Discussions on book: Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone
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Authors:
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Publication date:
ISBN-10: 0062652508
ISBN-13: 978-0062652508
Pages: 288
Book club: Silicon roller coaster
Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone
So is quantum computing still a viable idea at all? The research in this area doesn't seem to be moving…
Mindstrim.com
at 9pm on 4/7/2018

So is quantum computing still a viable idea at all? The research in this area doesn't seem to be moving fast enough ... At least there seems to be a long, long way to be able to discover parallel universes with quantum computers.

$2.5 billion for Minecraft ... wow ... didn't know that.
Mindstrim.com
at 10pm on 11/7/2017
I wouldn't consider free upgrade to Windows 10 as a favor. In the current competitive landscape it was…
Mindstrim.com
at 10pm on 11/7/2017
It's an interesting idea of battling sexism in video-games as a topic for hackathon.
Mindstrim.com
at 10pm on 11/7/2017
The first part of the book mostly consists of what the author calls meditations on social topics. The…
Mindstrim.com
at 10pm on 11/7/2017

The first part of the book mostly consists of what the author calls meditations on social topics. The author considers himself a "fresh blood" in the management having been with the company for more than 20 years. If you get to the second part of the book, it will shed some light on where Microsoft is heading, towards:

  • Mixed reality
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Quantum computing
The focus on cloud is because it's super profitable economically: On revenue side : You have to pay regular…
Mindstrim.com
at 10pm on 11/7/2017

The focus on cloud is because it's super profitable economically:

On revenue side: You have to pay regular subscription fees forever. It's much more profitable than charging one-time payment for software.

On costs side: Cloud provides huge economy of scale for loud provider. This is why another focus is on quantum computing.

Personal assistant like Cartana is better than human because it's not judgemental. Also it's the best cure…
Mindstrim.com
at 10pm on 11/7/2017

Personal assistant like Cartana is better than human because it's not judgemental. Also it's the best cure for loneliness.

The goal is for consumer to say "I can't live without a personal assistant".

Too much of bloated demagogy, and superficially on technologies themselves. The book could be much more…
Mindstrim.com
at 11pm on 11/7/2017

Too much of bloated demagogy, and superficially on technologies themselves. The book could be much more exciting with a story of a complete turnaround, and "we're pioneering the industry in the areas ..." rather than "we had to ...(eg offer Linux in Azure)". Microsoft has so much resources to even create their version of Linux like Oracle did!

I only use Microsoft Office - standalone version. If Microsoft removes standalone version from offering I…
Mindstrim.com
at 3am on 11/1/2017
  • I only use Microsoft Office - standalone version. If Microsoft removes standalone version from offering I will stop using it. Don't want to be hooked on Office 365 subscription fees forever.
  • Windows 10 seems more convenient than earlier versions, however it loses appeal particularly on security and privacy side:
    • Disk encryption is not offered for free in a standard version of Windows 10
    • Windows 10 doesn't allow you to opt out from collection of usage data by Microsoft
  • Microsoft Surface devices seem expensive to me, closer to Apple price niche and I would currently prefer Apple products in this price niche for reasons including deficiencies of Windows 10 mentioned above.
It was a good move to invite founders of the acquired companies to an executive retreat event, to energize…
Mindstrim.com
at 2am on 11/1/2017
The book particularly mentioned a difficult decision to include Linux OS into Azure offering, while Linux…
Mindstrim.com
at 2am on 11/1/2017

The book particularly mentioned a difficult decision to include Linux OS into Azure offering, while Linux had always been labeled "evil" inside Microsoft.

The decision was really difficult and sensitive for Microsoft as it might indicate their eventual acceptance of Linux superiority over Windows Server in many applications.

Nadella started as a CEO in 2014 and describes in the book his picking up on transformation of the company…
Mindstrim.com
at 3am on 11/1/2017

Nadella started as a CEO in 2014 and describes in the book his picking up on transformation of the company from product-centric (Windows, Office, SQL server, etc) to platform-centric with focus on cloud, mobility and artificial intelligence, including:

  • Azure cloud platform, announced in 2008
  • Surface series of Microsoft's Windows-based laptops and tablets, announced in 2012
  • Windows 10, unveiled to media in 2014
  • Office 365 announced in 2010 (subscription fees making product much more expensive in longer  term - a benefit to customers?)
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning, particularly introduced with Azure

As per the book Microsoft continues catching up on the technology trends and it becomes increasingly challenging for the company due to: many fast-pacing changes going on in the industry, new niches getting quickly occupied by more agile and innovative competitors and new trends shaking the foundation of its business.

I expected some more freshness from Microsoft assuming it by the word Refresh included in the title and…
Mindstrim.com
at 2am on 11/1/2017

I expected some more freshness from Microsoft assuming it by the word Refresh included in the title and instead got bored by the book.

It reminded me something between a b-school text book on organizational culture and classical corporate kumbaya (even while Nadella emphasized the writing not being a kumbaya). I'm still uncertain what target audience of this book was intended to be: employees, clients, board or broader public.

I wanted to learn from the book, and learned little. Giving the book two remaining stars for being a historical account with some facts on the current phase in Microsoft history.