A former Microsoft executive has sketched an unflattering portrait of Steve Ballmer that depicts him as a cut-throat Machiavellian schemer, and claimed in his new book that the top man at Redmond has forced out rivals who challenged his authority. Joachim Kempin, a former head of Microsoft's OEM business, claims chief executive …
Mandatory link to Vanity Fair's excellent article about the lost decade of MS...
...under Ballmer's uber-incompetent "leadership", a mandatory read:
How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo: Steve Ballmer and Corporate America's Most Spectacular Decline
It's all there, it's OBVIOUS that it is IMPOSSIBLE to fix MSFT while Ballmer and his ilks are still running it - BALLMER ET AL MUST GO ASAP, period.
I'm sorry, I got through the article to the point when it said "the hallways at Microsoft were no longer home to barefoot programmers in Hawaiian shirts working through nights and weekends toward a common goal of excellence" and I realised it was bollocks!
Very true to culture
I got involved in the Microsoft corporate business ecosystem in the early 2000's timeframe. I don't know whether Beluzzo and Ray Ozzie are direct casualties of the executive culture. But I know with full certainty that the cultural trend in the last decade has mushroomed and is now in a state where even PMs don't speak up for fear of saying the wrong thing and risking their career paths. Innovation has ground to a nearly complete halt because no one is willing to compromise their review score (and promotion, raise, and bonus...see also the Vanity Fair article) because they volunteered an idea management didn't like. That's really how it is culturally.