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Ballmer Hits 10th Anniversary As Microsoft CEO

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the bill-icon-remains-intact dept.

Microsoft 185

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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185 comments

but..... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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..... (3, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765028)

That was my first thought. I don't think it will be Win7 as his legacy.

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

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:but..... (2)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766938)

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..... (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765370)

You misspelled chairitable.

Re:but..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30765566)

Do you mean chairytable?

Re:but..... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765642)

Did inflation get so out of control that he has to throw cherrytables now to make the news?

His gift to the business world. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30765496)

His greatest "gift" so far to the business world, in the form of .NET, has been the ability for them to ship a lot of their development overseas, mainly to India.

In the past, Windows development took some skill. You had to use C and the Win32 API, C++ and MFC, Visual Basic, or Delphi. There were other alternatives, but those were the main ones. To a skilled practitioner, they're not overly difficult tools to use. But to somebody without much training or experience, they aren't all that straightforward.

The vast, vast, vast majority of outsourcing developers aren't very skilled at all. They have questionable credentials from very questionable "institutions". They don't have much practical experience, and thus even Visual Basic and Delphi were well out of their grasp.

Thankfully for them, .NET and languages like C# and VB.NET basically "dumbed down" Windows development. This has allowed these outsourcing developers to create huge, gawdawful software messes. Often times they just don't work, when they're not outright crashing.

But hey, some manager or executive in America gets to say that he cut development costs. Of course, he will have jumped ship slightly before it's discovered that the Indian-developed software is pure shit, and has been nothing but a waste of money. He goes out looking like a champ, while a few months later the shit really hits the fan and the company is in deep trouble.

Thanks, Balmer.

Re:but..... (3, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#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..... (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766112)

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:but..... (2, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766290)

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 Linux). Heck, the market didn't really take off until Windows XP ("ultra-low-cost-PC") was introduced and everyone lock-stepped the Microsoft requirements.

Unless the ChromeOS netbook is insanely cheap (like, under $150), it'll be a case of "this one works for the Internet" vs. "This one for internet and your applications like Office and Outlook".

Re:but..... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765774)

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

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

Moron (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30764822)

He really is.

Re:Moron (3, Insightful)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765182)

"LOL Moron"- says Anonymous random, about man who successfully gained a CEO position at one of the world's biggest companies, and many billions of dollars.
Yeah, what a complete moron.

Re:Moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30765438)

OK, rich moron

Re:Moron (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765506)

Just because he got that job (from hist long-year friend und co-partner), doesn't qualify him to be _not_ a moron.

Re:Moron (4, Insightful)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765590)

Just because he got that job (from hist long-year friend und co-partner), doesn't qualify him to be _not_ a moron.

Bastard? Sociopath? Arsehole? Prick?- maybe.
Moron? I'd say no. A *moron* would have fouled it all up somehow, either not getting the job in the first place or not retaining it for the last 8 years. He didn't.

Re:Moron (3, Insightful)

shadowknot (853491) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765734)

A *moron* would have fouled it all up somehow

Have you ever _used_ Vista?

Re:Moron (2, Funny)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765796)

Have you ever _used_ Vista?

Has anyone?

Re:Moron (1)

shadowknot (853491) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765938)

A keen riposte sir, I applaud you. *tips hat*

Re:Moron (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765994)

It was a pane in the glass.

Re:Moron (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766822)

Have you ever _used_ Vista?

Is that even possible? I thought that that OS was ran by a computer instead of the other way around. I somehow needed to buy a new computer to run the OS.

Hello... earth to you people; an OS is there to run a computer. If it can't run a 3 year old Dell business desktop (Pentium D with an Intel onboard GPU) you know there's something wrong with it....

Re:Moron (1, Insightful)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766280)

A *moron* would have fouled it all up somehow, either not getting the job in the first place or not retaining it for the last 8 years.

O RLY? And how do you explain this guy's [wikipedia.org] job performance? I agree that Balmer is certainly not a moron, but keeping that kind of job for 8 years doesn't prove it.

Re:Moron (1)

vekrander (1400525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766948)

While Bush made it through all 8, it's easier to please Joe American Public and keep your job, especially when the other contenders for it are equally moronic. Steve Ballmer who has stockholders to answer to. It's always tougher when there's money involved.

Re:Moron (3, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765550)

Not only gained, but kept, for a full decade, without any media speculation of "who will succeed him?" his CEO job. There's a large number of major corporations that rotate through CEOs every 3-7 years, and even right now, even though he's secured another 3 year contract, the media is already asking who NBC's current CEO will be. Not to mention the big three automakers in the last year, along with many major banks. Balmer's done some pretty dumb, boneheaded stuff in his decade at Microsoft, but nobody in the media has ever honestly questioned his ability to run Microsoft in ten years; a rare feat for such a high profile company.

Re:Moron (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765622)

You can be a moron and still be successful. For reference, see politics.

Granted, it's rarer in areas where you are chosen not for your looks or your ability to kiss baby asses but for your (alleged) knowledge and where you're (allegedly) accountable for your blunders, but it works here too!

For reference, see banks.

Re:Moron (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765782)

it's rarer in areas where you are chosen not for your looks

Ballmer may have many faults, but that's one thing I'd never accuse him of!

Re:Moron (3, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765918)

To be a successful CEO, you simply have to be less of a moron than your shareholders (or rather, your board of directors). Given the current crew running most large corporations, that's really not that great of an accomplishment.

Re:Moron (1)

tautog (46259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766064)

You can be a moron and still be successful. For reference, see politics.

Uh, huh. [youtube.com]

Re:Moron (2, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766486)

That reminds me of the following joke:

A boy goes to his dad and tells him "Dad, when I grow up I want to be a fucking loser".

The father surprised and a bit angry asks his son "Why would you want to be that?"

To what the kid answers: "Well, every time we are on the street, if you see a guy with a great car you say 'what a fucking loser'. When we see a guy with to girls you say 'look at that fucking loser' and last time we went to the supermarket and you fought with the manager you said 'I hope that fucking loser rots in hell' after they kicked you out of the place".

Or something like that...

Re:Moron (3, Insightful)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766634)

From a tech CEO perspective: yes. For everything else; no.

Don't confuse business with technology. The only reason that Microsoft is even in business today is because most people are morons when it comes to anything remotely logical and technical... But that also doesn't mean that most people are morons.

Also titled (0, Flamebait)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30764852)

"Microsoft: A Decade of Failure"

Re:Also titled (2, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30764932)

"Microsoft: A Decade of Failure"

George Bush already owns the rights to that phrase.

Re:Also titled (0, Redundant)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30764974)

Sorry. My bad.

Re:Also titled (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765124)

The best part: it wasn't even a decade, just 8 years, so the phrase "decade of failure" is yet more fail.

Of course, it did feel at least a couple of years longer than it actually was.

Re:Also titled (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765418)

It's a base-2 decade.

move along.

Re:Also titled (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765850)

So it's a debicade, then?

Re:Also titled (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766114)

No, it's an octal decade.

Re:Also titled (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765578)

I hate it when you liberals are always so negative. Why can't you rephrase it to make it sound positive. Like, "say what you want about GWB, but you have to give him that: He accomplished a decade of failure in just 8 years."

He hit it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30764930)

With a chair!

Goodnight everybody, I'll be here all week. Remember to tip your waitress.

Was it only me (4, Funny)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30764944)

Was it just me who read the headline "Ballmer Hits..." and my mind automatically filled in with " ...XXX With A Chair" ?

Re:Was it only me (0, Offtopic)

oh-dark-thirty (1648133) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765138)

Kids, this is why cocaine is bad, mmmkay?

Re:Was it only me (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765758)

Was it just me who read the headline "Ballmer Hits..." and my mind automatically filled in with " ...XXX With A Chair" ?

Hey, WTF? I've never heard of this. What the hell does Balmer have against porn? Jerk.

Re:Was it only me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30766128)

What's the story on this chair thing I keep seeing referenced?

Re:Was it only me (3, Informative)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766946)

He threw a chair at an employee that decided to go to google. Allegedly.

Living proof (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30765032)

Ballmer is living proof that excessive executive compensation doesn't correlate with talent.

Re:Living proof (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765518)

The alternative being excessive compensation for those who /are/ talented? Not that the alternative, "to each according to his need," has ever been practised on a huge scale: even the so-called communist countries paid more to those whose skillset would also likely gain them more in capitalist countries.

The other day (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765058)

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.

Re:The other day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30766206)

Like it or lump it, Gates is still what people know to be the "face of Microsoft", especially since he was doing ads for them earlier this year. Non-techies know Bill, but havent the slightest clue who Ballmer is.

Developers Developers Developers the famous single (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30765066)

Chairs??? (2, Funny)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765076)

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

Or flying chairs.

Re:Chairs??? (4, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765260)

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:Chairs??? (2, Funny)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765668)

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?

One question (1)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765902)

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

If Gates was the penultimate [wikipedia.org] geek, I want to know who was the ultimate geek, and what does that make me?

Re:One question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30766164)

Fat and bald?

Re:One question (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766228)

People often say "penultimate" when they mean "consummate [merriam-webster.com] ".

Re:Chairs??? (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765442)

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

Re:Chairs??? (-1, Redundant)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765502)

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

Don't you mean Chair-Man?

Re:Chairs??? (0, Redundant)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765694)

Puns don't improve when you highlight them. Not doing it is the whole point of them. People feel witty when they can spot them and it fills them with a sense of intellectualism.

Thanks for spoiling it for our readers. Bet you're one of those guys in the theater who tells everyone when he figured out who's the murderer.

Re:Chairs??? (0, Redundant)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765954)

(Score: -1, Redundant/Woosh/We-understood-the-joke-thank-you-very-much)

Re:Chairs??? (4, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Come on, he's a Friend of Linux... (5, Informative)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765096)

...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.

Re:Come on, he's a Friend of Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30766712)

with respect, it's a one liner quote from an interview he did in 2001. Not trying to be the devil's advocate here, but in the greater context, he was lamenting the fact that government money was being used to fund GPL projects, which prevented any derivative work to be licenced under different term. As such, his argument was that not everyone (ie people not using GPL) would be benefiting from the government's investment. No question that the analogy with cancer was pretty tasteless, though.

Icon Change? (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765160)

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

Re:Icon Change? (3, Funny)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765334)

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

Re:Icon Change? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765476)

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

Re:Icon Change? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766086)

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.

Re:Icon Change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30766332)

The sun rises. The sun sets.

Re:Icon Change? (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767110)

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.

10 years of change (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765202)

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 pretty much every way you look at it, but 7 has fixed some of its flaws. Part of the problem is the overly simplifying things and forcing old reliable tree-browsing into libraries.

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. Fileservers are easier to use if you can logically follow the treeview. (yes 7 has treeview too, but it sucks compared to old xp model)

Re:10 years of change (2, Insightful)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765510)

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.

Re:10 years of change (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766660)

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 product doesn't really make it more corporate-oriented. It still seems like it was designed for entertainment rather than productivity.

CES 2010 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30765214)

Steve's thoughts while at CES this year demoing the new Office....

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2010/01/msft-key-0260.jpg

It seems to me .... (2, Insightful)

Benzido (959767) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765218)

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?

Re:It seems to me .... (1)

dskzero (960168) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765450)

The XboX? When was it released?

Re:It seems to me .... (1)

Benzido (959767) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766054)

2001. It's more competitive than the Zune, sure, but it hasn't won in any market, with either the original or the 360. I guess they've won the online competitive gaming space.

In any case, I see the xbox as being a Gates strategy rather than a Ballmer one.

Re:It seems to me .... (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

The other creepy Steve (2, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765242)

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.

Re:The other creepy Steve (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765410)

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]

Re:The other creepy Steve (1)

Target Practice (79470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765860)

Seems creepy to me that anyone could imagine any sort of innuendo while discussing Steve Ballmer. That's just wrong.

Man, I really love -- (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765246)

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

Hawt.

Two brothers where born... (1)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765292)

...I think the other one was Kevin Spacey

10 Years of Wasted Stockholder Value (2, Insightful)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765430)

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.

Re:10 Years of Wasted Stockholder Value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30765574)

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.

It's a damned if you do; damned if you don't type of situation. If they distributed their cash, they would have been criticized for that. Although, they do have a rather decent dividend yield.

They're a mature company in a mature industry. All the sharpest minds are going into biotech and green energy now - software and computers has become like the auto industry. If MS takes a page from Nokia (they were originally a paper company!) and completely reinvent themselves I see them becoming a growth type of company again. They'll have to let go of Windows and Office - yeah, I know that won't happen soon since that cow is still producing quite a bit of cash.

I purposefully didn't compare them to Apple. Apple's time as "the innovator" is coming to an end. (Pls! A tablet PC - snore - even with the iTouch interface.)

Re:10 Years of Wasted Stockholder Value (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766368)

Apple's time as "the innovator" is coming to an end.

Apple has never been innovative in the first to market sense. They look at what others are doing, and do the same thing in a package people actually want to buy. The iPod was not the first MP3 player. The iPhone was most certainly not the first cellphone/smartphone. And yet, both of those products are considered the standard in those markets. The same could have been said about the Macintosh in its heyday.

If the Apple tablet exists, it may or may not be a flop. Who knows? Slashdot predicted that the iPod would be flop. Apple has had flops before (see: Newton). But there is a very good chance that some other product will enter the marketplace in the future, and Apple will capture the imagination of the market once again.

Re:10 Years of Wasted Stockholder Value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30766922)

Just for fun, you should plot MSFT against RHT and NOVL over the past 10 years:

MSFT: -45%
RHT: -78%
NOVL: -86%

What rant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30765454)

There's a difference between a rant and a chant, guys...

this might be why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30765532)

Windows and MS have gone down the toilet in the last ten years. I liked Windows 2000 and Windows 98 for gaming. These days though, they are putting secret kill switches in the OS for the entertainment industry.

http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/13980.cfm

They also tried to hijack the PMP market.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/27/accidental_music_monopoly_bid/

A Change is Needed - Mr. Ballmer Should Go. (0, Flamebait)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765572)

It would be interesting to see how the "personality" of Microsoft will change when Steve "Dancing Monkey-Boy" Ballmer finally leaves Microsoft.

Maybe it will become a "friendlier" company as a result.

In recent years Steve "my other monopoly is sweat glands" Ballmer seems to be hindering the company and maybe a fresh perspective by someone is needed for Microsoft.

It seems that since Bill Gates has left the company the attitude of Microsoft has "softened" (I use that word in the loosest possible terms!) towards Open Source stuff and begrudgingly partly accepting (again in the loosest possible terms) it.

The wrong ceo (2, Insightful)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765584)

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.

Re:The wrong ceo (1)

sunwukong (412560) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766138)

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?

Let me be the first to wish him (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765610)

many fucking happy returns!

And what a stunning job he's done! (1)

MoeDrippins (769977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30765968)

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.

Heck of a job Stevie. (1)

xactuary (746078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766008)

MSFT stock is down about $20/share during Ballmer's ten-year run as CEO. Meanwhile, AAPL is up $184/share over the same period.

I know, I know. Apples and Oranges.

But was he wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30766120)

Sure he gave an over-the-top presentation about how important developers are, but was his message wrong? Developers ARE important and he was rallying the troops.
 
// I'm no fanboy -- Vista sucks and I run a few Apache/Linux web servers

Ballmer must *love* developers (0, Flamebait)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766234)

After all, look at the completely unnecessary work his ideas have provided for us.

After all, VB6 couldn't be automatically upgraded to VB.net. Neither C# nor VB.net forms projects can be automatically upgraded to ASP.net, C++.net. (Of course most C++ code somehow magically runs in the .net environment).

Yes, we're all enjoying the benefits of that wonderful CIL. It's just provided the folks on the ground *so* many benefits like, um, er... Well uh, .........

So is it true? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30766318)

The infamous chair story is it actually true?

And to be honest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30766354)

I think Microsoft has done well by him. There's no way to know how much can be attributed directly to him, but I think Microsoft has improved considerably in the last 10 years. Windows isn't complete junk any more. The XBox came out of nowhere to kick major butt. .NET's been improving at a steady pace. Zune...good hardware, software, and service. It's really a shame that it isn't catching on. But the biggest improvement, there are many areas where Microsoft legitimately has beat out competitors instead of doing it by shady deals.

Developers Developers Developers (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30766426)

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.

YUO FAIL iT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30766894)

lube or we sell fucking confirmed: BE NNIGER! BE GAY! perspective, the If you don't something cool Questions, then
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