@Sentient: This is what I would expect from a software architect.
"On the few occasions that I saw him in public he was very clear and capable at getting the idea across. He came across as a person with a vision capable of getting his company to execute that. This is what I would expect from a software architect.... I wonder why people expect technical smart people to be good at inspiring others or profiling themselves."
Inspiring others is an important part of architecture.
Architecture serves little purpose if developers won't follow it, and forcing them to do so only works some of the time. Frankly architecture works better when sold as a good thing rather than a required thing, and outside your building you can't force customers to do anything anyway. So if you want your architecture to go anywhere you need to convince developers to follow it. You can try to get the developers themselves to carry the flag, but when you want a coherent message you can't count on herding the cats in your direction. That's when you want a Chief Architect, and it's why he wasn't as successful as he could have been.
Of course the other reason he didn't set the world alight was that the company is a Ballmer production and subject to his utterly benighted view of the future. Gates was a number of things, but at the end of the day he could pick a direction and get everyone marching. Monkey Steve hasn't got the good nose for direction and he isn't able to get his troops moving well.