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Print 83 comment(s) - last by 9ineballer.. on Sep 5 at 5:41 PM

Say goodbye to Microsoft's exuberant leader

To say that Microsoft has been in a "holding position" for the past few years would be an understatement. The company has floundered in its smartphone efforts (Kin, Windows Phone), utterly failed in its tablet efforts (Surface RT/Surface Pro), and has taken heavy flak for Windows 8. Even its upcoming Xbox One console has come under heavy criticism (to be fair, Microsoft has backpedaled on some of the major sticking points).
 
For years, everyone has been pointing fingers at Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and it appears that the big man himself sees the writing on the wall. Microsoft released a statement today indicating that Steve Ballmer will step down within the next 12 months. During that time, Microsoft's Board of Directors has been tasked with finding his successor.
 
"The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company," John Thompson, committee chairman. "As this work continues, we are focused on selecting a new CEO to work with the company's senior leadership team to chart the company's course and execute on it in a highly competitive industry."
 
For his part, here's Ballmer in his own words:
 
I am writing to let you know that I will retire as CEO of Microsoft within the next 12 months, after a successor is chosen. There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. 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. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction. You can read the press release on Microsoft News Center.
 
This is a time of important transformation for Microsoft. Our new Senior Leadership team is amazing. The strategy we have generated is first class. Our new organization, which is centered on functions and engineering areas, is right for the opportunities and challenges ahead.
 
Microsoft is an amazing place. I love this company. I love the way we helped invent and popularize computing and the PC. I love the bigness and boldness of our bets. I love our people and their talent and our willingness to accept and embrace their range of capabilities, including their quirks. I love the way we embrace and work with other companies to change the world and succeed together. I love the breadth and diversity of our customers, from consumer to enterprise, across industries, countries, and people of all backgrounds and age groups.
 
I am proud of what we have achieved. We have grown from $7.5 million to nearly $78 billion since I joined Microsoft, and we have grown from employing just over 30 people to almost 100,000. I feel good about playing a role in that success and having committed 100 percent emotionally all the way. We have more than 1 billion users and earn a great profit for our shareholders. We have delivered more profit and cash return to shareholders than virtually any other company in history.
 
I am excited by our mission of empowering the world and believe in our future success. I cherish my Microsoft ownership, and look forward to continuing as one of Microsoft's largest owners.
 
This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do. I take this step in the best interests of the company I love; it is the thing outside of my family and closest friends that matters to me most.
 
Microsoft has all its best days ahead. Know you are part of the best team in the industry and have the right technology assets. We cannot and will not miss a beat in these transitions. I am focused and driving hard and know I can count on all of you to do the same. Let's do ourselves proud.
 
Steve

 
Ballmer’s resignation will mark the penultimate phase of Microsoft’s restructuring efforts that began earlier this year with some executive shuffling. The final phase, of course, will be the naming of Ballmer’s successor.

We're gonna miss old Steve. He may be gone from Microsoft within the next year, but his antics will live on in cyberspace:
 

Source: Microsoft



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RE: Oh darn.
By Flunk on 8/23/2013 11:04:21 AM , Rating: 2
I think it's more a case of too much too quickly. Microsoft has really put off the slow-moving traditionalists, which is a big group in this industry. Add that to a few big missteps they've made and they really need a new, unified and reasonable new direction.

P.S. Someone is going to be annoyed no matter what they do.


RE: Oh darn.
By retrospooty on 8/23/2013 11:09:01 AM , Rating: 5
"P.S. Someone is going to be annoyed no matter what they do."

Totally untrue. Look at Win8... They redesigned the UI for use with touchscreens and removed the old start menu. This works fine for touch devices but awful for non-touch. They didn't have to remove it, they chose to. They could have just left it in and a user could choose which UI they wanted, but no, they forced the touch UI on non-touch devices and pissed everyone off. Had they just left the old alone and added the new anyone could choose which one they prefer and everyone is happy. You would have very few people complaining "I dont want to have to choose"


RE: Oh darn.
By Solandri on 8/24/2013 5:36:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You would have very few people complaining "I dont want to have to choose"

Actually I hear that a lot from users of Apple products. Seriously. They list the lack of choice as a pro, trusting in Apple to have made the best choice for them. After all, a 3.5" phone and 9.7" tablet are the perfect sizes; who would ever want a different size, right?


RE: Oh darn.
By retrospooty on 8/24/2013 9:48:01 PM , Rating: 2
Well Apple fans are a different breed. Clueless on tech issues. You really can't take any of them seriously. Anyone arguing Apples technical merits in 2013 is just a joke. The world has passed them by and they are too technically challenged to even realize it. Just leave them be, and be glad you know better.


RE: Oh darn.
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2013 12:47:45 PM , Rating: 6
quote:
I think it's more a case of too much too quickly. Microsoft has really put off the slow-moving traditionalists, which is a big group in this industry.


I wouldn't say that they're traditionalists. Instead, business is dictated by business need and companies have to cater to that need. While your average home consumer likes a change in fashion once in a while, business has no time for that. It just needs to get things done.

For instance, I manage servers running Windows server at work. I need those servers to run Active Directory, Exchange, SQL, WDS, etc. I need them to perform certain tasks and I need to them to be easy to manage when I have to make changes. Crap like server 2012 is just useless. It's basically the server version of Windows 8. Why do I need touch optimizations on a server? I don't want tiles- I want menus with the options I need to select. This isn't a fashion show, this is business, and by changing everything around to make it look pretty you've needlessly made my job harder.

Meanwhile, more and more servers are running Linux where you look at an ugly black text screen. And you know what? It does everything you need it to do, and doesn't change every time fashion changes.

It's sort of like rearranging a room. If it's your family room you can do it to shake things up and make it more interesting. But when it's your garage and you move around all the tools that you need to get jobs done, it just becomes frustrating. Sure, move the tools to a more efficient spot and then leave them there. Don't keep changing them around because people then have to spend time looking for those tools again. They don't need their garage to look interesting, they just need it to be functional.


RE: Oh darn.
By Ammohunt on 8/23/2013 2:01:24 PM , Rating: 2
You nailed it! Why innovate when you can just sell the same product with a new wrapper. Were i work now; we have office 2013 which base functions exactly like any other previous office product except with the added bonus of burying often used menus in obscure places and cool ui tricks minus the ability to customize the color scheme. Just don't know what Microsoft has been thinking lately.


RE: Oh darn.
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/23/2013 2:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's sort of like rearranging a room. If it's your family room you can do it to shake things up and make it more interesting. But when it's your garage and you move around all the tools that you need to get jobs done, it just becomes frustrating. Sure, move the tools to a more efficient spot and then leave them there. Don't keep changing them around because people then have to spend time looking for those tools again. They don't need their garage to look interesting, they just need it to be functional.


bravo.gif


RE: Oh darn.
By lyeoh on 8/23/2013 7:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
I don't mind change if it's replaced with something that's really much better. The Metro UI is not a significant improvement in most Desktop/Server things.


RE: Oh darn.
By nikon133 on 8/23/2013 11:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
I must say that my company is very enthusiastic about Server 2012. We have chosen Hyper-V for our standard virtualisation platform, and additions to Server 2012 - capability to enable GUI (for configuration) and disable it (for Core functionality) is alone worth it, according to our senior team.

The whole manageability, according to them, has gone a big step up from 2008 R2.

Different priorities, different needs, I think.


RE: Oh darn.
By retrospooty on 8/23/2013 11:59:07 PM , Rating: 2
We are using it too simply for the hyper-v improvements. It's awesome, but I have to agree the ui totally sucks and has no place in a server. Fortunately once its up and running you don't have to log into it and look at it that often.


RE: Oh darn.
By w8gaming on 8/23/2013 7:53:12 PM , Rating: 2
Too much too quickly basically sums it up. And it is a huge mistake which could have been avoided. I have always maintained that the recent failure of Microsoft is due to poor executions of their ultimate strategy. But still, it requires good leadership to correctly grasp what the market currently needs, what they will need in the future, and timed the changes at the right pace so that the market can accept it, slowly gaining traction in a market dominated by competitors, and turns a decent profit at the same time. The problem is many has felt maybe the problems lie at the senior management of Microsoft to have screwed up so badly.


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