back to article Ballmer leaves investors speechless in Seattle

The pressure must be getting to Microsoft's very own bald eagle Steve Ballmer as he issued a stinging public rebuke - for the first time - to dissenting investors calling for his head, and used the soon-to-be released fiscal 2011 results to back up his reputation. According to reports in the Seattle Times, Microsoft's CEO …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward

    So he missed the street forecast and is proud of it

    Well... The hedge fund manager has a point - someone more connected to reality may be needed here.

    1. Cunningly Linguistic

      He's probably...

      ...using the Jobs' "distortion reality phenomena" as a new business model.

    2. Marky W

      Dance, monkey boy, dance

      Lest we forget:

      Would you trust this man with your $200bn business? Icon cos her monkeys had wings.

      1. The Real Loki


        Is that not the child-catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ?

      2. Stupidscript


        The character who's icon you used is (a) male and (b) had no winged monkey slaves. The icon represents the "Child Catcher" character from the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", played by Robert Helpmann.

        Other than that, though ... the Ballmer freak out you linked to remains indelible.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Child catcher

        The child catcher from Chitty turned out to be female with winged monkeys? I must slept through that bit of the story, about 12 times... but yes, Steve B is a tw*t.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Mixing up a male Chitty character with a female (and green) witch from Oz...

          ...Epic Win!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Colour the icon green

            and the child catcher will look like the wicked witch from Wizard of Oz.

  2. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Empty vessels make the most noise!

    ' Microsoft's CEO shouted at a captive audience attending a civic bash in the city's Rotary Club yesterday. "You tell me if I lack energy, conviction or we're not driving change we need to drive," he bellowed. '

  3. James Gosling

    Loud Mouth Baffoon!

    The man is prehistoric! Both he and Microsoft are increasingly "irrelevant".

  4. Matt Banks

    No Worries Stevey

    I'm actually OK if he stays on at the helm.

    The world will be a better place with a MUCH smaller and less influential Microsoft.

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge


      He'd be a good skipper to pilot the MS ship off into the fog of irrelevance. He's done a great job at it so far.

      1. MIc

        new boss same as the old boss

        The last 6 presidents have done plenty to give us humility, including Barry.

        1. Mike Taylor

          Gerald Ford

          was that the last one you're proud of?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I feel that way about some of the possible presidential candidates like Palin, I like the USA but it could sometimes use a little humility, I would expect Palin to deliver.

      1. Synonymous Howard

        Humility? Palin?

        Ignorance and hilarity more like.

      2. sisk

        Please no

        I'm already having nightmares about the possibility of President Palin. A Dominionist is about the LAST thing we need in the oval office. Especially one with such a large following of lunatics convinced she can do no wrong.

  5. jaduncan
    Paris Hilton


    Nothing says weak like someone loudly shouting "I am in a strong position!".

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      You mean ...

      that he is like the drunk in the pub who loudly declares himself to be sober.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson


        I am not as think as you drunk I am

    2. JonHendry


      Like George W. Bush saying "I'm the Decider" when everyone figured Cheney wore the big-boy pants.

  6. bolccg


    Not really good form to release the numbers pre-audit there Steve - a billion either way can move the market if it's outside the expected range. Also not know that the number is isn't a good sign for a CEO either.

    Generally I think MS gets a bit too much stick but this was a very un-CEO-like thing to do and may even be a sacking offence (bit strong but the rules on price sensitive information and public pronouncements for CEOs are strict).

  7. Fehu

    Must not have been any empty chairs...


  8. dssf


    share-dividends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends, share-divi-dends,

    1. Captain DaFt


      Haven't you followed the news lately? It's more like;

      "Patent troll, patent troll, patent troll!"

      (Icon selected because he looks like he lives under a bridge)

      1. dssf



  9. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    If you life gives you lemons

    ...throw them at the captive audience!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Steve must have been in a good mood ...

    ... if he hurled verbals instead of meubles.

  11. Iad Uroboros's Nemesis
    Thumb Up

    Well done, Steve...

    Yeah, MS is a big company and is meeting analyst's & shareholder expectations. Yeah, MS's forays into new markets is bank-rolled by Windows & Office, but they have done a good job of improving security and trust.

    As mentioned in the hedge fund thread comments from the other week (from a hedge fund manager), hedge funds thrive on volatility not steady-state. So I take it this hedge fund manager made the wrong call and is now "stuck" with a crap-load of MS shares...and is doing his best to unsettle Joe-investor to sell and get the MS stock to fall from his outburst. But it ain't happening.

    So good job, Steve. If you've got the backing of the board and Joe-investor and the hedge fund manager's comments didn't smack the MS share price around, then you have nothing (much) to worry about.

    The bad-boys on the block has now been relayed to Google. Anti-trust cases all over the place, flops of platforms/apps, all bank-rolled by search and ads.

    Saying all that, it ain't good to flip your wig in public. And I do hope that Win8 doesn't look like the previews I have seen. Call it msPad O/S or something 'cos it don't look like a serious O/S that companies or productive people would use (unless you're in a multimedia industry).

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Don't know what you've been smoking..

      .. but I sure don't want any of it.

      Let's recap:

      MS goes together with Nokia. Nokia shares nose dive.

      MS buys Skype. Almost everyone I talk to is seeking for a replacement as there is an accepted certainty that MS will mess it up (plus it was bought far too expensive, but I digress).

      MS devalues everything it touches, and that comes directly from its leadership - it has lost the trust of staff and customers, and IMHO deservedly so.

  12. Efros

    Only in this market

    would that profit to turnover ratio be rated as a failure.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "For those of you who doubt my leadership

    here's an early announcement of weaker-than-expected financials so you can get on with selling the crap out of stock sooner rather than later."

  14. xperroni

    It may have its compensations...

    But surely being Steve Ballmer is no piece of cake. Who else has to confront disappointed looks after showing up US$ 26 Billion in profits?

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      Well, right

      But in this system what people want is market cap. (i.e. share price), not profit. Profit is good only if it drives the share price up (and it often doesn't). What DOES drive the share price up is delocalization and a wave of pink slips. Or a black turtleneck and theatrical media masses. Like it or not, the US economy is built entirely on smoke, mirrors and glitter. As long as you can keep the shareholders entertained, profits or financial soundness do not come into play. Until the bubble bursts, of course. Let me take a simple example: MS has had a relatively robust "cloud" offering for a while. All Apple had until very recently was MobileMe. And yet Ballmer is seen to fail at cloudiness while Jobs is seen as a cloud visionary. One managed to slip a disgraceful failure under the carpet while the other is crucified over comparatively minor flaws. It's all about how you sell it to the shareholders and "market analysts".

      Of course dismissing the iPhone was an enormous mistake from a strategy point of view, the guy lost what little credibility he had left with the market trick-cyclists. But to be honest I've played with a few different models, and although they are pleasant pieces of design, feel solid, etc, none of them is a terribly good smartphone. iOS feel is that of a toy and functionality is limited. Flexibility, inexistant unless you jailbreak it; call me a hopeless geek if you must, but I did get that claustrophobia feeling, everytime. From a piece of hardware that packs the same grunt as my netbook -more grunt even, for version 4-, I was expecting much better. Certainly not "parading-shifting" pieces of hardware. What shifted the proverbial paradigm was the PR work built around them. And that's even before you take into account the "grip of death" issue -another embarrassment that Jobs managed to slip under the carpet, quite masterfully I must say.

      And now I find myself defending MS somehow. I feel soooo dirty. Curse you Jobs, curse you to hell!

  15. Anonymous Coward

    I'm suprised he didn't...

    throw the podium furniture into the audience...

    then again those who were criticising him weren't in the audience at the time ;)

  16. asdf

    steve the baffoon

    >There's a reason why we'll do almost $70bn in revenue this year and we'll make over $20, whatever, $26, $27bn in profits

    Yes and that reason was mostly due to your predecessor. What have you done lately Steve? He's like just be patient I have a mole in Nokia who is destroying its value as we speak. Soon we will embrace it, extend it (force our stagnant infighting culture on it - wait they already have that) and extinguish it (because King Midas Balmer turns everything he touches to cow manure).

  17. Justin Clements

    Missing the point

    It's not about lacking energy, focus or conviction, it's about getting the future right. Or even vaguely right. Or maybe just in the right ball park. Hell, within the city boundaries.

    Remember the iPad? Or the iPhone? Mr Ballmer should be embarrassed to step foot in front of shareholders after those two products have bitten him on the arse.

    I have always said from the start that the iPhone should have been a wake up call from the moment it was released. It should have scared Nokia, Microsoft and RIM to their core. But they ignored it. The average consumer saw an amazing new UI, whilst the CEOs of the three above couldn't see past it's lack of features.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      To be fair...

      Windows based tablets were tried and flopped into a niche market years before Jobs ever considered the iPad. It's only the Amazing Apple Marketting Machine (tm) that made tablets market viable. Blaming Balmer for getting beat by the iPad is a bit unfair considering that.

      The iPhone likewise should have flopped, but again the Amazing Apple Marketting Machine saved a product that offered nothing of significance to the consumer (be honest: the UI really wasn't all THAT different from what was already around).

      Anon because the fanbois will be rabid over this little dose of reality.

      1. Goat Jam

        @Idiot AC

        Tha amazing apple marketing machine?

        Are you *seriously* saying that the user experience and ecosystem of Windows tablets is the same as the ipad?

        And it was only fancy marketing that got apple over the line?

        Could Microsoft not afford to do the same fancy marketing?

        Why don't you put the crack pipe down for a while, it's messing with your brain.

        1. Stacy

          Good point!

          Crazy goat :)

          You're right, a Windows tablet is a full blown computer that you can use as a full blown computer.

          A stripped down low res surfing machine is what's needed.

          If you think this would have worked had anyone but Apple come up with it then I want what you are smoking. Apple is a religion - they say this is cool and millions of Apple fans immediately being the 'We need one' mantra. It is a success and then others copy the stripped down format to be like Apple...

          If MS had said here is a tablet that's so locked down you can't do everything with it that you can do with a computer; you can't even plug it into an external monitor without an overpriced cable do you think it would have been met with 'Wow!!!!! This is the future!!!!' No, it would have been met with 'What crap is this from MS!'

          MS Sucks. Apple sucks more - but has a better PR machine than any company on the planet.

          1. Goat Jam
            Paris Hilton

            Full blown tablet computer

            Complete with crap battery life, multi kilo weight and an OS that, let's be honest, is less than ideal for a touch interface.

            FACT: Windows tablets failed in the market place.

            You cretins can blame it on "fancy marketing" all you like but the the truth is that it doesn't matter how well you market a turd, people will not buy it once they realise that it is, in fact, a turd.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              completely correct, Mr Jam

              as usual

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I disagree

              "You cretins can blame it on "fancy marketing" all you like but the the truth is that it doesn't matter how well you market a turd, people will not buy it once they realise that it is, in fact, a turd."

              Steve Jobs could crap in a white box and call it iPoo and Apple's marketing department would convince people to buy it. After all, they convinced how many millions of people to buy a phone that dropped calls if you held it wrong? No other company could have pulled that off and remained a significant player in the market.

              1. JonHendry


                Apple TV.

                iPod Hi-Fi, the failed overpriced speakers for the iPod from 2006.

                Friggin' iPod Socks.

            3. Stacy

              wow, good argument

              Calling someone a cretin when they say something you don't agree with. Well done.

              I never said MS tablets were a success, I said MS could never have got away selling an iPad, yet you ignored that and went for the personal attack.

              Fanboi much?

          2. James Loughner



      2. magnetik

        @AC 23:34

        If it's just down to the "Apple Marketing Machine" then why didn't AppleTV sell like hotcakes? People buy things that they like, and ignore those they don't. No amount of marketing has made AppleTV successful, and no amount of marketing made the crap Win tablets fly off the shelves.

        Hate Apple all you like but to pretend that their success is all down to marketing is totally naive.

        1. Jess--

          to be fair...

          any tablet or tablet OS released by microsoft would have to be a full windows OS with all of the x86 architecture and battery sucking that goes along with it.

          Apple had always been seen as separate software being needed so they could get away with a completely new OS and all new software being needed

          if microsoft had tried the same approach as apple did to IOS for the iphone and ipad then everone would be complaining that it wasnt compatible with all their windows software.

      3. Justin Clements


        iPad is nothing to do with marketing, it is genuinely a good user experience.

        Same with the iPhone. It has an excellent UI and far better than anything else that was on the market at the time.

  18. me n u

    The old bald eagle fart flips his wig

    Yea, but did he throw any chairs at the investors?

  19. pompurin

    Microsoft Monopoly losing grip

    Let's face it, Microsoft will never be able to recapture it's heydays of the 90s with it's monopoly of the PC market. Now it has got competition from the likes of Linux, Apple and even Google. It still has a future in the market due to it's user friendliness and it being perceived as a 'lower risk' choice from enterprise.

    Especially as we are going through an 'age of austerity' a lot of companies will be asking themselves whether they need to upgrade their Windows, Office or Exchange products. The pressure to move to a Linux based cloud with much cheaper licensing and support costs might be too much.

    1. Ben Holmes

      Yes but... most enterprises, the cost of redploying to kit, and retraining staff precludes any sort of move to an entirely different platform at all. You can go on about 'spending to save' all you like to the people who hold the purse strings, but the sad fact is that no-one is going to outlay any cash to fix what isn't broken. And before any Open Source advocates step in and say the MS model is broken, it just isn't.

      The one caveat to that is that you may find Open Source products being deployed to Windows environments. But again, only when they end up with any sort of respectable Group Policy-related tools. Which very few do at the moment. Firefox, anyone?

      At the end of the day, businsess with any sense will take the path of least resistence. And that, for most, will be hanging onto their existing MS kit for dear life.

      1. Giles Jones Gold badge

        Big changes

        Compare XP to Windows 7. Quite a difference in operation. That will require retraining for the less confident Windows users.

        Microsoft feels the need to change the UI quite a lot between versions now. Apple on the other hand doesn't change things radically. Some Linux UIs don't change much either, although Ubuntu's choice of UI does.

    2. CyberCod

      Its been my experience...

      ...that the only thing really holding businesses back from switching to Linux is the lack of niche software, or being entrenched in proprietary windows-based software. Until the small programming houses start supporting Linux, then the pharmacies, auto mechanics and doctors offices will not make the switch. Even churches have this problem.

  20. AdamWill

    A reason?

    Sure there's a reason the company makes so much money, Steve - all that legacy business from back when you weren't running the company...

  21. schnide

    "There's a reason..

    why we'll do almost $70bn in revenue this year and we'll make over $20, whatever, $26, $27bn in profits," he added.

    Yes there is, but I'm too polite to say what it is.

    Way to act professional Steve. I bet this has really endured to you the audience at the time and the world who'll read about it afterwards.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    "a good job of improving security and trust."

    Are you serious?

    Somebody tell me he's not serious, please?

    The irony is lost on me, sorry.

    They've got loads of money to spend because of their continued abuse of their twenty-odd year old monopoly, if they had someone with vision anywhere in the organisation they could use some of their loose change to Invent something significant (HP can't), and all we get is the same old same old. Plus Kinect, obviously.

    1. Goat Jam


      They didn't even invent that.

      1. Goat Jam


        You can down vote me all you like MS Shill but they didn't invent kinect and that is a FACT.

        BTW, what does the Windows User icon mean?

        1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: hehe

          GJ... Just because Sarah's gone doesn't mean you can start calling people shills, 'kay?

          1. Red Bren

            Oh no!

            It's the new teacher!!!

          2. Goat Jam


            Who else but an MS shill would down vote an obvious and provable statement of fact?

            I mean are there even any MS fanboys left?

            Or ones willing to admit to be so inclined anyway?

            I know I wouldn't admit to it in public unless I was being paid to do so.

            It's like being the friend of the dorkiest kid in school.

            All it will get you is a beating and to go hungry at lunch time.

            Also, I hadn't even read of the departure of Ms Bee from Vulture Central at the time I made that comment, but OK, whatever.

            P.S. What does the Windows User Icon mean?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, if in doubt, SHOUT!

    I have nothing further to add.

  24. zen1

    I dunno

    Love him or hate him Gates had vision. Balmer may have contributed significantly in the early years but the past few years under his rein, Microsoft has barely been able to stand under its old weight. As much as most of us love to vilify and openly mock Microsoft, for more reasons anybody can shake a stick at, they have cornered the legacy market. If you believe the hype of cloud computing and the eventual OS lite equipment that we could all be using AND the explosion of iCrap and Androids, Steve has been caught with his pants down, scratching his head and wondering what the hell happened.

    Someone just needs to throw a chair back at him.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Gates had vision eh? You are talking about Bill Gates? William Gates III? The CEO of a top software company who dismissed the internet as a fad? The same person who had to reissue a 2nd edition of his book on technology because he basically missed the internet?

      That Gates?

      Vision my arse! The only vision Gates had was how he was going to extract money from your wallet.

      1. Goat Jam

        Gates . . .

        . . . came from a family of liarers, which explains why he was so adept at writing one sided contracts that destroyed the other party.

        Just ask NCSA (Mosiac browser) if you don't believe me.

  25. Waderider


    It is obvious what happens next. Bill Gates returns as CEO. A resurrection basically. It's happened before.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Gates cannot fix MS - he made it what it is.

      Ballmer is a moron who values energy and bombast above intellect and judgement but he cannot succeed without someone else supplying the former. And the smarts are now elsewhere: Apple/ Google or MS - is a no-brainer.

      Good riddance to bad rubbish. It's a pity they are going to take Nokia with them.

  26. kain preacher

    humility, Palin

    In the same sentence? What ever you are smoking stop. Stop it right now. Palin for prez= destruction of the free world .

    1. Goat Jam

      There is a free world?

      How do I become a citizen?

      1. kain preacher


        Freedom has an AK. Oooh my land minds just arrived.

        Well in retrospect I should of said destruction of the whole world. That nut cake would hunt down and nuke every non white country that gives America a funny look. Then she just might nuke or allies that does not follow her lead. She is the type to lecture the French on why the need to be more American. When the French tell her to f off she would shoot them .

  27. James 47

    David Einhorn

    Isn't he the guy who convinced Nokia to get rid of OPK and install Stephen Elop as CEO. What's he up to???

  28. jugear

    "captive audience"

    So, where the audience hogtied and gagged? Did Kane and The Undertaker watch over them, ready to punish any smirks?

  29. heyrick Silver badge

    How much is that doggy in the window?

    How much is Android fees, other patent fees, and fees for Windows pre-installs...

    ...and how much is actual innovation?

  30. json

    They're lucky..

    .. there's not much furniture around.

  31. frankieh

    shame shame.

    Apple and Android have done one huge thing for us.. something linux desktop never achieved.. It has shown people that the windows way isn't the only good way.. people don't "expect" a device to run windows anymore, so not doing so is no longer a show stopper for them.

    Microsoft missed stepped on every tech trend except the Kinect.. and it's mostly ballmers fault. Iphone, ipod, HPC, Android, tablets, embedded etc etc. Increasingly the are trying to make money from patent extortion more than innovative products all the while complaining when they get stung with their own barb. (i4i anyone?)

    Put a techie back in charge.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One word, Steve...


    Want to see him react when that one starts to smell

  33. Bilgepipe


    >>> "There's a reason why we'll do almost $70bn in revenue this year and we'll make over $20, whatever, $26, $27bn in profits," he added.

    "Because our customers are stuck with our expensive junk products whether they want them or not." he continued.

  34. Ascylto


    Please, please, please ... keep Ballmer in charge of Microsoft!

    (An Apple fanatic).

  35. Anonymous Coward

    "Love him or hate him Gates had vision."

    No he didn't.

    Two well known examples from many: "no one will need more than 640kB", and initially ignoring the Internet.

    Gates was good at making one-sided deals. End of.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ballmer leaves investors speechless in Seattle

    I.e., he didn't let anyone speak.

    "[Ballmer] shouted at a captive audience"

    No no no, that's just his normal way to speak. He accidentally pressed caps lock while pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del a while back, never noticed, and somneone never dared telling him.

  37. Mystic Megabyte

    No thanks, Ballmer!

    I would like our politicians to outlaw the pre-installation of MS on almost every PC for sale.

    This MS tax has gone on too long and as we know it is almost impossible to get a refund if you do not choose to accept their T&Cs.

    I would like to see something like this:

    Switch on your new PC, it boots into Linux and asks if you want to install MS (£81), OSX (£19) or carry on with Linux for free. At least then we would have less bot-farms but I doubt that any of our "leaders" have a clue what they are doing.

  38. George 24

    Bill Gates

    Had a vision. Yes he did. Today we have standards. Files can be shared between different systems. if it had been to Apple or IBM, we would be buggered for sure.

    Love or hate M$, the contribution is enormous. Balmer should retire ASAP. Give the job to that guy, you know... Linus T. That would be inovative!

    1. sisk


      Give it to Stallman for the shear entertainment value. Torvalds is pragmatic enough to possibly fix Microsoft (unlikely, but he would at least try), whereas Stallman would immediately release all Microsoft code under the GPLv3. That would be a train wreck worth watching.

    2. Goat Jam

      "Files can be shared between different systems"

      What the?

      Are you seriously giving Gates credit for that? The same bloke who invented the "never standing still office format" to make it difficult to exchange files for everyone who didn't drink the Microsoft koolaid? Or even those that didn't have the latest recipe of koolaid?

      That Bill Gates?

      Crikey, some people are more naive than in my wildest imagination.

    3. Giles Jones Gold badge


      That made me laugh.

      So why is this great company that make sharing data possible suing everyone on the planet for patent violations on the FAT filesystem? Why do they not support EXT3, 4 and other filesystems?

      Microsoft are king of the file format lock in. Every time an open document format has been proposed by the EU they have knobbled it with their own version.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    I really want to see Ballmer demonstrating

    Office Chair 365

  40. Peter 39


    Damn the icebergs -- full speed ahead !!

  41. b166er
    Thumb Up

    George 24

    That would be hilarious my friend!

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BBC Click about 2 months ago...

    At the CES, Ballmer being interviewed to demo Windows 7 tablets.

    It was the most awful performance I have ever seen from a CEO, made his product look so bad I'm stunned they didn’t try and get the broadcast pulled.

    It went roughly like this :

    Spencer Kelly - Hmmm problem with Windows 7 on a tablet - the icons are not scaled up for touch use. Look I just watched you try three times to hit that minimise icon.

    Ballmer - Ahhh well no problem, we have multiple form factors - look at this tablet with pop out keyboard. Or this tablet which folds open like a laptop.

    Spencer Kelly - Hmmmm but then it's not a tablet anymore....

    The whole thing was an admission than Win 7 on tablets is flawed, and I still can't believe this was demonstrated by Ballmer's very own hands and mouth. All I could think of was Gerald Ratner. It took only that instant for me to form an opinon that the guy isn’t fit for purpose.

  43. Rick Giles


    Until your last line I was going to call you a Windows Fanboi, but I see that your a fan of technology and not a particular company.

    I've always wanted someone to come and upset MS and Apple's, er, apple cart and I thought Google was going to be the one to do it. Google scares the hell out of me now. Take a company that makes their living from being able to search and deliver relational data to you and then have them develop a hardware/OS platform so that now they are truly in the machine and can tie (if they want to) their customers to their searching and buying habits. Hello Minority Report.

    I'm a fan of Linux, I can admit that. I like it because the focus is on the applications and not the OS, per se. Until some brave IT manager can get his company switched to a Linux platform and prove to the rest of the world that they don't need to likes of MS, we will always need to suckle at the MS licensing teat.

  44. CyberCod

    The problem with Ballmer...

    ...has never been about energy, or conviction, or drive. He's got those in spades and it hasn't done MS any good at all. His deficiencies have always been about integrity and vision. He's a hyper jackass that plays dirty pool, and honestly, he does not draw good talented people to him because of this reputation. He doesn't inspire people, he inspires fear. His job could have been done just as well by a rotweiller with a graphing calculator.

    I hope he gets put out on his ass.

  45. Rick Giles

    @Ben Holmes

    " most enterprises, the cost of redploying to kit, and retraining staff precludes any sort of move to an entirely different platform at all."

    I can't count the times I've had a user ask me if/when we are getting any Mac's. The only retraining problems you are going to have are from the Luddites and I classify that as any one born prior to 1978. I fall into that range, but I have The Knack, so new tech doesn't scare the willies out of me.

    Speaking of retraining... Most of the users do not care what OS the program runs on. They just care that it runs. If you are referring to retraining them on on the program that just replaced the one that runs on an MS OS, then yes, your are going to have some push back. Now think about that for a minute, especially if you were witness to the 'upgrade' from Office '03 to '07. Did the users flip out because of that fscking Office Ribbon nonsense? Mine sure did. Did that cause us to roll back the changes? No. Are they used to it now? Yes. Would they have been able to handle a change to say Ubuntu running (at that time) Open Office? Maybe. And I say that because the OS change would have been what got there attention more than Open Office. Why? Open Office, at that time, had a similar look and feel that Office '03 did. Most of my users have one or two in there group that can help train the others, so most of the time a change in product, or even a new product, is handled quite well.

    You sound like someone that benefits from keeping a company from changing to FOSS by making sure that the CFO/CIO/CTO hears enough FUD to keep the licensing machine rolling.

  46. JC 2

    As The Bubble Bursts

    I've no fondness for Steve Ballmer but I have to feel a little pity for the man as Microsoft's bubble was bound to burst. You can't build a monopoly on a once-in-mankind's-history type event peroid like the beginning of the personal computing era, and expect that to continue forever and a day.

    The further the tech evolves, the more and more minor the differences will be between the leaders in that industry and the competitors, to the extent that what differences remain won't be things that the average consumer cares about.

    MS investors aren't thinking long term though, if they were they would see that Apple is in the same boat with their phones and MP3 players, and of course their arguably overpriced desktop computers. What market share they've been gaining will erode away in the next decade, two at most.

  47. John Doe 1

    Well, he's certainly not lacking in enthusiasm...

    ...if the sweaty armpits of his shirts are any indication.

    I haven't heard him give a credible explanation of why MSFT stock is still below where it once was. I remember it was about $31/share perhaps over a year ago, but it's been at $26/share for a while now.

  48. windywoo

    Windows 7, Slim Xbox and Kinect

    All successes under Ballmer. Any success will of course be credited to someone else, whilst the failures are lumped upon him. This is the lazy thinking and flat out prejudice that prevales on the internet, and it seems amongst many financial analysts too.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge


      Windows 7 = Vista fixed.

      Slim XBox = XBox fixed.

      Kinect - Wii control system re-imagined.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    M$ are a ...

    M$ are a bloated behemoth whose means of survival these days is by summoning Patent trolls.

    IMHO, once Corporations get into the extortion business, their days are numbered. e.g Look what Darl McBride did to SCO

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like