Steve Ballmer gets worst CEO dishonor, Microsoft facing RIM’s fate
0. phoneArena 15 May 2012, 10:39 posted on
Microsoft’s chief executive Steve Ballmer is the most outspoken tech company CEO we can think of, he’s probably the weirdest presenter, and might top the list in other personal traits…
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1. downphoenix (Posts: 2293; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
Its true that Ballmer is a terrible CEO, Microsoft's tactic since him is to spend, spend, spend until it makes a profit. No real strategy other than bullying itself into a market. Eventually they will run out of capital to do this though, so then they will need a REAL businessman.
10. protozeloz (Posts: 5372; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
indeed, people like argue with me about that but windows current mobile percent is due all the burnt money they have thrown, and yet is till super low. they LOST lots of time, they should have worked on developing WP faster than what they did. they cant compete with the evolution of both android and iOS, with their update schedule.
I even invented a new meaning "A Ballmer: Wen someones tries to enforce success and fails"
52. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
I have been saying this for the past few years...MS waited too long to try to answer the iPhone. They waited too long to go to capacitive screens. After playing with an iPhone in 2008....I was gonna get one JUST for the capacitive screen. That and I thought Verizon service was getting bad. Turned out it was my phone..lol
Android was also an unexpected obstacle they didnt plan on.
67. PhoneLuver (Posts: 463; Member since: 05 Jul 2010)
You're 100% correct! The iPhone coup can totally be blamed on the capacitive touch screen! Before 2008 almost everybody who was somebody at my company used Windows Mobile, Now I doubt you'd find ONE using Windows Phone!
28. Commentator (Posts: 2340; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
MS is like America: The Company! (Even though America ran out of capital years ago...)
34. steelicon (Posts: 309; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)
You can say the same for Stephen Elop, current Nokia CEO. They spend way too much but gain so little. At least Steve Ballmer did not kill his own products.
IMO, both Stephen Elop and Steve Ballmer should go.
51. Commentator (Posts: 2340; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
Well, Steve B. did kill Windows Mobile, but immediately followed it up with Windows Phone. On a similar note, Steve E. killed Symbian, and immediately followed it up with... wait for it... Windows Phone!
71. AndroidShiz (Posts: 145; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)
Elop is a blind loyalist. "I see the cliff set before me, and I do have options and brakes, the best of what money can buy actually. But I'm best friends with Microsoft because some of us used to work there, and I'm showing my true friendship by going over. Sure, my buddy Microsoft will still be there, since they packed a parachute, but they will remember and honor us long after we've been smoked by Windows."
61. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)
but unfortunately they will still have plenty of bucks from governments' bribes, manufacturers bribes and from private companies.
here are the facts how they earn money:
ps: this is not off topic, just to explain how Microsoft earn money
2. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
He maybe the worst CEO, however Windows 8 is going to be a great OS and the Xbox 360 is a great console.
4. windowsRocks (Posts: 149; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)
Even MS is not confident about it. How could you be??
7. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
Hmm, the Xbox was actually Bill Gates baby, Ballmer wasn't heading MS before the XBOX launched. Windows 8, is nothing but a simple revolution of Windows. Before MS gets too far down the tubes, he'll be removed trust me on that, just like Elop's days are numbered, so is this guys if he doesn't turn MS fortunes around and start making investors happy. Might be too late for MS in the mobile phone arena, but they might be able to do something in the tablet arena as Google hasn't put the high octane fuel in yet, but if they miss it MS will be in a very sorry state.
3. windowsRocks (Posts: 149; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)
Microsoft can survive only if Bill Gates joins the company again....LOL
12. jamrockjones (Posts: 345; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
Microsoft isn't going anywhere for a while. The only real competition is Apple and their products are way to expensive and don't offer enough variety. But I do agree with the article, this man is waaaaaay to much talk and toooooo much stupid action. It ticks me off when he bashes on Android. It seems like they just bash other OS's because there isn't enough to promote about there's. And I hate their mobile marketing right now, the whole "every other smartphone was simply a beta or test mobile" is a joke. Ya, that's right, Android is the beta and WP is the real deal, and that's why they hold less than 2% of the market.
37. steelicon (Posts: 309; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)
Agreed! And has no native Bluetooth transfers, no native HDMI, no native microSD, no native mass storage, and the list goes on and on.
Frankly speaking, the dull tool Symbian, not even considering the Belle FP1, is way more feature-packed in terms of hardware and I/O, yes, even the cluttered S60V3/V5 S^1/2/3!
Going with Windows Phone 7.5 is like undergoing the Dark Ages!
50. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)
first off neither android nor ios had all that out the window so calm down things will come in time. its a nice os does everything i need it to do pretty well. i am just a student at the moment but it handles all my work great and i love the fact i can type a paper at last minute on my phone and email it before that midnite deadline.
5. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)
microsoft is not getting rid of zune there just rebranding it. i dont like that idea either but thats a fact. and how is microsoft facing rims fate unless you mean in the mobile space i might be able to see that but that is a far cry. as a company there far from that with the xbox brand and pc os i dont see that. sometimes i wonder why phonearena rights about some of the stupides sh-t i mean come on the title makes it seem as though you have evidence that there done cant compete on any field WOW what a cluster Fu0k
6. appleDOESNT.com (Posts: 425; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)
Totally agree... he took uncle Bill's empire and destroyed it. Except for xbox, no compelling products that can match Apple or Google. Win 8? maybe, I guess time will tell but it's been a rough 10plus years for sure
24. profperez1 (Posts: 49; Member since: 08 May 2012)
I think Gates was able to build a company on people buy boxes from MS for $500+. When that paradigm became outdated---he left. As for the MS business plan of the last 10 years----100% typical of a large American company. Don't change until you collapse. Here is my in text citation. (Mot, 2007) and (YAHOO, 2004?). The good news for MS. They have a "gagilion" dollars to make rapid change. Starting in Nov-----1M Windows phones will get activated each week. That number will double in 2013.
8. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)
i do agree they do need a new CEO please bill come back lol
30. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6249; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
I wish he could come back aslo. but he's too busy giving and taking time to charity.
11. Iphone4 (unregistered)
i just dont like WP7 or 7.5
38. steelicon (Posts: 309; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)
It's like taking a watchamacallit? Zune? Then slapping a phone on it. That's it. WP7.5 = ZUNE PHONE.
44. -box- (Posts: 3749; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
It worked for the iphone. iphone = ipod + phone module
55. steelicon (Posts: 309; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)
Zune to iPod = Playing catch up.
WP7.5 to iPhone = Playing catch up.
Symbian to others = Reference to most OS.
13. akita256 (Posts: 80; Member since: 26 Jan 2012)
He and the CEO's of RIM and Nokia all need to go!! I've never seen any CEO's that were less responsive to the competition around them and unwilling to even acknowledge it.
39. axllebeer (Posts: 265; Member since: 05 Apr 2011)
The CEO's of RIM did go, and it was much needed. They are at least trying to turn things around. For them, might be too late to pull back lost customers, but finally with the new CEO, the pace of change is picking up for the better.
14. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
i dont agree with this assessment. Was Balmer a little late in reacting to the new evolution/revolution of mobile OS's? Absolutely.
Does he come across as a bit of a jackass? Absolutely.
Is he the worst CEO? Absolutely not.
He is no where near a Basille or any other of these bumbling moron CEOs that destroyed their companies and refused to see the light or get out of the way.
Balmer is head of one of the world's largest companies that has a multi armed approach much like samsung. They are NOT just a PC company. That is their bread n butter, yes, but it is not the only thing they do. BTW, how are they doing as a PC company? I'd say pretty well since they still dominate the market for PCs and Laptops. Office faces extreme competititon for the first time in its life and its still on top by wide margins. The xbox360 is a mega success unlike its predecessor which never made MS a dime. MS is still positive billions and billions in cashflow. Oh yea, and they have all that Sync stuff going on with Ford and other companies, getting MS to help control your daily drive.
Many of those markets their mobile competitors like Apple and Google dont even exist in, so to say that Balmer is the worst CEO of all time because of a flop on mobile products, is RIDICULOUS. Windows Mobile hasnt been a big player in what 5 or 6 years? It was having issues long before iOS and Android came out.. they just hurried up its death. It hasnt been a big part of MS's coffers in a long time, if ever.
To those that whine about how much MS is spending now on WP7, I say look back at the original xbox. Their gaming division was in the red the entire time because they were selling Xboxes at loss to keep them competitive and advertising the heck out of it. The OG xbox was awesome, but it lost handily to the PS2. They then debut the Xbox360 and now they went from over a 100million sales deficit to its competitor, to being the #1 non-Wii system in the world.
To draw a direct parallel. WP7 is costing them lots of money and they are selling it for less than they are making on it while advertising the heck out of it directly or indirectly through Nokia. When WP8 drops with features like desktop compatibility, the fact that its going to be on EVERY MS product from desktops,laptops, the next Xbox, tablets, and phones, its all but garunteed to be a massive success if it works well at all.
You guys need to quit being so darn short sited and having all these knee jerk reactions. Do a little history with the company your condemning and realize its all part of the game plan. WP7 is the well made loss leader that is the lead in for WP8 to be a sales success.
a few years ago we saw the domination of RIM and the extreme rise of iOS. Then we saw the fall of rim and the extreme rise of Android. In 2013 unless the i5 is a big big game changer, we will see the fall of iOS and the rise of WP8.
21. windowsRocks (Posts: 149; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)
This description should be posted as a new Article.
25. djg71087 (Posts: 70; Member since: 10 Oct 2010)
^^ I agree, some people cannot see outside the box (They have Tunnel vision).
31. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)
couldnt agree more microsoft has more than just there mobile department
48. Penny (Posts: 1129; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)
You make business sense, remix. I like that you have the ability to think long term, while most bloggers and analysts I see tend to react without putting the pieces together.
56. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention,
Once W8 tablets come out with full desktop compatibility, they will instantly have the largest selection of software of any mobile OS in the world. Its desktop compatible after all.
Major selling point.
Maybe it will finally get some of these WoW weirdos out into the sunlight since they can now play it outside? lol
57. Penny (Posts: 1129; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)
True, but it is unfortunately going to be slightly more fragmented than that, at least initially. Anything that runs on WP8 will run on all variants of W8. Software that is designed specifically for x86 or x64 will not run on ARM processors, so you will see a significant selection of older and powerful software that will not work on many W8 tablets. I expect there to be significantly more ARM tablets than x86/x64 due to cost, so most consumers will probably experience less than 100% compatibility.
64. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
Thats very true, but at least the ARM based tablets will have the RT moniker on it to tell the difference.
Initially the cost will be high, no doubt. Having intel on board is bound to make it expensive.. much like apple, they love a healthy profit margin. Im hoping after a year or so the prices drop or AMD enters the game to drop prices faster.
53. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Windows and Xbox....we cant define him just based on Win Mo/WP.
63. gtrxman (Posts: 106; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
@remixfa Your reasoning is good, and there is still opportunity for MS. However, as the CEO, it's his job to position the company to take advantage of market developments. This guy has missed everything. In cell phones, rather than go after market share in a new and undeveloped market, he waited until Apple and Google took the vast majority. Now he has two very strong competitors from whom he has to win market share. Mobile has been the fastest adopted tech in history, and MS isn't there yet. The PC market is shrinking and MS is nowhere to be seen in cloud computing. Windows Vista? A complete joke. Tablets, MS canceled theirs. Mobile music? The mobile music market came and went, with smart phones eating the iPod, but MS completely missed it as well. The only real success during his tenure is the xBox. And earning patent revenue from Android.
This is not what a CEO is supposed to do. Compare him and his "vision" to Jobs and I think you'll reconsider your response.
65. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
Vista? long gone.. we be runnin windows 7 now guy.
cloud computing? MS has been here for quite a while, they are just now bringing it to the mobile space.
Tablets? they brought them out in 2002.. they were way early to the party.
mobile music? Millions of people use zune.. and besides, who cares?
your entire arguement is based on products up to 10 years old and a complete misunderstanding of my sentiment on the matter, or even what makes MS a successful company. It IS a very successful company under Balmer, regardless of how mobile is doing.
Balmer and Jobs are not the same. Jobs created his company, Balmer took over for Gates. Balmer is similar to Cook.
15. shadowcell (Posts: 300; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)
I believe the biggest disappointment we all had to see from Microsoft is when they acquired Danger,Inc and proposed the new mobile OS, Kin. Those devices were so horrible they couldn't pass off as smartphones and Verizon eventually brought them back as feature phones only.
Not to mention the employees of Danger slowly left to work with Google.
16. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5610; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
@remix - what is going to be the engine that drives WP8 sales? iDevices were driven by the success of the iPod and a usability/coolness factor. Android grew as a result of the Android partners efforts. WP is stuck in the 2% market share territory, despite MS' best efforts. The dogs just don't seem to like the food that MS is selling. If they don't like it, they won't buy it. Ironically, this seems to be the only salvation for RIM, because what I have seen so far of BB10 is underwhelming.
18. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
your missing what MS is doing, and I briefly touched on it in my little blurb.
To start, you have to remember, that MS isnt nessisarily going after android and iOS adopters.. though any extra people is always welcome. They are going after FIRST TIME users. Remember, only half of the people in the US that use cell phones.. and way way way less in the rest of the world, have a smartphone... so there is a lot of growing room left for everyone.
The MS plan: Bombardment.
1) WP7 is a loss leader to raise awareness. High sales are great but not manditory. This isnt where MS puts all its money, so low sales dont mean much to MS.
2) ALL MS PRODUCTS are being changed to live tiles. ALL of them. Think how many MS products are out there. Xbox, PC, lap top, software, Ford Sync, ect ect ect.
U really have to go out of your way to avoid the metro UI by next year.
What does that mean?
3) user comfort levels with the UI go through the roof as everyone uses Metro day in and day out.
4) NEW smartphone users are most likely going to what they are most comfortable with, which means they have a very high liklihood of adopting a WP8 phone. Especially since WP8 will be able to encompass everything from the very low end to an even higher high end than Android with those Intel chips.
5) As people pick up WP8 devices, and it gains media attention from the rise in sales, it will spur more sales by word of mouth, so on and so forth.. much like Apple did with iOS in the first few years.
6) Windows 8 will be the same on PCs as it is on most tablets. That means ultimate portability and compatibility with the gagets you use most. Starcraft on your PC? sure. starcraft on the go? Picking up the game where you left off on the PC/Xbox and finishing on your tablet? awesome. Thats a REAL feature of the WP8 OS.
7) build tablets that much like the Asus transformer, can attach to a real keyboard dock and become a full laptop when you want more from your device = the ultimate in compatibility with everyone's life.
WP7 is already knockin the door at 100k apps. At this rate they should be 150-200k apps by WP8 launch. Thats nothing to sneeze at. Especially as the increased attention brings serious app development to the place.
MS is paying for it now to reap the rewards later. spend money to make money. Its the exact strategy they used on the Xbox.. but on a much bigger scale.
Balmer is a very smart man. An ass for sure. And I agree with Sniggs.. I just wanna punch him.. but he is no moron CEO that deserves to be ousted. Gates didnt put his trust in him because he drew his name out of a hat. Gates trusts Balmer just like Jobs trusts Cook.
He messed up big time in the beginning of iOS and Android, and he is going to make up for it, and I honestly think its going W8 is going to be a massive success.
19. phantom1076 (Posts: 11; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)
hey remix, the article is from Forbes, probably the worst magazine for thoughtful analysis. I read Fortune or Economist if I want some carefully, well thought out article
23. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
i can agree with ya there. The Motley Fool is pretty good as well.
32. Pdubb (Posts: 239; Member since: 08 Aug 2011)
Very well said. True insight of opposite side of the coin. the doom and gloom they are predicting for MS seems more wishful than actual analysis. I enjoyed your post.
41. -RVM- (Posts: 329; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
I hope u're right. For the sake of Nokia! :)
17. Sniggly (Posts: 6798; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
I still get an uncontrollable urge to punch Ballmer in the face every time I see him.
The man not only shrugged off the iPhone, he shrugged off Android as well. He has zero vision. It's a miracle that Windows phone is no longer broken, let alone a serious contender for quality operating systems.
20. Henrik (Posts: 141; Member since: 18 Feb 2012)
Stop beating on Ballmer, it's not like he's taking all the decisions by himself. There's a whole board of directors and investors calling the shots, telling him what to do. Ballmer is just the man that execute the plans, and carries out the will of the owners. He's a CEO ffs, not Microsoft personified. He answers to the members of the board and Microsoft's investors.
I like a CEO with some personality, not some stiff suit stroking their ego and acting accordingly whenever the spotlight is on. Ballmer could perhaps use better advisors from time to time, but overall - I'm not complaining. Sure he's a goof, but I'd still rather take a coffee with this man than Steve Jobs (if he was alive). Ballmer is no stuck-up snob, he's just a little bit (too much?) himself.
And don't think for a second that you keyboard warriors know anything about what it takes to be a CEO of a company like Microsoft (or any other global multi-billion company). So just shut your pie holes on that one.
46. -box- (Posts: 3749; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Agreed. He and his team are keeping Windows - Microsoft's most well-known and widely-distributed product (except possible IE or Office, due to mac usage) freshened and blowing Chrome and OS X out of the water, and, as Remix said, the huge saturation efforts, while loss leaders, are going to pay off in the long run.
People are bored with ios, especially since it's not unique or special, hasn't had any huge developments, and apple is too willing to deny a problem and swap out its cheaply made phones for new ones to satisfy customers than fix the original problem on non-switched devices. Nokia is really a company to watch for the mobile spectrum, being its close collaboration with MIcrosoft and the fact that it's doing some crazy stuff to drive satisfaction ($100 credit and low pricing on their flagship!), and the fact that they're still updating its prior flagship OS with UI overhauls (something ios is sorely in need of) and amazing hardware and software capabilities (808 PureView, for instance)
26. pbui.818 (Posts: 78; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)
remix is making a fair argument but I think Microsoft&Ballmer are taking a huge gamble changing their desktop UI so that it is compatible with and familiar on a mobile device. They risk huge application compatibility issues and alienating the users.
The strategy may be such that after users eventually get a stable desktop OS they may not be so hesitant to try the OS on their mobile device. The idea also means Microsoft moves early to consolidate and unify their OS code base. They may not reap any rewards for years to come. By that time, it may be to late and it may be irrecoverable.
The trouble is that they may still not find success in either the new desktop OS nor the new mobile OS. What is their contingency plan then? Will they have themselves another Windows Vista? Will they have to revert Windows 8 back to the classic UI as their default? Will they simply accelerate the practical demise of the desktop?
Steve Ballmer is not likely the worst CEO and comparing Microsoft's fate to RIM's is a stretch.
Wait, why the h3ll am I defending Microsoft?
36. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)
on windows 8 you can still click to go to desktop view so i dont see the problem
40. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
the OS layout itself is a bit of a gamble but I dont think its nearly as bad as people want to think.
MS was a pioneer in the tablet space.. but it failed. why? windows desktop was never meant to be finger friendly and it definitely was not low horsepower friendly. it was an idea a decade or more ahead of its time. the idea couldn't match the execution.
now mobile devices are on the cutting edge of being on the same power level as PCs with better battery life than laptops. so the power angle is taken care of. windows 8 not only makes it extremely finger friendly with metro UI but it still has the full power of the PC windows 8 hiding under those tiles. You can also revert back and forth between desktop and metro on the fly.
if you believe that tablets are going to over take laptops and maybe PCs as the product of choice, then you need to see that MS is not only leading the way with windows8 in pushing that expansion, they are really the only game in town that offers PC power and full functionality on the go for the foreseeable future.
if any of that statement is true, then not only is MS not going to fail, but they have a chance of quickly rising in rankings.
that's what idiot analysts like the one that originally wrote this short sited doom and gloom article can't see.
27. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
I agree with you, i just hope they believed what you said.
Many people still have this mentality of evil Microsoft. And that Microsoft copied from everyone. Where they get it wrong is that it doesn't copy, but rather learn.
E.g Microsoft themselves admitted they learn a lot from PS2 Generation which now reflect xbox success.
29. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6249; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
Steve Ballmer is the BIGGEST OF ALL JACKASS
42. PigglyWiggly (Posts: 10; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)
I like the idea of instead of getting a $100 bill for beating a Window's Phone why cant the winner just punch Steve in the face?
43. theBankRobber (Posts: 645; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)
That's why you leave the tech industry to the geeks who built it. This guy is nothing but a hot head who runs at the mouth but can't deliver something close to what's out right now. Bet even if they fired him, he would still have piles of money to sit on until his death bed.
45. medicci37 (Posts: 615; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)
Would love 2 see that POS on undercover boss. He'd probably spend most of the hour eating. If he knew as much about business & tech, as he does about food. MS would be the sht.