Steve Ballmer recently conducted his final company-wide meeting to rubbish his rivals – resounding rally cry for his as yet unnamed successor or bitter, petty ill-advised sound bite? Well anyone can voice their opinions about the competition, provided it does turn to slander or liable and Ballmer has done his fair share of this during his time in charge of Microsoft. Don’t forget this is the same man who laughed at the iPhone which went to become one of the most sought after pieces of tech throughout its updated life.
Apple are all about being fashionable, Amazon is about being cheap and Google is about knowing more according to the gospel of Steve Ballmer whilst Microsoft is all about doing more. Well to be honest whilst some may consider this in bad taste and it could have been put forward in a better structured argument to have to admit he does kind of have a point. For years we have heard about how innovative and great looking Apple products have been, Amazon advertise themselves on their pricing structure and who doesn’t Google something when they want to know more?
The swansong took place in front of 13,000 Microsoft employees who were always going to be on his side especially in his final moments so a pretty partisan audience to be honest. He could have called Microsoft’s competitors anything under the sun and it would have been warmly greeted but he went with Fashionable, Cheap and knowledge – three things any company would love to achieve. He also touched on Microsoft journey from software-centric company into devices and services arguing that the company is now more powerful than ever. With a promise that “Only our company and a handful of others are poised to write the future,” he said. “We’re going to think big; we’re going to bet big.” So just a small challenge laid down for his successor then?!
Will Steve Ballmer be missed? He took over from Bill Gates, an incredibly difficult act to follow, continued to ensure the company was/is profitable but missed out on some of the biggest booms in technology for a generation. If you were going to give him a school report card for his work what would you give? Me about a C- for performance but a B+ for effort.