The Register: Time for Ballmer to move on; modern-day Gerstner needed to cure all Microsoft’s ills

“Later today (Thursday) Microsoft will release its figures for the past quarter, and there’s more than a good chance that financially speaking, things will be pretty much okay. But no better than that,” Faultline writes for The Register.

Faultline writes, “Increasingly there is an opinion forming that Microsoft is nearing an inflexion point in its success and that both success and share price have peaked, after which the company, its products, and all its attempts to invade all of its neighboring business areas, may be doomed to mediocrity, and a downward spiral, reminiscent of IBM when it reached the 1980s. IBM needed a change of management, which was affected by ousting John Akers and putting Louis Gerstner, ex-Nabisco in charge, to rethink its direction pull it out of the mire.”

“It’s hard to picture a glowing outlook for Microsoft in the near to medium term future while being run by Steve Ballmer, and when it has so many failures on its hands and when its strategy is fundamentally ‘knee jerk’ and based on Windows,” Faultline writes. “It puts us in mind of that age old joke about travelers asking a local yokel how to get back to a town they recognize on the map. He replies ‘If I was going there I wouldn’t start from here.’ Where Microsoft is right now is a lousy place to start and it seems to us it is looking less promising by the day.”

“The abject and predictable failure of Zune, setbacks in the browser wars with Opera, Safari and Firefox on the PC, and on handsets, all making Internet Explorer less and less a household name, the failure to penetrate handsets with a decent downloadable DRM, the failure to lure advertising network DoubleClick into a merger (it went to Google), and the countless lawsuits, are all symptoms that Microsoft management isn’t losing its way, it has lost it sometime ago,” Faultline writes.

Faultline writes, “Ballmer needs to call it a day, preferable graciously, and in his place someone is needed who can change Microsoft’s reputation from a playground bully to a company that can be sensibly invited onto the handset, and onto IPTV set tops and onto Linux and Apple platforms, with its own next generation of platforms, none of which are operating systems.”

Much, much more in the full article here.
Call us selfish, but we wish Steve Ballmer a long life and hope he remains Microsoft CEO for as long as possible.


  1. Ballmer is a joke as a CEO who only landed that position mainly because of his relationship with Gates. Oh, and can someone please get him some t-shirts and anti-perspirant for his next dancing routine. Sweating profusely is not becoming of a CEO of the world’s largest software company.

  2. Cue the geeks spouting “But MS has money! They should be invincible!”

    Gates has lost interest in this boring company. Gates was the company. Ballmer was the cost-savings guy. Yipee.

  3. “And in the Faultline territories of digital media, Microsoft could argue that it’s doing a great job. It has the dominant media player…”

    I thought the dominant media players were iTunes and RealPlayer?

  4. MS is/was all about money – period. And hey, I think that they succeeded – They won, and won some more, and kept on winning for awhile – and now they’re not. Time for the world to move on.

    I still think MS could/can be a good company with a good OS product, but it isn’t going to happen until they hit rock bottom, then decide they want to keep going, then they will understand that they will have to start from scratch, and this time they’re going to have to invent something original, and its going to have to compete with OSes that have already always been better than what they used to have.

  5. Gates wasn’t half bad compared to emBallmer. In fact, he was a rock star in comparison. Ballmer is a square peg in a round hole. The harder he pushes, the more damage to the hole. Regardless of him being an Apple asset, I favor him moving on. Good competition will drive Apple harder. emBallmer is not good competition.

  6. MS is already beyond saving. No single CEO could unscrew this mess.

    If if you completely reset the company, i.e. replaced everyone and scrapped the entire code base, you’d still have the reviled MS brand. There’s just something about the name “Microsoft” that fscks things up…

    IMO any aspiring CEO would have better chances in Detroit.

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