back to article Ballmer: Uninspiring performance and a small package

Steve Ballmer has failed to dazzle the Microsoft board in the last year, and his pay cheque seems to reflect that fact. The Redmond firm's CEO bagged just a $685,500 bonus, which on top of his $682,500 salary and other compensation brought his total package up to June 2011 to just $1.38m, a figure that pales in comparison to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "progress with Windows"

    So it won't be crashy, won't have an unweildy registry and might even work?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      not "rewrite"

    2. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      No I'm no fan of Windows and I know it has it's problems, but crashy? Come on I haven't seen windows behaving like that since ME. That was 11 years and four major releases back.

      Indeed I'm still on XP because it gets the job done and is stable, as such I don't see any need to upgrade. Since so many other users are of the same opinion is the main reason why MS are having trouble selling Win7.

      1. snowlight

        ^ This. I haven't had a serious crash due to Windows for several years now. Hardware faults on the other hand :|

      2. Peter York 1
        Thumb Down

        Not quite true... Coincidently enough, today I had a BSOD on a windows 2008 IBM server when a hard disk failed.... Still happens after all this time...sigh!!!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Since ME ?

        Obviously you never used Vista

      4. Brennan Young

        Quite so. Windows was almost always the OS for people who didn't care which OS they ran. No wonder the users are in no hurry to upgrade.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm

      You're obviously an Apple Fanboy, and your windows experience based on Windows 95.

      I'm not a MS fan, I have used/owned most OS's at this point (Windows 3-7, Mac OS X, Various Linux, iOS, Android, etc), and I have to say Windows is very usable.

      Calling the registry unwieldy is a little simplistic, yes it has grown out of control, but this was introduced with Windows 95 and the newer versions of Windows are working to overcome this (progress).

      In fact one of the negatives about the registry was the overuse by applications, which did not clean up after themselves completely, and so better developers have come to realize this and are using their own local configurations.

      Crashy? Pay for Windows 7 and stop complaining.

  2. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    I didn't think people like Ballmer really cared about pay, I thought it was more about the gazillions of stock options held?

  3. Asgard

    @"The Redmond firm's CEO bagged just a $685,500 bonus, which on top of his $682,500 salary and other compensation brought his total package up to June 2011 to just $1.38m"

    Well its been a tough year for all of us.

    ... If I could say that with any more sarcasm, its would rupture spacetime. ;)

    1. Richard Wharram


      He's hardly Leo Apotheker.

  4. Anthony Hulse


    I really cannot understand how this man is still in his job. How far towards obscurity does Microsoft have to fall before the board wake up?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You're assuming ...

      ... that microsoft has anyone to replace him with.

      Don't all the competent ones jump ship?

      1. asdf

        yeah because

        The reason is because Ballmer runs them off. Horrible CEO but great at being an aggressive sociopathic jagoff to rivals.

    2. Quantum Leaper

      Record revenue of $69.9 billon, I think says it all... When you make money for your company, they won't kick you out, the board just wanted more, and that a little hard when the economy is taking a dump.

  5. aaronsen

    Where should they go?

    The question is, where should they go? What's the right direction for Microsoft? They don't seem to have a cohesive, forward-looking strategy for the whole company. Steve could start by working out which product lines have the brightest future.

    I'm pretty sure I could figure out some answers in exchange for £1.3m.

    1. CyberCod

      Where they should go

      Honestly, MS will probably never be as dominant as it was in the past. And the main reason for this is that people simply don't trust them. People don't like the dirty tactics they use, the DRM they foist on their users, their nigh refusal to play nice with other operating systems, their patent suits against every one and their grandmother, or their bald-headed jackass of a CEO.

      If MS ever wants to regain true dominance in the tech sector, then they have to EARN back our trust. And the only way they can do that is to renounce all their douchebaggery and start playing nice with others.

      Firstly, they need to fix Windows. Even if it takes a complete rewrite. I know each version of Windows is supposed to be more secure than the last, but frankly, they aren't. As a PC repair tech, I saw Windows 7 and Vista machines getting pwn'd day in and day out just like XP machines. What good is all their supposed increased speed when you have to bog the machine down with an antivirus suite, an anti-spyware program, a firewall and a spam filter. Its easier and safer to just use Linux. I am a Linux fanboi and I admit that, but that doesn't mean that I speak falsely. If not for Windows, we wouldn't have the botnet problems that we have.

      They need to stop all of this "embrace, extend, extinguish" bullshit. Support open standards. Perhaps even open some of their own. Embrace openness.

      They need to renounce DRM. Period.

      They need to be more concerned with their customers than their shareholders.

      Until I trust Microsoft, I won't run Microsoft. Perhap initially, these proposed changes could lose them some potential profits, but in the long run, it is the only path to their former glory. And getting rid of Ballmer is the first step.

      You can tell me how ridiculously unrealistic this list is, and I will probably agree. There's no chance in hell MS is going to do anything near the things on this list. But its the only thing that could get me to ever use their OS or buy their products on a regular basis.

      I could've save myself a lot of typing by condensing this down to one sentence... ie. "Don't be a dick" but that wouldn't have been as eloquent.

      Flame on.

      1. Meph

        I think you misunderstand the idea..

        .. behind big corporate business.

        MS is beholden to its investors, which is a fancy way of describing its shareholders. From them comes the big bucket of money that MS uses to make things in the hope that their customers buy it, thus offering a return to the investors. You will never see a floated business put the client before the shareholder, to do so would simply not make good business sense.

        MS has lost their dominance simply by re-hashing the same product over, and over, and over again. Sure there have been a lot of technical modifications under the hood to improve performance and stability, but to the luddite, Windows appears no more than cosmetically different than it did when Windows 95 came out.

        Where MS can go from here is to find something that no-one has yet thought of, and make it. They failed with Bing because they were trying to play catchup with Google. They failed with the Zune because they were trying to play catchup with Apple. Instead of constantly chasing the ball being held by (arguably) more nimble competitors, they should be finding their own innovations. Microsoft needs to build something new and exciting, this will bring the customers flocking back, regardless of how they personally perceive the company.

        1. CyberCod


          It wasn't a failure to understand how corporations work. I understand full well the kind of psychopathic profit-driven psychosis that pervades the corporate infrastructure.

          What YOU and undoubtedly a lot of other people fail to realize is that the common corporate motive is not enough anymore.

          Microsoft TRIED to make headway into new ground... Remember the MID's they were touting a few years before the netbook boom? Everyone looked at them and then said "Cool, but its from Microsoft. I probably won't be getting one." Then a short while later, netbooks arrived on the scene and everyone had to have one. Then the same story with tablets. Microsoft's research was correct about the size, and damn close on the exact form factor. But it barely made a splash and sold no units because it was from Microsoft.

          Corporations need to start factoring in public trust as part of their profit algorithms. Pure and simple. When they have the trust of the people, then profits will go up accordingly. Without it, nobody cares what kind of kit they put out, and they will continue to see their R&D expenditures make lack-luster impact with the populous.

          Take Apple for instance. They're a horrible company, as far as how they treat the end user, but the public still sees them as trustworthy because, for the longest time, they were considered counter-culture. Apple was what you used if you wanted to "stick it to the man". They're now riding that trust-wave to greater heights... but as they continue to milk the public trust with their shady practices, that wave will falter, and then nobody will give a crap about what they put out.

          Integrity needs to be the first rule of business. Not profit.

  6. Ye Gads

    Poor Balmer

    Suffering from both performance anxiety and a small package.

    Life can be cruel.

  7. JDX Gold badge


    That's because you don't understand. That is a TINY salary for someone running a company of such size. $1m is NOT a large compensation for anyone acting as CEO of a large company.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "That is a TINY salary for someone running a company of such size....."

      ..well - I think you mean.

      On the other hand ....

    2. asdf

      not quite

      The guy owns billions in M$ stock already so increasing the share price would make him a heck of a lot more $ than any salary he gets. Unfortunately he seems incapable of doing so. How many billions has Bing cost M$?

  8. slack


    One gets the impression that Ballmer is living on borrowed time. MS and the world will be better off once that incompetent creep gets his marching orders.

  9. Blarkon

    It's nice to see some more realistic executive compensation than the brazillians of dollars that CEOs that don't increase profit are awarded.

  10. minky

    Perhaps he should be known as

    Steve mer, since he's dropped the Ball a few times...

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