Microsoft CEO most regrets lapse in mobile phones

Updated 22 September 2013
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Microsoft CEO most regrets lapse in mobile phones

NEW YORK CITY: Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said his biggest regret is missing the boat on smartphones — but he said the software giant should not admit defeat just yet.
“I regret that there was a period in the early 2000s when we were so focused on what we had to do around Windows that we weren’t able to redeploy talent to the new device called the phone,” Ballmer said in a conference with analysts.
“That is thing I regret the most,” he repeated, adding “It would have been better for Windows and our success in other foreign factors.”
The smartphone and tablet computer market is currently dominated by Apple’s iPhone and iPad and by devices powered by Google’s Android operating system.
Microsoft has “almost no share” in mobile devices, Ballmer conceded, but said that leaves the company with significant “upside opportunities.”
In telephones, the company is counting on the recently announced acquisition of Finnish mobile telephone company Nokia, with which it is already collaborating to make a new smartphone, the Lumia, to popularise its Windows mobile software.
The company’s Surface tablet failed to win over buyers last year and Microsoft was forced to lower the price of the device, which translated into a loss of nearly a billion dollars in its latest quarterly figures.
A new generation of the tablet is to be unveiled Monday.
Beyond mobile devices, Ballmer said, Microsoft must seize crucial opportunities in cloud computing services, in online subscriptions to its word processing suite Office, and with its search engine Bing.
Ballmer took over as CEO of Microsoft in 2000 from co-founder Bill Gates, a classmate and friend from their days at Harvard University in the 1970s. He announced in August that he would retire within 12 months.


Dubai Aerospace signs $480 million loan deal

Updated 21 May 2018
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Dubai Aerospace signs $480 million loan deal

DUBAI: Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors, said on Monday it had signed a four-year loan deal for $480 million.
DAE, a government-controlled company set up in 2006, has become one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors after acquiring Dublin-based AWAS last year.
The acquisition tripled the Dubai aircraft leasing and maintenance company’s portfolio to about 400 aircraft worth more than $14 billion.
The $480 million loan, which includes both conventional and Islamic finance tranches, has a so-called “accordion facility” allowing it to be increased to up to $800 million.
With the loan, the company’s unsecured revolving credit facilities increase to between $1.125 billion and $1.445 billion, depending on final size of the latest deal, Firoz Tararpore, DAE’s chief executive, said in a statement.
“On a pro forma basis as of December 2017, if this facility is fully drawn and if the proceeds are used to pay down secured indebtedness, DAE’s percentage of unsecured debt would increase from 26 percent to a range of 31-34 percent.”
Last year, the company issued $2.3 billion in senior bonds split across three tranches last year, partly to finance the AWAS acquisition.
Tarapore said in an interview last week that DAE was in talks to buy a near-record total of 400 jetliners from Airbus and Boeing in an order that could be worth more than $40 billion at list prices.
Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait coordinated the latest loan deal and was also the lead arranger and joint bookrunner together with First Abu Dhabi Bank, while Noor Bank joined the deal as lead arranger.