"Charles, I am no Ballmer fan, but the evidence you bring against him is just rubbish:"
> Could of fooled me
"...you mean the product that even anti-MS sites like Wired and Gizmodo gave rave reviews to:"
>Reviews are one thing, but many a product has had steller reviews that later disappered(i.e. Like the zune mk1). There is nothing in the new Zune which is likely to scare the Apple Itouch. Coupled with the there terrible App strategy I cannot see it being any more succesful than its predecessor
-"* His laughing off iphone - one of the most successful products and brandings ever."-
"Right, 'cos no exec at tech company has ever predicted the future wrongly! lol. Like Apple were right that the Newton would be wonderful, and that firing Jobs was a good idea.... yeah, and Palm were right that splitting their hardware and software divisions was a good plan... uh-huh... Even Gates (who is really the only yardstick to measure Ballmer against) was wrong about the popularity of the internet. If you do your research, you'll see that lots of other analysts also doubted Apple's ability to break into the mobile phone market. That doesn't make Ballmer great, but it hardly makes him the failure you are implying. So he got one wrong. Give the guy a break."
>Many CEO's have lost there jobs for not detecting the wind of change. One of the jobs of the CEO is to predict future trends and position their company to take advantage of them. MS entire windows mobile strategy is playing catchup against not only with the iPhone but also android. And remember unlike the computer desktop they have no monopoly here so they are very vunerable to competitors. At the the very least it shows Balmer is not a visionary.
"...sorry? You're blaming credit card problems on Ballmer?! That seems a bit harsh... Oh, wait, you meant "Vista". Right, that'll be the operating system that overtook OSX and all flavours of Linux, within 8 months of its launch..."
> and virtually everyone agrees was terrible. Yes they sold a lot, but monolpolies can do that. On the other hand they sold a lot less than they expected because they pitched the hardware requirements to high and many did not give any reasons for the vast majority of XP users to upgrade. The rise in the netbook market showed MS had misjudged the trends and were forced to keep selling XP. Also lets not forgot Vista was late due to a number of U Turns in the development process, and in many ways came out half baked and allowed OS X to take a greater share of the market especially at the high end
-"* Even XBox was a huge cock-up until 360."-
"... right - so Halo, one of the most popular, genre-defining games of all time, (developed by MS's Bungie for the xbox) was a "cock-up"?! It's not like they failed to make any profit or capture significant market share!"
>Yes XBox is a success, everyone can agree with that. However you could argue that it was more due to Sony's mis step rather than any great effort on MS part.
-"* Stupid monkey shows with motivations like developers, developers,.... sales, sales, sales,.... Vista, Vista, Vista,...."-
"I'm not even going to pretend I know what you meant here. You appear to be simply ranting."
>Balmer does seem to have a tendency to shoot his mouth off so giving his critics the ammunition they crave. If he was a unqualified success it would not be a great issue but....
-"And Google are completely eating their lunch."-
"I think your argument here was supposed to be that MS has failed to break into Google's primary business, internet searching - but that cuts both ways, because Google has tried (and so far failed) to break into MS's primary business, operating systems, web browsers and productivity software, all of which are markets that Microsoft (still) dominates."
> I don't think google has ever had much interest in competing on the desktop market. They see the future as the internet being the platform. MS with the majority of its products tied to the desktop find it hard to compete in this area without hurting there bottom line. MS have put a lot of money in search engines etc with very little return, and no sign they are anywhere close to taking over Google
"If you wanted to criticise Ballmer, you would have been much better off following the line that the original article took - his major weakness has not been the failure of one or two products out of a huge portfolio. His failure has been his inability to return value to shareholders in sufficiently high volumes."
>His failure has been his inability to diversify the Microsoft brand. To be fair it is not easy to grow outside your core markets, but areas like phones, and the internet are missed opportunities that MS may find they can never get back into. The XBox has been a success and they are trying very hard to build on that, but again they have limitations that may mean it may never be the cash cow they want. So despite his years in charge, you could still say that MS are a 2 product company(the OS and Office suite) Both are more vulnerable than ever, and at the same time there main markets are saturated with older versions of there products with no good reason for users to upgrade. What is needed is a technology forward thinker in the Steve Jobs role. Balmer seems to me nothing more than a glorified accountant