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三大战略收购有望助微软再度颠覆科技行业

2014-04-14    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

微软现在需要重新审视自己的并购战略,效仿Facebook收购WhatsApp等公司的做法,收购一批新兴技术领域的佼佼者,借此实现自我革新,成为云服务、智能手机和远程会议等新兴领域的创新龙头,重新颠覆科技行业的现有格局。

Microsoft's stock has stagnated as investors have lost faith in the company's plans for its future. After peaking at just under $60 a share in early 2000, Microsoft's stock fell to about $22 later that year and has traded mostly between $25 and $40 a share in the 14 years since then. While revenue and earnings per share have more than tripled since then, the stock price has not followed suit. What Microsoft could do can be answered fairly simply: Take a page out of Facebook's apparent strategy and buy best of breed next generation companies.
由于投资者对微软公司(Microsoft)未来发展丧失了信心,微软股价一直停滞不前。2000年初,微软股价达到峰值,接近60美元,随后当年晚些时候就跌到22美元,此后14年间基本上在25美元到40美元之间徘徊。尽管从那时起微软的营收和每股收益已增长了两倍多,但股价却没能同步上涨。要扭转这个局面,微软其实可以采取一种很简单的做法:实行类似Facebook公司一样明确的战略,收购一批新公司中的佼佼者。

Microsoft can improve its prospects by dominating three areas: Operating systems, development tools and conferencing. It's clear that development is shifting to virtualization and the cloud. Cloud IaaS is becoming the center of gravity for developers. According to The Cloud Market, Linux variants account for over 90% of the applications on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). The EC2 data indicates that a large number of developers prefer developing in Linux for the cloud.
微软可以通过主导三大领域获得更好的发展前景:操作系统、开发工具和远程会议技术。很显然,现在的软件发展趋势正在转向虚拟化和云计算。云端的基础架构即服务(Cloud IaaS)正在成为开发者的重心所在。据The Cloud Market(亚马逊的EC2完整映像目录——译注)估算,亚马逊公司(Amazon)的“弹性云计算”(Elastic Compute Cloud,EC2)上的应用中,基于Linux的各类应用占90%以上。这种情况表明,很多开发者更倾向于基于Linux系统为云端进行开发。

Microsoft (MSFT) is losing many customers by not having a more robust integration with Linux in its cloud. While Microsoft claims to be supportive of Linux, other cloud providers like Amazon (AMZN), VMware (VMW), IBM (IBM) and Salesforce.com (CRM) are actually doing much more to support Linux. If one considers all devices, including smart phones and tablets (the Android Operating System is based on the Linux kernel), Linux's unit share is about twice that of Microsoft Windows. I am not suggesting that Microsoft abandon Windows -- it is still a great product with lots of legs, but I am suggesting that a dual OS strategy would give it an opportunity to:
由于未能在云端与Linux实现密切整合,微软已流失大量客户。尽管微软声称支持Linux,但亚马逊公司、VMware公司、IBM公司和Salesforce公司等云计算供应商实际上支持力度更大。如果把所有设备考虑在内,包括智能手机、平板电脑(Android操作系统实际也是基于Linux内核开发的),Linux的市场份额大约达到了微软Windows的两倍。我并不是要建议微软放弃Windows——它依然是一款功能丰富的卓越产品,我的意思是,如果实施双系统战略,微软将有机会在以下几方面打开局面:

• Compete more effectively on smart phones and tablets
• 在智能手机和平板电脑领域获得更大竞争优势

• Have a cloud offering that all companies could consider for every application
• 提供一款各类企业的所有应用都可采用的云服务

• Offer a lower cost server line that would be appealing
• 提供价格实惠的低价服务器

• Have better retention of its corporate customer base
• 更好地留住企业客户

A way to put a stake in the ground is to buy Linux provider, Red Hat (RHT). With such an acquisition and its deep integration into Microsoft Azure, Microsoft would be well positioned as a leader in IaaS. In addition to Linux, Red Hat has a strong Open Stack player that could leverage open source application programming interfaces as a disruptive, strong alternative to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Such an acquisition would quickly become accretive as Microsoft's reach into the Enterprise Linux workload could accelerate their short-term growth as a Cloud player and propel them into a dominant leadership position in the cloud.
要实现上述目标,第一步重大举措就是收购Linux系统供应商红帽企业软件公司(Red Hat)。通过这笔收购,同时将它与微软云平台Azure深入整合,微软就能成为IaaS领域的领导者。除Linux外,红帽还拥有功能强大的Open Stack(Rackspace和NASA共同开发的云计算平台——译注)平台,可以利用开源应用程序接口打造一种创新而强大的服务,取代亚马逊的网络服务。这起并购很快就能产生价值,因为随着微软深入企业Linux的实际工作领域,可使它作为云计算企业在短期内加快发展,同时推动它成为云计算领域的主导企业。

According to W3Techs, PHP is being used by over 80% of all websites (other estimates have it as low as 50%). PHP's growth continues to accelerate on the backs of the shift to mobile and the rapidly expanding footprint of popular apps like Drupal, Magento and WordPress. Like Linux, it is a dominant tool for the next generation of cloud-based web and mobile applications. Microsoft should recognize the need to be the major player in PHP and acquire the market leader, Zend. I'm not necessarily saying this because Zend is in my firm's portfolio, but rather because I believe the ownership of Zend would re-ignite Microsoft's sway with developers. It also would better enable Microsoft to add features to its cloud offering that would optimize for those choosing to use PHP. This, along with a strong Linux position, would help Microsoft compete more favorably as a cloud provider. By having robust developer value creation strategies for both their traditional .NET base and PHP, Microsoft would be addressing the vast majority of web and mobile development and send a clear signal to the market that the next generation of applications should be built on Microsoft Azure.
据W3Techs称,全球超过80%的网站都使用PHP语言编写(一种HTML内嵌式的语言——译注)(也有测算称,这个比例只有50%)。随着市场开始向移动平台转移,加上Drupal、Magento和WordPress等热门应用快速赢得市场,对PHP的应用还在加速。与Linux类似,它也是下一代基于云的网络和移动应用领域的主要开发工具。微软应该认识到,它必须成为PHP领域的主导者,同时收购这个市场的领军企业Zend公司。并不是因为Zend是本公司的投资对象我才这么说,而是因为我深信,收购Zend可以让微软重新焕发对开发者的影响力。这么做也可以让微软为它的云服务增加更多功能,同时针对使用PHP的用户进行优化。拥有这一实力,同时成为Linux领域的领军企业,将有助于微软成为更有竞争力的云服务供应商。通过为开发者传统的.NET和PHP领域同时确立坚实的价值创造战略,微软将能涉足绝大多数网络和移动开发领域,同时向市场明确传达这个信息,下一代应用应基于微软Azure平台开发。

The third suggested acquisition is a company called Double Robotics. Double offers a remotely controlled, robotic mobile teleconferencing system. A tablet is placed as the head of the robot and it displays the image of the person telecommuting. From anywhere in the world, it allows a user to have a physical presence in the office and speak to co-workers as if he or she were present. Skype is likely to come under attack from a variety of sources and getting out in front with a next generation product like Double would help Microsoft maintain share and increase revenue. Strong sales of this product could help increase Microsoft tablet sales. It would be important for Skype to continue to support the iPad as an option for the Double robot.
第三个建议收购对象是Double Robotics公司。这家公司主要生产远程控制机器人移动电话会议系统。一台平板电脑就是机器人的“头”,它能显示与会者的头像。无论用户置身何处,这套系统都能让他们真切地现身办公室与同事沟通,仿佛本人就在现场。今后Skype很可能将四面楚歌,一旦类似Double这样的创新产品助力微软维持市场份额并增加营收,它就会败走麦城。这款产品热销还有助于微软平板电脑打开销路。而对Skype来说,继续支持iPad,将其作为Double Robotics的备选将至关重要。

These three acquisitions, taken together, would show investors that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is changing the way the company operates by acquiring best of breed companies that position it to offer premier cloud services across all platforms, make its smart phones and tablets more competitive, increase its footprint in the server OS and be the innovator in teleconferencing. Putting this in perspective, Facebook has a lower market cap, less funds and weaker cash flow than Microsoft. Yet Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent $16 billion on WhatsApp fully recognizing the additional customer dominance in social that this provides. The cost of these three companies should be less than $16 billion and yet could have an even larger impact for Microsoft. Such exciting and relevant acquisitions by Microsoft would also likely payback not only in revenue growth but immediately in stock price.
开展这三项收购就能向投资者表明,微软首席执行官萨蒂亚•纳德拉有意通过收购最优质企业革新公司的运营方式,为所有平台提供最佳的云服务,提高微软智能手机和平板电脑的竞争力,在服务器操作系统领域扩大份额,同时成为电话会议领域的创新企业。从这个角度看,Facebook公司的市值、资金和现金流就都不及微软了。然而马克•扎克伯格在充分认识到WhatsApp能有助于进一步巩固Facebook公司在社交领域的统治地位后,却能斥资160亿美元收购该公司。收购上述三家企业应该用不了160亿美元,但却能为微软带来更大的影响力。这类令人振奋又与主业密切相关的收购不仅能让微软营收增长,还有望推动它的股价快速上涨。(财富中文网)

Mike Kwatinetz is a founding general partner at Azure Capital Partners, where he specializes in software and related infrastructure technologies. This post is from his blog, SoundbytesII.
本文迈克•科瓦提勒茨是风投公司Azure Capital Partners的创始一般合伙人。他的主攻方向是软件及相关基础设施技术。本文转自他的博客SoundbytesII。



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