Who misses Steve Ballmer?

7

I know he brought a big-time energy to Microsoft that will be missed.

Post Reply

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
7 Comments
Sort by Votes | Date
  1. Paul Thurrott
    5 | Reply
    Paul Thurrott Alpha Member #1 - 1 month ago

    I go back and forth on this one. 

    Steve Ballmer was unapologetically "Microsoft or nothing," and I understand why this quality is missed.

    That said, Satya Nadella is clearly the better steward for this company and its transition to the cloud.

    I think what you really miss, then, what we all miss, is the era in which a guy like Ballmer made sense for Microsoft. But we live in a different world, and we need to embrace that and move forward.

     

     

  2. 1 | Reply
    northerngeek - 1 month ago

    What I imagine will be an unpopular opinion:

    I miss Ballmer, not every aspect as he made several missteps but he didn't kill off unsuccessful products if he thought they were important for the long term. Nadella for certain wouldn't have let Xbox continue past the 360 RROD write off. I know that Xbox may not make sense to a shareholder who wants to see short-term profits and dividends but as a consumer it made me interested in more Microsoft technologies - it was their iPod in a sense. Without Xbox I imagine there'd be an even faster fall in consumer interest from Microsoft's platforms.

    Nadella is competent but his demeanour lacks Ballmer's unpolished passion that made him an interesting CEO. Nadella cancelled products such as Band (and effectively mobile) which has seen stock prices soar but I believe leaves Microsoft in a worse position going forward for consumer interest. I also believe this ultimately leaves Windows in a worse position because without mobile and without an ecosystem consumers will continue to leave for other platforms, weakening the appeal of MS tech for developers and eventually enterprise.

    Nadella will be good for Microsoft, but I wish he had a little more Ballmer to him :)

    1. 0 | Reply
      Mark from CO - 1 month ago
      In reply to northerngeek:

      I agree with your conclusion that Nadella's approach has left Windows in a worse position going forward, one that could impact its Enterprise business. 

      I know many will be trolls and say this is ridiculous and out of hand.  But many, many business are in business to serve the consumer.  And serving the consumer is to provide products they need/want.  These business also have to offer the products in a way that is receptive to their consumers.  If a vast, vast majority of their consumers use a tech platform (mobile) that is not Microsoft, the business' tech approach will most probably have a more and more non-Microsoft focus.  As Google and Apple improve their business wares, the business case for businesses to move away from a Microsoft may very well become much more persuasive because they can deliver consumers. 

      This is the reason why I believe Microsoft continues to take its lumps in the mobile space.  It has too for it's long term health.

      Further, Microsoft needs to continue to out innovate its competition.  A positive for Nadella, for now.  But with the innovation, Microsoft needs to execute better than its competition.  Execution is an area where I believe it's fair to criticize Nadella.  He has not been able, at least so far, to out execute Ballmer (many blunders the last two years).  Both gentlemen, and perhaps its the Microsoft Achilles' heal, have failed to demonstrate execution skill, including the fortitude to continue to build and innovate within its ecosystem.

      Looking at the cohesiveness of Microsoft's overall business strategy would be an interesting series of columns from Paul.  If the tech industry history tells us anything, if you want to be an influential player, don't be late to market, don't miss markets, and be the dominant provider within the sectors you compete. I'm not sure Microsoft has demonstrated it can again move and shape markets.  Even in Cloud Services, Microsoft is not the #1 overall player, and is not that far ahead of #3 or #4. 

      Mark from CO

      Mark from CO

    2. 0 | Reply
      maethorechannen Alpha Member #377 - 1 month ago
      In reply to northerngeek:

      I don't think XBox would have happened in the first place if Nadella had been in charge.

  3. 1 | Reply
    jimchamplin - 1 month ago

    I do not. He maintained the compartmentalized Microsoft far longer than he should have, didn't push hard enough to fix that problem... And under his watch we dealt with the CONSTANT rise and fall of so many good ideas that simply weren't allowed to last.

    Anyone remember LiveMesh and the amazing promises? Yeah, that was some Longhorn-style baloney. They axed it before doing jack with it. Same with so many other services. Just constantly "rebooting" the products and leaving the users to pick up the pieces. Just like they did with Windows Phone 7. Did ya buy one? SCREW YOU, BUY A WINDOWS PHONE 8.

    Nadella so far seems to instill me with a bit more confidence that he's not going to run a company that will back out of everything six months later.

  4. 0 | Reply
    innitrichie Alpha Member #1889 - 1 month ago

    I miss him immensely and his unshakeable commitment to the Microsoft cause.

    That said, Microsoft is doing incredible things under Nadella's leadership. It's a really exciting time to be a user of Microsoft's platforms and devices. There are so many amazing things happening now.

  5. 0 | Reply
    ErichK Alpha Member #2471 - 1 month ago

    He had moxie, gumption, chutzpah.  Those intangible qualities.