Ballmer should've benn ousted LOOOONG time ago...
...there's no question about it in anyone's mind who follows MS - Ballmer seems to be enthusiastic but pretty obviously clueless about technology, I don't even understand how this beancounter kept his post this long, regardless of being #2 or #3 stockholder. His image is also badly tainted, he seems to be an impulsive, arrogant fat beancounter, with anger management problems. But this is his personal problem, it could be fixed.
What cannot be fixed with him at the helm is that corrosive, destructive, stifling bureaucratic culture inside MS which, according to most ex-MS folks, is largely the result of Ballmer's practices; this is, I must add, how MS became a total wasteland for anything new, creative, even if it's coming from outside (look up all the acquisitions, they pretty much drove everything into the ground, from business software vendors to services, even game studios.)
Heck, even partnering with Microsoft means the kiss of death nowadays, Microsoft's (Ballmer's?) anti-midas touch turns even gold into shit, that's the sad reality.
Top dogs at MS always recognize this, sooner or later, it's not an accident MS pretty much lost everybody from the top echelon in the past 6-8 years. They all knew it's stalling and only the question of time when it starts going down.
There wasn't a single invention from Microsoft I can name in the past 6-8 years and everything they released was a pile of oozing crap, full of bugs. Their modus operandi is always to throw even more money and people at these half-baked releases so eventually it becomes a half-decent product...
...if you have the patience to wait and you are smart enough not to deploy it in production.
Great, huh? It's not a business model that slowly kills everything. Make no mistake, it is the direct result of this Ballmerian giant, chaotic organization, full of incompetent managers who manage more managers etc.
Microsoft badly needs fresh blood but someone who actually knows technology and has the balls to radically reorganize this 1000-headed beast, fire failing managers instead of bumping them up to even bigger roles, recognize how miserable MS' returns on its ballooning R&D costs etc etc.
We need competition on the long run and the sad fact is outside of server OS Microsoft is not a competitor at all today and even its "me too" attempts are pathetic.
I don't know enough from the outside but I'm still hopeful that someone - only from outside, I think - will come in and be able to reform MS. I really hate their attitude and lousy QA etc but the downright creepy Jobsian world of Apple makes me cringe, Google has little clue how to serve enterprise customers and has no server products...