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来源:飞度健康调查    发布时间:2017年12月15日 16:09:24    编辑:admin         

It is not easy being Microsoft. The price of its Windows operating system, the foundation of its empire, is falling for personal computers. At the same time the market for PCs, on which Windows is installed, stagnates. Microsoft analysts have been busy cutting revenue targets.微软(Microsoft)如今的处境实属不易。Windows是这个商业帝国的根基,而该操作系统应用于个人电脑(PC)的版本的价格在不断下滑。同时,PC市场停止了增长。关注微软的分析师们频频下调该公司营收预测。What might happen if this continues — if the price of a Windows operating system on a personal computer drops to zero? It is currently roughly , Stifel estimates, but is heading that way. Chinese users with pirated versions of Windows 7 or Windows 8 will get free Windows 10 upgrades this summer, Microsoft announced this week. There are hundreds of millions of Windows users in China; three-quarters of them use pirated versions.如果这种情况持续下去,会出现什么结果呢?倘若PC版Windows的价格降到了零呢?据Stifel估计目前Windows售价在35美元左右,但看来它正朝着零的方向下滑。微软本周宣布,使用盗版Windows 7或Windows 8系统的中国用户今年夏天将可免费升级为正版Windows 10。中国有数亿Windows用户,其中3/4用户使用盗版Windows。The amnesty points to a broader challenge: more and more operating systems are free. Google gives its PC operating system away — fuelling cheap Chromebooks that have sold like hot cakes. Apple’s operating systems are baked into the price of the device. The -a-pop operating system for consumer PCs is never coming back.此项特赦令折射出微软面临一个更大的挑战:免费操作系统越来越多。谷歌(Google)的PC操作系统就是免费的——预装Chrome系统的笔记本电脑因为价格低廉而热销。苹果(Apple)操作系统的价格已经嵌入其设备的价格中。40美元一套的家用PC操作系统大势已去。In its place, Microsoft’s revenues will gradually rely more on the services and applications that run on top of Windows. These include things such as Skype, Office, and OneDrive on the consumer side; and cloud computing and commercial Office subscriptions on the enterprise side. This is not such a dim prospect. Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, signs up more than 10,000 new customers per week, and its revenue growth is in the triple digits. Hardware sales have also been strong. And corporate support agreements will continue to bolster Microsoft’s enterprise revenues.微软今后的营收将更依赖于在Windows平台上运行的设备及应用,包括Skype、Office、OneDrive之类的个人端应用,以及云计算和商用版Office等企业端务。这样的前景不算坏。微软的云计算平台Azure每周新签约用户超过1万,营收增速达三位数。硬件销售也保持强劲。同时,企业持协议将继续撑微软企业业务的营收。In the near term though, Microsoft’s sales will be under pressure from the transition. Two years ago, the last time Microsoft did investors the favour of providing a clean Windows sales number, Windows represented over a fifth of sales. Given that the shares have risen 50 per cent in the past two years, some air may come out of the stock.不过,近期来看,微软的销售额将承受来自转型的压力。上一次微软向投资者提供漂亮的Windows销售数据是在两年前,当时Windows占到总销售额的1/5以上。考虑到过去两年间微软股价上涨了50%,其股票可能会挤出一些气泡。 /201503/365696。

When it comes to management challenges, fish fingers and circuses are at opposite extremes: one product is the acme of industrialised food processing, the other the ultimate expression of human creativity and energy. Somehow, private equity has found room for both: last week, Permira agreed to sell Iglo, which makes Birds Eye fish fingers in Europe, after nine years running the frozen foods company, while another buyout group, TPG Capital, led a deal to gain control of Montreal’s Cirque du Soleil.谈到管理上的挑战,炸鱼条和马戏表演是两个相反极端:一个是工业化食品加工的极致,另一个是人类创造力和能量的终极表达。从某种程度来讲,私人股本找到了同时实现这两点的空间:前一阵子,私人股本集团帕米拉(Permira)同意出售在欧洲生产Birds Eye炸鱼条的Iglo公司,帕米拉经营这家冷冻食品公司已有9年时间;另一家收购集团德太集团(TPG Capital)则领衔达成一笔交易,获得蒙特利尔太阳马戏团(Cirque du Soleil)控股权。The coincidence made me wonder at the sheer bth of private equity-owned businesses, which seems to defy the caricature of buyout kings as asset-stripping short-termists, interested only in targets with an annuity-like stream of revenue. But something else links these two apparently disparate businesses. All great enterprises start like a troupe of inventive and inspired circus performers. But over time most end up churning out the equivalent of pre-cut bed strips of reconstituted seafood. The big question is: how can entrepreneurial and inventive companies slow their slippery slide to a fish-fingery fate?这一巧合让我想知道私人股本所有的企业到底有多少类型,它们似乎要挑战人们的这种不良印象:收购界的巨擘是低价掠夺资产的短期主义者,只对能带来源源不断收入的目标感兴趣。但其他一些因素将这两类看似迥然不同的业务联系在一起。所有的大企业在一开始,都像由富有创造力和灵感的马戏演员组成的马戏团。但随着时间的流逝,多数企业最终生产的东西,都像预先切好、裹着面包屑的脱水海鲜条。重要的问题是:富有创造力的初创企业,如何能放慢沦为炸鱼条生产者的速度? /201505/374651。

Qualcomm on Monday agreed to pay a record 5m fine to settle allegations by Chinese authorities that it violated the country’s anti-monopoly law, ending a two-year patents fight and helping send its shares up 3 per cent in after-market trading.美国芯片制造商高通(Qualcomm)周一同意付创纪录的9.75亿美元罚款,以了结中国政府提出的有关该公司违反中国反垄断法的指控,从而结束了长达两年的专利争端,并帮助高通股价在盘后交易中上涨3%。The deal allowed the US chipmaker to raise its revenue guidance for fiscal year 2015 to at least .3bn, up from bn, partly because it will make it easier to collect royalties from some Chinese manufacturers that had been underreporting their use of Qualcomm patents. Under the terms Qualcomm will cut the amount it charges Chinese manufacturers to license some of its patented technologies.该和解协议达成后,高通得以将其2015财年收入预期从260亿美元上调至至少263亿美元,部分原因在于,此次和解令其从一些中国制造商那里收取专利费更为容易,这些中国制造商一直在少报高通专利使用。而根据协议条款,高通将降低向中国制造商收取的部分专利技术许可费。Analysts said the resolution with China’s National Development and Reform Commission was not as harsh as it could have been. Qualcomm depends heavily on revenue from licensing its patents and counts China as a key market given the number of fast-growing Chinese electronics manufacturers.分析人士表示,与中国发改委(NDRC)达成的和解并不像人们想象的那样严厉。高通严重依赖专利许可收入,鉴于中国快速增长的电子产品制造商数量众多,该公司将中国列为一个重要市场。The Qualcomm patents at the heart of the case, which address how phones connect to 3G and 4G networks, will now cost less to license in China than in other markets, though the discount will cover phones to be sold in China and not made for export.此案的核心——高通专利(解决了手机连接3G和4G网络的问题)如今在中国的许可费将低于其他市场,不过这些折扣将适用于在中国国内销售(而非用于出口)的手机。The case highlights the increasing problems that foreign companies, particular tech groups, have been having in China. Officials have been encouraging state companies and government agencies to buy locally made goods, often citing concerns about cyber security and the possibility of foreign intelligence agencies gathering data from US and European-made devices.此案突显出外国制造商(特别是科技公司)在中国正遇到越来越多的问题。中国政府官员列出对网络安全和外国情报机构可能从美欧生产的设备收集数据的担忧,鼓励国有企业和政府机构购买国产商品。Qualcomm, whose chips are found in most of the world’s smartphones, said the fine would cut 58 cents from its earnings per share for fiscal year 2015, reducing a forecast .04 to .34 to .56 to .76.高通芯片用于全球多数智能手机,该公司表示,此次罚款将令其2015财年每股盈利下滑58美分,其每股盈利预测将从4.04美元至4.34美元降到3.56美元至3.76美元。 /201502/359377。

After software engineering and financial engineering comes linguistic engineering. Google this week raised its market capitalisation by bn by shuffling around some executive jobs and changing its name to Alphabet. Who knew that swapping your tiles in a game of corporate Scrabble was worth so much?搞过了软件工程和金融工程之后,谷歌(Google)又搞起了语言工程。本周谷歌对管理层进行了一些调整,同时将公司名称改成Alphabet,结果市值增加了250亿美元。谁能料到在企业版拼字游戏(Scrabble)中换个名字就能赚这么多呢?Everyone s what they want into the new letters. For Larry Page, Google’s restless co-founder, Alphabet means jettisoning the cares of running a corporation and becoming a full-time inventor and venture capitalist, while Sundar Pichai takes the leadership of Google. For employees, it brings the hope of more valuable share options. For Wall Street, it spells clarity.所有人都从这一新名称中看到了他们想要的。对于求新求变的联合创始人拉里椠奇(Larry Page)来说,Alphabet意味着抛下管理企业的烦恼,成为一个全职发明家和风险投资家,谷歌的领导权则交由桑德尔皮查伊(Sundar Pichai)。对于员工而言,Alphabet带来了提高认股权价值的希望。对于华尔街,Alphabet更加清晰明了。Only governance renegades would invent a structure with one board for Google and Alphabet, the founding triumvirate — Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin and Mr Page — stacked above Mr Pichai, and Ruth Porat as chief financial officer of both. “Google is not a conventional company,” wrote Mr Brin and Mr Page in their 2004 founders’ letter, and by heavens they meant it.只有在治理上离经叛道的管理者能发明出这种结构,谷歌和Alphabet共享一个董事会,皮查伊上面排着创业三巨头埃里克施密特(Eric Schmidt)、谢尔盖布林(Sergey Brin)和佩奇,露丝波拉特(Ruth Porat)担任两家公司的首席财务官(CFO)。布林和佩奇曾在2004年的创始人来信中写道:“谷歌不是一家传统公司。”想不到他们是认真的。Still, being conventional is not the best way to build an innovative business or to make profits. Warren Buffett runs a unique combination of industrial conglomerate and investment fund at Berkshire Hathaway, and it has worked well for him. He made his largest ever acquisition this week, buying Precision Castparts for bn.不过,坚持传统的确不是建立一个创新企业或实现盈利的最佳途径。沃伦巴菲特(Warren Buffett)掌管着一个独特的组合,他所执掌的伯克希尔哈撒韦公司(Berkshire Hathaway)结合了工业集团与投资基金业务,结果很不错。本周他做出了有生以来最大规模的收购,以320亿美元买下了精密铸件公司(Precision Castparts)。Berkshire and Alphabet are different kinds of businesses. Mr Buffett values cash flow and mature brands; Mr Page prefers to create things. One of the purposes of this week’s reshuffle is to prove to investors that not as much as they fear is being spent on experimental start-up projects, such as Project Loon’s high-altitude balloons providing internet access to remote areas.伯克希尔哈撒韦公司与Alphabet是不同类型的企业。巴菲特重视现金流和成熟品牌,佩奇则喜欢创造新事物。谷歌本周重组的目的之一,是想向投资者明,花在实验性初创项目上的钱没有他们所担心的多,比如向偏远地区提供互联网接入务的Project Loon高空气球计划。Mr Page’s naming of Mr Buffett as a role model in providing “long-term, patient capital” to an array of businesses is not idle. He thinks that a multi-business group with a guiding intelligence at the centre can beat the single-sector company favoured by investors. The “conglomerate discount” applied by Wall Street can be defeated.佩奇视巴菲特为榜样,称巴菲特向大批企业提供“长期以及耐心的资本”。这并非泛泛而谈,佩奇认为有着核心指导智慧的多元化企业集团,可以打败投资者所青睐的专注于单一行业的企业。华尔街所采用的“多元化企业折让”(conglomerate discount)是可以被战胜的。In principle, that is an odd thing for Mr Page to believe. Google’s technology, after all, uses online auctions and markets — the wisdom of the crowd, not human curation. Why should conglomerates such as Alphabet, with their entrenched interests and fiefdoms, be better than capital markets at allocating capital efficiently? Does he trust in inside knowledge only when the insider is himself?原则上,佩奇的这种想法相当奇怪。毕竟谷歌的技术所用到的在线拍卖和在线市场属于群体智慧,而不是人工筛选。为什么Alphabet这类拥有稳定的利益和市场主导地位的企业集团,在有效配置资本方面会胜过资本市场?难道只有当他自己是内部人时,他才会相信内幕消息?But he is right. Conglomerates can outperform when they exploit their advantages and remain disciplined rather than falling prey to empire-building. Their ability to build a cadre of skilled managers and to pick the right investment projects is strongest in research-intensive industries that invest in intellectual property, which is Alphabet’s territory.但佩奇是正确的。如果企业集团能够利用优势并遵守行为准则,不因打造商业帝国而陷入困境,是可以胜过单一公司的。在专注于知识产权的研究密集型产业——这正是Alphabet的领域——企业集团最擅长建立起经验丰富的管理骨干队伍,以及挑选合适的投资项目。Neil Bhattacharya, a professor at Southern Methodist University in Texas, found in a study that multi-business companies ran operations more efficiently than single-sector ones. They had particular advantages in areas such as software and life sciences because managers could judge more accurately than stock markets which projects were likely to succeed.美国德克萨斯州南卫理公会大学(Southern Methodist University)教授尼尔巴塔查里亚(Neil Bhattacharya)在一项研究中发现,多元化企业比单一企业在经营上效率更高,前者在软件和生命科学等领域具有独特优势,因为企业管理者比股市更能准确判断哪些项目可能获得成功。This is counterintuitive, given US investors’ liking for simplicity, and view of conglomerates as inefficient. Public conglomerates in the US are valued at discounts of 10 to 15 per cent to single-sector companies, according to Boston Consulting Group — though the discount is lower in Europe, and Asian conglomerates often trade at a premium.鉴于美国投资者喜欢简单的东西,并认为企业集团效率低下,巴塔查里亚教授的发现似乎与人们的直觉相反。根据波士顿咨询集团(Boston Consulting Group)的数据,在美国,上市企业集团的估值相对于单一企业会折让10%—15%,不过欧洲的这种估值差距要小一些,而亚洲的企业集团往往会溢价交易。The suspicion originates in the 1970s and 1980s, the era of companies such as ITT and RJR Nabisco. Michael Jensen, a Harvard professor, later criticised the “billions in unproductive capital expenditures and organisational inefficiencies” at conglomerates, praising the trend toward “smaller, more focused, more efficient” enterprises.怀疑始于上世纪七、八十年代,那是美国国际电话电报公司(ITT)和RJR纳比斯科(RJR Nabisco)等公司的时代。哈佛大学(Harvard University)教授迈克尔礠森(Michael Jensen)后来批评企业集团存在“数十亿非生产性的资本出和组织效率低下现象”,赞扬了企业朝着“更小、更集中、更高效”的方向演变的趋势。Big corporations remain prey to temptation. Boston Consulting Group found that the conglomerate discount is partly due to conservatism. They tend to invest heavily in their original businesses, which may be stagnant or in decline, while undervaluing newer divisions with more potential. Microsoft, for example, suffered from trying to reinforce its Windows franchise.大企业依然难抵挡诱惑。波士顿咨询集团发现,造成多元化企业折让的部分原因是保守。企业集团倾向于低看拥有更大潜力的新业务,而大举投资它们最初的业务,然而这些业务可能是停滞乃至下滑的。比如,微软(Microsoft)因试图强化其Windows操作系统授权业务而受挫。Yet even investors who are suspicious of ed conglomerates delegate capital allocation and management oversight in private markets to informed insiders. Venture capital and private equity funds are both forms of conglomerate — they invest capital in a broad portfolio of businesses on behalf of outsiders who believe that such funds possess superior expertise.然而,即使是对上市的企业集团抱怀疑态度的投资者,也会将私人市场上的资金配置和管理监督的事宜委派给知情的内部人士。风险资本和私人股本基金都是企业集团的形式——它们代表外部人士投资广泛的业务领域,外部人士则相信这类基金拥有出色的专业知识。Why, though, should investors seeking exposure to new companies buy shares in Alphabet, which then channels Google’s surplus cash into its own venture and growth funds, Project Loon, self-driving cars and life sciences? They could instead invest money directly in a venture capital fund. Why take the longer and less-direct road?尽管如此,寻求投资新企业的人为何要购买Alphabet的股票,这家集团会把谷歌的现金盈余投入到其风险项目、成长基金、高空气球计划、无人驾驶汽车和生命科学等?他们可以直接投资一个风险资本基金。为何要选择一条更远的弯路呢?It depends on trust. Investors could also have bought shares in Precision Castparts last week for less than Berkshire Hathaway paid this week, but they do not complain because they trust Mr Buffett. Alphabet’s shareholders must believe in Mr Page and Mr Brin’s ability to use their intelligence and avoid the traditional pitfalls.关键在于信任。在本周伯克希尔哈撒韦公司出手收购之前,投资者本来也可以在上周用更低的价格买入精密铸件公司股票,但他们并没有抱怨,因为他们信任巴菲特。Alphabet的股东必然也相信佩奇和布里有能力运用他们的智慧并避开传统的陷阱。To judge by the shares this week, they prefer a conglomerate called Alphabet to a company that had not made plain what it was. Strange as it seems, it is a rational choice.从本周的股价来看,比起一家没有说清楚自己是什么的公司,股东们更青睐一个叫Alphabet的企业集团。尽管似乎有点奇怪,但这是一个理性选择。 /201508/392900。