Re: "Business as usual"
"He doesn't understand how to build ecosystems, or collaborate with developer communities, or create new developer communities, or create new classes of product that are wildly successful and unexpected. Watches and TVs are not on that list because they're ancient consumer tech concepts, not the future."
You may be right, but I don't think you have any basis to make a definitive statement to that effect. The answer is we shall see.
Here the legacy of Steve Jobs and his style remains an important factor. Many people think of him as a dominant egotist and therefore assume he surrounded himself with unimaginative yes men. However people who worked closely with him have remarked on his obsession with getting only A Team players on board. His big ego, but evident success, also carried a self assuredness and confidence that meant he had no fear or need to be seen as the cleverest person in the room. To all accounts he was passionate about getting the best and brightest self starters around him. It was well known that getting promoted by him was something of walking a tightrope because while would often dominate conversation and put others ideas down if he thought they were expressing a bad idea, he also liked it when he sensed someone was standing their ground against him because they passionately believed in something when he disagreed with it. He respected and sought people who would be prepared to stand up to him and argue with him if they though they were right (they wouldn't always get their way of course. He remained the boss).
Contrast that with Ballmer, who to all accounts tended to eliminate people close to him who he thought might be a challenge. I don't think this was his defining characteristic by the way and I don't think we was worse in this regard than many other CEO's. I think it's quite a common thing. But his top team have very little profile in their own right, I suspect because at some level Ballmer liked it that way. Where are the people with the profile of Bob Mansfield, Johnny Ive, Craig Federigih or Phil Schiller There are equivalents of course, but they are much less industry characters in their own right.
Looking at Tim Cook on the stage, he doesn't have the same stage presence as Steve Jobs of course. But he does have presence, is his own man, and has bags of self assuredness. There is a lot more there than a mere accountant, and the fact he hasn't wilted from the comparisons with his predecessor, and the fact surveys of Apple staff have shown they are fully behind in him and believe in him; that says a lot about someone having to take over from Jobs.
He may not be the visionary on the team, but there are very many ways to be a top CEO, and part of that is knowing who on your team you rely on to ensure your own weaknesses are irrelevant.