back to article Ballmer's emotional farewell to Redmond: I LOVE THIS COMPANY

Microsoft's 99,000 employees face a future without its chief chair-flinger Steve Ballmer who just announced his retirement to a happy Wall Street. He penned a letter to MS staff that was stuffed with classic Ballmerisms, including a repeat of one of his famously sweaty outpourings: "I LOVE THIS COMPANY." Ballmer joined …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those videos

    I just KNEW you couldn't resist including them.

    1. Miek
      Coat

      Re: Those videos

      Did anyone spot the Gorilla in a man-suit that walked on the stage ?

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Unhappy

      Blamer leaving microsoft is terrible news

      He was ruining the company perfectly. The whole industry should now be worried.

    3. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Those videos

      The Roxbury spoof is funny as hell!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY2j_GPIqRA

    4. LarsG
      Meh

      He says he is leaving and the share price rockets? The videos say it all.

  2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Pint

    He will be missed for his bouts of .....

    unintentional comedy

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So long, and thanks for all the BSOD ;)

  4. Richy Freeway

    Bye now

    Don't let the chair hit you on the way out!

  5. Frankee Llonnygog

    I love this company ...

    frequently, inappropriately, and unrequitedly

  6. Rick Giles
    Linux

    What doesn't surprise me

    is that the stock went up after announcement.

    1. tentimes

      Re: What doesn't surprise me

      Actually no - for some bizarre reason it is trending down - and I had put a big sell order in which just tripped out.

      Seems the money people don't realise what a good thing this is.

      1. tentimes

        Re: What doesn't surprise me

        err, buy even

        1. jai

          Re: What doesn't surprise me

          kinda important not to get those two mixed up y'know

    2. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: No....

      True, but I have to admit there will be cake when he's gone :-) He wasn't their finest hour.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    End to vertical lock-in?

    Wouldn't it be great if the next brilliant leader decided to allow some of MS's products to interoperate with other systems - like Office for LInux, or Office for Chromebook? I know Office has been available for Mac for years, but when you consider that at one time MS was propping up Apple with cash infusions in order to avoid additional anti-trust hits, that's not so surprising.

    But - Office for Linux, or Office for Chrome - those would be big changes.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Office for Linux, or Office for Chrome - those would be big changes.

      Office 365 properly supported on all browsers, that'd be a big change. Porting Office to a number of different OSs would be a big cultural change, but to go forward technically you need to decouple from the OS, not bind to more. IMHO, obv....

      1. Vociferous

        Re: Office for Linux, or Office for Chrome - those would be big changes.

        Standalone Office, i.e. Office you can buy and run on your local computer, is going the way of the dodo. Office 2013 is almost certainly the last version you'll be able to buy (and the EULA is truly horrid now).

      2. JW 1
        Linux

        Re: Office for Linux, or Office for Chrome - those would be big changes.

        We run Office 365 here. The web apps in Firefox on Linux are actually very good. I can do all of the Office 365 management from Linux. Funny thing is that even on Windows the webapps and management all works better in Firefox than IE 9 or 10.

      3. FuzzyTheBear
        Pint

        Re: Office for Linux, or Office for Chrome - those would be big changes.

        What i'd truly like to see is Microsoft Linux would probably be the boldest move any Microsoft new top dog could ever do and i wonder if they just couldn't make a fortune doing it .. hmm must be the beer .. but still ..

        nightmarish visions .. ? hmm .. better get heavily loaded with suds . And not a word to Microsoft .. we don't want them to have good ideas LOL

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: End to vertical lock-in?

      "But - Office for Linux..."

      Thanks, but no thanks.

      What do we want with a ribbonised, proprietary piece of junk like Office? When we already have LibreOffice and its like.

      For the tiny minority of users who need all the esoteric bits of Office it would be better to stay with Windows. For everyone else it's a case of you pays your money and puts up with all of MS's antics re. format(OOXML), UI (think of TIFKAM) or use the free, libre software such as LO.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Holmes

        Re: End to vertical lock-in?

        @nematoad - >"What do we want with a ribbonised, proprietary piece of junk like Office? When we already have LibreOffice and its like."

        There are many of us who contract with a large sphere of businesses, and have to deal with MS Office formatted files on a daily basis. LO and OOo still don't offer a high enough percentage of correct formatting for complex MS formatted files. It would be nice to deal with these files without having to run two computers, or dual boot, or run Windows in a VM.

        1. Nuke
          Holmes

          @Andy Prough - Re: End to vertical lock-in?

          Wrote :- "There are many of us who contract with a large sphere of businesses, and have to deal with MS Office formatted files on a daily basis."

          That's why there need to be a universal, royalty free, standard file format. Like ODF.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Linux

            Re: @Andy Prough - End to vertical lock-in?

            @Nuke - >"That's why there need to be a universal, royalty free, standard file format. Like ODF."

            There is one. And on the day when the rest of the world starts using it, I'll be a happy boy.

        2. nematoad Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: End to vertical lock-in?

          You have made my point perfectly.

          "There are many of us who contract with a large sphere of businesses, and have to deal with MS Office formatted files on a daily basis."

          That's why we need things like ODF so that people can be freed from lock-in.

          MS know this and tried to force their vision of it on everyone via the ISO shenanigans over OOXML. Trouble was MS wanted to have the penny and the bun. Have a common format that everyone would use, BUT it had to be MS's common format so as to ensure that people locked into the Office ecosystem could never escape. Luckily they seem to have failed in this due to the muddled, half-baked specification that they managed to ram through the ISO process. Personally I can't think of any FULL implementation of OOXML, other than Office 2013.

          The bottom line is that MS needs to retain the cash-cow that is Office despite the cost and inconvenience to the everyone else.

        3. Lars Silver badge

          Re: End to vertical lock-in?

          "It would be nice to deal with these files without having to run two computers, or dual boot, or run Windows in a VM"

          Yes It would be nice if MS decided to join the standards like LO and OO formats and skip their closed proprietary MS standards soon.

        4. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: End to vertical lock-in?

          @ Andy - I don’t know if you noticed but MS office seriously miss-handles a lot of early MS Office stuff nowadays.

          And its actually very easy to run Windows in a VM and have an office script automatically convert all the incoming legacy documentation into something safe - no need to ever look at the vm apart from usual windows maintenance.

          If your worried about format changes you can even do automated comparisons of the two formats and then get someone to look at at any significant differences. Did this for a company a few years back and there was rarely anything of significance - though of course it does miss the fact Office incorrectly formats some early stuff - but that normally works in LO and OOo anyway.

      2. Enrico Vanni
        Windows

        Re: End to vertical lock-in?

        "What do we want with a ribbonised, proprietary piece of junk like Office? When we already have LibreOffice and its like."

        Because the most lucrative use of MS Office is for Excel running macros, which Libre Office and its 'document editor' ilk just don't do.

        Cut your nose off to spite your face why don't you....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: End to vertical lock-in?

          "Because the most lucrative use of MS Office is for Excel running macros"

          Really? If writing computer viruses that lucrative?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      @Andy

      Wouldn't it be great if the next brilliant leader decided to allow some of MS's products to interoperate with other systems - like Office for LInux, or Office for Chromebook?

      Eventually, yes, but right now I think he has much bigger fish to fry.

      Linux is nice, but for Microsoft its still somewhat of a niche market, especially when looking at the desktop.

      Quite frankly I think the new CEO should start by reversing some of the recent braindead decisions which have really managed to piss people off. Like, for example, ditching TechNet. Or, ironically enough after that "developers" rant, seeing thousands of developers get plain out ignored when they criticized the latest Visual Studio. Not merely bashing; also making it very clear why they wouldn't upgrade as well as sharing what they thought needed to be changed.

      For starters they need to start focussing on their customers and what these people really want. Because that's where the money is coming from!

    4. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: No....

      MS bought abt 6% of apple in non voting stock, something like 150m? The bigger thing was they agreed to develop office on the mac for a specific period of time. They didn't really prop them up or infuse cash, as it played out they probably made a huge chunk of change on the stock :-)

    5. El Andy
      FAIL

      Re: End to vertical lock-in?

      @Andy Prough

      On the day when the typical Linux user pays for applications, rather than ranting endlessly about how the free (as in beer) equivalents are just as good if not better even when they blatantly aren't*, that might happen. Until then, you've a snowballs chance in hell of seeing Office for Linux.

      *See every discussion on Photoshop vs GIMP ever for example

      1. Paul Shirley

        @El Andy

        Typical users don't drive any office software mass adoption, beyond using whatever crapware's preinstalled on their PC. Paying support fees for Linux software in business is much more likely though if there weren't so many obstacles along the way.

      2. M Gale

        Re: End to vertical lock-in?

        On the day when the typical Linux user pays for applications...

        I know it's games rather than general applications, but the Humble Bundle guys repeatedly do a "pay what you want" thing. The people downloading Linux copies of the bundle seem to consistently pay more than the others.

        Citation

        1. h3

          Re: End to vertical lock-in?

          Yeah they do but if you try and use most of them on Linux the ports are absolutely buggy as hell.

          (Bastion and Super Meat Boy are both unplayable they are so buggy).

      3. William 3 Bronze badge

        Photoshop?

        Guess you've not been privy to the rage that is going down at Adobe camp about the latest "rental" version of Photoshop have you.

        Pro Tip: When you're going to use an argument like that, best to know the current and up to date facts.

    6. LDS Silver badge

      Re: End to vertical lock-in?

      It would need a CEO even worse than Ballmer - why should MS help competiting products? Why help Google's Chromebooks when Google is killing every MS YouTube app? Office is still one of the strong reasons to choose Windows and then another pletora of MS software. No sensible CEO would kill that revenues and such a competitive advantage.

      If Linux needs a decent Office suite, it's up to Linux developers to deliver it. But till now nor Lotus, nor Borland/WordPerfect/Corel, nor OpenOffice/LibreOffice has been able to deliver that. Why?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        Re: End to vertical lock-in?

        @LDS - >"If Linux needs a decent Office suite, it's up to Linux developers to deliver it."

        Why should Linux developers HAVE to offer perfect interoperability with a proprietary format?? In fact, what you are saying seems almost impossible.

        Wow - all I'm saying is it sure would be nice to be able to deal with MS Office files correctly without having to dual boot or run Windows in a VM - and I'm getting killed here from fanboys for both MS and Linux.

        And yes - I would pay for it, as I'm sure many others would.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: End to vertical lock-in?

          "Why should Linux developers HAVE to offer perfect interoperability with a proprietary format?"

          Because it is a *de facto standard* and exist probably billions of documents in that format?

          Moreover now is fully documented, see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc313118(v=office.12).aspx and http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg134034.aspx - thereby it's just up to Linux developers add support for those format. If someone thinks they will damage the "purity" of Linux and thereby the evil MS format should not be supported, well, don't ask MS then to support Linux at its own disadvantage.

          It's like Photoshop .PSD format, AutoCAD DWG and others de facto standards. If you want to write any useful applications, you have to support then unless you have enough mass to force adoption of your own format. If you don't, then don't complain people don't use your application. Even MS had to support competitors' file formats when they became standard - it tried its alternative to PDF for example, and failed, despite its mass.

          You would pay for it, but MS would be silly to pay development for a software that will decrease its revenues, not increase them.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            Re: End to vertical lock-in?

            Well, the Linux purists idea that Linux software should not support "proprietary" standards although fully documented and without royalties is what has doomed Linux as a desktop operating system.

            Most users are not interested in the technology or the "purity" of the OS or software - they need to get thei daily job done.

            And if that means to deal with MS Office documents, they will get the software that handles that without issues. And because MS Office is the only one able to do it because Linux talibans don't want to gets their hands dirty reading MS specs and implementing them, MS will keep on having a huge advantage and will keep on using it to sustain MS Windows sales - they would be mad renouncing to it.

            So keep on dreaming an "Office for Linux", or "Office for Chome". It will never materialize.

      2. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: No....

        Wine runs quite a few older versions of office (and photoshop for that matter).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No....

          @Rampant - >"Wine runs quite a few older versions of office (and photoshop for that matter)."

          I used to maintain some of the Adobe Acrobat versions under Wine. I never found that Adobe or MS Office products worked well under Wine. Mostly, they were somewhat crippled versions, prone to unexpected crashing. Can't do a whole lot of real work that way.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: End to vertical lock-in?

      Going back to a software company that made good products, rather than a hardware company that made lousy (and lossy) products would be a fine start to rebuilding the failed corporate that's lost their way with Xbox, WIndows Phone, Zune and Surface "experiments".

    8. Sid_the_Kid

      Re: End to vertical lock-in?

      Have you ever used Office for Mac? The current version has at least got a reasonable level of compatibility with Office for Windows but it is slow, crash prone and in my opinion, deliberately designed to persuade Mac users to use Windows on their Macs.

      Example? I wrote a simple VBA macro to fill a table with some test data; I don't recall quite how many it did and can't find the file anywhere but it took Excel 2007 something like 2.5 seconds to complete. Excel 2011 took over 30 seconds to run the same script on the same machine.

      Outlook 2013 is pretty pants though so perhaps one of the suite apps is superior on the Mac side...

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: End to vertical lock-in?

      That's why Windows Phone hasn't taken off. Lock-in and lock-down in one product.

    10. N2 Silver badge

      Re: End to vertical lock-in?

      Agreed,

      But first, Id like them to get their own programs to interoperate with each other.

  8. Cliff

    Say what you like about Ballmer...

    ...but he really did give MS a hell of a lot of energy and really did believe in it. Last of the IT management passionates

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Happy

      Re:but he really did give MS a hell of a lot of energy

      Yeah, kinetic energy, transferred via the medium of chairs.

    2. Magnus_Pym

      Re: Say what you like about Ballmer...

      ... I'm sure a lot of people will be doing just that.

    3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Say what you like about Ballmer...

      Say what you like about Ballmer...

      <stands back with hands in ears for several minutes>

      .....

      Finished? Good

  9. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Investors will be happy....

    The guy spent billions on unsuccessful forays into IT security, music players and excessively complicated, resource-hogging desktop operating systems.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Investors will be happy....

      Yes, but that is why there is a board of directors to represent the shareholders. Seeing as they've been quiet so far they must have agreed with those actions, even if they did seem fairly bizarre to us outsiders at the time.

  10. Slacker@work
    Coat

    Selection process...

    Wouldn't it be great if the new CEO was chosen by tournament - a kind of "The Apprentice - Trial by Combat"

    Or a treasure hunt - the first one to find a profit in a warehouse full of Surface tablets....

    1. stephajn

      Re: Selection process...

      Or perhaps even a Mortal Kombat style where the winner is the new CEO. Would be a chance to trim down on all the yes men and committees.

      1. Magnus_Pym

        Re: Selection process...

        Or a lottery. Whoever won they could do much worse than Ballmer did.

        1. Slacker@work

          Re: Selection process...

          A golden ticket inside the box of a Surface RT? Oh hang on - then they would never find a new boss....

    2. Lazslo Anton Zapotec

      Re: Selection process...

      Brilliant! Microsoft's employee Stack Ranking process could be gamified with a Massive Online Battlefield Arena (MOBA) interface. Are you a Stack Rank Warrior or a Stack Rank Wanker?

    3. plrndl
      Linux

      Re: Selection process...

      Anyone who can find profit in a warehouse full of Surface tablets, is a candidate for deity.

    4. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Selection process...

      Musical chairs?

  11. Ralph B

    Customer Breadth

    > I love the breadth and diversity of our customers

    Well, that's the obesity epidemic for you. Nice to see Ballmer showing some empathy, pride even, for his fellow sufferers.

  12. ratfox Silver badge
    Trollface

    "I love this company"

    That's why he is leaving. Stock is up 8% so far…

  13. Only me!

    At least he Tried

    Ok he might not fully understand tech or users. But give the guy a break and least he tried!

    XP - Good

    Windows Mobile - I was connected to work and personal email years before everyone else.

    Win 7 - Good

    Win 8 - Fast boot very quick. After several months I have got my head around it (But god just give me a Start button and boot to the desktop!)

    List of not so good thing, I cannot be bother to list them all ;-)

    Icon.....ALL of them if I could

    Bye Steve!

    1. IHateWearingATie
      Go

      Re: At least he Tried

      You're forgetting:

      - Office 2003

      - Xbox

      - XBox 360

      - Windows Home Server 2011

      - Not screwing with Hotmail for ages after they bought it

      - Versions of Visual Studio before the latest one

      - Not screwing with Visio much after they bought it

      That's it I think...

    2. Armando 123

      Re: At least he Tried

      Longhorn, Vista, Zune, PlaysforSure, Metro, ... trust me, it's bad news for their competitors that MS is getting a new CEO.

  14. Titus Technophobe

    MS Best Days?

    Microsoft has all its best days ahead. Know you are part ..... that would be say Monday, Tuesday maybe Wednesday next week. After those days back to business as usual?

    1. That Steve Guy

      Re: MS Best Days?

      "Microsoft has all its best days ahead. Know you are part ..... that would be say Monday, Tuesday maybe Wednesday next week. After those days back to business as usual?"

      I think he was just referring to the weekend! It is friday after all!

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: MS Best Days?

      Of course their best days are ahead, He's leaving!

      OK, OK, to be fair, he is a competent manager, the problem is that he has no vision beyond what's profitable now. That led to all the 'Me too' moves that MS has made lately. What I kept calling 'taillight chasing'.

      But on the cynical side... bailing after he institutes the biggest management overhall in MS history? Maybe he's just realizing what a world of hurt he set up for himself.

  15. Robert E A Harvey

    lots of notice

    Why announce so early? He will become a lame duck leader, and there will be a lot of churning about who comes next.

    1. Ged T
      Joke

      Re: lots of notice

      Maybe he just discovered the new 'Start' button and decided he better use it...? After all in Microsoft world it's Start ---> Shutdown, isn't it?

    2. an it guy
      Stop

      Re: lots of notice

      um. stability in the company. Whether you like it or not, having a nicely staged succession plan confers stability on the company as everyone knows long in advance that it's going to happen. That's good for investors to see happening. Admittedly, that's exactly how the Chinese government stage manages things, but let's not get side tracked

      If he said he was leaving literally tomorrow, then investors would get nervous that a large company like Microsoft had no heads up and no clue who to appoint next. Then the company's stock would suffer.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: lots of notice

      ANNounced now so he could get the stock up and sell before he goes.

  16. blainestereo

    RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT!

    RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT!

    1. Captain DaFt

      RETIREMENT!

      LOL! But as much as I've gripped about Ballmer's leadership, I hope he has a happy retirement, maybe open that dance studio he apparently always dreamed about. :)

  17. TheOtherHobbes

    Chairs.

    Titanic.

    That is all.

  18. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Bullshit Bingo?

    My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most.

    Just how many buzzwords can one pack into a sentence before it turns into utter gibberish?

    1. pepper

      Re: Bullshit Bingo?

      "'...empowering customers in the activities they value most...."

      So.. Wanking right?

  19. PhilipN Silver badge

    Peter Principle Proof Positive

    Does that explain why all American business managers feel they have to behave like crass idiots and treat their staff as dogsbodies?

    Conversely every junior to medium level manager thinks his boss is a fool.

  20. William Donelson

    Too late…

    He’s already wrecked the company…

    Microsoft’s Downfall: Inside the Executive E-mails and Cannibalistic Culture That Felled a Tech Giant

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2012/07/microsoft-downfall-emails-steve-ballmer

    1. Vociferous

      Yeah.... much as I dislike Ballmer and Windows 8, that's one crappy article.

  21. Lazslo Anton Zapotec

    NSA paid millions to cover Prism compliance costs for tech companies

    Over at the Guardian, the main head is: "NSA paid millions to cover Prism compliance costs for tech companies"

    Interesting that this was revealed about the same time that Mr. Ballmer announced he would be resigning as CEO of Microsoft. I wonder if, or how, they are connected?

    Perhaps the NSA people had trouble finding the Start button?

  22. JDX Gold badge

    Who will choose?

    Will Steve get to pick or will the board do it? Will it be someone internal or an outside appointment - I can't really name any other MS folk now Sinofsky has left?

    I wonder why he implemented such a massive reorganisation right before leaving. Shouldn't the person initiating such a huge restructure be the one to see it through?

    1. Getriebe

      Re: Who will choose?

      I suspect he did expect to see it through, but the board suggetsed he goes. But any person capable of leading a 30 billion (?) a year turnover company can pick that up with no problem.

      I sit here thinking who will in the whole world will lead the company. On hell of a job from all angles.

      I bet a new bloke will be in before November starts.

      Any suggestions? Ray Ozzie.

      Most of the originals are too old now

      1. Getriebe

        Re: Who will choose?

        Answering my own question, Satya Nadella

  23. Lazslo Anton Zapotec

    Rumor has it that the CEO position at Microsoft will be outsourced to InfoSys.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Droll

      So very droll Lazslo...

  24. Dan Paul
    Devil

    Maybe now there will be some progress at Microsoft!

    The departure of Ballmer is great news. Now perhaps someone with some real vision that has not been polluted by the wrong self defeating culture can come forward and make Microsoft the company as great as it once was.

    So many good people left during the Inquisition years; Many of them to create MS competition.

    Many of the ones that stayed were just sycophantic douchebags with no scruples or ethics.

    CUE THE MASS RETIREMENT OF BALMER'S YESMEN...........

  25. Enrico Vanni

    Sinofsky for a surprise return?!

    1. Vociferous

      > Sinofsky for a surprise return?!

      Oh god I hope not - the whole Windows 8 fiasco was his doing.

  26. Salts

    Time for a Biscuit Man

    Actually the title is about all I want to say :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time for a Biscuit Man

      The era of the biscuit men has passed.

      I for one welcome our new tea-and-cake-lady overlords.

  27. Adair

    MS's biggest mistake,...

    one they still haven't really let go of: believing they have the RIGHT to own desktop computing---and not just at the point of sale, but throughout the lifetime of the user's experience.

    "What we really want, what we really really want, is to own you, or more specifically, your wallet. It's about developing the user as a money stream that never dries up, and can never escape. Not that we are alone in this dream of capitalist kleptocratic nirvana, but we have been, and to some extent still are, one of the most powerful players in this game."

    "User's rights to own their own computing power and their own data? Pah! What idiotic dream is that? No, folks we'll look after all of the nasty complicated technology, all you need to do is just keep on paying us, over and over and over again; while at the same time we will ensure you have less and less control over every aspect of what you are paying for. Have a nice day suckers [ahem] customers."

    "You're not recording this are you?"

  28. mIRCat
    Pint

    Date check

    Someone just confirm that it's not first of April for me?

    I think that news deserves a pint. Good thing it's Friday.

  29. A Butler

    Ballmer not a bad CEO give some credit

    All the negativity against Ballmer; he was a good CEO his greatest strength was he was not the usual cut costs, slash R&D merchant; look at the state of HP right now because of Hurd and Carly Fiorina.

    He kept the culture of keeping with products even though they were initially not successful however he gave them time to develop and improve, cases include the XBox and Bing.

    I do hope the same ethos is kept and products such as Windows Phone, RT and even Windows 8 are improved and maintained.

    The company is in a very healthy state in almost every other area: Server Tools, Development, Office

    The very last thing Microsoft needs is a slash and burn drive the share price to the detriment of R&D type CEO. Of course that is what a lot of the Android fanbios here would love to see...

    1. GrantB
      Boffin

      Re: Ballmer not a bad CEO give some credit

      To be fair, a slash and burn manager would make Microsoft very profitable in the short to medium term. They have a 100,000 employees and you have to wonder just what the hell that many people do all day given that software development is normally not that labour intensive that you have to have an army of people.

      Imagine for example if they simply stopped all expenditure on WP8; they would still make a huge profit margin just collecting patent royalties on every Android sale, not to mention they could hand the whole development mess over to Nokia to try and make it work.

      The choice of new CEO will be interesting. Nokia happen to have a CEO who owns a chunk of MS stock, CEO experience at downsizing a large company during market transition.. and probably is keen to move job soon ;-)

      1. Vociferous

        Re: Ballmer not a bad CEO give some credit

        I don't know if Ballmer was a good CEO or not, but if I was the next CEO of Microsoft I would NOT cancel Windows Phone.

        I'd cancel Windows RT, which is now just a stripped version of Windows Desktop, request a setting to select interface for Windows Desktop (Windows 7, Metro, or XP), and push the project to unify the code bases of Windows Phone and Windows Desktop.

        I would also take a long, hard, think about the wisdom of pushing all Windows software to Microsoft Store, and the wisdom of phasing out standalone Office (which has no serious competitors) and forcing users to Office 365 (which does).

  30. Lars Silver badge
    Pint

    The short memory of history

    Gates did not start Micro Soft or was it Micro-Soft alone, nor did Jobs start Apple or was it Apple Computer alone. And what the hell, neither invented the computer, not even the micro computer. I would give Ballmer some credit though, he started as a vacuum cleaner salesman or something, perhaps his lack of a computer background was the problem for him and his surrounding. And as I think I he was not much boosting and throwing around with his wealth. No Ferrari, no isle, no big yacht. makes me wonder, though.Perhaps I am just ignorant.

  31. Anonymous C0ward

    Is he on crack?

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Yes, and Pot

      A Crack Pot

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ballmer invented computing

    oh yeh!

  33. TheOldFellow

    Hey Ho, the Witch is Dead!!

    Wonderful news!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What he meant to say

    I love the insane pile of cash I've made from this dysfunctional, greedy, grasping, tatty company.

  35. Fuzzy Duck

    wot

    What a complete dickhead..

  36. Infernoz Bronze badge
    Happy

    Good riddance

    All the recent Microsoft products, look bla, annoying, or over priced, so have not sold well, even the cloud stuff looks iffy; this was ultimately Ballmer's fault; so it's about freaking time that jumped up Monkey left, to give those left a chance to fix the business before it stagnates further into irrelevance, then the cash runs out.

    It maybe best if Microsoft just dies, so that something more modern can replace it (not Apple), and Linux is too fragmented (Android and Chrome included); maybe a PC-BSD with much better hardware support, because an OS with ZFS has to be better than any OS with stupidly fragile logging filesystems.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He never had any passion for the company

    Ballmer never said anything that gave me the impression that he cared one iota about computers or anything Microsoft ever made.

    Listen to any of his speeches on YouTube, all he does is yell about how Microsoft products "increase productivity" and are "market leaders" and other unjustified, non-technical drivel.

    I remember him being "ambushed" by a reporter during the Windows 7 launch and he was asked what his favorite new feature was in Windows 7... after some hemming and hawing, he said that he really liked the button "in the bottom corner" that let him connect to wifi networks. That was his favorite thing about Windows 7. And anybody who used Windows on a regular basis could tell you it wasn't even a new feature. WTF?!

    Compare and contrast to Steve Jobs (and Bill Gates), who you KNOW could speak competently and passionately with no preparation about any technical issue. I'm 100% certain that Jobs knew more about Windows 7 than Ballmer did.

    So I don't know what Ballmer was passionate about other than going to meetings and yelling, which he could have done any any company. Good riddance. Hopefully they'll find somebody for the position who has a little interest in the field.

  38. Patrick R

    Slightly biased article.

    "meteoric rise and spectacular fall of Microsoft's Windows Operating System" ... what's the share of Windows today ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slightly biased article.

      Well, considering Windows was on 90%+ of the computing devices people bought 7-8 years ago and now it's probably under 50%, considering that phones and tablets are computing devices. So yeah, a pretty spectacular fall.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ballmer teaching at Harvard on Innovation

    What a combination, the world's best innovator and the world's best-connected university. its more expensive than Trump University too!

  40. sisk Silver badge

    Bu-bye Ballmer

    There were times in the years leading up to Bill Gates' retirement that I strongly suspected that Ballmer's entire job descriptions was to make Bill look good by being as ridiculous as possible. The monkey dance and the developers speech were two of those times. Then he took the reigns and the craziness didn't stop and I realized that the man really just should not be allowed to be seen in public.

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