Microsoft staff cuts extend to Silicon Valley research lab

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in microsoft on (#2SVB)
story imageAs Satya Nadella's axe continues to fall at Microsoft,
the corporation's Silicon Valley research lab has been the next to succumb to the severe round of staff reductions ongoing this year.
In a move that appears to reflect a new level of urgency to Nadella’s consolidation plans, the Redmond giant has closed one of its flagship engineering facilities and released dozens of world-class scientists into the job market – and the welcoming arms of its competitors. The Mountain View site reportedly employed a team of 75 that focused exploring new applications for distributed computing – the fundamental concept behind the cloud – in areas such as natural language search, data privacy and network security.

But although the lab itself is no longer operational, Microsoft is still clinging to its Silicon Valley research investment. Projects that were ongoing at the time of the termination have been transferred to other research facilitates along with key members of the original team, which indicates that business will continue more or less as usual at those sites for the foreseeable future.
While the cuts were met with stockholder approval, there's speculation Nadella's staff reductions are a strategy of short term gains that will jeopardize the corporation's long term prospects.

Re: A Common Trend (Score: 3, Interesting)

by venkman@pipedot.org on 2014-09-24 04:33 (#2SVS)

I see the opportunity as having two parts.
Part One--
Without touching the command line, manually running post-install scripts, or even using an "App Store", I want to see a distro that:
-My dad can use to run his small business and to look at adult entertainment sites
-My aunt can use to get on Facebook, upload photos and videos from her phone, and watch YouTube
-A college kid can use to write their lab report on in a format that the professor accepts, view their online textbooks and coursework, and on which they can run the specialized app that they need for their Biochem final paper on protein misfolding.

I have made every single one of the above cases work, but it took searching forums, wikis, and man pages. And there are times when once everything is working, a single upgrade can screw it all up due to dependency issues. For this reason, the number of people I convert to Linux is limited by my ability to help them troubleshoot.

Part Two--
Applications that can be a drop-in replacement for what people use on their Windows box. Yes, I know that such-and-such can open .docx (most of the time) and that WINE is pretty good as long as you use the right settings, but the average person does not want to go from what works now on Windows to a land of busted dependencies, abandoned software projects, command line, and constant fiddling to make things work like they did on Windows. A better value would be something that requires less effort, not more.

I love freedom and I love free and open source software. I hate the thought that people who would otherwise support FOSS may give up and stick with Windows due to their inability to get a Linux distro working on the level they would expect from a Windows box. A technically superior product that is harder to use is not a compelling replacement for something that "just works."
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