Quite right too...
Baller, in this case is correct in his 'explosion'
Microsoft's biggest individual shareholder – its erstwhile CEO Steve Ballmer – has complained in classic ballsy fashion about the software giant's lack of disclosure about its cloud biz. According to Bloomberg, Ballmer said that profit margins and sales were a "key metric" that should be reported by MS. He added that the firm …
WTF? How did that happen?
Probability. I think that Ballmer has proven the Infinite Monkey Theory is correct. Maybe CERN should investigate, because Ballmer being correct in his own lifetime could only occur if most common probability distributions have integer results (or something like that, mathematicians, bail me out on this....)
WTF? How did that happen?
Translation: Bill finally got the last of his eggs out and it's time to kill the golden goose before it does any more harm.
A lot of people don't understand that this was his job: not to dominate technology or move Microsoft forward. It was to hold the Beast still while Bill converted his paper wealth into real money.
Microsoft told us it was not commenting on Mr B's comments.
Probably because he's actually right this time. Telling the truth is one of the best trolls you can do, especially to a company as big as Microsoft and especially when you have the benefit of inside knowledge.
It's a pity that he couldn't do this while he still had some influence!
Microsoft made hand-over-fist during Ballmer's tenure. As a sales guy he really understood revenue and how to maximise it. If Azure isn't making money then making this known will really help focus those responsible.
He was less successful in the development / vision area which gave us Vista and Window 8. Okay for some of the shit in Vista, Gates was responsible and someone should have been in place to stop Sinofsky turning 8 into his own private toy.
But where Ballmer really fucked up was in acquisitions: aQuantive, Skype, Nokia, etc. But he'd more than earned the money to do this. IIRC MS profits per quarter more than covered those fuck ups.
And by keeping his shares he's also keeping his money very much where his mouth is.
Salesman schmalesman, he helped knock down the house that Gates built. He added zero value to the company and overall was a loud figurehead that mainly talked a bunch and delivered nothing. This is the reason a more competent CEO is at the helm today, so Gates and his shares can rest easy, without the threat of failed acquisitions and shiny ideas for apps that never will be, and flying chairs.
Personally, as a longtime Unix/Linux only admin, I welcome this SatNad and his goal of turning Microsoft into a modern company that can co-exist with open sores and other primarily technical endeavors. And without having to strong-arm all the vendors and other companies, or resorting to an acquisition merely to thwart a better product from seeing the light of day, or tying their components so closely together that honest competition is thwarted. I think the xbox was the last thing that impressed me about this company, other than that it's merely some cheap tools to do a marginal job, which is what most enterprises deserve.
There is a place for Windows, no not on my desktop, but in little, safely run virtual machines to make the windev folks stop complaining and get whatever it is they do with their WindowsGUI in an enterprise delivered. As long as I don't have to do anything other than spit out WinVMs into my dirty cloud, then we'll all be better off. Use more Windows, it makes me more valuable when there a lot of windows admins crawling about and doing their "patching Tuesdays" and other nonsense. And when you grow up, you can be a real server admin, like your old dad here. HA! Just funning' you, me old son. Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for St. Hubbins Day!
Microsoft indeed made money hand over fist, but only on Windows, Windows Server and Office. Pretty much all the other businesses they tried to enter were money losers. Basically Ballmer was handed a cash machine by Gates, and he kept that cash machine functioning, but to say he did a good job as CEO you have to ignore not only all the billions wasted on failed acquisitions but the further billions he burned on failed reactionary attempts to enter huge new markets he saw others were successful in.
During his tenure Microsoft never lead the way into any new markets, instead he lead from behind and lost money trying to follow others in search, online advertising, social networking, consoles, music players, smartphones, and on and on. Shareholders would have been better off if Ballmer just ignored what everyone else was finding success in and worried only about Windows, Windows Server and Office.
Think of all the money that was thrown away pursuing those failed attempts to enter new markets, the failed acquisitions, and all the money spent on all those employees working with those failures who contributed only red ink to Microsoft's bottom line. Not to mention slowing Windows' momentum after the success of Windows 7 thanks to ruining the UI with Metro. All to add a touch interface to support the money losing mobile efforts (one can argue Surface Pro is successful in a way that Windows Phone and the original Surface have not been, but that isn't because of the touch support - it is successful precisely because it can be used as a traditional PC running traditional apps without touch!)
He was probably one of the worst CEOs of the century so far, simply because he was handed the most valuable company on Earth with its primary businesses still growing at a good clip, but he managed to fritter away a conservatively estimated $30 billion in shareholder value.
MSSQL? Xbox? SharePoint & Dynamics? even Azure appears to be doing quite well, say #2 in a tough hosted cloud industry. Ballmer blew mobile phones, but so did Motorola, Blackberry & Nokia - fine company. The bigger point is Ballmer did better on Business software than he did on consumer.
We do Dynamics automation, nobody uses/wants Dynamics (we have shitload fortune of 500 customers, maybe half or two thirds). SharePoint is a pile of crap, Xbox is a financial failure, MSSQL is successful, I grant you that, sloooow, expensive, and successful ... Azure, not quite sure, because they count Office sales as Azure, and they give you 6x discount on Licensing if you spend 1x on Azure services (even if you do not use the services).
"He was probably one of the worst CEOs of the century so far"
Nope, not even close. He was mediocre, in over his head, but he could have done far, far worse.
He was given the wheel, and he was competent at staying the course. Trouble was he was unable to read the signs when computing changed, and was totally unfit to pick a new course and stick with it, wasting billions in the process.
>Microsoft made hand-over-fist during Ballmer's tenure. As a sales guy he really understood revenue and how to maximise it.
Short memory. They're still paying the price of his last 10 or 15 years - or maybe have paid the price. Android probably wouldn't exist were it not for Mr B - probably good for the masses but from an MS PoV it's sitting in their seat. Likewise Google's position in general owes much to his absolute failure to grasp fairly basic trends and concepts.
> Ballmer [..] opined that Windows phones should run Android apps.
... but not that Windows phones should actually run on Android OS. A subtle difference. It's what BlackBerry tried before they gave up and moved on to actually running on Android.
Ballmer sees Apple as Microsoft's enemy and figures that Apple's enemy (Google) must therefore be Microsoft's friend, forgetting that Google is also Microsoft's enemy. Google will probably buy Microsoft before long (not my idea) just like Microsoft bought Nokia. You can see SatNad's mad rush to force the spyware-ridden Windows 10 on an unwilling customer base as the equivalent of Elop's "burning-platform" memo. You can see the fear in their eyes.
"Windows Phone's tiny market share is the major reason for its security record.
(Pretty certain you've mention this about Linux)"
Linux has historically had both a small market share AND a terrible security record.
Don't just take my word for it - how about some people that look at phone security for a living:
Actually, Sharepoint devs are very well-paid. I've been offered £600-900 per day and I don't really know much about SP's full capabilities (beyond writing web-parts as MVC web apps, which is kind of nifty).
It would have required moving to London though.
Now that the biggest shareholder has said 'Errrrr WTF are you doing' (or words to that effect) will the current MS Management even listen let alone do anything about it?
Somehow I doubt it. Which is a shame really.
SatNad seems to be determined to become a footgun expert surpassing his predecessor (Kin, Zune etc)
"Now that the biggest shareholder has said 'Errrrr WTF are you doing' (or words to that effect) will the current MS Management even listen let alone do anything about it?"
That depends on how much voting stock he has and how much he wants them to maintain their value, if MS carries on the way they are currently going, he will probably be able to snap up the rest of the shares at a bargain price when the 'OS as a dis/service' has done it's work.
A classic move to hide financial problems in an area is how they are reported (legally). By not breaking out the info about the Cloud, etc. the consolidated financial statement can hide (legally) a lot of bad news without violating any regulations. As a former CEO, Ballmer is aware of these games and how they are played.
Perhaps I'm too late, but I was going to predict that Balmer will announce that he has switched to Mac and OSX for privacy reasons, sometime within the next two years. But can he offload enough shares in that time to take the risk of even further trashing MS? Seems he just doesn't care though..
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