back to article STEVE BALLMER KILLS WINDOWS

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has unveiled plans for a massive restructuring at Redmond. From today, the company’s product groups will be dissolved and resurrected as slimmed-down devices and services teams ready to take on Apple, Amazon, Google and others. Microsoft’s chief executive today announced the death of the mighty five …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of the heads of the old divisions was probably doing a Sinofsky and getting a bit too big for his boots. Nothing like a bit of divide and conquer to keep Nero in power.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Writing on the wall

      But at least they have finally come to terms with their failings unlike RIM/Blackberry where they continue to head towards oblivion with a cry like the Captain of the Titanic..... 'Full speed ahead!'

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Writing on the wall

        Hmm, actually, as I read this article, the thought that came to mind was: Oh look, they're re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic... pity she's still sinking.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Writing on the wall

        "But at least they have finally come to terms with their failings unlike RIM/Blackberry where they continue to head towards oblivion with a cry like the Captain of the Titanic..... 'Full speed ahead!'"

        Is that the official MS PR dept line?

        Weak.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The art of a good CEO

      Delegate, delegate, delegate, take no responsibility and then sack or move everyone when you have finished blaming them.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmm. don't know. One of the reasons any consultancy will ALWAYS recommend a reorganisation is that it genuinely shakes things things up. I suspect behind this is a massive McKinsey bill, but I actually think this shakeup is a good thing.

      i honestly didn't expect that sensible a move from Ballmer.

      1. xperroni
        Meh

        Real change, or just a niftier chair arrangement?

        [I] honestly didn't expect that sensible a move from Ballmer.

        I feel more inclined to wait and see whether this actually changes anything. So far it looks like just another reshuffling of chairs at the deck of the Titanic Microsoft.

    4. Euripides Pants Silver badge
      Windows

      "Nothing like a bit of divide and conquer to keep Nero in power."

      Not so much a Nero as a zero...

    5. xperroni
      Holmes

      Nothing like a bit of divide and conquer to keep Nero in power.

      The irony is, Nero was actually a quite reasonable guy, who favored diplomacy over military and tried his best to hold the Empire together. He was eventually ousted by those who didn't like how he wouldn't put the armies on march at the drop of a hat. His surviving image as a deranged tyrant who "fiddled while Rome burned" was likewise the result of a smear campaign by those parties.

      So no, I don't think it is fair to compare Ballmer to Nero, though not for reasons the Chief Chair Thrower would approve of.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You might like to check out what C. Suetonius Tranquillus had to say about Nero in The Lives Of The Twelve Caesars! The work is available as a free translation.

        Not entirely reasonable I suggest.

        1. xperroni

          Not entirely reasonable I suggest.

          Granted. Still, not once did Nero "restructure" the Roman Empire and tried to make it look as if it solved anything.

          That's plenty more reasonable than quite a few people we have around these days.

      2. frobnicate
        Trollface

        > The irony is, Nero was actually a quite reasonable guy

        Yes, go tell this to Seneca and others. Oh wait... you cannot.

  2. Ru
    Meh

    There appears to be one notable fixed point in the reorganisation. One particular bit of corporate structure that is long overdue for a change, and definitely in need of some new blood. One that seems to have consistently underperformed over the past decade or so, and yet escaped censure.

    Anyone else spot it?

    1. FartingHippo
      Angel

      Oo, oo, I know!!

      Is it a part of the business famed for its simian boogying?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oo, oo, I know!!

        They're just firing all the developers, developers, developers, developers.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oo, oo, I know!!

          How else will they afford to employ another lawyer?

          Android doesn't milk itself you know.

    2. Belardi
    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Happy

      Steve Balmer with one "l"? Runs the stationery cupboard?

      1. jai

        Steve Balmer with one "l"? Runs the stationery cupboard?

        "Yes, I'm Steve Balmer. I will have the penne all'arrabbiata."

        "You'll need a tray."

        "Do you know who I am?"

    4. MIc
      Facepalm

      ya... all them profits are the result of terrible performance.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: ya

        "all them profits are the result of terrible performance...."

        Not just that- don't forget customer lock-in and stupid inertia.

        1. Yet Another Commentard

          Re: ya

          An old joke:

          A man takes a new CEO position, and on his first day sits at his big desk in his corner office, and with little else to do opens the drawers in the desk. To his surprise in amongst the bits of pencil shavings he sees three envelopes. They are numbered in sequence, and the first one is labeled simply "in case of emergency, open me".

          He forgets about them for about a week, and the first crisis at the firm happens. In despair he recalls the envelopes, and opens the first. It reads simply "Blame the other guy". So the exec does that, the trouble passes, he is exonerated and he continues.

          Some time passes and another disaster befalls the organisation. Realising he can't blame anyone else, and again in despair he decides to open the other envelope. It says "Have a reorganisation." so, to cover his own incompetence he reorganises everything.

          Sadly that was not a permanent distraction, and in the dark hours one night, alone in his office he decides to bite the bullet and open the final one. The message is simply "prepare three envelopes..."

    5. Gil Grissum
      FAIL

      That would be Balmer himself. But in order to cover his failure as a CEO, let's reorganize the company into new pointless divisions, including "Devices and Studios"? We talking about recording studios, movie production studios, TV production studios or art studios? None of those studios requires any Microsoft software to product content, so perhaps Balmer just needs to get the heck out and let someone else take the job and get Microsoft on track without reorganizing the company to cover up his failure as a CEO?

    6. Wade Burchette

      The best move Microsoft could make would be to replace Steve Ballmer with a telephone answering machine. First, the answering machine would be a far superior leader. Second, at least someone at Microsoft will start listening to customers.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        @Wade Burchette

        "Second, at least someone at Microsoft will start listening to customers."

        Boom Boom.

        An oldie but a goodie.

    7. Charles Manning

      Old Chinese saying

      "A fish rots from the head"

      1. Charles Manning

        Dear downvotard

        Dear downvotard

        Find yourself a stock graphing wbsite.

        Compare NASDAQ to MSFT over the last 20 years.

        Look low MSFT performed pretty well at the beginning and then takes a plunge. MSFT has underperformed NASDAQ by 50% or worse. Shutting your eyes and randomly backing any stock would have been a better policy.

        Now, dear downvotard, notice that there is a knee in the graph - where MSFT went from performing well to performing badly. Looks like early 2000.

        Hmmm I wonder what happened then?

    8. mike smo

      Hey wait a sec, I'm sick of people Ballmer bashing. Anybody remember when he got promoted for that useful paperclip guy in Word? "I can tell your writing a letter.."

    9. Adam 1 Silver badge

      > Anyone else spot it?

      Enterprise, Azure, Desktop, Office & Networks?

      I am sure they would have had something to say though. Probably something with capital letters and ending with FAIL!

    10. Palebushman
      Alien

      @Ru

      You're right on the money.

  3. Sammy Smalls
    Meh

    Truly great news.

    Can I have a start button and no TIFKAM now please?

    1. dogged

      Re: Truly great news.

      No. Adapt or deserve to die.

      1. Paul Shirley
        Facepalm

        Re: Adapt or deserve to die

        There's more than one way to adapt.

        Moving to a more suitable environment seems to be killing Microsoft better than Microsoft can kill it's departing refuseniks ;)

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Adapt or deserve to die.

        Are you listening, Microsoft?

        1. Knochen Brittle
          Linux

          Re: Are you listening, Microsoft?

          Yes, but strictly through the NSA ear-trumpet encoded in the company's DNA.

    2. Belardi
      Devil

      Re: Truly great news.

      NO!!

      YOU CANNOT PASS!

  4. wsm

    The man who reinvented Windows reinvents Microsoft. How long before BillG comes back and fixes things?

    1. Euripides Pants Silver badge

      Thursday

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Maybe they will invent clippy for CEOs.

      It looks like your running a company, would you like help?

  5. kevin biswas

    Skype, the failed VoIP web telco

    Huh ? Skype when why what how failed ?

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: Skype, the failed VoIP web telco

      Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn

        Does anyone seriously think it was bought for any other reason than to put a back door in, for the NSA?

        (Presumably in return for all the anti-competition stuff mysteriously evaporating)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn

          "Failed" and "sold for 8.5bn" is a contradiction.

          1. Don Jefe

            Re: Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn

            It really isn't a contradiction. It has been passed around as a multi-billion dollar hot potato with the only winners being those that sold it. As far as a revenue generator to intrgrate into a business it sucks. It is a fine product but it is not worth nearly what it has sold for as can be evidenced by the fact it only makes big money when it's sold.

          2. Levente Szileszky
            FAIL

            Re: Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn

            Only if you cannot grasp the difference between seller and buyer and the subject of this topic (MSFT, the buyer.).

          3. Charles Manning

            "Failed" and "sold for 8.5bn" is a contradiction.

            True.

            "Failed" and "bought for 8.5bn" are consistent.

            And, unfortunatley for MS, also consistent with a whole lot of their other recent purchases.

            They! jus!t have! to! buy! Yahoo! to! seal! the! deal!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn

          Simple, the value of something is often how much it can earn and how much it will inconvenience the competition when they plan to buy it but fail.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Skype, the failed VoIP web telco

        but it's invaluable,as it keeps the spooks happy. And this keeps the gov happy. And this makes MS happy.

      3. Phill 3

        Re: Skype, the failed VoIP web telco

        That's a failure of the purchaser's financial advisers. Not the product being bought.

        Though I'm sure they'll break it soon enough. My v2.8 meets all my needs.

      4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Skype, the failed VoIP web telco

        "Failed as in makes nowhere near enough money to justify 8.5bn"

        Like MySpace and AOL this a failure for the buyer

        That's a massive success for the seller.

  6. David Black
    Happy

    That old not-really Petronius quote comes to mind

    "We trained hard ... but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization."

    'tis the begining of the end :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That old not-really Petronius quote comes to mind

      100% right. I work for a large hardware/software/services company that has been in decline for over 12 years. The 'management' do not have a fcuking clue how to fix the business so they 're-organise" the company - again and again and again. It gives the appearance that they are actually doing something, but in fact all they are doing is panicking and scratching around for a fix that they hope will magically evolve from the smoke an mirrors they create.

      1. Darryl

        Re: That old not-really Petronius quote comes to mind

        Or the shorter quote:

        Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That old not-really Petronius quote comes to mind

        "I work for a large hardware/software/services company that has been in decline for over 12 years. The 'management' do not have a fcuking clue how to fix the business so they 're-organise" the company - again and again and again"

        Is it the Chicken Shit Company, by any chance?

    2. MIc
      Thumb Down

      Re: That old not-really Petronius quote comes to mind

      love the reward people get for negativity in this crowd. Doesn't matter what the situation is. If you can post something clever and snarky the crowd loves it. Not actual substance or anything resembling an argument.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Not actual substance or anything resembling an argument.

        But this isn't an argument -it's more of a joyful anticipation!

        1. Mephistro Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Not actual substance or anything resembling an argument.

          "-it's more of a joyful anticipation!"

          HAHAHA HAHA HAHAH (chest explodes)

      2. P. Lee Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: That old not-really Petronius quote comes to mind

        Here, have an upvote for being snarky about commentards.

        Oh, Ms Morrissette, where art thou?

      3. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        "post something clever and snarky the crowd loves it"

        So why haven't you got more upvotes?

      4. Steven Roper
        Stop

        ...or anything resembling an argument.

        Ok, MIc, here's an argument for you, using the time-honoured car analogy.

        Many years ago, I and most everyone else on this forum learned, as part of their growing-up process, how to operate a motor vehicle. Motor vehicles all operate on approximately similar principles; direction is controlled by rotating a wheel who axis is approximately parallel to the long axis of the vehicle (or for large vehicles, parallel to the vertical axis), gear change in most cases is effected by moving a stick mounted vertically above the drive train or horizontally behind the steering wheel, a pedal activated by the right foot increases speed, while a pedal activated by the left foot decreases speed. In some cases a third pedal, also activated by the left foot, separates conjoined gear wheels so they can be shifted to match different ratios, allowing the vehicle a greater speed range.

        Along with these principles are an associated set of rules one must abide by; a black number on a white round sign surrounded by a red border indicates the maximum speed you're allowed to go; you must stay on one particular side of the road (the left in the UK, Australia and Japan, the right everywhere else), a red circle with a white horizontal bar means you can't drive this direction; a red octagon with the word STOP in white letters means bring your vehicle to a complete halt until you've ascertained there's no opposing traffic. And so on, and so on.

        Understanding all these principles requires considerable study and practice. This is why drivers go through stages of learning and provisional licences while they acquire the skills and experience necessary to safely operate a motor vehicle in public. The process takes years, and costs a lot of money.

        Now, all of a sudden, some bright spark at, say, Ford or Toyota decides, for no reason other than wanting to make a mark on history, that these time-honoured and widely understood principles of driving no longer apply, and need to be replaced with... something else.

        So, he decides, let's change everything. We'll replace the steering wheel with a slider bar; let's mount the gear change stick under the driver's seat; since the driver's now steering with one hand, we'll put in a lever for the other hand that when pulled backward makes the car go faster and when pushed forward makes the car slow down (just to be different, hey!). And we'll make the speed signs bright green squares with yellow numbers, because green and yellow are his favourite colours, and let's make the stop signs blue pentagons with a stylised upheld hand, because not everyone understands the English word STOP.

        So what if everyone has spent thousands of dollars and years of their lives learning how to do everything the old way? Who gives a fuck about boring shit like people's life experiences and incomes? Get with the program slackers, adapt or die! We own the marketplace, most cars on the road are made by us, so we get to decide how everyone has to drive!

        Naturally, the vast majority of people get pretty pissed off about this. They refuse to buy the new cars, or they start looking for other car manufacturers who will continue to build cars with steering wheels and accelerator and brake pedals. They don't see the need to spend hundreds of dollars and months on driver training to learn what they already know all over again, just because some idiot at Ford/Toyota wants change for change's sake.

        Of course, all the boys and girls just coming out of school might like the new system, because they've never done it any other way, and they don't know any better, so they start mocking and deriding all the experienced adults who understand that the time-honoured method of driving a car was developed and optimised painstakingly over decades of R&D. They think that it's perfectly fine to throw all of that experience and research and skill out of the window simply because that's the old way, man.

        So instead of hunting around for car yards selling the original design, like most experienced folks are now doing, they simply go to the shiny big car yard down the road and buy the new cars, causing our bright spark at Ford/Toyota to think his new design is selling well. But then this year's crop of school escapees have all bought their cars, and nobody in the majority of the populace with any life experience is buying them, and so new car sales drop through the floor.

        And anybody who spent dollars and months learning the old way cheers loudly in support of anyone who speaks up and says that the new cars are rubbish, as a way of letting both our bright spark CEO and all the inexperienced schoolkids know, that you don't just throw away people's valuable and hard-earned skills, time and money just because you want make your mark on history.

        Do you understand? It's not "negativity", it's "I don't fucking see why I should just throw away everything I've ever learned and spend my next years' profits on staff retraining just because Ballmer wants a piece of Apple and Samsung's sales."

        1. Nigel 11
          Thumb Up

          Re: ...or anything resembling an argument.

          And the thing to add to that, is that as a person experienced in using both Windows XP/7 and Linux, I can move quite easily and not unhappily to an Apple iMac. It's about as easy as moving from one conventionally operated car to another. A bit of initial irritation with the minor controls, but nothing completely infuriating and no need for a formal re-education.

    3. Ron Christian

      Re: That old not-really Petronius quote comes to mind

      Beginning? I'd say it's at least the middle of the end. Or even the final reel. I'd expect one more punch line, then the credits.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        @Ron Christian

        "Beginning? I'd say it's at least the middle of the end. Or even the final reel. I'd expect one more punch line, then the credits."

        No, sorry I've heard that one far too many times to believe it.

        It ignores a)MS's effective monopoly of the desktop market b)Their rat-like instinct for self preservation c)Their new best buds at No Such Agency and d)Their ongoing Bonnie & Clyde relationship with Intel.

        MS is like Boris in the film "Snatch." It takes a lot of killing.

        I could live with it being dismembered into OS and apps companiesbut they are not that stupid.

        Personally I hope Ballmer will remain CEO for decades to come.

        Disclosure. I don't own MS stock, I don't want MS stock and I don't plan to buy any MS stock anytime soon.

    4. tony2heads
      Thumb Up

      Petronius and Suetonius in one article

      Clearly this all these references to the Roman Empire are ringing true.

      Can I quote Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire':

      But its fall was announced by a clearer omen than the flight of vultures: the Roman government appeared every day less formidable to its enemies, more odious and oppressive to its subjects.

      For 'subjects' read 'users' in this case

    5. Credo
      Meh

      Re: That old not-really Petronius quote comes to mind

      I don't "hate" Microsoft,... I use a host of legitimately purchased MS products, which all do an acceptable job of meeting their original design criteria.

      My one year old i5 processor based Music Workstation uses Win 7 and it's not bad at all.

      We have a Laptop with Vista which is bearable.

      and my Windows XP e-mail and office desktop is passable,...

      And there's the rub,... I don't NEED to upgrade,...

      I've upgraded the OS on many customer and personal systems and the time it takes along with the pre-planning and backup of critical data leaves me "happy" to continue with the limitations of the current configurations.

      With such a high percentage of the global computer population as an installed base, is it too much to ask that they focus on making upgrades intelligent and simple to deploy... ?

      In response to all those quoting Suetonius, Petronius etc. my old Marketing Director used to observe that, "the one thing we learn from History is, that we don't learn from History".

  7. heyrick Silver badge

    Ballmer kills Windows?

    I thought Metro (or whatever it is called now) is what killed Windows.

    1. Dramoth
      Thumb Up

      Re: Ballmer kills Windows?

      I think that heading was supposed to read "Ballmer kills Microsoft"

      Whats the bet that with this announcement, BillG starts dropping his remaining shares in the company onto the exchange floor as an exercise to refinancing his philanthropic activities to empower himself...

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Ballmer kills Windows?

      It did. Balmer is now just stamping on the bits

      1. moiety

        Re: Ballmer kills Windows?

        No need for killing - W8 was DOA.

      2. LaeMing Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Balmer is now just stamping on the bits

        With a chair, presumably.

  8. Maharg

    BS Corporate marketing language

    lets break the statement down without the spin.

    Today, we are announcing a far-reaching realignment of the company that will enable us to innovate with greater speed, efficiency and capability in a fast changing world.

    far-reaching realignment ( read: changes, possible job losses- see also ‘streamline’) enable us to innovate (good words that mean Sweet FA) greater speed (you mean ‘faster’ but this way you get to put the word ‘great’ in and make the drones happy), efficiency (read: changes, possible job losses) capability (do better) fast changing world (keep up)

    Or in none spin speak – We are making changes so we can continue what we do, only without as much waste, possible job losses.

    “our strategy to deliver a family of devices and services that best empower people for the activities they value most”

    Empower people? Activates they value the most?

    “Hey mate, coming down the pub? No sorry, I need Microsoft to ‘Empower’ me”

    “Honey are you coming to bed? Not yet, Microsoft haven’t ‘Empowered’ me” (wink wink)

    1. mark 63 Silver badge

      Re: BS Corporate marketing language

      Looks like they're going to empower some people with choice in the job market

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: BS Corporate marketing language

      I wish I could find it, but there was some staggering research into processing politicians' speeches and deriving them down to just what, if anything, meaningful was said. The same would apply here and would probably produce a similar result to your distillation of marketing BS words.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never a good sign!

    Once you hear the word 'restructuring' it's time to sell your shares...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never a good sign!

      Not necessarily true (although I suspect you may be right in this particular case...)

      My employer has gone through a lot of change over the last few years, at both local and international levels. They had to, it was a case of adapt to changing markets or die. It's been painful, inevitably job losses have been involved, and we're not totally out of the woods yet - but we've got a fighting chance now.

      If we hadn't restructured we wouldn't still be here.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Never a good sign!

      "Once you hear the word 'restructuring' it's time to sell your shares..."

      On the upside (just playing devils advocate here you understand)....

      They have not commissioned a brand spanking new corporate HQ.

      Or (AFAIK) bought any more corporate jets.

      Of course there's always the January sales....

      1. heyrick Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Never a good sign!

        "Or (AFAIK) bought any more corporate jets."

        Oh, I don't know. There might be some Dreamliners going at a bargain price if they don't get on top of that problem (see icon).

  10. Neil B

    It's hella not before time that the "Windows" division was dissolved, it had, by all accounts, far too much clout and far too much autonomy. Maybe now we'll see some half-decent communication and collaboration between the Win8, WinRT, and WinPhone people.

    1. Mr. Peterson

      am reminded only of this:

      “You've heard of people calling in sick. You may have called in sick a few times yourself. But have you ever thought about calling in well?

      It'd go like this: You'd get the boss on the line and say, "Listen, I've been sick ever since I started working here, but today I'm well and I won't be in anymore." Call in well.” - Tom Robbins

  11. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Mr Mainwaring

    dont panic dont panic...

    1. Kiwi_MarkLFC
      FAIL

      Re: Mr Mainwaring

      Was not the character that uttered that catch phrase - it was the old sergent that said they didnt like it up em

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Mr Mainwaring

        The old sergeant called Corporal Jones.

      2. Insanity Inc
        FAIL

        Re: Mr Mainwaring

        He was actually a corporal, and his name was "Jonesy"

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Mr Mainwaring

          Don't tell him your name, Pike!

  12. Zippy's Sausage Factory
    Facepalm

    I have to say I can't see anything really positive in this. Three of the departments look to be name changes.

    But "organising around engineering" is a sure route to failure. If they were reorganising to meet customer demand, or restructuring to be more agile, then great. But all he's done is reduce five warring armies to four.

    And what was this about "we'll continue to run Skype as a separate company"? Apparently not. U-turns are always a sign of desperation.

    Of course, it's probably more about how the figures next year will pan out. No doubt the high-earning products will be sprinkled around effectively enough to disguise the lossmakers from the investors. Which given the state of the PC market - and the fact that they aggregated pent up Windows 8 demand to make the Windows division figures look good - is probably the real motivation for the change.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No mention of customers....

    Funny....I always thought MS was first and foremost a MARKETING company....not much sign of engineering anywhere (remember Windows ME?). So now it's an engineering company and marketing takes a back seat. Sounds like the beginning of the end to me.

  14. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "Cloud and Enterprise Engineering"

    Nice of Steve to give a heads up to businesses and enterprises which aren't interested in the cloud so they can make plans to leave now instead of being forced onto it.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: "Cloud and Enterprise Engineering"

      My thoughts entirely.

      He couldn't be more obvious without hanging a giant poster down the side of the Shard! (Perhaps that's what those loonies are doing?)

      The departments read as "back office, phones & games consoles, consumer applications, cloud".

      Not a lot of room for Enterprise there.

  15. Anonymous C0ward

    New lipstick

    Same pig?

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: New lipstick

      Or "the names and the faces change, but the assholes stay the same".

    2. Jemma Silver badge

      Re: New lipstick

      I now have the image of Ballmer doing a J. Edgar Hoover. It is entirely possible I may never recover!

      1. Havin_it
        Thumb Up

        Re: New lipstick

        I think what he's doing is closer to a J. Arthur, no?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only restructure that would help....

    “Today, we are announcing a far-reaching realignment of the company that will enable us to innovate with greater speed, efficiency, and capability in a fast-changing world....Today’s announcement will enable us to execute even better on our strategy to deliver a family of devices and services that best empower people for the activities they value most and the enterprise extensions and services that are most valuable to business.”

    "I am leaving to spend more time with my family... - Steve"

    if only.....

  17. Stewart McKenna

    Wonder how the OEM/VAR hardware

    'partners' are going to take this.. Unless M$ builds lots and lots of plants

    who is going to make the 'devices'?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “We will plan across the company, so we can better deliver compelling integrated devices and services.”

    Which will be subscription based, ensuring the cash cow keeps on milking

    1. Chemist

      "“We will pull together disparate engineering efforts today into a coherent set of high-value activities,”"

      Dogbert's Mission Statement Generator

      1. Chemist

        "Dogbert's Mission Statement Generator"

        I ACTUALLY worked in a department in a company that believed ( the company that is) in dept. mission statements. The Dept. ( a VERY cynical bunch) generated their's by Dogbert's excellent site and either nobody noticed or nobody dared notice in the suits dept.

    2. Ron Christian

      ...assuming that anyone actually subscribes.

  19. TheTrouser

    Is he really so out of touch?

    From the BBC website:

    The "One Microsoft" strategy would seek to bring together diverse areas such as Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, Surface, Office 365 and others.

    Win8 was an attempt to "consolidate" PC and touch screen tablets - its failed.

    Now he's going to try the same thing across everything else?

    1. Don Jefe
      Happy

      Re: Is he really so out of touch?

      Well, to be fair, he hadn't yet changed the names of the groups so maybe it'll all come together now that the final piece of the puzzle is in place.

    2. Ron Christian

      Re: Is he really so out of touch?

      Um, sure. If your personality doesn't allow you to recognize that your strategy is failing, you meet opposition by doubling down. This, I suspect, is that.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is not the end

    Dateline April 1, 2014

    This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But the beginning has ended, and we are nearly at the end of the bit between the beginning and the end. Then the end will begin, and one day it will all be ended.

    tl;dr: We are poised for a new era of growth. In pink slips (or P45s, please see ControlPanel->RegionalSettings, if you can find ControlPanel at all in Windows 8.2).

  21. Levente Szileszky

    As I long predicted for the baldie: "THE HEAT IS ON...

    ...on the street

    Inside your head, on every beat

    And the beat's so loud, deep inside

    The pressure's high, just to stay alive

    'Cause the heat is on

    Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho

    Caught up in the action I've been looking out for you

    Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho

    (Tell me can you feel it)

    (Tell me can you feel it)

    (Tell me can you feel it)

    The heat is on, the heat is on, the heat is on

    Oh it's on the street, the heat is on"

  22. BongoJoe
    Devil

    Farewell, old firiend

    I note with interest that the head of Microsoft Office is going.

    Untl a few years ago there were three areas in which Microsoft excelled, that is, in my opinion.

    1. Windows XP

    2. Office (with or without the Ribbon; I've given up on this argumment having lost)

    3. SQL Server and Exchange

    The Server operatng system, seemed to have lost the plot sometime back, didn't get mentioned in my list.

    I personally think that the move from the XP towards the W8 wasn't a great move. Devloping in .Net concerns me more than Visual Studio 6 days with more and more bloaty code and I feel that I am being pulled down the wrong path. Office looks to be downgraded within the MS world and that doesn't leave much for me to admire in a company which I really did admire back in the 80s and 90s.

    My confidence in this company has just sunk to a new all-time low. Where's my old SCO Unix distribution disks...?

    1. Peter Simpson 1
      Linux

      Re: Farewell, old firiend

      _Where's my old SCO Unix distribution disks...?_

      Screw them, Linux is your best bet at this point.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Farewell, old firiend

        Slackware on the desktops & BSD on the servers & Internet-facing kit. Works for me.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Farewell, old firiend

      > SQL Server

      You misspelled PostgreSQL

      > and Exchange

      Ughhhhkkk.

    3. plrndl
      Linux

      Re: Farewell, old firiend

      SCO Unix (ne Xenix) is a Microsoft product. Try Linux. You'll have LOTS of choice, and you can always hack the code yourself if you don't like where your distro is going.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Farewell, old firiend

        "SCO Unix (ne Xenix) is a Microsoft product."

        Uh ... no. Xenix is re-badged AT&T UNIX[tm].

        Microsoft never wrote a single line of code when it comes to Xenix.

  23. Robinson

    Stack ranking.

    It'll make little difference if management as still "stack ranking" their employees.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Stack ranking.

      That's one of the biggest things that's still killing MS from inside.

      ...and in the news recently they want to introduce a similar scheme for our Civil Servants.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about a version of Windows...

    that is bloat free and installs what it needs from online rather than dumping a DVD with hundreds of useless files that never get used.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about a version of Windows...

      Or a version that is sensibly priced that I can run in virtualbox ! :-)

  25. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    Clearly...

    A company-sized Microsoft version of the Lament Configuration.

    Pray, just PRAY for a blue screen!

    ...or Fornicus, Lord of Bondage and Pain, will appear.

  26. Prowler
    Alien

    Who really killed Microsoft?

    I've said it before and I'll say it again ...

    Steve Jobs is doing it.

    He is haunting the halls of Redmond running amok by possessing the minds and bodies of Microsoft executives. For a while he was in Sinofsky, but also spends time with Jensen Harris, Sam Moreau, Julie Larson-Green and several others. Clearly he targets Steve Ballmer the most since he offers the most entertainment value.

    It's a perfect plan and it fits the available evidence. When he was alive no-one at Microsoft would have considered killing the goose that laid all those golden eggs called Windows, and Technet, and Office, and Studio, and Xbox, and ...

    It's a brilliant really. Steve Jobs leaves no trail behind him. It's a perfect crime. Like an icicle dagger.

  27. Dan Paul

    Sell Microsoft Stock Immediately or Go Short on it!!!

    Folks,

    Looks like they are deliberately trying to tank the stock, perhaps as the largest stock buyback in history.

    After Wall Street get's wind on what this announcement says, their $35.40 per share price will drop like a lead balloon.

    Shares in any Linux provider should leap after this.

    Hopefully, the shareholders will revolt and hang Ball-More by his short hairs.

  28. Someone Else Silver badge
    FAIL

    And the jabberwocky said...

    “We will plan across the company, so we can better deliver compelling integrated devices and services.”

    Ignoring the fact that this sentence alone might just be a winner on someone's Bullshit Buzzword Bingo card, one is "compelled" to ask, "Compelling...you mean like Windows 8, the Ribbon, WinPho...?"

  29. ColonelClaw
    Megaphone

    Did anyone read the full post on the MS web site?

    That post from Ballmer is the new gold standard for Bullshit Bingo. You could have a winner about 3 paragraphs in.

  30. itzman
    Trollface

    Hello Steve, this is the operating system division here..

    WE have just done a cost benefit analysis and worked out that the shortest route to an industrial strength operating system will be to spend 9 months creating a windows legacy compatible API to run over a Linux kernel...

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Yep, nope.

      Trouble is, the most secure part of Windows is the kernel and most of the vulnerabilities stem from "end-user convenience". If you put the Windows Shell on top of Linux, you'd probably find you'd undermined your industrial strength foundations.

      I note in passing that several governments not commonly noted for their respect for copyright law have the source code for Windows that would allow them to develop exactly that. What's the betting that the source code for XP starts to leak after 2014?

      I also note that Microsoft are steadily losing the staff who actually programmed their most successful products. What's the betting that some of those staff occasionally contribute bug fixes to FOSS alternatives that only make sense to someone who knows the mis-behaviour warts in the original product?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  31. Herby Silver badge

    Three envelopes...

    Ballmer was probably given three envelopes from his predecessor:

    Open in case of emergency:

    #1 Blame your predecessor (he was too successful, founding the company and all that).

    #2 Reorganize. I believe this is the current mode.

    #3 Make three envelopes for your successor. Probably just a matter of time.

    Well, it worked for the president of the United States, why not Microsoft. I suspect that envelope #2 gets read quite a few times before going to envelope #3 for Mr. Balder Ballmer, but envelope #1 was used extensively by the other guy.

    1. Yet Another Commentard

      Re: Three envelopes...

      Oh crud, I did that joke too having not seen your version. Apologies. Have an upvote by way of apology.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're not done yet

    Sorry, still confused.

    Take Office 365. Is that an application or a cloud service? Isn't it both?

    Take Windows virtualization/VM whatever. Is that an operating system or a cloud application? Isn't it both?

    Take XBox One/online. Is that a game experience of a cloud application? Isn't it both?

    If your customers can't tell immediately, without being told, which part of your organization is in charge of the thing they are interested in, you are doomed.

  33. earplugs

    But HOW to kill Steve Ballmer?

    Changing deckchairs on the Titanic again.

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: But HOW to kill Steve Ballmer?

      That's the board's job. Or the shareholders'. I doubt they'll do the deed until it's too late to make any difference. They're all PHBs like him (apart from the PH, anyway). I'd guess about a year after they've ceased supporting Windows 7, i.e. two years too late.

      IBM, if you still want revenge for OS/2, your time to move is fast approaching.

  34. Tom Maddox Silver badge
    FAIL

    I'm going to sing the "Doom" song!

    Doom doom doom doom doomity doom doom doom . . .

    6 MONTHS LATER

    . . . doom doom doom doom doomity doom doom doom.

  35. RobHib
    Stop

    The ascendancy of engineering over product...

    "The ascendancy of engineering over product..."

    Uh? Are you sure you are actually talking about Microsoft?

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: The ascendancy of engineering over product...

      Just because he says it, doesn't mean he means it. (Or that he knows what it means.)

  36. N2 Silver badge

    Alas, a long farewell

    I dont really care what its called, or how its organised so long as it does my stuff & does it well.

    How I wish the title was "Windows kills Steve Ballmer"

  37. eswan

    So, have I got this right?

    They put the Windows Phone guy in charge of OS development.

    The Ribbon lady in charge of Devices and Entertainment.

    And ex-Bing people over Cloud and Apps?

    With this kind of leadership, how can they lose?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You seem to be of the opinion that top level product managers are some how experts in a particular field. They are not, they are decision makers and leaders.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        "They are not, they are decision makers and leaders."

        Which is why the OP flagged up some of their biggest past decisions.

  38. alain williams Silver badge

    Office 365 is a gift to the NSA

    MS helps the NSA gain access to data in its cloud http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data

    Now: tell me why anyone would trust it.

  39. Ron Christian

    maybe...

    Although most of me thinks they're firing the wrong people, a reorg isn't necessarily a bad thing. When you have a problem and you don't know the cause, changing something (anything) and see if the problem changes is a reasonable strategy.

    Of course, if you don't know the cause and everyone else in the world does and you refuse to listen to them, whatever you change probably won't end happily, but it'll probably be entertaining for the rest of us.

  40. Peter 39

    deck chairs

    The usual comment about "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic" is no longer appropriate.

    Steve threw them all off already.

    1. and-job

      Re: deck chairs

      he's thrown everything off already, he didn't even keep the band to play on, he just embraced the iceberg and screamed full steam ahead!

  41. Tom 35 Silver badge

    May you live in intresting times

    With all the BS bingo I'm not really sure what we are in for.

    It seems that when we don't jump for their new (higher revenue) plans (like Office 365) they to push people, not by making the new better then the old, but by crippling the old. When Office 2013 was released they had reduced the number of installs, made it non-transferable and such tricks to make it a worse product just to make the thing they wanted you to buy look better. They had to back down some there, for now.

    The same with Win8, screw it up to sell phones. Making my computer look like an over sized phone (and a pain to use) will not make me want your phone, your phone has to make me want your phone. Provide simple solid sync tools that can be extended by others.

    So I'll have to wait to see how much of the changes are "new stuff I want" and how much is "kill the stuff I use so I will buy the stuff they want to sell".

  42. All names Taken
    Alien

    Contagion alert!

    Contagion alert!

    Contagion alert!

    ditto

    ditto

    (well, you are sentient, almost free-willed individuals and i am sure you will at least be able to figure out an interpretation wholly meeting the constraints and confines of your perception and perceptive spaces. If not: good for you! (?)

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where does the CIA fit in with all this?

  44. This post has been deleted by its author

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Things must have been very bad indeed

    Things must have been desperately bad to cause such disruption in a big company ...and under the same leadership, why should reorganisation change anything?

  46. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    Microsoft FAIL

    It seems as if every time Microsoft has a product or service fail spectacularly (as has happened with Vista 8, and the new Vista 8.1) they have a re-org. As if that's going to do anything.

    The bottom line is that Microsoft is faithfully following in IBM's footsteps, with years of monopoly making them complacent, and waking up too late to find out that the world has moved on and the company cannot be repaired.

    The only difference is that the products of IBM's monopoly years, while stodgy and uninteresting, were at least reliable. On the other hand, the day Microsoft makes a product that doesn't suck would be the day they got into the vacuum cleaner business.

    Microsoft has set the entire industry back by decades. It's about time we move on.

    1. and-job

      Re: Microsoft FAIL

      You got it, they just keep on rolling blindly saying that the world is not changing around them and thinking that if they just reorganize.

      Every time they have tweaked windows (since each version is merely the same old beast of an OS with a few tweaks added). Windows needs to cleaned up, it needs to be slimmed down and it needs to work.

      If have to deal with Windows 8 explorer stop working one more time it will be good by Windows. Oh yeah, it will be good bye windows regardless!

      Though adoption of new releases of Windows would be higher if they didn't think that Windows was a premium operating system rather than merely there because they have all the manufacturers in a bind and trapped into supplying it as part of their imposed 'monopoly'.

      I am sure that Linux would be adopted far more by people and would have become far easier to use and more user friendly if it was an option on PC's or at least have an option that would allow a person to choose the OS when they switch on the PC for the first time - either install one OS or the other or Both!

      1. IGnatius T Foobar

        Re: Microsoft FAIL

        I am sure that Linux would be adopted far more by people and would have become far easier to use and more user friendly if it was an option on PC's

        The whole "Linux desktop is not mainstream because it's too hard to use" is a myth. Microsoft still had a monopoly back when you had to fight with CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT all day long, and you had to run DEFRAG and MEMMAKER to manually reoptimize the boot settings every time you installed or changed an application.

        Not to mention, today's Linux is every bit as easy to use as Windows or Mac, and it doesn't pretend to be a smartphone when you really want a desktop.

        1. BongoJoe
          Facepalm

          Re: Microsoft FAIL

          That is all well and good saying Linux is the answer. It's not just a case of swapping the machines out overnight and having a brand new MS free world the next day.

          There's bespoke applications which will only run on Windows. My busness, for example, runs on two massive applications which are written by us and would take about three years to rewrite on a Linux platform.

          That's not only me; there's firms out there locked into the MS environment and would now love to get out but cannot afford the cost and time of reinvestment.

          If I had the money available then I would go over to Linux tomorrow. But, like a lot of businesses we're stuck with the MS model and watching news like this of MS wanting to become something that I can't actually describe concerns me.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Microsoft FAIL

            OK so you (and others like you) realise that, although the horse you backed may have been the right one at the time, it's looking less than ideal right now.

            But surely you (and others) must realise that the longer you put off moving off your current platform, the more painful and expensive it will eventually be? If the business is so dependent on MS, you're in big trouble two years from now either way. If you are expecting MS to change direction, think again.

            On the other hand, changing platform may not be as expensive as you think. Before long, there will be armies of formerly certified Microsoft dependent consultants, and the better ones will have rapidly reskilled to other platforms and will be available to help you and the many other sensible folks looking to move off MS to somewhere more appropriate for their medium term needs.

            Hopefully by the time that transition happens, you and others will have a better understanding of the implications of "vendor lock in".

            1. BongoJoe
              Stop

              Re: Microsoft FAIL

              But surely you (and others) must realise that the longer you put off moving off your current platform, the more painful and expensive it will eventually be? If the business is so dependent on MS, you're in big trouble two years from now either way. If you are expecting MS to change direction, think again.

              I can't agree more. But now being a one-man business and having to spend my time available away from administration, looking after customers, making feature updates leaves me with little or no time left.

              Like all small businesses I can't afford to stand still. If my product didn't improve constantly then I would lose custom which means more and more coding on defunct platforms. It's not like I have a choice.

              I have one client I do development work for now and then when they are stuck. They're larger than my one man band as they have about a dozen people in their office. One of their suppliers has a monopoly on an item that they sell. To get to order said item they have to use IE6 because of Active-X.

              Now, because of years of buggerations by MS they are stuck at running IE6 and you can imagine the fun when a machine needs to be updated. And there's no point telling the supplier to change their ways; they won't so they're shafted by the ever changing direction of MS. So, it's not a case of them being unwillng to hire someone to any software changes; they are held hostage to their supplier who couldn't give too hoots as they have the monopoly (they're an overseas state run organisation, by the way).

              The point is that even if I wanted to rewrite everything from MS code; be it VS6, .Net, VBA and ASP (which is all tied into one product line) into something which is going to be the equivilent in Linux land is has about 200,000 lines of code overall isn't going to be an easy task. And whilst I am supposed to be innovating at the same time? Impossible and perhaps it's time I just pulled the plug and took up llama farming.

          2. Nigel 11

            Re: Microsoft FAIL

            There's a good chance that if YOU wrote it, you can run it under WINE on Linux. WINE has improved of late. Certainly worth a test. The problems seem to arise with things written by MS, or by big software houses with privileged access to interfaces that MS doesn't publish.

        2. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Microsoft FAIL

          Not to mention, today's Linux is every bit as easy to use as Windows or Mac, and it doesn't pretend to be a smartphone when you really want a desktop.

          Not used Unity then?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Microsoft FAIL

            "today's Linux is every bit as easy to use as Windows

            Not used Unity then?"

            Irrelevant (other than as a well deserved dig at Unity).

            Don't like Unity, pick something different that suits your preferences.

            Don't like search as a program launcher, don't like losing the Start button/menu, pick something different that suits your preferences.

            One of the two suggestions above is workable. One isn't so easy.

  47. and-job

    Oh we can only wish!

    that they would get actually kill windows instead of just the way they manage the employee's.

    Sometimes it takes killing a product and rebuilding from scratch to actually get it right. They spend forever working on new versions of Windows but it's never a new version it's just the same old OS with a new front end strapped on, a new start screen added.

    The last time they did something creative was when they finally realized that they don't need to be building a special version for home and a version for office but that took the disaster AKA Windows Me to make them realize that they had really messed things up and had to kill that off and merged into the Windows XP system but since then it's just been more lip stick on the old Sow and calling it beautiful.

    Sorry Microsoft, Sorry Ballmer but that pig is always going to be a pig. It's oversized, full of code that is not there merely because it's easier to write around the mess and leave the bad code sitting in there than take it out - just in case the code might be useful some day in the future - and when they did pull code they ended up putting it back in as a patch because so much software used the DHTML editing component that when it was removed on Windows Vista they had to stick it back into the system again as an add on that could be installed for software that utlitized it instead of standing firm and forcing the authors of the software to rewrite their software to not make use of old code.

  48. mike smo

    Please leak

    Will the employee at Redmond that is upset with this restructuring please post to wikileaks the details of the payoff that occurred around the same time Skype was bought for a BILLLLION $$$ and the Feds bugging everything.

  49. Tomato42 Silver badge

    Ballmer quote

    “We will pull together desperate engineering efforts today into a coherent set of high-value activities,”

    I can't be the only one that read it this way, can I?

  50. Tank boy
    Alert

    Those deck chairs will not rearrange themselves people! And the band played on...

  51. chiller

    Restructure and adapt. Listening is a good starting point.

    It is high time that Steve 'The Gurning Gibbon' Ballmer stepped down, if he loves MS he would.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Workstations

    I really do wonder what the future holds when most people will only be tablet users.

    How is software going to get written if the only device most people own is a consumption device?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Workstations

      "How is software going to get written if the only device most people own is a consumption device?"

      ?

      Most people with TVs are not electronic engineers or embedded systems designers (a modern TV is more computer than electronics).

      Most people running a bit of software do not need to be able to understand the concept of what software is, let alone make a decent job of writing it.

      Sometimes it is helpful for decision makers and others to have a clue about what software and computers can or cannot sensibly do. But it's probably not essential.

    2. Nigel 11

      Re: Workstations

      The question should be "how is content going to be created ...."

      That's things as humble as pages of text, web pages, spreadsheets, entering the data to a 'base.. You don't do any of those things well with a tablet. If your employer insists, you'll soon be visiting your doctor with RSI and hiring a lawyer.

      Putting an interface optimised for tablets (I'm being charitable) on desktop computers cannot but reduce productivity. Then there's the retraining costs. Why are they surprised it's not selling well, and that most of the places it's "selling" to are "downgrading" as soon as they unpack the hardware?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Workstations

        "You don't do [typing] well with a tablet"

        True. So use the tablet with a real keyboard + mouse (Bluetooth or USB, no problem)

        And plug a decent monitor into the HDMI port while you're at it.

        OR, perhaps more sensibly:

        Just use the right tool for the job/worker in question. IT departments are rarely good at that, they don't like their nice standard rollouts to lose their purity by actually giving people a selection of tools so they can pick the tools best suited to the end users need within the larger organisation's needs: Citrix where it fits, workstations (with multiple large screens where appropriate), maybe even Linux in a few places.

        It'll never catch on.

      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: "most of the places it's "selling" to are "downgrading" as soon as they unpack the hardware"

        That is not going to be an argument as long as Microsoft counts in licenses "shipped" and not licenses "used".

        1. Nigel 11

          Re: "most of the places it's "selling" to are "downgrading" as soon as they unpack the hardware"

          I'm sure someone in Microsoft has Windows activation statistics. Although it does appear as if the top-level management is refusing to look at them.

          In days of yore, the couriers drew straws to decide who would bring the latest bad news to the attention of the tyrant. It was a dangerous job. In those days the messenger might well be literally shot or otherwise executed. The worst that can happen these days is rather less, but losing your job for being accurate about the Emperor's new clothes is still a possibility under the worst sort of management. Safer to stay quiet until asked?

          (Lu-Tze quote about leaders, which applies equally to managers. "The second-best leader is respected, and the third-best is feared. The worst is hated. When the best leader's job is done, the people say 'we did it ourselves' " ).

  53. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    "As private parts to the gods are we, they play with us for their sport."

    With apologies to Lord Melchett for any breach of M'lords copyright.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like how people here are so quick to condemn anyone

    lets see, Ballmer has been CEO for how long?

    Gates took 35 years to get the cmpany to where it was

    they are doing the same with Job's replacement, condemn him after a short while because he isnt how steve was after 30 years

    and also the token "RIM are dead post"

    1. returnmyjedi

      To be fair, RIM are dead: long live BlackBerry.

      No cancel that: die BlackBerry, die (just had a Z10 thrust upon me by my US overlords).

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: I like how people here are so quick to condemn anyone

      "Gates took 35 years to get the cmpany to where it was"

      More like 20 and then he cruised for a while, unable to make further progress, before handing it over to his buddy coz the job (making money) finally started being less fun than the alternatives (spending it).

      At this rate, Ballmer isn't going to last 20 years and the job won't be any fun at all when he hands it over unless you are a lawyer.

  55. Eduard Coli

    Wot, again?

    Conspicuous by its absence, the most profitable division of all, M$ legal dept.

  56. PeterM42
    Alien

    And just to think....

    .....people used to moan about Bill Gates.

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