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Microsoft Just Killed The Controversial ‘Stack Ranking’ Review System That Killed Employee Morale (MSFT)

Steve Ballmer Microsoft

More change is coming to Microsoft.

The company just announced that it’s killing the controversial stack-ranking system for employees.

A Microsoft employee told us that while many people will focus on the death of stack-ranking, the bigger story here is that Ballmer is losing power.

Stack-ranking is Ballmer’s system for rating employees. Our source says Lisa Brummel, who runs HR at Microsoft, was never terribly fond of stack ranking.

Now that Ballmer is out, so is stack-ranking.

Stack-ranking was a bad system that caused widespread problems for Microsoft.

Essentially, the way it worked was that Microsoft managers had to rank their employees with a 1-5 ranking. No matter how good the employees were, some of them had to get the low-ranking of a 5. Seeing even good employees get a 5 hurt morale at Microsoft.

There was also a knock-on effect to stack-ranking. Brilliant employees didn’t want to work together. Imagine this: You’re a talented engineer. The best in your group. Do you want to go to another group of talented engineers? Someone in that group is going to get a 5, and it could be you.

If you got a low-ranking, then your earning — For more information read the original article here.

Target Accidentally Sold Xbox One Consoles Early So Microsoft Banned Gamers From Using Them (MSFT)

Microsoft Xbox Live Larry Hryb

A guy known on Twitter as @Moonlightswami was happy to get a package in the mail a few days ago. He had ordered an Xbox One from Target, he said, and, even though the video game console won’t officially be available until November 22, Target shipped his Xbox to him early.

He wasn’t the first one to accidentally get an Xbox One early, reports Evan Narcisse from the gamer blog, Target also sent one to at least one other gamer, known for his eBay name, priceless228.

They weren’t supposed to be able to start using the new Xbox right away. Microsoft is making all Xbox One users connect to the Internet and download some special software before they can play online, Microsoft previously told

But @Moonlightswami was able to connect and get that software and start using his Xbox. He was so excited, he immediately filmed a YouTube video of the new console, and changed his Twitter handle to “#1 Source 4 XBOX ONE.” He tweeted constantly how much he loved his new Xbox.

Seems as if Microsoft could have benefitted from having a few happy, excited Xbox One users — For more information read the original article here.

CHART OF THE DAY: Apple’s Safari Is Crushing Google In Mobile Browser Market Share

mobile browser market share

Android may have 80% of the smartphone market, but Android phone owners don’t seem to be doing much on them.

Specifically, when it comes to mobile Web browsing, Apple’s Safari browser for the iPhone has the largest mobile browser market share by a longshot.

Here’s the breakdown of mobile browser market share from BI Intelligence.

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In The Age Of Twitter, Do We Need Oracle? Larry Ellison Isn’t Sure

Twitter is off to a roaring start this week, closing 70% higher than its IPO price on its first day of trading. This bodes well for Twitter investors, but it may not do any favors to the traditional technology vendors that have minted billions servicing enterprise IT requirements. After all, while Oracle and other technology incumbents like to boast about how “the top five of five mega banks rely on our technology,” in the age of the web giants, the scorecard looks more like “Zero out of all web companies depend upon our technology.”

Are we seeing a changing of the technology guard?

Modern Data Infrastructure: Hadoop And Beyond

According to Cowen & Co. analyst Peter Goldmacher, the answer is “Yes.” While new technologies like Hadoop in some cases simply sustain legacy technology businesses, there is a whole class of applications enabled by such modern data infrastructure that is beyond the legacy vendors. In true Innovator’s Dilemma fashion, they simply make too much money sustaining yesterday’s application workloads to be able to invest fully in modern applications. Quoting Goldmacher at length:

The legacy providers of data management systems have all fallen on hard times over the last year or two, and while many — For more information read the original article here.