Feeds

back to article 'I'm BIG, I'm BALD and I'm LOUD!' Blubbering Ballmer admits HE was Microsoft's problem

A tearful Steve Ballmer has admitted he was a big part of the problem at Microsoft – and that the company needs to rethink its management structure to succeed in the future. "At the end of the day, we need to break a pattern. Face it: I'm a pattern," company CEO Ballmer told The Wall Street Journal with apparent tears in his …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

Move over Tim

Now that he will have some time on his hands, how about hitting the gym to throw some weights about (or chairs for that matter), to slim down a bit and change the shirt to a black polo neck and heading off to Apple?

9
2
Anonymous Coward

Find someone as entertaining please

Please.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Move over Tim

+1 brilliant

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Find someone as entertaining please

Second that. I just watched an old YT video of Steve talking/shouting about Windows 3.1 in the 80s. He looked pretty much the same and his style was just as, er, ebullient.

2
0
Facepalm

The fact I can't tell if that is satire

Means that Stevo is completely mental, and was always out of his depth.

How is that imbecile a CEO !?!?

Jesus Tap Dancing Christ...

10
8

This post has been deleted by its author

dibs

I think he is in line to be the new mayor of Toronto.

3
0
Silver badge

"Shy and retiring Ballmer "

This phrase pained me... is it possible to get a hernia from laughing?

17
0
Silver badge

Re: "Shy and retiring Ballmer "

We're here to entertain :-)

C.

5
0
Silver badge

Maybe he did a "stack ranking" on himself!!

And found that he didn't rank high enough.

Just sayin'

12
0
Silver badge

Re: Maybe he did a "stack ranking" on himself!!

That system was why I turned down an otherwise decent job offer from MS. It stank. Everyone was bell-curved at every organisational level, but it favoured louder people and game players - not good in a technology company where you need the quiet geeks. It encouraged the less technical to be disproportionately rewarded in a high tech company.

35
0
Silver badge

Re: Maybe he did a "stack ranking" on himself!!

> it favoured louder people and game players

It favors psychopaths: people who lie and cheat, brown noses who go out of their way to backstab coworkers, who take credit for the work of others, and pass blame to underlings. I've seen it in action in a different company, and it generates a truly toxic work environment.

25
0
K
Bronze badge
Trollface

Re: Maybe he did a "stack ranking" on himself!!

"and pass blame to underlings"

So what you're saying is, it leads to Windows 8?!

13
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Maybe he did a "stack ranking" on himself!!

Vociferous, IBM, perchance?

3
0
Trollface

Shite and retiring

Yup.

9
0

Steve Ballmer was Microsoft.

Sometime we stick around when we should have gone. It is not always easy to walk away from what you finally learned how to do.

But nobody can dispute that Steve Ballmer is a good man; or that he loved Microsoft. Indeed, for three decades he was Microsoft -- body and soul.

3
19
Silver badge

Re: Steve Ballmer was Microsoft.

What exactly do you think he was 'good' at and perhaps more important, was it something that was also good for Microsoft and good for the rest of us? A decade of absolute stasis might be good in some sectors, it rarely is in IT.

Ballmer was certainly good at clinging onto his job despite serial failure and it's taken 2+ years of constant pressure to make him jump before being pushed. He is 100% correct about "Steve Ballmer has admitted he was a big part of the problem". At least when Gates was totally wrong he reacted quickly to catch up, Ballmer just reacted quickly to deny there was a problem.

17
0

Re: Steve Ballmer was Microsoft.

Kafantaris2...... Steve....... Is that ....... you?

4
0
Big Brother

Re: Steve Ballmer was Microsoft.

Using "Ballmer" and "soul" in the same sentence is an oxymoron, Shirley, except perhaps of the context in "swallowing".

7
0

Re: Steve Ballmer was Microsoft.

"I love myself; I think I'm grand

"I love to sit and hold my hand

"And think how happy I will be

"When I grow up and marry me."

8
0
Gold badge
Meh

Re: Steve Ballmer was Microsoft.

"But nobody can dispute that Steve Ballmer is a good man; or that he loved Microsoft. Indeed, for three decades he was Microsoft -- body and soul."

And lets not forget he was a hell of a chicken dancer.

1
1

where ballmer succeed and planted seeds and where i think he may have failed...

Avanade, Xbox, Nokia acquisition, Ford partnership, set top boxes and buildout of Dynamics BU. Worst failures... Utter failure with Media integration with OS and content providers (cuz under Ballmer's watch the FTC issues started), Lack of policing of MDF and its partner network (nasty, decadent culture, except the likes of Avanade, but they are not immune. Remember Anderson Consulting?), the loss of the hearts and minds of developers, letting hobbyist and geeks (vs a more blended groups of John Q. Public and fashionistas) define, represent and control ver 3.0 of personal computing (either you get that right away or you dont, otherwise I cant explain this to you...) and finally has we all now know the gaming of the ranking system (pure cancer as so much manipulative mediocrity ran the place for the last decade...

one last thing is they should have given away an embedded os for a hardware device to make it a staple for every home. They had the right idea with home server but they failed as they made it hardware plus os. They should have just given away the os in an embedded hardware device. That would have sealed the infrastructure for content distribution, home computing, automation, security, entertainment and communications. It would have been the residential "bloomberg terminal" into what we know as the cloud today, and all other form factors of devices would just be low cost terminals with or without windows. Msft would have been the ubiquitous digital middle man with a beach head in the cloud and an inside advantage for end devices. but no. That did not happen. Make the windows server os as common place as hvac in a home, build a digital/virtual butler that does all your personal computing/digital lifestylr house keeping (security, data management, reputation protection, finances, entertainment planning, information fetching, etc) and then support a cottage industry of the build out of peripherals for assistive, educational and entertainment devices that integrate with the virtual butler that runs on this home device. This will be the personal hybrid cloud, where the device fetch's, aggregates, publishes and polices or interactions with both hour devices and the cloud. just a thought. Maybe i just need some sleep and/or a cigarette or maybe I just need some more time under are star (snicker, i meant our star or R*) tomorrow at the beach...

4
4
Silver badge

Re: where ballmer succeed and planted seeds and where i think he may have failed...

1. They tried to (almost) give it away. Windows XP embedded licensing cost pennies compared to the "first born" Microsoft charges for desktop. It could not be given out for free because of Microsoft being under "observation" for anticompetitive behaviour.

2. It was a failure. They _FAILED_ to strip it down to bare essentials so its "embedded" level ended up being a joke. Many times the footprint of embedded Linux (and Android).

3. They failed to port it in time to the fastest growing platform out there - ARM. Similarly, they let their existing Crippleware OS for embedded (Windows CE) fester, putrify and die.

So Linux and Android on top of it stepped in like the knights in shining armour and slayed the dragon (the dragon being the idea that you need a special hard real time OS for anything embedded). They showed that a general purpose OS with a best effort scheduler can be as good. It may cost more in terms of hardware. It pays back by reducing software development costs.

Microsoft failure in embedded is not due to lack of trying. It is due to an abject failure to execute. That however is something which is definitely a problem that goes all the way to the man in charge.

The end result - my new car stereo runs Android instead of running Windows Embedded. Game over.

21
0
Silver badge
Windows

Here we go

Pass me a bucket.

4
1
Bronze badge

Hmm.

Assuming the quotes are accurate, anyone who can admit that

(a) they're part of the problem and

(b) quit because they're part of the problem

has, in my opinion, more going for them than what I thought. He may be big, bald, and loud, but he seems to also be at the point where he can now be a little bit honest. At least now that he doesn't run one of I.T.'s most infamously unethical companies.

23
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

@raving angry loony ".............in my opinion, more going for them than what I thought."

I agree. Furthermore I think that he himself has woken up to his biggest mistake. The stack-ranking shite. We can argue and debate until the cows come home over this or that aspect of Redmond's strategy in this or that area of their business but any and all mistakes/misteps/misfocusing (bla, bla, bla) arise fundamentally from a company's culture. That that culture proved to be peculiarly resistant to change is, IMHO, directly due to their continuing with that downright pernicious, not to say evil, system of evaluation. Yes, the good news is that they have at last got rid of it. The bad news is that it is something that they should have done a decade ago.

11
0
Silver badge

Re: @raving angry loony ".............in my opinion, more going for them than what I thought."

@Arctic fox: To my mind, the bad news is that anyone thought up such a shitty system in the first place, and that others thought enough of it to put it in place. Such a system only works for game-shows, not any enterprise that actually wants to achieve anything.

1
0

I can't help thinking that mobile is an extremely poor strategy for Microsoft - the market already has two dominant players and Microsoft are far too far behind to ever catch up. And they were never, ever going to be big in mobile - Microsoft's bloaty kitchen-sink programming strategy would always have prevented them from ruling mobile even if they'd started at the right time; Microsoft make software for PCs not because they want to target PCs, but because PCs are the only devices powerful enough to run their feature-rich applications at a usable speed.

Microsoft need to concentrate on business desktop - business desktop is NOT going away any time soon, and it's good money. Switching to an entirely business-to-business model is highly profitable for many firms wanting to recover from the doldrums - ask the resurgent IBM. Domestic users may be dumping PCs for tablets and Steam boxes, but businesses are not (they may be supporting tablets in *addition* to regular PCs, but regular PCs are *not* disappearing from offices). Frankly with the amount of piracy rampant in the home market I sincerely doubt Microsoft ever made much money from the domestic scene anyway.

Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365 is *incredibly* successful; I don't know anyone who's used it and doesn't love it. They just need to make the best desktop operating system too, and that means ditching the half-arsed mobile and touch interface that is the Start Screen. They need to research and write a new set of desktop windowing standards; Office 2013's interface is a mess - it makes sense in the browser in Office 365 but as a stand-alone application UI, it's horribly confusing. They need to revamp, reinvent standards such as the Multiple Document Interface, which was possibly the most intuitive and greatest contribution to desktop computing since Xerox Parc, and research and create new desktop UI standards.

Businesses are currently delaying and delaying upgrading to Windows 8(.1) and Office 2013 because the UI is designed for mobile and browser. No office worker who lives on the keyboard wants to use an interface designed for a touch-screen. Nobody has got desktop right at the moment - Apple are all over the place with their on-again-off-again love-hate affair with skeuomorphism, the Linux desktop is more fragmented now than it has ever been, and former Linux leader Ubuntu is making *exactly* the same kinds of "we'll integrate our UI to combine both mobile and desktop" mistakes that Microsoft are making. Microsoft are already doing well in business cloud; business desktop is ripe for the picking. Microsoft just have to reach out and grab it.

9
3

MS cannot rely on marketing solely to business customers..Much of Microsoft's revenue still comes from the office and Windows divisions. They probably need to consider reducing efforts in those areas however.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Andrew Oakley

Their options are to win mobile or die. There is no third choice. They are going to throw everything they have at it.

0
2
Anonymous Coward

Home PC Market has not disappeared!

While sales are down, alot, in the home pc market there are still at least 100,000,000 home computers/laptops sold a year. For MS that amounts to about 2.5 Billion with a B in licensing. That is not chump change.

6
0
Bronze badge
Stop

Mobile

I have to disagree, mobile has a lot going for it, a massive user base, relatively short hardware refresh cycle, users have very little sunk costs in existing platforms, and new hardware only needs mostly open standards except where the standard is Microsoft's own (eg: exchange).

Mobile is an area where the two dominant players both had zero marketshare six years ago, it's the category thats rapidly consigning the desktop market to a niche role, If MS ignore mobile computing they're dead.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: @Andrew Oakley

"Their options are to win mobile or die."

Considering that MS have been pouring money into mobile for at least 15 years, they are not doing well at all. They have been both ineffective AND damaging to the industry.

Those that say to give MS a chance forget that MS have been in the smartphone busiess twice as long as Apple or Google.

I really think that aince about 2001, Bllmer has had a complete Google obsession. Rather than put energy into winning customers he has, instead, been trying to beat up Google by buying "verbs", Bing, Kin phone, etc.

5
0
Windows

Charge, charge, charge: the Rhino school of management.

Charge for Windows 8 which PC makers and their customers don't want on their non touch desktops.

Charge an annual subscription for the only serious product they have left Office 365.

Charge over the odds for low spec PC hardware dressed up as a next gen console.

Was that what his parting shot meant?

Hope they don't find a replacement who is sensible and boring like BG, they just might do what they intended instead....

Bye bye Monkey Boy life won't be nearly as amusing once you are gone.

7
4
DJO
Bronze badge

Tears for fears

The news moved the entire family to tears

Imagine you were closely related to Uncle Fester and you were told he'd be spending more time "with his family", you'd cry too.

18
1
Bronze badge

Re: Tears for fears

One interpretation. Or:

"You mean it, Dad? We can really get iPods now?"

15
0

Re: Tears for fears

The family were lucky, they had an emotional out. Consider poor Mr Smith...On the flight back to the US he told Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith that it "might be the time for me to go." Nowhere to go, nothing to do but just sit there and nod.

7
0
Silver badge
Linux

He did a great job

The whole computing industry thanks you for destroying microsoft.

August last year isn't too late to get into mobile. In the first edition of Bill Gates 1994 Road Ahead book, the word "internet" appeared twice. With such visionary leadership - including your own iPhone predictions - it is a puzzle why Microsoft bombed so hard.

Anyway, now youv'e finally heard of mobile and the guy you sent to rape Nokia is back home, you can get him to use the $2bn a year you extort from Android to come up with something people might notice.

12
1
Silver badge

Re: He did a great job

Let's not forget windows mobile smartphones long before capacitive touchscreens, and several years before the I Phones. MS wasn't late to the party, they failed to capitalise on being early and the competition stole a march whilst MS went home to get changed.

7
0
Bronze badge

Re: He did a great job

Phones aren't the only area that Microsoft was heavily involved with before someone else did a better job and ran with it, tablets were just as big an Apple success and Microsoft failure though MS was there pushing the form factor first. I used several of them as Blue Force trackers, and they were terrible. If you were looking at one of them now I'd bet you that 4th Infantry Division is probably still sitting in the desert not moving, if you could get the battery to last long enough to refresh anyway.

Funny how it always seems to be those two companies though.

5
0

Re: He did a great job

The Apple Newton. Anyone remember those? And the jokes about the Newton's character recognition?

1
0
Silver badge

Re Apple Newton

Both Apple and Microsoft fell on their arses, but there the similarity ends.

Apple stood up, learned from their mistakes and went forward to make some outstanding products.

MS, OTOH, still produces WinCE -based "phone operating systems" based on 15-year old tech. They crapped their nappies and are getting a nice warm feeling from sitting in their own excrement.

3
0
Silver badge

'where the students sang a Coldplay song with the lyrics "It's such a shame for us to part; nobody said it was easy; no one ever said it would be this hard." The news moved the entire family to tears, Ballmer reports.'

Internet says LOL.

Dude - you killed the PC.

Apple and Google didn't help. But you turned a viable legacy business with some prospects for continuing innovation into a historical joke on the level of the Edsel, New Coke, and Sarah Palin.

Who cares if Big Man Cries? I don't, and nor do most of your former customers.

17
2

Wow.... That is just piss and vinegar. U scottish?

0
2

Not all bad

He inherited the helm at Microsoft's natural peak. That it hasn't tanked faster is a testament to some degree of competence. Sure there were problems - any company that big is going to have (stack ranking, Win8, mobile lethargy). X-Box, HyperV, Dynamics suite, Azure are all credible products.

The issues they face are

- old guard mindset ('Windows' at the core of everything) plus bad culture - stack ranking being a particular example.

- new kinds of toy destroying the old order. High margin Apple shiny for idiots, and low margin, paid for by advertising products from Google.

9
4
a53
FAIL

Re: Not all bad

Do you have a good word for anybody, other than SB? Could you do better ? Don't think so or we would have heard of you. Nobodies who think they have the answer to everything do my head in.

1
12
Silver badge

Re: Not all bad

"That it hasn't tanked faster is a testament" is a testament to their monopoly control of so much of the IT world. It only visibly started failing when the market moved out from under them, while Ballmer ignored that shift. That's not competence, he somehow managed to piss away a position of overwhelming strength through complacency.

12
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not all bad

I'm sick of Apple bashers. I am not an idiot. In fact I am a relatively smart guy. My customers will tell you as much. I happen to like a well made piece of kit and my iPhone 4s is that.

0
8

PanAm is the Microsoft of today, the Microsoft of our times Was Re: Not all bad

The Microsoft of nowadays is reminiscent of IBM of yesteryear. You remember when IBM imagined it minted money? That it owned its customers as of right?

4
0
Silver badge

Re: PanAm is the Microsoft of today, the Microsoft of our times Was Not all bad

PanAm... There is a voice from the past. The only good flight I ever had on them was from Miami to London the night that the Dolphins played in their first Superbowl. There were just about equal numbers of crew and passengers.

At least there was a choice of Airlines (still is on many routes) not so with mainstream PC Operating Systems (by this I mean ones used by the average punter, not the geeks)

For them it is Windows or nothing. Especially those who had to suffer ICT at school which were basically classes in Word/Excel and worst of all Powerpoint.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.