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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.

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 JasonMick on 8/23/2013 12:52:55 PM , Rating: 0
Its kind of ironic reading a web tech journalist telling someone they can't speak on a product without owning one personally. Why are we here if not to learn and discuss these things and make informed decisions?
Owie, owie my wounded pride.

Oh I agree though, my key point is you need to be INFORMED to criticize a product.
Also I hoped after all these years conversing with you here and in emails, you wouldn't categorize my opinions as just "talking crap".
Just on Windows Phone. ;)

Don't get me wrong -- I think you're a great person to espouse the merits of Android (you are after all, a user of a latest premium Android, device no). I just don't think you are necessarily able to authoritatively comment on Windows Phone unless you've used one for a long time.

Some things you can tell from playing with a phone for a few seconds -- e.g. general speed, the size of the screen etc. Most of these are OEM hardware decisions.

I can see if you take issue with say, the screen size of a Windows Phone.

On the other hand things like the interface take weeks or more of use to wrap your brain around. That's why reviewers at reputable sites like Anandtech or The Verge tend to carry around a test phone for as much as a month before forming opinions.

I'm not saying Windows Phone is perfect, what I am saying is that reviews on The Verge and other reputable sites of the latest and greatest WinPhones (e.g. the Lumia 1020) have shown them to be very competitive with Android and much different from how you describe them -- devices that sound like pieces of junk.

Don't worry we see eye to eye on more issues than we won't... but I will call you out on this one.
I'll justify my 'crap talking' when I get home in more detail :)
Oh boy... I can not wait. :)

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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