Purely as an exercise in alternate reality, it is interesting to wonder how the computing landscape would have been different, most certainly superior to state of affairs now, if Ballmer and Gates had not been such conniving, backstabbing dicks.
The company would almost certainly be an order of magnitude wealthier, more respected and better positioned in the marketplace, if those two guys hadn't felt it necessary to throw the company's weight around by executing the many well known monopolistic and consumer-unfriendly practices that they are so well known for.
If anything, the strategic failure of Microsoft as a company to set itself against so many others in the industry, is missing from the debate about the good and bad aspects of Steve Ballmer's legacy.
Microsoft was consumed with a truly psychotic fantasy of Netscape (a fucking web browser company) rising and dominating the computing landscape. That is just one example where the mendacity-wrought Ballmer and Gates, helped in no way the financial bottom line of MS by just being dicks, almost just because they couldn't help it.
It is fairly easy to posit that a good amount of the effort behind the rise of Linux was simply due to a common reaction against the back alley tactics deployed by Microsoft. And if Linux is not as developed as it was in 2008, does Google have something upon which to build Android? Something which can be released and developed under the GNU license? And that is just one potential hypothetical.