5 Tech Observations to Start Your Day 120514

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Life is good. Yada, yada, yada. Here are five technology blogs, news nuggets, insights and rumors to start your day for Friday, Dec. 5, 2014.

5. Google's Next Cloud Move: I hinted yesterday that some moves were coming. Indeed, they did. And they involve Google Apps moving from SMB into the enterprise, with the help of outside advisors. Special thanks to Google's Murali Sitaram for sharing his insights with me. This story is so big that even The Wall Street Journal has caught on to the inside baseball implications -- which reach all the way to Redmond, Wash.

4. You Say it's Your Birthday: Well, MJ Shoer -- is it really 50 this time around? Seems like I've known you since... Actually, maybe we shouldn't go down that road. Let's just say we're aging better than old hardware. Also, hats off to Howard Cunningham. Actually, hats on and happy birthday.

3. Syndicate This: Generally speaking, I strongly dislike content syndication. (Mom told me never to use the word "hate.") In many cases, syndication clutters the web with average content that echoes endlessly, sort of like handing the microphone around to every guest at a wedding. But what if there was a way to do content syndication right? For instance, in the world of TV, the folks at WTBS have essentially built a syndication giant while mixing in a great host (Conan O'Brien) to wrap up your day. Now that' an interesting model, don't you think?

2. Fair IT Compensation for All: Rumor has it, Microsoft may explore a big share buyback soon. Instead of spending billions of dollars taking back MSFT shares, what if CEO Satya Nadella did the following?:

  • Compensation R&D: Spend a few dollars researching Microsoft's compensation structure. How are pay scales for men vs women, etc.? Nadella has previously said Microsoft has a good track record of fair pay. Publish some figures to back that up. Whether the figures are good or bad, they will be a stake in the ground from which IT companies can move forward on fair compensation.
  • Rethink Annual Bonuses: Microsoft and several other tech giants are sitting on billions in cash. Often, that triggers (1) acquisitions, (2) share buybacks, (3) dividend hikes or (4) one-time dividend lump some payments to shareholders. How about adding a fifth option to the list: One-time year-end bonuses to all employees at Microsoft -- something that shows all employees are contributors to the company's success.
  • Diversity Hiring: Accelerate your diversity hiring plan.

Even after all those steps, Microsoft will likely have billions (with a B) of dollars left over for share buybacks that appease Wall Street.

1. One With the Force: There has been an awakening at Carbonite -- where the CEO title is shifting from David Friend to Mahamad Ali, an HP veteran. Friend, a self-described Star Wars fan, named Carbonite after Han Solo's fate in The Empire Strikes Back. Many Carbonite conference rooms are named after events and destinations in George Lucas's space opera. Friend will remain chairman of Carbonite, which received an unsolicited takeover bid in recent days. Prediction: Friend will remain active with Carbonite, but don't try to reach him on Dec. 18, 2015. Come to think of it, don't try to reach me, either.

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