WOES: A catchy new acronym for Windows, Office, Exchange, and SharePoint, and Microsoft’s new willingness to play with others

Icons for Windows, Office, Exchange, and SharePoint, captioned with 'WOES: Windows - Office - Exchange - SharePoint'

WOES, a clever coinage for the suite of technologies essential to TPS report writers everywhere — Windows, Office, Exchange, and SharePoint — is the creation of Brent Simmons, who developed the iOS note-taking software Vesper with John “Daring Fireball” Gruber, and before that, the notable Mac applications NetNewsWire and MarsEdit, both of which have been passed on to other developers.

Simmons came up with WOES while writing about his take on Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, who comes from the Server and Tools Business (STB) group, and was a key player in Microsoft’s cloud play with Azure. Here’s the relevant excerpt, where he coins WOES while talking about Microsoft’s new willingness to play well with others:

Creating services for iOS apps doesn’t sound at all like the Microsoft I used to know. Using Node.js and JavaScript doesn’t sound like that Microsoft. The old Microsoft would create services for their OSes only and you’d have to use Visual Studio.

There’s still a lot of the old Microsoft there, the Windows, Office, Exchange, and Sharepoint (WOES) company. It’s most of the company by far, surely. (I just made up the acronym WOES. It fits.)

But in the Azure group, at least, there’s recognition that Microsoft can’t survive on lock-in, that those days are in the past.

Even if you don’t choose to use Microsoft’s cloud services, I hope you can agree on two things: that competition is good, and that Azure’s support-everything policy is the best direction for the future of the company.

I can’t properly mention TPS reports in an article on Hump Day without including that scene from Office Space, so enjoy:


Musical Chairs at Microsoft: Satya Nadella is now CEO, John Thompson is Chairman, and Bill Gates is putting in more time

microsoft musical chairs

It’s not much of a surprise, given all the leaks last week, but it’s official now: Satya Nadella is Microsoft’s new CEO, replacing Steve Ballmer, who’s held the position since January 2000. According to Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, Nadella’s first day is today, February 4th, and Steve Ballmer’s stepping down is effective immediately.

ceo satya nadella

Microsoft is retooling to become a “devices and services” company, and key to that second word — services — is the cloud. They’ve been doing “cloud” well before the term became popular, going back to the days of services like Passport (later Live, now “Microsoft account”) and Hotmail, and now Azure, on which big services like Xbox Live, Bing, and Office 365 now run. Nadella’s background as the president of the Server and Tools Business division as well as the key role he played in moving the company’s tools and technology towards Azure were likely significant factors in his selection.

The practical upshot for mobile and mobile management: A CEO who lives and breathes the cloud means that there will likely be an emphasis on cloud-based services like Office 365, cloud-based Exchange, and the management tool Intune, as well as deeper forays into the business of BYOD and MDM. Less certain is how they’ll do on the devices half of the equation — we have yet to see who’ll play devices yin to Nadella’s services yang.

My former coworker Jeff Sandquist (he’s now Twitter’s head of developer and platform relations) points out: “one positive impact for Microsoft employees will be incredibly well designed internal t-shirts. Satya always made sure of that [for the Server and Tools Business]”, and he’s right — I always tried to get one of their shirts when I was there:

server cloud tools t-shirt

Bill Gates will step down as Chairman and cede the position to this gentleman, who led Microsoft’s search for a new CEO:

chairman john thompson

John W. Thompson is the CEO of Virtual Instruments, and before that, he was the CEO of Symantec (during which time he was the only African-American leading a major tech company). The Obama administration considered him for the position of Commerce Secretary.

products and tech - bill gates

Bill Gates may be stepping down as Chairman, but he’s stepping up his role within the company, devoting more time to “supporting Nadella in shaping technology and product direction”. Gates did try to push a couple of ideas that the company eventually gave up on, including the early Tablet PC and smartwatches.

this article also appears in the GSG blog


InformationWeek’s “Mobile Insecurity” infographic

InformationWeek’s 2013 Mobile Security Survey (which you can download in exchange for registering for free at their site) has some statistics that are cause for concern, what with:

  • 54% of the respondents surveyed saying that there was no passcode-lock requirement for mobile devices that accesses enterprise data, resources, or networks,
  • 61% of the respondents said that they weren’t using MDM, and
  • 45% saying that they had some kind of data-loss incident in the past 12 months, and of them, 11% said that they had to disclose that such an incident occurred.

They’ve summarized the results of the survey in an easy-to-read, easy-to-share infographic, and we’ve posted it below:


this article also appears in the GSG blog