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For years Microsoft has used a employee ranking system. Which former employees at Microsoft say the ranking system was competitive. CEO Steve Ballmer is trying to make Microsoft a more team like environment ahead of his retirement.This new system is going to be a big change for employees at Microsoft.
Microsoft HR chief Lisa Brummel mentions in the memo-"This is a fundamentally new approach to performance and development designed to promote new levels of teamwork and agility for breakthrough business impact"
If I was to look around my desks where I'm typing this news, I have a Nexus 5, LG G2, and both Nexus 7 tablets - last years model, and this years - I'm a tech addict like most of you out there. But just how many smartphones are out in the wild right now? Around 1.9 billion, which is expected to blow out to a huge 5.6 billion devices in 2019.
5.6 billion smartphones is a mammoth number, with the estimation coming from communications technology company, Ericsson. According to Ericsson's latest quarterly report, 55% of all handsets sold worldwide were smartphones, even though smartphones represent just 25-30% of all active mobile phone subscriptions.
But, over the next 6 years, we should see smartphone adoption hitting 60% of all mobile phone subscriptions. This means that of the 9.3 billion phones in use by 2019, 5.6 billion (or over half) of them will be smartphones. The biggest reason for this is going to be the emerging markets like China and India, and I personally think another big push is going to be Android 4.4 KitKat, which has much lower minimum requirements - which will push smartphone technology into cheaper smartphones, and help drive sales in emerging markets, in droves.
After a first day of trading that can only be called a smashing success, Twitters stock price has saw a slight dip in trading on Friday. Yesterday the stock opened at $45.10 per share with an initial transaction for more than 11 million shares, but the market has been less kind to Twitter today with the stock hovering around $42 per share all day.
While a five percent drop in price on the second day of trading may seem like a big deal, this was actually expected by many market analyst, and is not an uncommon event for newly listed companies. The real tell tell signs will come next Thursday and if the stock has managed to stay in the $40-45 or higher range.
While we are on the subject of the financial markets, you might remember that earlier this week, OCZ, saw its stock take a nosedive towards the bottom. With the release of a new SSD that has been met with good reviews, it appears that some investors have renewed confidence in the SSD manufacturer. Today the stock is up around $0.85 per share which represents a rebound of over 90-percent since Tuesday.
Microsoft doesn't really need Windows Phone sales to explode overnight when its generating an estimated $2 billion from Android sales, for, well, doing nothing. Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund has estimated that Microsoft is pulling in all that revenue each year from Google thanks to patent royalties from Android vendors.
The analyst adds that Microsoft's margin on Android-based patent royalties is a hefty 95%, which would mean that Microsoft's truck load of billions of dollars each year is pure, golden profit. Sherlund also says that Microsoft is using the cash piles it's making from Google's mobile OS to patch up the massive losses that its Xbox division creates each year, which is around $2 billion per year according to Sherlund.
Is this yet another step in the right direction for Microsoft? It would seem so: Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, is in Germany at the moment, where he joined Christian P. Illek, chairman of Microsoft Germany's managing board, where they opened up a new facility in Germany.
The new facility is built in the historic building "Unter den Linden 17," which is a massive 3,000 square meter building that has been converted into a technology hub that is primed at getting customers, businesses partners, the media, startups, and the community better acquainted. The new facility includes a "Digital Eatery" which is a consumer lounge on the first floor that invites visitors to come in and try out Microsoft's latest and greatest products.
Ballmer said: "We've always believed that technology creates opportunities for people and organizations to achieve their dreams. Right now, we are incredibly passionate about delivering the next generation of high value activities through devices and services that people love and organizations need all over the world. The Microsoft Berlin Innovation Center provides a unique environment to foster innovation, forge new partnerships with entrepreneurs and exchange ideas with our customers."
Apple may have lost hundreds of billions of dollars from its market cap, but that doesn't stop them from continuing on to be one of the strongest brands on the planet. Forbes has rated Apple as the world's most valuable brand, above some of the biggest names in the world.
Apple beat Google, Microsoft, IBM and Coca-Cola to be the world's most valuable brand, with Forbes stating that Apple's brand is worth $104.3 billion, double that of second place, which happens to be Microsoft. Forbes does note that Samsung is rising quite quickly up the chart, which "had the strongest one-year gain of any brand in the top 100" which is up 53% from last year. Nokia has sunk, by a massive 55% since last year, with BlackBerry disappearing off the top 100 list completely.
Lenovo has posted up its results for its second fiscal quarter, which ended on September 30. Revenue for the three-month period sat at $9.8 billion, which is a 13% increase year-over-year. Lenovo also saw its second quarter profit grow very quickly, with pre-tax income growing up 30% year-over-year to $265 million.
Earnings also increased, a nice 36% year-over-year to around $220 million. The biggest news here is just how many devices Lenovo sold in the quarter, which was a hefty 29 million devices, which equates to around 4 devices sold, every single second. This has helped Lenovo keep its 'world's largest PC vendor' statement for the second quarter running, with the highest-ever quarterly market share of 17.7%, which is up 2% year-over-year.
This morning Twitter launched its long awaited and highly anticipated Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange. Carrying the stock symbol, TWTR, the company went public at the opening bell which was rang by Sir Patrick Stewart himself. Twitter set its opening price to $26 per share, but that did not last very long.
Just seconds after opening, Twitter saw the opening transaction trade with 11 million of its offered 70 million shares sell for over $45 each. This effectively valued Twitter to be worth approximately $25.4 billion, which makes the total IPO to be roughly 1/10th of what the company is valued at. When the day is over and all 70 million shares are gone, Twitter will have raised more than $1.82 billion. While that number is far lower than the $16 billion Facebook raised, I suspect that Twitter will have far less fallout from its IPO than Facebook did.
At the time of this writing, Twitter is trading at $45.30 per share which is up almost 74-percent since the opening bell. How high the stock will rise is anyone's guess. I will update this post with a follow-up when the markets close today at 4pm, so bookmark this page and check back around 5pm for the latest update on how Twitter's IPO went.
A research note was posted by Normura analyst, Rick Sherlund, who The New York Times described as Goldman Sachs' "point person' for its work with Microsoft, and someone who is a longtime friend of Bill Gates.
Sherland wants Microsoft to dive out of its unprofitable search, and gaming businesses, he explained: "We estimate Microsoft has lost $17 billion with Bing over the past 10 years. It may be concerning to watch Google give away its Android operating system... but this is a superior business model... it is not important that Microsoft receive $5 or $10 billion for Bing ... but rather that it eliminate about 20 cents per share in annual losses."
What do you think? Losing billions upon billions of dollars just isn't good, and in the long run, I truly don't see Bing ever competing with Google. It's the same with Apple trying to compete with Google's search, even if they pumped $20 billion into it, I don't see Google being taken over.
Earlier this week, BlackBerry announced that its CEO, Thorsten Heins, would be stepping down as the company takes itself off the market and looks to rebuild with a $1 billion investment. While Heins departure might be just what the company needs, it is always sad to see the head of a company leave something he poured his life into.
In a letter pinned to employees this week, Heins has expressed is gratitude to "BlackBerry team members," and said that he feels John Chen will make an excellent choice for interim CEO. He went on to conclude the letter by stating that he is "BlackBerry's biggest fan, and would continue cheering on the company from the sidelines. The memo also states that BlackBerry will be hosting a town hall later this week to address employee concerns, and answer any questions they may have.