LinkedIn gets lucky

lucky pantsSeveral readers have asked for my take on Microsoft’s purchase this week of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion — a figure some think is too high and others think is a steal. I think there is generally more here than meets the eye.

Microsoft definitely needed more presence in social media if it wants to be seen as a legit competitor to Google and Facebook. Yammer wasn’t big enough. LinkedIn fits Redmond’s business orientation and was big enough to show that Satya Nadella isn’t afraid to open up the BIG CHECKBOOK.

A simple financial analysis of the deal shows LinkedIn was way cheaper at $59 per registered member than buying Facebook for $329+ per member (if Microsoft […]

The mainframe is dead. Long live the mainframe!

mainframeZRumors are flying within IBM this week that the z Systems (mainframe) division is up for sale with the most likely buyer being Hitachi. It’s all a big secret, of course, because IBM management doesn’t tell IBM workers anything, but the idea is certainly consistent with Big Blue’s determination to cut costs and raise cash for more share buybacks. And the murmurs are simply too loud to be meaningless. Think of this news in terms of a statement made last week by an IBM senior executive: “In a world of Cloud Computing, it does not matter what equipment or whose hardware the cloud runs on. We are a Cloud company…”

This move by IBM would not […]

What does Bill Gates know about raising chickens?

chickBill Gates is a blogger, did you know that? His blog is called Gates Notes and generally covers areas of interest not only to Bill but also to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which means there’s more coverage of malaria than Microsoft. His latest post that a reader pointed out to me today is about raising chickens, which Bill says he’d do if he was a poor woman in Africa.

I’ll wait while you follow the link to read the post, just don’t forget to come back. And while you are there be sure to watch the video…

For those who don’t bother to read the post, BillG thinks […]

My first Seeking Alpha post ran today

IMG_0826 (1)I know many readers are tired of my (too) many columns about IBM. So I won’t be posting the latest one here at all. It’s over on the Seeking Alpha investor blog. You can read it here. I mention the post simply because some readers do care about such things.

The Seeking Alpha post is about IBM earnings and how the company is using old business to prop-up new business and not being at all upfront about what’s really happening.

The Seeking Alpha column is also a complaint about blog posts related to earnings in general because they are often written by people who think they know a lot about financial numbers but clearly know […]

The Problem with Analytics

IBM-Bigdata-AnalyticsThere is a difference between knowledge and understanding. Knowledge typically comes down to knowing facts while understanding is the application of knowledge to the mastery of systems. You can know a lot while understanding very little. Just as an example, IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence system that defeated the TV Jeopardy champs a few years ago knew all there was to know about Jeopardy questions but didn’t really understand anything. Ask Watson to apply to removing your appendix its knowledge of hundreds of medical questions and you’d be disappointed and probably dead. That’s the problem with most analytics, which is why it can be a hard sell.

The answer to this problem, we’re told, […]