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Microsoft

Ballmer Hits 10th Anniversary As Microsoft CEO 185

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the bill-icon-remains-intact dept.
bednarz writes "Ten years ago on Jan. 13, 2000, Microsoft's Bill Gates turned over the CEO reins to Steve Ballmer. Back in 2000, Microsoft was still under threat of being broken up by the Department of Justice. Today, Ballmer is trying to meld enterprise and cloud computing. He has spent the past decade working through lawsuits, mergers, acquisitions, competitive battles and, of course, new software including Windows 7, which could become the legacy of his leadership at Microsoft. Not that we'll ever forget Ballmer's 'developers, developers, developers' rant."

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Ballmer Hits 10th Anniversary As Microsoft CEO

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  • but..... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 14, 2010 @10:37AM (#30764816)

    Did they mention his important work in the field of chairodynamics?

    or

    How about his charitable donations of 288,000 pints of human sweat?

    • Re:but..... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by houstonbofh (602064) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @10:48AM (#30765028)
      That was my first thought. I don't think it will be Win7 as his legacy.
      • Re:but..... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @11:06AM (#30765412)

        Funny how Vista is oddly missing in that list of achivements. But then again, there are times when a hole in your CV is preferable to being truthful.

        • Funny how Vista is oddly missing in that list of achivements. But then again, there are times when a hole in your CV is preferable to being truthful.

          "Achievements" has a positive connotation, so it's no surprise that bad things aren't on there.

    • Re:but..... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @11:04AM (#30765370)

      You misspelled chairitable.

    • Re:but..... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by westlake (615356) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @11:19AM (#30765620)

      Did they mention his important work in the field of chairodynamics?

      Some things speak for themselves.

      Microsoft's revenues, $56 billion.
      Its profit margin 24%. Debt $6 billion, cash-on-hand $33 billion. MSFT Key Statistics [yahoo.com]

      • Re:but..... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Enderandrew (866215) <.enderandrew. .at. .gmail.com.> on Thursday January 14, 2010 @11:46AM (#30766112) Homepage Journal

        Does anyone have numbers to compare from 10 years ago?

        Revenue should scale up with inflation and standard growth. I'm particularly curious about profit margin, and market share.

        In this past decade Microsoft lost market share, presided over the Xbox's massive hardware failures, and the massive failure of Windows mobile. IE went from utterly dominating (95% plus) market share to having less than 50% market share in some areas. Most people expect Firefox to overtake the majority of market share in all markets. Microsoft has also lost market share in search, got blasted by the EU, and had to back-pedal on several key strategies.

        All those things go on his resume.

        Microsoft also has to look where the future takes them.

        A linux netbook with a random distro without many packages, and no big brand name behind it may not set the world on fire. But when Best Buy starts selling Chrome OS netbooks with a big Google brand on it, Microsoft will start shitting themselves.

        Google has a lot of pieces they've yet to put together, but when they do, Microsoft's business model in several markets may suddenly shrivel and dissapear. Microsoft won't disappear overnight because they're diversified, but a company can rule a specific market one day, and then disappear the next if they're not careful.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by tlhIngan (30335)

          A linux netbook with a random distro without many packages, and no big brand name behind it may not set the world on fire. But when Best Buy starts selling Chrome OS netbooks with a big Google brand on it, Microsoft will start shitting themselves.

          Unless things change severely, I doubt much will really happen.

          When netbooks first came out, salespeople were warning that they didn't run Windows and you can't expect your applications to run on it. (I got the whole diatribe trying to buy my Acer netbook with Linu

        • by westlake (615356)

          In this past decade Microsoft lost market share

          OS Platform Stats W3 Schools [w3schools.com]

          Mar 2003 Linux 2% OSX 2%
          Dec 2009 Linux 4% OSX 6%

          Jan 2009 Win 7 0% OSX 6%
          Dec 2009 Win 7 9% OSX 6%

          Vista and Win 7 combined hold a 25% share in the December W3Schools stats. That ought to silence the geek who insists on calling Win 7 a "Service Pack."

          But when Best Buy starts selling Chrome OS netbooks with a big Google brand on it, Microsoft will start shitting themselves.

          Microsoft and the big box retailers have had a mutually profit

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Enderandrew (866215)

            Your numbers show that Microsoft went from 96% market share to 90% market share. All that does is prove my point.

            They're losing market share.

            When Firefox was at 10% market share and slowly chipping away, people scoffed at it and said, "well, IE still has 90% market share, so who cares about the trend?"

            How did that turn out?

            Again, Google has deals with tons of major vendors and retailers. Currently the cheap PC market is all Windows. When Google suddenly dominates the cheap netbook market with a Linux varian

            • by westlake (615356)

              Every year, retail stores sell less, and online retailers sell more.

              Best Buy online lists 35 Windows netbooks.

              TigerDirect 112 new Win 7 laptops.

              Walmart.com 24 Windows netbooks, 66 Windows laptops [some overlap here] and 30 Windows desktops.

              Dell can't hide a $50 Microsoft tax in a $250 netbook as easily.

              "The Microsoft Tax" is the goofiest idea to emerge from the geek mind:

              By the time product reaches the shelves you save next to nothing on Linux.

              That's the sad truth behind the geek's pursuit of the elusive

          • All your link proves is he's heading MS while it lost market share and Linux gained. Sure it hasn't gone from 0% to 50% in 5 years but it's seeing a steady gain. This is despite the fact companies are doing their best to kill off the idea of a Linux netbook.
    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      How about his charitable donations of 288,000 pints of human sweat?

      Still annoyed that the 2.88MB floppy didn't catch on, eh?

  • by fridaynightsmoke (1589903) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @10:43AM (#30764944) Homepage
    Was it just me who read the headline "Ballmer Hits..." and my mind automatically filled in with " ...XXX With A Chair" ?
  • The other day (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @10:49AM (#30765058) Journal

    I saw one of those annoying pop up ads saying that Bill Gates would pay you x amount of dollars to do Data Entry for Microsoft from home.

    I just kind of sighed and went "Really? REALLY?"

    He hasn't been the CEO of Microsoft for a decade now. Ask all of the people you know "Who runs Microsoft" and I am willing to bet a fair share of those not in the computer industry will still say Bill Gates.

  • Chairs??? (Score:3, Funny)

    by The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @10:50AM (#30765076)

    Not that we'll ever forget Ballmer's 'developers, developers, developers' rant."

    Or flying chairs.

    • Re:Chairs??? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday January 14, 2010 @10:58AM (#30765260) Homepage Journal

      Or flying chairs.

      After Bill Gates resigned, many of the Microsoft middle managers came up to Steve Ballmer's office to talk about all the problems they had under Gates. Sensing the opportunity for change, nearly all of them said, at some point, "I simply won't stand for this anymore". Ballmer just got tired of this after a while and decided to manage more efficiently.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Xest (935314)

        That's cos Bill didn't have the physical strength to lift and throw a chair being the penultimate geek.

        One must wonder though if even before Ballmer took over he had a penchant for throwing chairs, even at chief Bill. Certainly Bill had mad chair evasion skills:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxaCOHT0pmI [youtube.com]

        I wonder if this is why Microsoft has a history of buggy software? Because rather than managing properly Bill and Ballmer spent half their time in the office playing dodgeball with chairs or something?

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @11:08AM (#30765442)

      Even when he will eventually resign, he will still be remembered as the chairman of Microsoft. Now THAT's a legacy!

    • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @12:06PM (#30766484)

      That's true. Slashdot has modded up jokes about flying chairs every day for the last five years.

      "He threw a chair at it!"

      HAHAHAHA HO HO HO HO HEEE HEE HEE HEE HEE.

  • by smitty777 (1612557) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @10:51AM (#30765096) Journal

    ...NOT. According to him [wikipedia.org], it's

    " a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.

    It must fly in the face of every business practice he's come up with.

  • Does that mean the Microsoft icon changes to a Borg Ballmer?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by PhilHibbs (4537)

      The "ballster [fakesteve.net]" picture is my favourite.

    • We tried, but he kept shorting the equipment we install in his armpits.

    • by westlake (615356)

      Does that mean the Microsoft icon changes to a Borg Ballmer?

      It means that the geek's recycled jokes from a decade back are still worth a cheap mod-up.

      The sun rises. The sun sets.

    • by fbjon (692006)

      Does that mean the Microsoft icon changes to a Borg Ballmer?

      Dear god no. Borg Bill looks funny, Borg Ballmer would scare away children and adults alike.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      Slashdot? Change an icon?

      What strange parallel reality are you posting from where that happens?

  • During these 10 years, there's been change in the target audience of Windows. Older versions of windows were designed specifically for office use. Windows 2000 and XP did not change this line and were still clearly aimed for business users.

    Vista and 7 changed the playfield. Apple came along with OS X, and Windows started to compete for home users market share, and somewhere on the line pretty much forgot the business users. The OS is no longer clearly aimed for business users.

    Vista was a disaster pret
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jimbobborg (128330)

      During these 10 years, there's been change in the target audience of Windows.
      Older versions of windows were designed specifically for office use.
      Windows 2000 and XP did not change this line and were still clearly aimed for business users.

      So please explain Windows 95, 98, 98SE, and ME? Those are all HOME OSs. No really separate user directories, no granular file permissions, and really weak security. NOT something for office use, although I have seen them used in offices.

      • by Keruo (771880)
        Those coexisted with NT4 and W2k which represented the business-line.

        9x/ME were half-assed attempt to create multitasking window manager designed pre-internet era( Gates actually was dreaming of something internet-like, but microsoft controlled network, MSN). But their legacy still lives as parts of the original gui concept are still part of almost every OS today.

        Today there's only different versions of the home-oriented OS. Calling OS enterprise and actually not having it behave like a different prod
      • by ianare (1132971)

        The reason you saw many many offices use the 9x line is simply because they were much cheaper compared to the NT line. A lot of places had tens or hundreds of 95/98 workstations and a few NT/2000 servers.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @01:22PM (#30767850)

      Vista and 7 changed the playfield. Apple came along with OS X, and Windows started to compete for home users market share, and somewhere on the line pretty much forgot the business users. The OS is no longer clearly aimed for business users.

      Oh yeah, I remember clearly when they threw away Active Directory, File Sharing, Smart-card Authentication, Shadow Copy and all of those other business-class features that were just slowing home users down. Or... maybe you're smoking crack.

      You can't just say things, you have to actually justify them. What makes you say that Windows no longer has a business focus? Please cite specific examples.

      Vista was a disaster pretty much every way you look at it,

      Not my way of looking at it. I call it, "rational human being who doesn't make decisions based on Slashdot or hype." I'm not going to say that Vista is the best product ever, but it's not even close to Microsoft's worst OS.

      Part of the problem is the overly simplifying things and forcing old reliable tree-browsing into libraries.

      I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. I suspect you also do not.

      Library-like browsing is fine, if you want to watch photographs or browse mp3 collections at home, but it doesn't really work for corporate cases.

      What is "library-like browsing?" Why doesn't it work for corporate cases? (You also can't just pull terms out of your ass and use them as if everybody else knows exactly what you mean.)

      Fileservers are easier to use if you can logically follow the treeview.

      What exactly is Vista or Windows 7 doing to prevent you from logically following the treeview?

      Is your entire complaint centered around the fact that you've never bothered to check "Navigation Pane" from the Organize menu in an Explorer window? I hope that's not the case, because you'd end up looking like a real idiot.

      (yes 7 has treeview too, but it sucks compared to old xp model)

      Sucks how? Again, you have to actually justify statements like this... you can't just spout crap out of your noisehole and expect me to take it seriously.

    • by nschubach (922175)

      I'm glad I'm not the only one that dislikes the Libraries and lack of proper tree-view on my work PC.

  • by Benzido (959767)

    It seems to me he's just slowly, gently, running Microsoft into the ground. He's not a horrible failure, but there seems to be a complete lack of inspiration and mojo.

    Has Microsoft had any major hits since 2000? Like, real killer apps or disruptive new technologies?

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @11:14AM (#30765528)

      Microsoft, like many huge businesses, is much like an oil tanker. They keep running for a long, long time even with the engine off. You don't even notice a change when the engines are turned off, they lose speed so gradually that you only notice it when you concentrate on it. Unless you're standing right next to the engines and see that they're not moving, and in that case, especially if it's your fault that they're off, you better keep your mouth shut about it, do your best to fix it and give the captain a thumbs-up every time he bothers to show up and see if everything is allright.

      Ballmer is currently frantically trying to fix those engines and give a thumbs-up to the shareholders, even though he doesn't know jack about the engines and also has no idea what tools to use.

    • by LMacG (118321)

      Photosynth is pretty cool, but of course it didn't come from "in-house," nor is it a commercial product.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday January 14, 2010 @10:57AM (#30765242) Homepage Journal

    I've seen "people I'd like to have a beer with" lists that some people make.

    I wouldn't even want to ride an elevator with Steve Ballmer. He seems like a real prick.

    My campus office used to be adjacent to the Business School at my institution, before they built a shiny new building for the b-school, and I used to have lunch in the cafeteria that was in their basement. I used to observe a lot of the over-amped business students that had similar grating mannerisms as Ballmer. Smelling of cheap cologne and flop-sweat, they were part obnoxious frat-boy, part desperate grasper, and part arrogant sociopath.

    That's what I think of Steve Ballmer.

    • You said: He seems like a real prick.

      Steve Said, "... The bone doesn't fall out of our mouth... we keep working and working and working and working and coming and coming and coming and coming".

      He wants to embrace, extend, and squirt into every market.

      Study item:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7Klczu14tE [youtube.com]

  • -- Steve in his retro "Toxic Pit Stains" look.

    Hawt.

  • ...I think the other one was Kevin Spacey

  • http://www.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=NASDAQ:MSFT [google.com]

    Even if you take into account that 10 years ago was the height of the tech bubble, it is amazing how much money Microsoft has wasted trying to get into new markets without any appreciation to its stock price.

    All that Zune R&D money should have been given out directly to stockholders so they could have done something useful with it.

  • The wrong ceo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mxh83 (1607017)
    I always felt Ballmer was the wrong choice for the CEO. In these 10 years the competition has not only come to their doorstep but into it. Under his reins Microsoft scrambled for MBAs and the others got the real geeks. And to top it, the world has started to realize that a computer is not Windows and the internet is not IE.
    • by sunwukong (412560)

      Under his reins Microsoft scrambled for MBAs

      Link? I found the MS page for MBA recruitment but is there a story directly linking Ballmer with the drive for MBAs?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Antiocheian (859870)

      And they wouldn't realize that if it wasn't for Ballmer ?

      I say Ballmer did what he could to avoid it. He killed Netscape. He fucked up Windows by integrating a web browser in it. People we so pissed about it they would buy utilities to remove it (98lite). He did succeed for many years. What happened then was inevitable. But give the guy proper credit.

      • by jonbryce (703250)

        Netscape was already dead 10 years ago. If you remember back that far, their amazing new feature in Sept 1999 was the shop button. The ability to load pages containing javascript without crashing was yet to come.

      • You claim he did fine because he delayed in the inevitable. A good CEO would have avoided the inevitable. It is like saying the captain of the Titanic was good because he got so far before sinking. Sorry, a good captain would have avoided the icebergs altogether.

        MS has in many ways been playing catchup and using delay tactics. Fine, but that is something a crap ceo does because he can't do any better. A good CEO would have made everyone WANT to use IE and make it the best browser around. It isn't hard. ALL

  • many fucking happy returns!
  • Compare their stock price to the common indices. He's done significantly worse than the S&P and Dow, and barely eked out a little better than the NASDAQ.

    Now THAT'S innovation.

  • Just remember that there was a crowd cheering Ballmer.

    I have no problem with Ballmer's enthusiasm; I can act like Ballmer anyday when I am happy. But people cheer me for acting like a clown ?

    Those childlike morons clapping their hands represent what I resent in Microsoft fans: unquestioning devotion.

    • by schon (31600)

      Just remember that there was a crowd cheering Ballmer.

      Well, you know the reason they were so enthusiastic, don't you? Because if they weren't, they'd be fired [youtube.com].

      Seriously though, stories about Ballmer show that he's nothing but a giant bully [businessinsider.com]. Managers like that ensure that their most talented people move to better companies, leaving the company with nothing but the borderline-incompetent who have nowhere else to go. It's not hard to imagine that the people who would be in that audience would play along to prevent being targetted by the bully with the securit

      • !!! Unbelievable!

      • by sznupi (719324)

        I think you just described Apple fans too.. and they're far more numerous. :)

        Simply looking at their marketshare (global one, please...) makes the last part highly unlikely.

  • "Not that we'll ever forget Ballmer's 'developers, developers, developers' rant."

    I am principally a developer in *nix. But...as a concept, his developers rant was actually and a correct view.

    Know thine enemy.
  • Has Microsoft been rudderless and uninspired/uninspiring for 10 years already?

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe

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