Ballmer departure reportedly more sudden than Microsoft stated


Steve Ballmer's departure from Microsoft was reportedly sped up because of both internal and external conflict.

When Microsoft announced Steve Ballmer's impending departure from the company last week, it portrayed the chief executive's decision to retire as a carefully planned moment. According to a new report, however, the chief executive's departure is more sudden than originally revealed.

AllThingsD, which accurately broke the news of Microsoft's restructuring in recent months, reports Ballmer's decision to leave was sped up because the executive's leadership was viewed as "becoming a very obvious lightning rod," among other reasons. The outlet cites "dozens of people inside and outside" of Microsoft as the sources of the information, with "many" of the unnamed sources being "close to the situation."

According to AllThingsD, Ballmer initially planned to stay at Microsoft much longer, though his retirement was "drastically" moved up by the executive himself. After coming to the decision, Microsoft's nine-member board board agreed it was in the company's best interests. Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates, who has supported Ballmer in the past, allegedly didn't ask Ballmer to step down, though AllThingsD's sources implied the former CEO's faith in his replacement had waned.

When asked if Gates spurred Ballmer's decision to retire, one source "with knowledge of the situation" allegedly said the idea was Ballmers, adding, "But was [Gates] as supportive of Ballmer as he had been in the past? Maybe not."

A variety of investors called for Ballmer's resignation since he took over the company from Gates in 2000, and the company's listing on the NASDAQ stock market surged in response to the CEO's announcement he would retire within a year's time. Several media outlets speculated that the lukewarm reaction to Windows 8 led to Ballmer's departure, and AllThingsD's report indicates the slowed adoption of the operating system was part of the reason the retirement timeline shifted forward.

Another factor, the report claims, is an expected proxy fight for a seat on Microsoft's board from ValueAct, which obtained a $2 billion stake in company in April under speculation it was seeking to remove Ballmer. ValueAct claimed it wouldn't interfere with Microsoft's strategy, and AllThingsD claims the shareholder may scale back its demands if it gets "an aggressive buyback and also a dividend increase" from Microsoft.

Source: AllThingsD | Image via Microsoft

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For a CEO everyone is hating...how about the fact, MS saw profits every single year, even with the claim failed products like that Facebook phone and more.

At least he didn't let the plane crash be4 leaving like RIM's CEO and HP's CEO. At least MS is still top dog in their market. Even if every version of Windows doesn't do as well as the one before or after it, and people keep buying the one before or after it; all the money still goes to the same company. A sale is a sale.

As far as the markets reaction to him leaving? Trivial at best. They don't have to like Ballmer, but they didn't lose any money while he was in the king's chair.

At least he wasn't a lying, sniveling, thieving, prick like Jobs.
At least when customers complained about changes or issues, he didn't say "you're hold it wrong" or "don't use it that way". At least they didn't charge you to fix Vista or Windows 8 like Apple has done with iPhone, iMacs and OS X.

You do realize a lot of people were complaining about Vista, because it was basically not meant for the older PC stack out there? But for the latest and fastest with more RAM available.

And you say MS should have released it even sooner? With the system requirements for Vista that doesn't make any sense....

Seems like MS are late to the party ever since 2000:
Win 2000 was like the 90's in 2000.
XP's Luna looked like a design sketch and not like a real GUI/theme from 2001 (compare it to Mac OS X), so XP was obsolete skin-wise from day one.
Vista was delayed, so Longhorn/Vista was OK for 2007, but it looked like it belonged to 2003-2004 when it was supposed to be launched. In 2003-2007 we were stuck with the obsolete-for-2001 Luna instead. Windows 7 should've been launched circa 2007 and Win 8 is also late to the party.

Yup, taking some writing as fact from a guy who writes columns, with a degree in history and a minor in chemistry.

Yes... I googled ;-)

"It's obvious to me the company is preparing to divide itself into little pieces. The real reason the stock is going up could be that the company is worth more in pieces than it is worth as one behemoth." <just insert image of Homer here, any image......>

He may be succesful in writing columns, but someone with a REAL business degree can fill me in here about all of this.

Because it's just silly to see people/blogs/sites tearing MS and Balmer a new one without ANY solid knowledge of the matter.

This article only proves that this Dvorak is not a qualified tech journalist. Integration is the way to go, not split up.

John C. Dvorak is the Chris Matthews of tech journalism. A loudmouth idiot who is clueless and spouts whatever idiocy comes into their feeble little mind. Even if you agree with them a little bit, you still cringe whenever they say something because you're in disbelief of how someone that stupid can be given a platform to say their stupidity.

Dvorak is making the same error that a lot of analysts are - they are thinking that Microsoft must basically play it safe. Never mind that playing it safe is not something that Microsoft historically has ever done. Not before Ballmer, and certainly not while Ballmer was CEO. The original OS/2 deal with IBM, and the striking out on their own with NT, were definite major risks - while the OS/2 deal with IBM failed (through largely no fault of either party), the NT deal, however, was a smash - one that is STILL paying out rewards, and earning revenues and profit for Microsoft and NT stakeholders, even today. Big institutional investors want safe solid returns on revenue - they have a fiduciary responsibility to get those. However, said investors have a problem - there aren't many companies that pay out those clockwork rates of return any more. (Practically every industry that had a core of solid revenue-paying companies - such as utilities and banks - have seen that revenue stream attacked and assaulted - usually by regulation.) Those same investors have no desire to be tied to basically government debt for safe returns on investment - they have no interest in playing the market, either. What they want is to grab stocks that pay out decent dividends and stick them in a vault. (It's the "widows and orphans" thinking - the old favorites of institutional investors were IBM and the original AT&T. And we know exactly what happened to both.)

What the big investor wants is a new IBM or Bell System - a company that pays out solid dividends that they can stick in a vault and forget about.

Dutchie64 said,
it's nice to see so many keyboard analysts......

this is after all a discussion forum...

and having seen some real analysts at work, they do little more than make guesses anyway....

Hitman2000 said,

this is after all a discussion forum...

and having seen some real analysts at work, they do little more than make guesses anyway....

And in many cases, terrible guesses.

If Microsoft will keep ignoring their customers then nothing will change, because demand for their products will be low. It looks like Microsoft is plagued by managers who are riding on success of predecessors and have no technical background. It would be interesting to see chart similar to "Growth of real hourly compensation for production/nonsupervisory workers and productivity, 1948-2011" but with lines representing cost of developers and managers at Microsoft. Maybe it would explain all these missing features in new products .

EJocys said,
It looks like Microsoft is plagued by managers who are riding on success of predecessors and have no technical background.

I work in a large bank and I see a pattern that probably haunts most large enterprises. you have so many "Grey eminences" in your Management structure. to some degree it is impossible to realize changes. its awful. the CEO is definately not as free in the decisions as People might think. sometimes it is even sad to see how Little they can decide.

i guess same accounts for Microsoft. their structure is old in some Areas. some Teams might even dislike others. collaboration got damaged over time as there was hardly any Need.

i can imagine that market pressure will Change that to the better. but the process of Change will be hurting a lot of People and take some time.

im glad steve ballmer steps down soon. not because I dont like him, but I dislike some aspects of the course they are pursuing and I think he might not be the right man to finish the job.

i wish they find a man who can bring together the many teams even closer to get a better collaborative boost.

they start things on so many front but often fail to pursue them in details. but today details matter a lot. e.g. localization. its a joke how some services work in the US but fail horribly in the rest of the world. or polishing the releases to a point where you can say "wow, good job!"

im amazed how much microsoft still lacks behind in some areas even with their vast ressources. that new CEO has to fill many holes. thats gonna be a tough job.

new CEO: dont be afraid of bold visions but have the endurance to finish them!

In the short term it seems MS did ok or even well under his tenure from a purely financial perspective, but will we say the same thing in 20-30 years time, under his watch MS entered the smartphone and tablet race very late and might of missed the boat completley. They could have been even bigger had they done it much sooner.

Anyways this is a step in the right direction

Hitman2000 said,
In the short term it seems MS did ok or even well under his tenure from a purely financial perspective, but will we say the same thing in 20-30 years time, under his watch MS entered the smartphone and tablet race very late and might of missed the boat completley. They could have been even bigger had they done it much sooner.

Anyways this is a step in the right direction

It might seem like it's late but it's not, the smartphone market is still growing and the transition from desktop to more mobile devices has just started to pick up the past 2 years. Maybe a "bit" late is right but there's growth, though slow. WP is growing, faster in some places while it's lagging (yet still going up) in the US. Tablets, well, going from 0% because no one wanted XP and Win7 tablets to, what was it for the quarter? 5%? Is something. Sure if the Surface was priced more aggressive they'd have done way better but they do have to balance this OEM partnership which is why I think they set the initial price higher than they had to. The new CEO might not care as much about the OEMs though, or to the extent Ballmer did so new Surface devices will see better starting prices.

Hitman2000 said,
In the short term it seems MS did ok or even well under his tenure from a purely financial perspective, but will we say the same thing in 20-30 years time, under his watch MS entered the smartphone and tablet race very late and might of missed the boat completley. They could have been even bigger had they done it much sooner.

Anyways this is a step in the right direction

actually, MS entered the smartphone and tablet race before the race existed thanks to Gates.... problem was, no one saw a need for them back then..... Apple had a similar issue with the Newton

neufuse said,

actually, MS entered the smartphone and tablet race before the race existed thanks to Gates.... problem was, no one saw a need for them back then..... Apple had a similar issue with the Newton

As for the Tablet segment you are right: at launch it did not win "Earths and minds" so to speak but.... XP Tablet was a "bumpy"experience, hardware was underpowered and overpriced and the advertisement was mainly targeted to a professional audience not consumer; to be fair we should also note that at the time MS was toying with the Mira/Smart Display project for consumers. The next wave of Tablets both as hardware and software, Vista and then 7, offered a much more pleasant experience.

Smartphone was a completely different story though: WM conquered almost 50% of the market before MS slowed down and then let completely stagnate the development of the OS ditching Photon which, it is worth to remember, was already in development in 2005,two years before the launch of the iPhone. History is not made by If and But.... but if MS had launched in 2007 a completely overhauled, touch-centric, Mobile OS in 2007 I am pretty sure that today market would have been very different.

I think Windows 8 is a correct move. But like Windows Phone, it was too late.

Ballmer is being retired because of late mobile space entrance, not because of the Start Menu. (Jeezus, when will be people stop being so butthurt conservatives, you are at 40 years old at most, and you act completely like my grandfather who believes his Windows 98 on his CRT is enough for him)

Windows 8 is a good, correct, inevitable advancement. Conservatives will have to accept it eventually (I can clearly remember when people are clinging to XP). But its fault lies in timing, again, too late, when you consider how far iPad is ahead now. Only if Windows 7 was Windows Vista, and Windows 8 was released in 7-era.

The iPhone didn't come onto the smartphone market until five years after it started. It's never too late. The ipad is a game and media streaming device so really isn't comparable to Windows systems. If they want to compete on that market, they need to come up with a purely game oriented portable platform.

CanonCygnus said,

(Jeezus, when will be people stop being so butthurt conservatives, you are at 40 years old at most, and you act completely like my grandfather who believes his Windows 98 on his CRT is enough for him)

I just get so fed up of reading comments like this. The Start Screen works for you.. Great.. I am happy that it works for some people and they like it.

Simply put, for me it does not. This is not down to some inability to adopt new tech, or because I still run Windows 98 or something.. I just think that the Start Screen is fundamentally a bad design and I know I am not alone. I ran Windows 8 for 6 months and just found myself getting increasingly irritated with it.

And besides.. I am not butthurt about it. It forced me to seek alternative options to Windows 8 - I decided not to use a product I hated simply because of habit. And now I am no longer hating the user experience again.

Why is Windows 8 too late - due to Android? Android is acceptable now entirely due to it being cheap. RT is, in point of fact based on the same core hardware; however, it has higher system requirements than Android. It's the higher system requirements that chased Acer and ASUS from RT (both companies kept making, and will continue to make, both Android and Windows 8 hardware) because it squeezed profit margins. (Android allows for higher profit margins due to less money paid out in terms of software licensing; how much DOES Google get per Android device?) And nobody has said that you couldn't stay with Windows 7; Windows 7 has not gone anywhere. (Certainly Windows 7 in terms of applications - or anything else - has not gone anywhere - other than software mooted due to features included with the OS, Windows 8 moots none of it.) If you are not using Windows 7 as your OS, what are you using instead?

@Chicane-UK
Please elaborate and explain why do you think the Start Screen "is fundamentally a bad design"? Sinfosky have gave his valid points, and unless you can provide with counterarguments, you claims are invalid. We are talking about radical changes in computing fundamentals, and even a file explorer should be eradicated.

@PGHammer
Linux is cheap, GDocs is Cheap, Windows 8 is a more mobile operating system. Get the picture now?

CanonCygnus said,
@Chicane-UK
Please elaborate and explain why do you think the Start Screen "is fundamentally a bad design"? Sinfosky have gave his valid points, and unless you can provide with counterarguments, you claims are invalid. We are talking about radical changes in computing fundamentals, and even a file explorer should be eradicated.

It's always difficult to try and quantify things like this - you simply can't give a black & white explanation on why you like or dislike something when it's just a gut feeling; and honestly my frustrations with Windows 8 go beyond the Start Screen.

Firstly - I just think, for a desktop, the full screen nature of the Start Screen and subsequently launching applications that run within the Start Screen is bad. It's like you have two entirely different areas in which you can work - the desktop which, on your average workstation you'll be spending most time surely, and then this entirely different area in which you can operate. I find it annoying, and I can only imagine that it must be bewildering for new users, or older folks who are only occasional users.. don't get me wrong, I'd love to see some stories and experiences that say otherwise. Then, add on the fact you need to manipulate those applications with gestures which are best suited to a touch based environment (such as a tablet) and which simply don't come naturally seems a strange decision by Microsoft.

I think that functionally the start screen is terrible. Live tiles, for example, seem to take a fair amount of time to 'wake up' - so you can't operate quickly. Like if I just want to pop the start screen open and glance at the weather, I noticed that often the tile wouldn't update for 10-20 seconds or more - why is this not keeping itself up to date in the background? Aesthetically it's terrible too - I guess applications have yet to catch up with the Start Screen's way of working but icons look ugly in the most part, the text is always truncated so you can't read exactly what each item is most of the time.

The search function within the Start Screen is another pet peeve - the way that even if there are 0 search results for one of the three areas you can search, it won't think to automatically jump to the categories that DO have results.

And lastly I really dislike the charms bar and the random selection of configuration options embedded within it. So now you have some stuff you need to configure within Control Panel, and some stuff you need to configure there.

So after all that - some things I need to say to balance it. I like the improvements Microsoft made under the hood - it's very evident it's faster, slicker, boots quicker, and is generally all round better. I like that. I also think on a tablet device, the whole thing makes a lot more sense and things become far more natural - I accept Microsoft were trying to get right onboard for the next "paradigm shift" (as Bill Gates always used to say) but I feel they compromised their existing business as a result. And I will also say that a few friends of mine (and to be fair they are the minority) who are very happy with Windows 8 and simply can't understand why I don't like it - so I'm willing to accept that it's 'just me' - but largely I don't think I'm in the minority.

Hope you understand my points. And ultimately no-ones views are invalid. You're entitled to like Windows 8, and I'm entitled to dislike it - if we all liked the same things, or all used the same things there would be no need to innovate and design new things.. and the world would be duller place

+1 to your explanation.

If we can continue our conversation elsewhere, or by any means not stop conversing, I'd be very appreciative. I only fear of letting this conversation end.

First of all, Microsoft's (or Sinofsky's vision) is get complete rid of the legacy work environment. On premise clients are thin clients, and processing will be in the cloud. By that way, computing will reach a new era of scalability. Therefore, the "Modern" vision is form. If you take a look at the "Office Vision" videos, you will see a framework of consistent, full-screen apps. Metro is its first step.

In term of usability, I can only tell you this story. Believe it or not, it's your choice. I am Microsoft Student Partner from Vietnam. I travelled to remote areas and have the abilities to deploy Windows 8 to people that is completely new to computer. And guess what? Even with mouse and keyboard, they are fine with it. Of course, one might argue that there's a drop of swiftness or productivity, but for these people, they only have the need for reading news, it's enough for him. I realise, for most people, it fits - it's simple, less cluttered, it gets some information. Then, when I turn to my mom, who has an SurfaceRT and use Windows 8 on our desktop workstation, she needs email, weather, notes, internet, and recipe apps. We have been very vocal about the Start Menu but when we stop thinking it's Windows, start thinking it's some sort of completely new operating system, our pains magically disappear.

The computer is going to be always on, always connected. So the Live Tiles will always be updated.

The Share charm and Control Panel issue are fixed in 8.1.
Sorry for the rush, I had to go.

goretsky said,
Hello,

According to this Wikipedia article, Microsoft hasn't exactly done poorly during Ballmer's tenure: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Ballmer#Microsoft

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

No they haven't at all but people in the tech press just look at the newest thing, the Surface RT write-down and point to that as reason. He's leaving the company after tripling revenues and doubling profits yet all people want to look at is Surface RT and Windows 8. Sure they could've handled the Surface RT way better, make less, for starters or just go with the new lower price from the get go. As for Windows 8, with the new yearly release cycle they don't care much, it sold 100million licenses last they said and now 8.1 is going to hit the market and replace it. If that sells another 100million till 8.2 or whatever the next update is then is that bad? I actually expect 8.1 to sell better though having used it on my tablet since the preview, it's a very good update.

The near billion write-down for the Surface RT stockpiles may have had something to do with it. This isn't due to the state of the economy either, but due to the state of the PC. Ballmer's successor, whoever that is, will fight an uphill battle.

Northgrove said,
The near billion write-down for the Surface RT stockpiles may have had something to do with it. This isn't due to the state of the economy either, but due to the state of the PC. Ballmer's successor, whoever that is, will fight an uphill battle.

If they try to keep the aging desktop PC going then yes, Ballmer set forth the transition to mobile devices, any successor will keep going and shifting more to "devices" as the old big desktop starts to bottom out in the market. That's not to say it's going to go away but it won't see the highs per quarter that it did 4-5 years ago. I bet it'll go down to 45-50million per quarter and stay around there till something else comes along that will replace it in the workplace.

The problem with the surface is thinking a tablet is a laptop without a keyboard. It's really a game machine that doesn't need a keyboard because it's not designed to do anything productive. I think they would have been better off making an XBox branded tablet.

Spicoli said,
The problem with the surface is thinking a tablet is a laptop without a keyboard. It's really a game machine that doesn't need a keyboard because it's not designed to do anything productive. I think they would have been better off making an XBox branded tablet.

Tablets are not necessarily a laptop without a keyboard; I have used a Convertible PC Tablet since XP Tablet was launched, at the time it was a Toshiba 3505, and never missed my previous, conventional laptops. Slate format is not for me but... to each his own.

Fritzly said,

Tablets are not necessarily a laptop without a keyboard; I have used a Convertible PC Tablet since XP Tablet was launched, at the time it was a Toshiba 3505, and never missed my previous, conventional laptops. Slate format is not for me but... to each his own.

Convertible laptops are a different class compared to iPads or Surface RT. I've had one for years and really it only gets switched to a tablet when I'm on an airplane playing solitaire.

Spicoli said,

Convertible laptops are a different class compared to iPads or Surface RT. I've had one for years and really it only gets switched to a tablet when I'm on an airplane playing solitaire.


Compared to iPad and Surface RT absolutely. I used handwriting all the time; being in a meeting, if something comes in my mind at my desk etc. etc. A lot of my personal emails are in handwriting as well but of course it is always a matter of personal preferences.

Will you listen to yourself? Never mind that ANY version of Windows - with or without a Start menu - was in hot water merely due to the sour economy. You're upset that the Start menu was excised, Ballmer is choosing to retire. You're basically adding two and two and coming up with five (that secret extra addition is because of the REAL reason you're upset - no Start menu). You're fishing.

What happens when a salesman is put in charge of a company. Technology is pushed aside and all that matters is quarterly bonuses.

Windows 8 was a failure from the very first public beta where the start menu was removed. Blind Freddy saw that. Salesman says "push ahead at all costs". Technologist would have said, lets fix the problem first.

cya Ballmer. Vista and Windows 8 are your legacy, you won't be missed.

Yes, focus on the negatives. Don't include the success of Windows 7 or how the Xbox is the most sold console, and has been for a while. Or the widespread adoption of Windows Azure, or even the smaller things that Microsoft does all the time.

My god, why is everyone so focused on the negatives? Ballmer is not a bad guy, and he didn't do as horrible a job as everyone keeps spewing. If you misread the post, it says he himself saw that it was time to go: he wasn't simply pushed out the door.

Give the guy a break and move on.

xbox 360, windows 7, the continued success of Office and the rollout of office 365, Windows Azure, Hyper-V and windows server in general being a very solid product line, ...

The next years will be exciting years due to a paradigm change and the desktop market dwindling down (which was Microsofts home turf), yet Balmer has laid some pretty solid foundations for his successor to work on. He wasn't perfect, far from it, but saying that he screwed everything up is ridiculous.

CygnusOrion said,
Windows 8 is a failure first and foremost due to the ugly tiles. Fix that first, then worry about the start menu.

Oh, because simple and "to the point" is bad. No wait, hang on, Samsung and Apple (among basically every other company) are moving to simpler, flatter design. It's not a new thing. It's not limited to Microsoft. It's a global change happening everywhere. You're just turning a blind eye, because that's what you want to see: Microsoft failing.

Windows 7 is overrated. It's like Vista SE with a worse-looking default theme (imo). I'm sticking with Vista s it looks better than 7 and works just as good on modern hardware. Win 8 is good for tablets and mobile phones, but on laptops and desktop PCs it's a pain in the arse. People hated Vista 'cause their computers were crappy and the driver manufacturers weren't ready.

martin88 said,
Windows 7 is overrated. It's like Vista SE with a worse-looking default theme (imo). I'm sticking with Vista s it looks better than 7 and works just as good on modern hardware. Win 8 is good for tablets and mobile phones, but on laptops and desktop PCs it's a pain in the arse. People hated Vista 'cause their computers were crappy and the driver manufacturers weren't ready.

You are alone here... Windows 7 is way faster, better supported and has less bugs.

DaveBG said,

You are alone here... Windows 7 is way faster, better supported and has less bugs.


Except the default Win 7 theme looks like designed for bimbos, 4th graders or hairdressers.

dvb2000 said,
cya Ballmer. Vista and Windows 8 are your legacy, you won't be missed.

Ballmer wasn't in charge of Vista's development. Bill Gates signed off on Vista's RTM.

DaveBG said,

You are alone here... Windows 7 is way faster, better supported and has less bugs.

You ARE alone here. No creditable person would claim Windows 7 is better than 8.

Xbox was a bill idea. Ballmer simply approved what the xbox team told him. The sooner this chump is gone, the better.

He can have Windows 7, it's ****ing brilliant. Which only makes me think that the ****** didn't get a word in.

CanonCygnus said,

You ARE alone here. No creditable person would claim Windows 7 is better than 8.


I believe he said that Windows 7 is faster than Windows Vista (correct me if I am wrong).

Why do people think Ballmer was a saleman? He got a perfect score on his math SAT along with a Harvard degree in applied mathematics and economics. Are people getting mixed up with Steve Jobs that lacked technical skills and dropped out of school?

The only failure here is your inability to understand how to take advantage of the information presented in the tiles. Allow that and aesthetics become a none issue.

I don't know what criteria you guys are looking at, but I would never argue Xbox was a success. The only possible positive thing I can think of with the Xbox is that it helped Microsoft retain brand loyalty. The ROI is still in the red despite the many years. And unlike Bing, at least the newer Bing we see now, I see no real purpose for the Xbox, at it's current incarnation, to exist for them.

If one wants to argue success under Ballmer, then overwhelmingly one has to point to Windows Azure and Office 365. Windows server continue to be successful, but it really isn't because of him; one can argue he managed it throughout the years correctly however.

martin88 said,

Except the default Win 7 theme looks like designed for bimbos, 4th graders or hairdressers.

I'm sorry, I could've sworn you were talking about Windows XP.

AWilliams87 said,
I don't know what criteria you guys are looking at, but I would never argue Xbox was a success. The only possible positive thing I can think of with the Xbox is that it helped Microsoft retain brand loyalty. The ROI is still in the red despite the many years.

I don't believe that's true. Maybe if you look only at the sales of the console unit but that's not how you make money on consoles. It's all accessories, game licensing, and online sales and services. It's the corner stone of their entertainment division which is 20-some% of total revenue.

Spicoli said,

I don't believe that's true. Maybe if you look only at the sales of the console unit but that's not how you make money on consoles. It's all accessories, game licensing, and online sales and services. It's the corner stone of their entertainment division which is 20-some% of total revenue.


It isn't a debate whether it's true or not. The Xbox division's ROI is still in the red, especially incorporating the $1.2 billion red ring write off. The music services on Xbox hasn't recouped the licensing costs.

Edited by AWilliams87, Aug 26 2013, 1:31pm :

68k said,

Ballmer wasn't in charge of Vista's development. Bill Gates signed off on Vista's RTM.


Actually Jim Allchin was the one in charge of Vista development; BG indeed was the one who publically signed it off for PR reasons.

AWilliams87 said,

It isn't a debate whether it's true or not. The Xbox division's ROI is still in the red, especially incorporating the $1.2 billion red ring write off. The music services on Xbox hasn't recouped the licensing costs.

Yes, it is a debate for the reasons I explained.

Spicoli said,

Yes, it is a debate for the reasons I explained.


Lol. You were talking revenue, I'm talking about profit, nor was I talking about the entertainment and devices division as a whole; I'm talking specifically about Xbox. In terms of net-profit, the EDD lost a total of $260 million dollars last year despite being "20-some% of total revenue." This is including the $800 million Microsoft made from licensing patents to android OEMs, and the tiny profit it made from Windows Phone.

Android patent licensing may be the most profitable endeavor for Microsoft in the entertainment and devices division.

AWilliams87 said,

Lol. You were talking revenue, I'm talking about profit, nor was I talking about the entertainment and devices division as a whole; I'm talking specifically about Xbox. In terms of net-profit, the EDD lost a total of $260 million dollars last year despite being "20-some% of total revenue." This is including the $800 million Microsoft made from licensing patents to android OEMs, and the tiny profit it made from Windows Phone.

Android patent licensing may be the most profitable endeavor for Microsoft in the entertainment and devices division.


Meant to say the $800 million is what they made from Q1 2012. The total amount in 2012, from licensing, is closer to $2 billion.