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It was his last company meeting as CEO

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer attended his very last company meeting as leader of the Redmond, Washington-based company, giving an emotional goodbye speech and his usual energetic dancing. 

Ballmer took the stage at Seattle's KeyArena in front of about 13,000 Microsoft employees to give one last performance as CEO. He came onstage while "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis played over the speakers. 

He gave a speech about an hour long, with tears streaming down his face at points. He discussed his time at Microsoft, the deal with Nokia and handing the torch over to a new CEO. 

"I want to say thank you…this isn't about any one person," said Ballmer. "It's about a company that's important, that's forward thinking, that's innovative.

"We will deliver the next big thing...we will change the world again."

Ballmer managed to take a few jabs at the competition as well, describing Apple as being "fashionable," Amazon as being "cheap," Google as "knowing more," but Microsoft as "doing more."

He departed the stage to Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," which is the song that played at Microsoft's first employee meeting in 1983. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes played afterward, as Ballmer sang and danced along. 

"You work for the greatest company in the world, soak it in," said Ballmer before exiting the stage. "I believe in you, I believe in the mission. We've been a great company for years. We will be a great company for many more years."

Ballmer joined Microsoft on June 11, 1980 as the company's 30th employee and the first business manager hired by Microsoft Chairman and Co-Founder Bill Gates. Even though Ballmer has been a public figure for Microsoft for many years, some believe the company is in need of an executive shake-up -- including a new leader.

Ballmer announced last month that he plans to retire sometime over the next year. The company is currently undergoing a major restructuring plan that will unify devices like Windows Phone, PC and Xbox One. 

Sources: The Verge, Reuters

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RE: I'll miss him
By Disorganise on 9/30/2013 7:16:37 PM , Rating: 2
Can't see google search going anywhere soon. It's the simple things, like typing "100 USD as AUD" and getting the answer right in front of you, with history chart , versus Bing's response of a bunch of URLs or "pi" and getting not only the number but a calculator to use.

Microsoft have some great products but they do seem a bit unsure of what they want at the moment. Back in the late 90's/early noughties, there was clear direction to merge the consumer (9x) and business (NT) codebases to bring business reliability to home PCs. And whilst 2000 was launched too early, XP was really good and 7 is great. The 90's and noughties also saw a massive push into the enterprise space which has been pretty successful.
Now it seems they're trying to be trendy with win 8 and alienating their major customer base in the process. And as RIM is an example, trends come and go.

There's nothing wrong with MS chasing the fad with Google and Apple, but I think it unwise to do so with their core product. Imagine if Toyota had replaced Camry/Aurion with the 86 rather than creating new line. It probably doesn't make sense to totally fork Windows again, but there's no harm in rebranding the 'current' Win 8 as a consumer/consumption OS, and releasing a business oriented version sans Metro but on the same codebase. Kinda like 'Media Centre edition' was separate from the main XP back in the day.
If the consumer OS overtakes the business version in sales, then the market has spoken and the business version can begin to be retired in favour of metro etc.

Be interesting to see where we are in a year

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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