At Microsoft’s annual shareholder meeting, ex-CEO and largest individual shareholder, Steve Ballmer, said that he feels Windows phones should run on Android apps. He was also unhappy at the way the company reported its financial performance.
During the same meeting, present CEO Satya Nadella was asked about the lack of key apps on the Windows Mobile operating system. He responded by talking about the Windows universal applications, which he felt would be enough to appeal to developers. Universal applications would allow developers to create applications for a variety of devices such as computers, phones, tablets and more, than just for Microsoft’s phones, which have a very small percentage of the mobile market. However, Ballmer disagreed with this idea, stating that it "won’t work". Instead, he feels that the company needs to enable Windows Phones "to run Android apps." Last month, it was reported that Microsoft’s Project Astoria was put on hold. Project Astoria allowed for emulation of Android apps on Windows Phone. The reason for this was the controversial nature of the project as not only did it make pirating an app easy, but also undercut Windows developers, who would have no reason to create native apps.
Microsoft also reported an annual revenue run rate, or analysed sales figure from a particular point of business, for its commercial cloud business, instead of its actual revenue. He called the use of run rate as “bullshit”, and said, “They should report the revenue, not the run rate.” He feels that this disclosure is important because, while gross margins for software are very high, they are very low for hardware and software services. Microsoft’s General Manager for Investor Relations, Chris Suh, said, “We enjoy a regular dialogue with Steve, and welcome his input and feedback, as we do from our other investors.”
In October, a tweet from Ballmer himself revealed that he owned a 4% stake in Twitter. This made him the third biggest individual shareholder in the company, even more than Twitter’s Co-Founder and CEO, Jack Dorsey. Based on Twitter’s $21 billion market value, Ballmer’s stake is worth more than $800 million.
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