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Employees love Microsoft -- but not Ballmer


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#16 Omen1393

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 23:29

While I like what Microsoft has been doing for the past year, I'm not a big fan of Ballmer. He seems to be way too arrogant, but then again, what CEO of a multi-billion dollar company isn't arrogant?


#17 Growled

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 02:57

His main problem is he is just a salesman. In my opinion, the CEO of a company like Microsoft should be at the minimum be a great programmer and at the best he should be a visionary.

#18 rawr_boy81

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 05:59

I guess to me I view Bill Gates a visionary. Ballmer seems more of a reactionary. Microsoft is still a great company and I use several of their products, but they don't seem cutting edge anymore, at least to me.

Don't get me wrong, Windows 7 & Office 2010 are rock-solid products. I just haven't been 'wowed' by Microsoft for many years.

They really need the tablet PC or this Slate thing to take off. I want an iPad-like device that can do more of what a regular computer can do. I have no interest in the Windows 7 phone thingy.


Ballmer has never put himself up as a visionary, he is after all a manager. The people who have the vision are the individual divisions of Microsoft so if there is any blame to go around it is the bad management below Ballmer and the lack of communication between the different divisions so that a coherent integrated product line up comes out the other side.

Microsoft is also a mature company now and they've never put themselves as a 'wizz bang company' - they're the IBM of the software world, reliable, sturdy, middle of the road and reliable. Don't expect them to set the world alight but at the same time they provide enterprise customers what they need and consumers what they lust after. When you consider over a period of around 15 years Windows Vista and Windows ME are about the only let downs in terms of Windows releases, they've done a pretty good job if you ask me. It took Apple at least 3 releases of Mac OS X before it finally became usable and if it weren't for the iPod halo effect and the shift to Intel the momentum wouldn't have continued.

As a customer by the way, I don't care about 'exciting' or 'innovating', I just want things to work - and 9/10, Microsoft does a pretty good job at that.

#19 Petvas

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 06:10

I would imagine if you conducted a survey of any company, anywhere, and asked it's employees if they liked the CEO or not, that right around 50% of them would say no, if not higher. Sure, there are some obvious exceptions, but employees not liking the head of the company is as classic of a scenario as the poor not liking the rich. It simply is how things are.


Yes, I agree, but that is a bit different. Steve Ballmer is to the eyes of Microsoft employees just a salesman! He is aggresive, swears a lot and shows not enough qualities for someone in his position. Compared to Bill Gates he stands no chance.

#20 Ci7

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 13:31

His main problem is he is just a salesman. In my opinion, the CEO of a company like Microsoft should be at the minimum be a great programmer and at the best he should be a visionary.


possiblySteven Sinofsky ?

#21 Lee G.

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 21:54

Having seen him in person, I have to say he was passionate, motivated, and truly believed in his company. As a public speaker, he also handled questions, criticisms and his keynote extremely well. Don't really know why anyone hates the guy.

That's my opinion too. I've never really understood the hate for Steve Ballmer.

#22 Arpit

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 18:00

That's my opinion too. I've never really understood the hate for Steve Ballmer.


it's not so much as hate as it is frustration with the status quo of the company. as mentioned previously he's a business/sales guy. between quality and sales volume, he gives preference to sales volume, and the only reason he's able to pull off the sales volume is because of the predominant usage of office and windows in most of the world. maybe it's not a fair comparison but if you were to give jobs and ballmer same amount of money to run a business from scratch, you'd see the following scenario -
both would pay someone else to create a product (neither can do it themselves)
- jobs would spend the time sprucing up the aesthetics and then charge the customer a premium for that
- ballmer would do the bare minimum to keep the costs down then offer discounts to customers to entice them.

i don't think it's necessary for the CEO to be a programmer (examples: steve jobs, eric schmidt), but more than technology, they need to have an understanding of what WORKS for the consumer, which is usability with minimal learning curve, and aesthestics as a bonus.

microsoft has a ton of money, a ton of resources. they spend ~$8 billion on R&D alone whereas apple spends closer to $800 million. the problem is that the company is so disconnected internally that all the 'visionary' R&D that's done rarely goes beyond concepts (RIP courier), and you end up with same old crap with another look (Kin). ballmer doesn't seem to GET this fact...'coz ultimately he's driven by sales. gates was better in the sense that he was a visionary for the sake of functionality, ballmer doesn't even have that. and what steve jobs has that both seem to lack is the 'consumer mindset' - how to make something that a consumer would want to buy and use, so much that they'll pay a premium for it.

anyhow, point of the rant was...ballmer maybe passionate about the company, he just doesn't know where to take it. as mentioned earlier, he's a reactionary CEO, not a visionary.



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