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Why retiring Steve Ballmer deserves more credit than gets

  1. #1


    Posts : 22,582
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    Why retiring Steve Ballmer deserves more credit than gets


    People love to hate Steve Ballmer, but he's been hugely successful at Microsoft, and deserves a more considered judgement that includes his successes as well as his failures.

    The larger-than-life but now (literally) retiring Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer has been roundly trashed online over the past few days. Suffice it to say that if Ballmer were a play, it wouldn't have survived for a second night, let alone 33 years.

    Yes, he made some painful mistakes. But on any rational judgement, Ballmer has been one of the world's most successful businessmen, and built what is still one of the world's top 10 companies by value. Much of Microsoft's success is down to Bill Gates, but the two friends have worked as a deadly duo since 1980, when Microsoft was a tiny, 29-man company. Ballmer deserves some credit for that, besides his $15 billion-worth of stock
    .
    Read more at: Why the retiring Steve Ballmer deserves more credit than he's getting | ZDNet

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  2. #2


    Posts : 902
    Win8.1 Pro, Desktop Mode


    Ok. I can accept that. Nobody's perfect... but $15 billion speaks volumes...
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  3. #3


    Along the same line:

    Anyone who describes outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's tenure as a "failure" is wrong. An annualized growth rate of 16 percent in a large, established company, selling into mature markets, is nothing to scoff at. Revenue tripled under his leadership; profits doubled. That's some failure.
    It's also not the case that Ballmer was simply riding high on the Windows and Office monopolies he inherited. They played a part, certainly, but they're not the whole story. During Ballmer's time as CEO, Microsoft Dynamics (its suite of CRM and ERP software) went from non-existent to a billion-dollar-a-year business. So too did SharePoint. So did Xbox. So did the System Center suite. So did Lync (formerly Office Communicator). So did Office 365. So did the Windows Azure cloud platform.
    Source

    The CRM/ERP software helps the Windows phone platform as well:

    Delta Airlines has signed a deal with Dallas-based AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Microsoft Inc. (Nasdaq: MSFT) that will put more than 19,000 Windows 8 devices in the hands of the airline's flight attendants.
    PCR reported that the attendants will use Nokia Lumia 820 smartphones to process customer payments mid-flight, arrange for e-receipts and read coupons, among other things.
    Source
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  4. #4


    Posts : 142
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    I don't mind giving the man credit for things like Win 7 and XBOX 360. But Win 8 /8.1 is a major fubar, and unfortunately for him it's what he'll be remembered for most.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    will put more than 19,000 Windows 8 devices
    They have 19,000 attendants. I don't know why he has assumed that means 19,000 devices. Either way, it must be a relief for Nokia.

    It's also not the case that Ballmer was simply riding high on the Windows and Office monopolies he inherited.
    That is exactly what he was doing. Using their monopoly power to push their other products , keep the oems in line and erect barriers to competition. From MS point of view that was the right thing at that time.

    If the mess that is win8 is anything to go by, he is right to stand aside. Much better for MS to get someone who understands customers and has the necessary vision. If the decision was his own , he deserves credit for standing down. It might have been better earlier, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
    Last edited by SIW2; 27 Aug 2013 at 18:17.
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  6. #6


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  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
    That is exactly what he was doing. Using their monopoly power to push their other products , keep the oems in line and erect barriers to competition. From MS point of view that was the right thing at that time.
    Yep. Inertia is a wonderful thing.

    Jeff
    Last edited by Brink; 27 Aug 2013 at 19:56. Reason: fixed quote
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  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Jf1450 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
    That is exactly what he was doing. Using their monopoly power to push their other products , keep the oems in line and erect barriers to competition. From MS point of view that was the right thing at that time.
    Yep. Inertia is a wonderful thing.

    Jeff
    Yep works every time.

    BBC News - Steve Wozniak: Microsoft resting on its laurels



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  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by acr731 View Post
    I don't mind giving the man credit for things like Win 7 and XBOX 360. But Win 8 /8.1 is a major fubar, and unfortunately for him it's what he'll be remembered for most.
    This will continue to be the large question for me: Win7 is the most popular OS Microsoft ever shipped, handily exceeding XP in all categories. xBox 360 (I personally loathe consoles and consider them mutant aberrations--although these latest ones are merely mid-range x86 PCs--which helps me loathe them less) has been by far the most popular console Microsoft ever shipped.

    So, why did Microsoft consider it necessary to drastically change the design formulas for both its console and its desktop OS? Did the company suddenly develop amnesia with regard to the markets these aforementioned, extremely successful products created? Based on the RT UI in Win8 Pro, and the inclusion of Kinect & all the TV-tuner, set-top box stuff Microsoft includes (unasked) with xBone, you'd have to conclude that Win7 and xBox 360 were dramatic market failures that Microsoft needed to quickly distance itself from. Microsoft's pre-shipping PR was so bad that it came darn near sinking xBone before the company could get it out of the door.

    That's the killer mistake Ballmer made, imo--he was obviously worried more about Apple's flash-in-the-pan successes with cell phones and iPads than he was about keeping the markets that have made Microsoft the company it is--er, was. That's what really rankles. It's throwing the baby out with the bathwater, etc. Some people may, at least for a time, like tablets as a form factor--at least until they grow tired of butting up against all of a tablet's inherent limitations, and so on. So why didn't Microsoft simply develop a tablet UI on top of Windows specifically and exclusively for *touch-screen* devices? Desktop x86 Windows needed the RT *touchscreen* UI like a hole in the head--and there is much improvement yet that Microsoft can and should do in the design of the "desktop OS" (sans touchscreen.)

    For reasons we can only guess about, Ballmer wasn't just sipping, he was in the end chugging from the Apple RDF-koolaid well. Perhaps it all boils down to him simply running out of original ideas. If so, it's good that he's cashing in his chips and moving on. I'm just sorry it didn't happen in 2012 or even 2011, back when there was plenty of time to avoid all of this. It's always wise to avoid a train wreck before it happens.
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  10. #10


    [QUOTE=waltc;272176]
    Quote Originally Posted by acr731 View Post
    That's the killer mistake Ballmer made, imo--he was obviously worried more about Apple's flash-in-the-pan successes with cell phones and iPads .
    Is this what you call flash in the pan or did I miss some sarcasm in there somewhere?

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Why retiring Steve Ballmer deserves more credit than gets
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