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back to article Hey, Teflon Ballmer. Look, isn't it time? You know, time to quit?

Those who upgraded to Windows 8 aren't the only ones unhappy with the new touch-driven operating system - Wall Street is too. Just don't expect any of the criticism hurled at Steve "Teflon" Ballmer, Microsoft's shy and retiring boss, to stick. The chief executive is under fire from money men who responded to tech reporters …

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Anonymous Coward

Windows

Personally, I'd like to hear Eadon's opinion on this.

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Re: Windows

I predict a calm, considered and insightful comment that cautiously praises Ballmer.

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Linux

Re: Windows

Despite YEARS of pure ignorant arrogance - total belligerence, absolute total belligerence, on behalf of Microsoft's management towards WE the (now ex) consumers.....

With our billions of legitimate complaints about their dirty tactics to keep imposing stupid ideas on us, as well as the totally unethical leverages to make people stay on the upgrade cash cow, I never thought I would see the day, that the bastards who run this company, had received such a beating for another utterly stupid set of ideas, that this would appear in print:

"Last week, Windows group chief marketing and financial officer Tami Reller was finally handed the white flag and given the job of walking out into no man's land with a mea culpa to deliver from Microsoft: she confirmed the company will shift from "no compromises" on Windows' new Metro design to reinstating the familiar desktop Start menu."

Fancy that.... it must have taken so much market pressure, for them to have been forced into taking ONE tiny little back step in imposition......

I hope the entire Microsoft executive gets served Kool Aid by Ballmer at the next meeting.

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Re: Windows

Last week, Windows group chief marketing and financial officer Tami Reller was finally handed the white flag and given the job of walking out into no man's land with a mea culpa to deliver from Microsoft:

NO, you meant to say that she was the sacrificial lamb sent to the slaughter.

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Re: Balmer is safe because...

My cynical guess for one reason that Bill G has been backing Monkey Boy is that he is afraid that if Ballmer goes, the board (and others) would push for him (Gates) to take back control, and I'd guess he doesn't want to do that anymore. I'm not saying it would be a bad thing for Microsoft if he did take back control, just that he doesn't want it.

[citation not provided] This is opinion, not fact.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Balmer is safe because...

@Steve the Cynic - You're not being cynic enough Steve. Getting rid of Ballmer would be an admission of failure on the part of his Billness. His ego won't let him.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Balmer is safe because...

Much as I dislike Ballmer and all the cock-ups he has presided over, simple fact is that MS revenues and share price are on the up.

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The explanation for Ballmer

"The luckiest dorm room assignment in all of recorded history."

The guy is retiring in 2017. Leave him alone. He's got a lot of work to do.

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Happy

Re: Balmer is safe because...

Ok, let me have a go then.

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Trollface

Re: The explanation for Bill Gates

"The luckiest patent attorney's son in all of recorded history."

There fixed it for ya. Having a dad that knows how to write contracts does have its advantages.

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Mushroom

I actually agree, wait a minute...

Where is the real Eadon and what have you done with him?

< up-voted, yet to see signs of impeding rapture, cautiously optimistic

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Re: Balmer is safe because...

"Much as I dislike Ballmer and all the cock-ups he has presided over, simple fact is that MS revenues and share price are on the up."

As noted in the article, it's Microsoft's channel partners that are feeling the pain at the moment. Those box shifters will only take so much, no sane company would willingly allow itself to be frogmarched towards oblivion. Eventually they're going to have to experiment with shipping different software in order to flog some of that hardware mountain that is depreciating in value by the day. There will be a lot of dead ends in such an experiment but eventually somebody is going to find a winner, something the public will buy en masse.

When Microsoft eventually notices a dip in its profits it'll already be too late.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The explanation for Bill Gates

Sorry, what?

You praise Google for Android and diss Microsoft for viruses?

You are aware, presumably, that Android is a virii dream? I was on Android (Nexus 4) for less than a week before Lookout warned me that an IT site I was visiting wanted to surreptitiously download an apk. Without Lookout or equivalent I'd be screwed by now. Not so with WP8.

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Headmaster

Re: "Android is a virii dream"

Bullshit.

The so-called "malware" on Android are not viruses. Most of them are perfectly legitimate in-app advertising components that certain self-interested "security" companies have sensationalised as "malware", and the rest are phishing scams, both of which must be deliberately installed and run by the user.

At best that's simply legitimate ad-ware, and at worst it's social engineering, both of which are totally beyond the scope of software security, and have nothing whatsoever to do with "viruses".

An actual virus, OTOH, infects the user's system without his knowledge or consent, is self-propagating and typically delivers a destructive payload, and nearly every one of the millions of in-the-wild viruses exist only on the Windows platform.

That is an example of poor software security, not Android.

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Windows

Re: Balmer is safe because...

I don't think the board would try to get Gates to step back in, but he would certainly be in the hot seat when it comes to Steve's (his great buddy) replacement. Awkward for all. MS (like Apple's share price is finding) need to get a tech visionary in the top spot quickly otherwise companies like Google are going to take them out of the consumer market completely.

I wonder if MS have the problem of no one in the position to step into the role? Is SB still there because he is the ONLY option at the minute? At least Apple have Mr Ive to call upon...

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Facepalm

Re: Balmer is safe because...

The box-shifters are struggling because they got lazy and greedy. Their products are just crap, it's not the OS that's at fault here.

They haven't brought anything new or dynamic to the table. The Likes of HP/Fujitsu/Acer/Asus etc. have just decided that 99% of their products will be boring, bottom of the barrel standard, 1366x768 TN screen, loaded up with penny per unit bloat and crudware.

They are the ones holding PC development back, not Microsoft.

I really hope MS increases its hardware ranges. Then I can buy a MS laptop or PC with just Windows installed on it with all the right drivers. You know...just how Apple does it.

Most of us know that if you just do a clean install of Windows it works just fine. MS does a good job on the whole.

It's the moribund box-shifting partners that are doing their own damage. They need to quit blaming MS and get their own houses in order.

I am prepared to pay bit more for something better.

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Re: Balmer is safe because...

>Much as I dislike Ballmer and all the cock-ups he has presided over, simple fact is that MS revenues and share price are on the up.

In 1996, I'm sure Kodak and Blockbusters were having pretty good years as well. It's not about where Microsoft is today that is worrying people, it's where Microsoft will be next year that has people concerned.

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Re: The explanation for Bill Gates

Every time I'm forced to upgrade to a new version of Office, I brace myself for tidal wave of pointless changes that only make Office harder to use.

The latest change, creating PowerPoint 2011, managed to hide the grouping tool when making drawings, and makes more use of the awful Office ribbon. And to add insult to injury, if you have a PPT file from an older version (I'm guessing the file was created in Office 2008), the default line drawing color is "no line", so that your drawing is invisible. And the menu option to set the default for that shape doesn't have any effect. So, when drawing in one of these older docs, you either have to drive completely blind, or just keep copying an existing spline and then edit the set of points to match your desired shape.

Its amazing to me that with all the money MSFT makes, they do such a bad job at user interface testing. It is uniformly awful.

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Windows

Re: Balmer is safe because...

Maybe he's a placeholder until Elop finishes reducing Nokia to a minnow that MS can snap up for a pittance. As a reward for single handedly ruining an entire company with nothing more than blind loyalty to MS he will be welcomed back into the fold and given the throne when Ballmer retires.

</bored paranoid speculation>

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Holmes

Re: Balmer is safe because...

The next man in Ballmer's chair is on a pound to a hiding. Why would BillG put himeself in that position?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The explanation for Bill Gates

Who launched the tablet almost a decade before Apple? yes it was a flawed implementation but new concepts usually are, which is why most people don't shoot first with such ideas.

Yes Gates was lucky, but you can't really dismiss him and others as also-rans. Gates can code, he did some very clever machine code tricks to get BASIC on the Altair.

So without the IBM deal Microsoft and Gates may have been another Commodore or some other defunct computer company, but then Linux could have flopped too if Minix has been better.

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Re: They are the ones holding PC development back

That's the nub of the question though isn't it? Is there something holding PC development back? Or have we, 30 years after the development of the embryonic home pc systems, reached a mature market?

Frankly, I'm in the mature market camp.

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Re: The explanation for Ballmer

The guy is retiring in 2017. Leave him alone. He's got a lot of work to do.

NO!!!!

He's got a lot of work to do company to fuck up some more before he leaves.

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Pint

Re: The explanation for Bill Gates

Bravo!!!!!

I could not have said it better!!!!

<------- Have one on me!!!!

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PC sales crashing has more to do with factors like smartphones and tablets than a troublesome O/S.

Your average tech purchaser is going the way of those who eschewed SACD and DVD-A in favour of 96Khz mp3 because you could cram more dubious bits of noise into a small box despite the resulting headache.

I purchased a new PC 2 months ago and the vendor who built it (PCSPECIALIST) offered Windows-8 AND all flavours of Windows-7 as the O/S. Naturally we chose 7.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Smart Phones Myth

@Eadon, I was worried because your first post in here didn't end in BLAH BLAH FAIL (in capital letters).

Glad you're back on track now, thanks.

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Alien

Re: Smart Phones Myth

Perhaps, but he is making sense. I'm scared.

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Happy

Re: Smart Phones Myth

I think the phrase "thrashed hard drives like a dominatrix who forgot the safe word" is quite telling as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Smart Phones Myth

@Eadon,

The problem is that MS tells the OEM's what to do

You're right, but that was only half the story. Where MS really made a MASSIVE strategic mistake was when they told OEMs "Thank you, but we'll sell our own brand hardware now", so depriving them of a future with Microsoft (basically, this was Ballmer trying to make MS become Apple). Unsurprisingly, this idea wasn't universally well received, and OEMs started to look for alternatives - it could be argued that this alone was responsible for a considerable boost for Android, and some *clients* who figured this one simply defected to Apple's OSX if they hadn't entangled their enterprise too deeply in MS products.

That one idea alone alienated the OEM partners MS had traditionally relied on for sales, and that trust is not going to be won back easily, if ever.

IMHO, MS has lit the fuse on a time bomb. The hole in sales will eventually become visible. If I were Ballmer, I'd bail now while share options are still worth something..

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Re: Smart Phones Myth

Isn't it simply the fact that the Intel and Microsoft monopoly pricing of operating system and processor/chipset has become untenable with the rise of Android/OSX/iOS/Linux and ARM processors? I remember when a decent Compaq Windows laptop cost about £4000+VAT and the operating system was a tiny proportion of the cost. Intel and Microsoft are still trying to charge monopoly money (in every sense) for their PC components but the proportion of the cost absorbed by processor/chipset and operating system has grown by an order of magnitude rendering the PC platform uncompetitive and unattractive when consumers can choose to use smart TVs, tablets, media players, smartphones or old PCs to do what only a new PC could have done cost-effectively a few years ago. Companies like Dell and HP, who made good profits by hanging onto the Wintel monopoly for decades are being annihilated in the market but are incapable of doing anything else as the products are rendered uncompetitive by Microsoft and Intel's prices and their own lack of innovation and investment in R&D, itself a result of the Wintel monopoly. Unless some killer applications come along that forces the use of Intel processors and Windows, I can't see the situation changing any time soon.

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Devil

Re: Smart Phones Myth

@Mrs B J Smegma.... What worried me first was that Eadon's post actually have some reasons in them rather than simply "MICROSOFT SUCKS"!

What worried me second was that I was responding to someone with an unhygienic fellatio handle... eww.

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Re: Smart Phones Myth

I'm not sure it is a myth. Last year I bought two iPads (one for me and one for the wife) and decided to try them for a while before upgrading our home notebooks. We decided not to upgrade the notebooks at all. The tablets are more than sufficient for home/entertainment/general web use.

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Re: Smart Phones Myth

Another lie from Eadon:

HP Elite Pad - brand new tablet PC from HP, Strange, didn't they abandon Win8 tablets?

The Surface/Pro is priced and designed with quite a bit of space for OEMs above and below. That's why most are busy producing new tablets/convertibles:

Helix and Thinkpad Tablet 2

Asus Taichi and 810

Acer A510, 700, P3

Sony Vaio Duo 11 (and the Duo13)

...

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WTF?

Re: Smart Phones Myth

That part has always confused me. I would love to agree that MS has an advantage because they don't have to license their stuff, but, AFAIK, Microsoft MUST pay an amount equal to what they sell their licenses to OEM's. A company cannot sell at a loss or give away product from one division to another. Unless you are saying that Microsoft's hardware sales are somehow in the same Windows division I can't see that as true.

However, if it IS true this must be brought us to the Justice Department because that means Microsoft is back to doing their dirty tactics leveraging their OS monopoly into other business areas.

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WTF?

Re: Smart Phones Myth

" A company cannot sell at a loss or give away product from one division to another."

Eh? Where's your citation for that? I'm not sure how it works in a ll countries but that would seem a ridiculous law. How would the search arm of Google operate for free if it wasn't for the adwords division?

How would the Xbox have been able to sell hardware at below cost if it wasn't for money from the Games division.

It's the reason why companies are sometimes forced into a de-merger to separate their divisions with rules then governing their interactivity.

There are certain rules that you have to follow if you are a monopoly in that particular area (such as bundling IE with windows and restricting competition when Windows is a monopoly). However in the Smartphone arena, for instance, they can force you to use the Microsoft App store and IE and Bing.

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WTF?

Re: Smart Phones Myth

@oolor: Upvoted because I couldn't bring myself to upvote Eadon today (I have done so previously though in another of his rare insightful comments)

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Childcatcher

Re: Smart Phones Myth

@mmeier

I own a Taichi, the hardware is swell, it's the damn Windows8 that I can barely stomach. I would have paid $100 extra to have XP on the thing (I've installed 64-bit XP since, but some of the dual-screen, mult-mice apps are a no go, so I long for a vendor solution). I wanted the hardware bad enough to try to deal with the Windows 8, other people clearly aren't doing that.

Not a day goes by that I don't curse the name Windows 8, from the 3rd party crap I've had to install to get a start-menu back, to the horrendous network functionality, and including the File Explorer that behaves like it is running as a Java Virtual Machine. There is no doubt that PC sales are suffering because some only have Win8 as a choice.

I wonder if they really "dog-fooded" this version of their software first, if so, then not just Balmer should go, but anyone that used this on a normal computer and still signed off on its release to market.

They should have sold "Metro/Modern" on their Win phones, released it as a choice to rival Android on ARM tablets in addition to Surface sales, and made it a free application that users could choose to download and install on their desktops. Forcing it on power users with no other choice was a bad move.

I blame that Sholwsky (forgot his name) guy, now that he is gone, I hope their offerings are more of a collaborative effort from their top programmers, and not just what the loudest guy in the room wanted.

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Re: Smart Phones Myth

Taichi and Win7 should work a lot better since penable support in Win7 is "almost as good" as in Win8. So why waste perfectly good hardware with XP that has no pen support in the base version and offers no benefits on a hardware as powerful as a Taichi?

As for the rest: I prefer Win8 over Win7 since it fits my style of work better. Modern as a start screen is more my liking and the improvements in many areas (WLan, Voice and Handwritingr recognition etc) are great as well. YMMV.

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Unhappy

Oh dear.

You know, yesterday; IDC came out and said Windows Phone is now "third" in the worldwide market share, having just overtaken Blackberry. And I smiled.

Yes ok, you could probably come up with many Eadon-related reasons why the "numbers are dodgy" or "you can't trust analysts to count sheep let alone figures"; but it was cheery news as far as I was concerned (I note El Reg hasn't bothered to mention that article either by the way, but correct me if I'm wrong).

There's not a lot of good news about Microsoft these days (hell, these *decades*) but now and then something is published that lifts my spirits.

And then I visit the Register, and it's all destroyed in 60 seconds.

Bravo chaps. Bravo.

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Anonymous Coward

good news about Microsoft?

But why do you care? Are you a stockholder?

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FAIL

Re: good news about Microsoft?

What a ridiculous question - Of course I'm not a stockholder.

What I am; is an IT pro who's built his entire career on planning, deploying and supporting Microsoft technologies for the next part of 20 years - why the hell shouldn't I care about them?

What is wrong with people these days? Does no one actually have any *feelings* about these companies? They are the reason most of us have been able to pay our mortgages - you're damn right I care about them. I don't want them to fail - and frankly neither should you.

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