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Ballmer to Retire


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Posted

Hey Nik,

 

When I say the phone that no one liekd, I am talking about the Microsoft Kin.

 

Bahahahahaha, the Kin.  Yes, I will give you this - it was a huge mistake.  Timing was ridiculous.  MS were already a long way into WinPhone7 development, and then came out with this WinMo 6/5 hybrid social device.  It is endemic of things that MS have tried over the years, not just Ballmer.

 

And the Surface... It's an absolute mess as far as marketing goes (I consider pricing to be a strategy within marketing).  BUT it has still made them big players in the tablet scene.  Win.

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Posted

Amusing ...

 

Shares in Microsoft jump 9% after the software giant announces that chief executive Steve Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months.

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Posted

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRvAAYjmqkE

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Posted

You posted the "Modern Anakin" version with all the CGI shots...

 

Need I explain to you my ire? ;)

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Posted

I humbly disagree.

 

There is a disconnect; however, it's (believe it or not) NOT the fault of Microsoft.

 

The downturn in PC sales (the club that everyone is using on everyone involved in PCs - from Microsoft to HP) began prior to the Developer Preview of Windows 8, and is also affecting companies with zero connection to Windows 8, or even Windows (Apple, for example - how are sales of Macs, both desktops and portable MacBooks, doing in comparison to PCs); even Lenovo, the comparative bright spot, is doing better in devices than in PCs.  (Almost Apple-like, in fact.)

 

Consumer confidence (and especially in terms of tech purchases) is still crappy - that has been the case throughout most of the Great Recession. There is no real desire to buy new complete PCs.  Where is all the buzz?  Tablets, slates, and portable not-quite-a-netbook devices, and mostly running Android, and pretty much entirely for reasons of price.

 

We, as a planet, are becoming so risk-averse, we're going from conservative to being downright "chicken".  (That's in everything from technology to the regulatory environment - taking any risk at all is being punished.)  Look at the responses BY the critics of Microsoft - the safe baby-steps approach of Apple and Google is actually being complimented.  If that isn't fear of risk, what is?

 

The folks that dare to take risks are being slammed for it - unless they are terror groups.  If you're a business, or a government, you are supposed to play it safe.

 

Steven Ballmer is not a risk-averse sort of person - and considering when he was hired (and the culture of Microsoft WHEN he was hired) it made all sorts of sense.  That is what's out of touch and out of step - we are seriously risk-averse, if not outright change-hostile.  It's why not just Windows 8 has been attacked, it's why Ballmer himself has been attacked (and why Steven Sinofsky was attacked) - we HATE risk.

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Posted

I personally don't care, nor am I influenced, impacted, or suffer as a consequence of who runs Microsoft. However as a customer you have to think that someone else at the tiller can bring the good ship Redmond back to the desktop.

 

All this tablet and cloud malarky is all well and good, but they need to cater for their core customer - desktop - regardless of business or home use.

 

Windows 9 needs to be in several flavours. One for desktop, one for tablet. Not one that encompasses both al la Windows 8. Do the same as they are doing with Office. You can get a desktop version and a cloud/tablet version (yes you can use 365 on a desktop but you do get a choice rather than an all in one solution).

 

In the interim, it would be nice for desktop users like myself to have a version of Windows 8 without all the start screen and app shenanigans. Then we can be all happy, keyboard/mouse jockeys and touchscreen jockeys then don't have a compromise that caters for both and satisfies neither.

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Posted

You posted the "Modern Anakin" version with all the CGI shots...

 

Need I explain to you my ire? ;)

Hey, knock yerself out... :laugh:

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Posted

Then we can be all happy, keyboard/mouse jockeys and touchscreen jockeys then don't have a compromise that caters for both and satisfies neither.

 

They had a good idea, and took it too far IMHO.

 

Hey, knock yerself out...

 

It's bad, and you should feel bad for posting the wrong version.  Anakin was an old man, there was no CGI and Lando did an awesome awkward dance with some teddy bears.  The ONLY ending ;)

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Posted

You posted the "Modern Anakin" version with all the CGI shots...

 

Need I explain to you my ire? ;)

So, we could say that you are Ire-rish ...

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Posted


It's bad, and you should feel bad for posting the wrong version.  Anakin was an old man, there was no CGI and Lando did an awesome awkward dance with some teddy bears.  The ONLY ending ;)

I like the tune in this one better.

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Posted

Ben Affleck chosen to succeed Ballmer. Story developing.....

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Posted

So, we could say that you are Ire-rish ...

 

To be sure!

 

I like the tune in this one better.

 

You may also be interested Pan Pipe Moods volume 2 ;)

 

I feel I may have veered ever so slightly off topic.  And I should feel bad!

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Posted

And will you go back and actually read what you just said?

 

You are basically slamming Microsoft for not focusing entirely on the desktop - basically, you are asking Microsoft to ignore tablets, slates, the iPad, and smartphones, and stay in that nice (and safe) NICHE because they are dominant there.

 

You have just basically confirmed what I said about most of the planet - we are becoming risk-averse and change-hostile.

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Posted

we are becoming risk-averse and change-hostile

 

Is is natural (note: I never said it was right) for a company with shareholders through a recession

You are basically slamming Microsoft for not focusing entirely on the desktop

 

And no, he's not!

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Posted

This just in: Sources close to Microsoft have said that after tense, behind the scenes negotiations, Ben Affleck has withdrawn his acceptance as the new CEO of Microsoft. These same sources have pegged Zombie Steve Jobs as the new leader of his most hated adversary. 

 

Zombie Jobs has been quoted at the top secret meeting saying "iWin"

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Posted

The folks that dare to take risks are being slammed for it - unless they are terror groups.  If you're a business, or a government, you are supposed to play it safe.

 

Steven Ballmer is not a risk-averse sort of person - and considering when he was hired (and the culture of Microsoft WHEN he was hired) it made all sorts of sense.  That is what's out of touch and out of step - we are seriously risk-averse, if not outright change-hostile.  It's why not just Windows 8 has been attacked, it's why Ballmer himself has been attacked (and why Steven Sinofsky was attacked) - we HATE risk.

Not true...

 

There is calculated risk and then there are stupid decisions...

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Posted

There is calculated risk and then there are stupid decisions...

 

And you believe that Ballmer makes decisions for a multi-billion dollar company without any planning?

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Posted

But Microsoft was successful in switching directions. Sure, they're off to a slow start, but still successful, none the less.

 

Success measured in a deep slump in sales, and the lowest level of consumer confidence since the Vista days?

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Posted

I liked Ballmer as I still think he did a fantastic job of changing the Gates MS into a MS we all feel is better for everyone. Gates, although a admirable philanthropist, ran a very closed Microsoft that was soley focused on market domination. They didn't play well with anyone and that was a major stumbling block for the tech community. Under Ballmer MS was far more open to customers and actively participated in the tech community as a contributor, not just a domination machine.

 

As much as it is nice to assume that the board ran Ballmer out. I think the decision might have been his alone. I think it is a culmination of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 that pushed him to this decision. Obviously, everything posted on this site, and others, are just guesses and conjecture as non of us are privy to the real details. That being said, my take on it is that Ballmer is a long term kind of guy and he knows his achievements at Microsoft thus far. Looking forward the future is far less rosy and the marketplace is looking down on Microsoft on far too many fronts. He hasn't "run Microsoft into the ground" as some users suggested, but I think he decision is due in part because he doesn't want to. Whatever happens post his retirement isn't on him and it is always best to step down when you're at a peak.

 

Why did I mention Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8? The bulk of Microsoft's success is tied to Windows in a very deep way. Windows Phone 8 hasn't pulled Microsoft where they want to be yet and Windows 8 added some uncertainty for them in its attempt to capture the tablet market. I still feel the problem for Microsoft is that they haven't yet been able to communicate a vision to business users and consumers as to not only where they are going, but also how the road to that destination brings value to those users. The bulk of Microsoft's money comes from businesses which puts their shift on a LOT shakier ground than any other company. Apple, for instance, has never been a major player in the business space; the same can largely be said for Google.

 

Windows 8 is selling well, but Microsoft knows that their future success depends on far more than just raw license sales. They need to win back the hearts and minds of developers and that is where Windows is failing on so many fronts.

 

The successor has very large shoes to fill in this. I tend to think an outsider might be what they need, at least in the short term.

 

 

I personally don't care, nor am I influenced, impacted, or suffer as a consequence of who runs Microsoft. However as a customer you have to think that someone else at the tiller can bring the good ship Redmond back to the desktop.

 

All this tablet and cloud malarky is all well and good, but they need to cater for their core customer - desktop - regardless of business or home use.

 

Windows 9 needs to be in several flavours. One for desktop, one for tablet. Not one that encompasses both al la Windows 8. Do the same as they are doing with Office. You can get a desktop version and a cloud/tablet version (yes you can use 365 on a desktop but you do get a choice rather than an all in one solution).

 

In the interim, it would be nice for desktop users like myself to have a version of Windows 8 without all the start screen and app shenanigans. Then we can be all happy, keyboard/mouse jockeys and touchscreen jockeys then don't have a compromise that caters for both and satisfies neither.

 

 

The problem for Windows 8 wasn't so much in its changes per say, but in how Microsoft failed to deliver a value vision with it. They didn't do a good job of demonstrating to users why Metro was needed and what value it brought to them. They also took a far too heavy handed approach by restricting users from falling back to a "classic" mode. This decision, I feel, was still largely a result of their hope of winning back the hearts and minds of developers, but it didn't pan out. Developers aren't in love with Microsoft right now and that is the biggest threat to their future. People go where the developers are (because after all people care about the applications that add value to their computing experience more than they care about technical details like which OS they are on)...

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Posted

And you believe that Ballmer makes decisions for a multi-billion dollar company without any planning?

 

No, but he is very opinionated, supports pet projects with higher than normal risks, and somewhere along the way lost the vision and focus of the company...

 

That usually happens with employees that work for a company for more than 10 years and get comfortable in their positions, but should not be a characteristic of a successful CEO.

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Posted

I humbly disagree.

 

There is a disconnect; however, it's (believe it or not) NOT the fault of Microsoft.

 

The downturn in PC sales (the club that everyone is using on everyone involved in PCs - from Microsoft to HP) began prior to the Developer Preview of Windows 8, and is also affecting companies with zero connection to Windows 8, or even Windows (Apple, for example - how are sales of Macs, both desktops and portable MacBooks, doing in comparison to PCs); even Lenovo, the comparative bright spot, is doing better in devices than in PCs.  (Almost Apple-like, in fact.)

 

Consumer confidence (and especially in terms of tech purchases) is still crappy - that has been the case throughout most of the Great Recession. There is no real desire to buy new complete PCs.  Where is all the buzz?  Tablets, slates, and portable not-quite-a-netbook devices, and mostly running Android, and pretty much entirely for reasons of price.

 

We, as a planet, are becoming so risk-averse, we're going from conservative to being downright "chicken".  (That's in everything from technology to the regulatory environment - taking any risk at all is being punished.)  Look at the responses BY the critics of Microsoft - the safe baby-steps approach of Apple and Google is actually being complimented.  If that isn't fear of risk, what is?

 

The folks that dare to take risks are being slammed for it - unless they are terror groups.  If you're a business, or a government, you are supposed to play it safe.

 

Steven Ballmer is not a risk-averse sort of person - and considering when he was hired (and the culture of Microsoft WHEN he was hired) it made all sorts of sense.  That is what's out of touch and out of step - we are seriously risk-averse, if not outright change-hostile.  It's why not just Windows 8 has been attacked, it's why Ballmer himself has been attacked (and why Steven Sinofsky was attacked) - we HATE risk.

 

I don't disagree with anything you said. And neither one of them is gone (Sinofsky and soon Ballmer) for taking risks. It's because their risks didn't pay off, or pay off soon enough. Everyone else is selling "non-PC" devices by the ton. Yet Microsoft, for all it's might, is not. Ballmer should go, gracefully and should probably stay involved in some capacity.

 

Sinofsky and his cultural mess, and the mess that was/is Windows 8 RTM, got a better exit than he deserved IMO. It will probably take years to fix the internal communication/culture issues that he probably was a part of creating.

 

There were simply boneheaded design decisions made, and they almost doomed XBox One before it even got started. That's out-of-touch management. Risk is fine, but it must be based in reality, the reality has change for Microsoft. They can no longer muscle the competition or consumer. That's not an insignificant adjustment to have to make.

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The problem for Windows 8 wasn't so much in its changes per say, but in how Microsoft failed to deliver a value vision with it.

 

Some of it was the changes. You still can't easily sync media/playlists/music from a Windows 8 desktop to a Windows 8 Phone. The only sensible way is to use media player classic. Xbox Music & Video Services are just now getting tolerable. Windows 8.1 looks good. Shareholders probably see the year that was supposed to be a Great 8 year (Surface, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8) as a complete utter failure, and it was by what should be Microsoft's standards.

 

With a better internal culture, in-touch management, and consumer focus, they could have grabbed a huge chunk of mind and marketshare in the emerging markets. Instead, they are as weak in those as they started. Sure they have a big upside if the now keep listening and making changes, but is the guy that let that happen, the person to move you forward?

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I want Forstall as CEO! I'm going to be his campaign's headman. Here is our first advertisement.
 
[url=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/534/xnir.png/]xnir.png[/URL]
 
Uploaded with [url=http://imageshack.us]ImageShack.us[/URL]

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Posted

Not true...

 

There is calculated risk and then there are stupid decisions...

I call BS.  ANY risk at all  - in anything - has been subject to criticism and even litigation, and basically out of fear of failure.  A stupid decision is only stupid in hindsight (which is always 20/20) - how many "stupid decisions" were, in fact, based on calculated risk assessments?

 

Nothing is without risk - and especially life itself.

 

Not taking risk leads to calcification - in other words, doing little or nothing is not only not always the best thing to do, but is often the absolute WORST - and especially when it comes to business.

 

Here's an example of calculated risk gone bad - and this was a SUCCESSFUL calculated risk - IBM spinning off their PC business.  (An even bigger mistake for IBM - again, in hindsight - was spinning off the standalone printer business - Lexmark.)

That's right - two successful risks that actually look bad in hindsight for the company taking the risk - IBM.

However - contrary to standard thinking - the risks look worse BECAUSE they worked.  Lenovo is - as has been pointed out by many - THE bright spot in the global PC marketplace.  Here's Lenovo's doings for this year alone - http://news.lenovo.com/.  (According to your logic, this was a stupid decision for IBM.)

Another successful calculated risk - this one by the management of IBM's standalone printer business (now Lexmark).  Again, according to your metrics, a BAD decision by IBM.  Yet here's Lexmark announcing their intention to acquire Saperion AG (enterprise content management).  Great for Lexmark - however, it looks stupid in hindsight for IBM. (http://newsroom.lexmark.com/2013-08-20-Lexmark-announces-agreement-to-acquire-Saperion)

Lexmark - out from under the shadow of IBM - is almost as large a success as Lenovo.

 

Then there is Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (MMM); yes, the famous (or infamous) 3M Company (of Scotch and Post-It fame and infamy).  Yet BOTH products (Scotch transparent tape is *still* the signature product of the Tapes and Adhesives Group of MMM - despite Scotch being used by products outside the entire group) are based on risk.  MMM pre-Scotch (and definitely pre-Post-it) was so cautious it was likened to the original AT&T - by the company's own bondholders.  BO-ring.

 

Last - but far from least - is Owens-Corning; THE acknowledged master of fiberglass and products made out of it.  Let's look at all THREE of their flagship products - fiberglass insulation, fiberoptic cables, and Gorilla Glass.  All three were dismissed early on - in fact, how long did Gorilla Glass sit on a shelf within O-C itself?  Yet all three are successful - in fact, INSANELY successful.

 

Notice that I am not saying that risk is not without risk - that would, in fact, be quite silly.  However, NOT taking risk (and especially in business) is often worse.  Where would we be without the products (and even entire companies, if not entire industries) born from risk-taking?  (Here's something else to chew on - would Neowin itself even exist without someone taking a risk?)

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Posted

I call BS. 

I dont have the time to type a report on risk analysis.... so all I can say is... He failed as CEO

 

I wish him the best in any new ventures.

 

Edit: You know... I partially feel bad for him but he had plenty of time to make a change, and since it wasnt working he could have stepped down a while back... That would have been a good move.... Two words from me:"Accountability and Responsiblity" 

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