» Cut once, cut deeply

Mini-Microsoft returns to talk about the layoffs:

So if this truly drags on for a year: we need a new leader. This needs to be wrapped up by the end of July. 2014.

A year seems like a long time to conduct this unless Nadella means people are going to be notified their jobs are being eliminated within the year. I worked somewhere substantially smaller that laid off one-fifth of its workforce. Some people were told their jobs were being eliminated but offered better packages to stay until the end date.

One wants to think these things are one-time and that there will be an “All Clear” signal as Mini-Microsoft puts it. But the only thing that really signals “All Clear” isn’t the words of management, it’s the success of the business.

» Microsoft laying off 18,000

Satya Nadella in a much more to-the-point memo:

The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce. With this in mind, we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year.

12,500 will come from Nokia and, oh, those Android phones?

In addition, we plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows.

The rest, one assumes, will be discontinued.

Making sense of Apple and IBM

An Apple and IBM partnership makes sense in the same way Apple selling its products through Walmart makes sense. Apple defended selling through Walmart by saying “Their stores are where ours aren’t.” The kinds of large enterprises where IBM has a presence are the places where Apple has the least penetration. iPads and iPhones are probably present in the executive offices and the sales force, but less so in other departments where central IT rules with impunity.

My corporate IT past makes me twitch involuntarily when thinking of the kind of apps IBM is going to produce, but parts of IBM have already been producing iOS apps for years. I used at least one of them in my corporate days and while it was no Castro or Tweetbot, it was pretty good for an enterprise app.

The other thing is, this doesn’t have to be the permanent solution. It’s possible this relationship is to Apple’s enterprise push as the Motorola Rokr was to the iPhone. Learn, then make it your own way.

I suppose you could make the case that a failure would make corporations even more sour on Apple, but I don’t doubt they’ll like the products. I’d wonder more about IBM’s apps and services but, then, these are already IBM customers. Maybe it won’t turn out to be as huge as Apple and IBM hope, but I still don’t see how it’s anything but upside for them.

» Overcast

Get your “Where’s the Android version?” jokes ready because Marco Arment has shipped Overcast, his podcast listening app. Free to download and use, with a $4.99 in-app purchase to unlock the more advanced features.

» ‘Apple and IBM Team Up to Push iOS in the Enterprise’

Arik Hesseldahl for Re/code details a pretty historic partnership that could be big for Apple:

“We’re good at building a simple experience and in building devices,” Cook said. “The kind of deep industry expertise you would need to really transform the enterprise isn’t in our DNA. But it is in IBM’s.”

» All the iWatches

Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty says Apple could sell 30 to 60 million iWatches in the first year.

Now, it might seem ridiculous to try to predict how many of a thing we know nothing about will sell, but it’s simple, really. You just take the total number of watches ever sold ever, take the cosine (always take the cosine… take it AND RUN AND NEVER STOP RUNNING), adjust for inflation, apply the least squares method (because only squares wear smartwatches) and then — and this is the part people always forget — take back  one kadam to honor the Hebrew God, whose iWatch this is.

Something, something, digging in the wrong place, something, something, bad dates and, yeah, you get numbers somewhere between zero million and 1,000 million. So she’s in the ballpark.

» ‘Microsoft’s New CEO Needs An Editor’

Jean-Louise Gassée gets to my real complaint about Satya Nadella’s message last week:

Satya Nadella is an unusually intelligent man, a Mensa-caliber intellect, well-read, he quotes Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, and Rainer Maria Rilke. Why, then, does he repeatedly break basic storytelling rules?

Two possible explanations come to mind.

First, because he’s intelligent and literate, he forgot to use an unforgiving editor. …

Second, and more likely, Nadella speaks in code.

Ben Thompson, on the other hand, had a more positive view of the email. My problem with Thompson’s defense is that almost all his high points come from reading between the lines, not things that Nadella said directly. Maybe the message resonated with Microsoft employees (and past employees like Thompson), but it didn’t work at all outside that group. That being the case, it shouldn’t have been publicly released. Maybe they figured it would have gotten out anyway and wanted to get ahead of it, but as a grand strategy statement it’s in dire need of an editor.

» Sponsor: Photo Book Flip for iPad

My thanks to Photo Book Flip for iPad for sponsoring the Very Nice Web Site RSS feed this week. Photo Book Flip is delightful and easy to use. What a great way to show your photos. Easily worth your 99 cents. Here’s developer Justin Lee to tell you about it:

Six months ago I was reading Kinfolk, a culture and lifestyle magazine with lots of beautiful photos. Flipping through it was a really delightful experience. Then it came to me, what if I could flip through my own photos as if they were a beautiful photo magazine, say on my iPad? And even better, what if I didn’t have to organize and layout the photos?

And that was the beginning of Photo Book Flip. After five months of design and development, the app has finally come to life. Photo Book Flip instantly turns the photos on your iPad into a beautiful digital photo book with a single tap. Inspired by photo-centric magazines like Kinfolk and beautiful cookbooks like Mast Brothers Chocolate and Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee, the page layout features a minimalist design to spotlight your moments. And just like the iBooks app, as you flip each page, you’ll also see what’s behind the page as if it was a real book.

We think Photo Book Flip lets you experience your photos in a delightful and different way. Like what physical photo albums do, we created this app to celebrate the wonderful memories and moments in everyone’s life.

Find it on the App Store at a limited-time introductory price of $0.99 and learn more on our website. We think you’re going to like it. Please check it out, and let us know how we can make it better.

Sponsored via Syndicate Ads

» ‘On Working From Home and Running a Business’

Some really solid advice from Shawn Blanc. My wife and I have been running home businesses for a couple of years now and managing cash flow is our biggest problem. Turns out it’s hard to adjust to the ebb and flow of income after having had a steady and consistently increasing one all my adult life. You have to learn to spend to the low points, not the high points.

Fortunately, I’m pretty much unemployable at this point so there’s no turning back.

» ‘Despite a Pledge by Samsung, Child Labor Proves Resilient’

Turns out the New York Times can investigate companies other than Apple. Who knew?

After work, the three teenage girls giggle and pull at one another’s hair. But when questioned, they admit their common secret: They use false papers to work illegally here at the factory that makes mobile phone components for one of the world’s biggest brands, Samsung.