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英语新闻:微软正式步入中年

2015-04-09    来源:财富中文网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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英语新闻:微软正式步入中年

英语新闻:

While you were running Saturday errands, the world’s biggest software company celebrated its 40th birthday. Yes, seriously.

In a letter sent to employees, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (still a technical advisor) predicts computing will evolve more quickly over the next decade than ever but is still too far out of reach for many people.

“So I hope you will think about what you can do to make the power of technology accessible to everyone, to connect people to each other, and make personal computing available everywhere even as the very notion of what a PC delivers makes its way into all devices,” he wrote.

Of course, there are literally dozens if not hundreds of other companies—both large and small—that would love to solve that problem at Microsoft’s expense.

Mere toddlers like collaboration software upstart Slack, flirting with a $2 billion valuation, are challenging its dominance in productivity software.

Twenty-something Amazon Web Services and teenager Google are making things tough in the data center realm. And despite itsexpensive Nokia investment, Microsoft can’t seem to get more people to trade in their Apple and Samsung smartphones.


As it enters its fifth decade, does Microsoft have the energy to combat competition on so many different fronts? That’s up to company’s third CEO, Satya Nadella. After spending his early days rightsizing the company (the last round of Microsoft’s biggest layoff ever was apparently completed last week), he is busy acting as different from his immediate predecessor, Steve Ballmer, as possible.

That’s evidenced in Microsoft’s relationship with Box. “We’re seeing a different Microsoft, and customers are seeking a different Microsoft,” Box CEO Aaron Levie said during Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference last July.

Nadella has already pulled off a few refreshing surprises. Consider the company’s $2.5 billion buyout of the wildly successful Minecraft developer last September or the January sneak peek at the company’s virtual reality interface, HoloLens.

Officially speaking, the upcoming Windows 10 launch, which will be sold under a new subscription mode, will be the first big test of Nadella’s leadership. But in my mind, attracting and retaining the talent to keep Microsoft relevant throughout its fifth decade could be his biggest challenge as CEO. There’s a reason so many people are interested in the new book from Google’s human resources chief.

Nadella’s misguided comments last fall about women in technology didn’t help. That’s why one of the most important strategic decisions early in his tenure came in November, when Nadella promoted Kathleen Hogan from a customer-facing role to run human resources.

Hogan’s resume includes leading the Microsoft services organization; she also was a developer at Oracle and a partner at consulting firm McKinsey. Her mandate: lead Microsoft’s cultural transformation and ensure “Microsoft remains the best, most inclusive place to work.”

errand:n.差使; 差事; 使命

toddler: n.蹒跚行走的人; 幼童装; 学步的幼儿 

realm: n.领域,范围; 王国

rightsize: vt.适当调整…的规模

predecessor: n.前任,前辈; 原有事物,前身

buyout: n.全部买下; 买下(公司或产业)

interface: n.界面; <计>接口; 交界面

(财富中文网)


上周六,当你正享受周末时,全球最大的软件公司正在庆祝自己的40岁生日。

在一封致员工的公开信中,微软联合创始人、目前仍担任该公司技术顾问的比尔•盖茨预计,计算机技术在今后十年的发展速度将比以往任何时候更快,但仍有许多人无法接触到它们。

盖茨写道:“所以我希望你们想想自己能做些什么,来让科技的力量惠及每一个人,将人们互联起来,使个人计算普及到世界各地,正如个人电脑传达的观念影响了所有设备一样。”

显然,只要微软不在乎损失,抢着想解决这个问题的大大小小的公司大有人在。

最年轻一代中的有刚成立几年的团队协作软件公司Slack,其估值已经迅速达到20亿美元,以它为代表的这些新生力量正在挑战微软在生产力软件上的统治地位。

年纪大一些的有“20多岁”的亚马逊网络服务和“十几岁”的谷歌,它们让微软在数据中心业务上的处境日益艰难。尽管微软在诺基亚上投资不菲,但却无力阻止越来越多的人购买苹果和三星智能手机。

随着微软进入第5个十年,它是否还有精力多线作战,在这么多的领域展开竞争?这取决于该公司第三任首席执行官萨蒂亚•纳德拉。他上任之初便开始优化公司规模(微软史上最大规模的裁员刚刚在上周完成最后一轮),如今他正忙着推行改革,竭力彰显自己跟前任史蒂夫•鲍尔默的不同之处。

微软与Box的关系就体现了这一点。Box公司首席执行官阿隆•列维在去年7月的《财富》科技头脑风暴大会上表示:“我们看到的是一个不同的微软,顾客也期待着一个不同的微软。”

纳德拉已经带来了一些令人眼前一亮的惊喜。微软在去年9月以25亿美元的价格收购了大获成功的游戏《我的世界》的开发商,又在今年1月发布了虚拟现实产品HoloLens。

根据官方说法,即将以全新订阅模式发售的Window 10将会是纳德拉领导能力面临的第一次大考。不过在我看来,在第五个十年里,如何吸引和留住人才,进而保持微软的竞争力,才是纳德拉作为首席执行官面对的最大挑战。如此多的人对谷歌人力资源主管的新书感兴趣,是有原因的。

纳德拉去年秋天对科技界女性的不当言论,可帮不了他(他建议女性不要主动要求加薪)。这也是他为什么要在任期之初的11月就做出一项最为重要的战略决定——将负责客户公关的凯瑟琳•霍根提拔至人力资源部门担任领导。

霍根曾是微软服务部门的负责人,还担任过甲骨文的开发人员以及咨询公司麦肯锡的合伙人。她的任务是:领导微软的文化转型,保证“微软仍是最好、最具包容性的工作场所”。

35年里,微软、苹果和IBM经历了怎样的发展变化?

这张图表来自《经济学人》,直观地显示了从1980年-2015年,三家公司在美国科技板块的市值占比。我们可以看到,在相当长一段时间里,微软与苹果不分轩轾,而2005年开始,苹果向上,微软向下。



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