visit some website, some Indian big brother will be sniffing on the network, you will never know.   80+% executives in Indian companies admitted to using network monitoring, bugging, and employing spies on their competitors.   I do not expect that they will change their stripes when the imported Indians became the 100% Lords of America's information system.
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Moderator
7/29/2014 | 10:48:23 PM
Re: Let's be a little more serious about the word 'action.'
@heartpuppy,

Did you work from MSFT in the past? Why the aggression?
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