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Steve Ballmer's full 'farewell' letter to Microsoft staff

Posted: , by Ray S.

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Steve Ballmer's full 'farewell' letter to Microsoft staff

Steve Ballmer has taken the difficult decision to retire as Microsoft CEO sometime within the next 12 months, and, as it often happens in such occasions, the big man has sent a 'farewell' letter to the company's staff. In it, Ballmer does a few important things. First, he's explaining some of the reasoning behind his decision; second, he expresses his love for Microsoft and his colleagues; and third, he does his best to motivate the rest of the crew. Here's Steve Ballmer's full letter:

I am writing to let you know that I will retire as CEO of Microsoft within the next 12 months, after a successor is chosen. There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction. You can read the press release on Microsoft News Center.

This is a time of important transformation for Microsoft. Our new Senior Leadership team is amazing. The strategy we have generated is first class. Our new organization, which is centered on functions and engineering areas, is right for the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Microsoft is an amazing place. I love this company. I love the way we helped invent and popularize computing and the PC. I love the bigness and boldness of our bets. I love our people and their talent and our willingness to accept and embrace their range of capabilities, including their quirks. I love the way we embrace and work with other companies to change the world and succeed together. I love the breadth and diversity of our customers, from consumer to enterprise, across industries, countries, and people of all backgrounds and age groups.

I am proud of what we have achieved. We have grown from $7.5 million to nearly $78 billion since I joined Microsoft, and we have grown from employing just over 30 people to almost 100,000. I feel good about playing a role in that success and having committed 100 percent emotionally all the way. We have more than 1 billion users and earn a great profit for our shareholders. We have delivered more profit and cash return to shareholders than virtually any other company in history.

I am excited by our mission of empowering the world and believe in our future success. I cherish my Microsoft ownership, and look forward to continuing as one of Microsoft’s largest owners.

This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do. I take this step in the best interests of the company I love; it is the thing outside of my family and closest friends that matters to me most.

Microsoft has all its best days ahead. Know you are part of the best team in the industry and have the right technology assets. We cannot and will not miss a beat in these transitions. I am focused and driving hard and know I can count on all of you to do the same. Let’s do ourselves proud.


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posted on 23 Aug 2013, 09:20 6

1. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2223; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

Microsoft. :)

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 09:21

3. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2223; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

btw I haven't seen you writing an article here for a long time :-s

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 09:22

5. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)

you came on this article just to write that!

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 09:24 7

6. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2223; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

Nah, I came here to write an essay about how much I'll miss Ballmer.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 10:07

20. rassouli5 (Posts: 51; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)

Me too. I'm going to miss him so much! :(

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 11:51 2

31. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


posted on 25 Aug 2013, 09:04

52. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

Mr Ballmer is still CEO of Microsoft and can save Windows 8 by ordering the creation of a Windows 8.1 desktop skew
that has absolutely no Modern UI/AKA Metro tiles. that only has a desktop screen and will run like an improved version of Windows 7. This way Mr Ballmer leaves Microsoft Windows intact with the current Windows 8.1 to be used on computers that have touch screen monitors. Tablets and notebooks that have touch screen monitors. Ballmer could save Windows 8 with this new skew.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 09:47 3

14. AwesomestMaximuss (Posts: 146; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)

I wish Bill Gates comes back...he was so much more focused on PCs,,,Win 8 was an unworthy successor of Win 7...If he was still the CEO he probably wud have combined the games market of pc and xbox,,or may be not but still there is so much more that could be done for pc.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 09:20 8

2. Kurai (unregistered)

Finally! Good Riddance !

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 11:13

30. rms.max (Posts: 95; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)

The most gentle way to fire a CEO I've ever seen.. :)

posted on 25 Aug 2013, 09:17

53. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

a lot of people put down windows 8 and CEO Ballmer. it was valiant effort to combine a desktop OS and a touch screen OS. The major mistake Ballmer made was he did not have a backup skew of Windows 8 that looked and operated like Windows 7. Windows 8 as it is now would have been put on Tablets and hybrids like we had today but customers would still be able to buy window 8 desktop Skew that looks and works like old windows 7.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 09:21 8

4. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)

"farewell.....ive messed up your company now im leaving with a couple million dollars whilst you id*ots sit here trying to clean up my mess.....but even still farewell!"

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 09:24

7. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

All fails:




Come to think of it almost everything since after Windows 7 came out has been garbage from microsoft.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 11:03

27. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

As a gamer since 2007, I don't see how you think the Xbox One is a fail. All I have to say is XBLive is the best way to fully enjoy the online experience. I'm planning on picking up a One over the PS4 soon for this reason.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 12:52 4

33. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

The price to performance is a fail. It is using a "8 core" (its not a real 8 core its 4 groups with 2 cores in each group which means shared cache and reduced performance) low end laptop CPU. The clocks are also under clocked by over 1ghz so adds some insult to injury.

Its an 8 core version of an AMD A8-5550M that has been stripped of its speed.


The xbox one gpu is even a bigger fail:

It is a Bonaire, AKA as a POS. Know what graphic cards its closest to?

Know what the Ps4 is closest to?

Know what a "big boy" graphics card looks like?

Before you come in here saying it doesn't matter, yes it does. BF4 is not even running at native 1080p (its running at 720p) on the PS4 and the Ps4 has a gpu thats almost double the raw power (Theres a rumor xbox one version is doing the same thing but its running at 30fps instead of 60)

The PC cost more is a lie. A PC with better specs to those piles of garbage is the exact same price as the xbone but its also a computer not just for gaming. (Fx 6300 and a 7850, one of the best bang/buck setups you can get.)


If you care about size/noise you can get that same build in an ultra small build that is silent for a little more.

When the 360/ps3 came out it was rivaling high end gaming computers, these are just low end PCs from 2010 shoved in a console box.

Spread the truth the next gen consoles suck.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 13:24

37. madpiyal (Posts: 108; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)

Yes the next generation gaming consoles sucks (though there's no doubt Sony's PS4 has a lot going for itself from styling to raw power and the new gaikai purchase). Again the new gaming consoles like Nvidia Shield sucks more. Devices like Nvidia Shield is like going backwards.

Xbox is targeted as entertainment box(!!) which will try to replace your TV not made primarily as a high end gaming device which it was primarily build for. And surely like Moto X it is build to spy on you 24/7.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 14:59 1

38. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

If you can't afford/ don't want a good computer your best choice is the PS4. What was the last brand new triple A title released exclusively on the xbox 360? I mean brand new series as in not another Gears or Halo. Its been a very long time while Sony is still pumping out AAA exclusives like The Last of US and Beyond Two Souls.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 15:11

39. papss (unregistered)

Lol you are so clueless its scary.. You know that consoles have many less things going on compared to pcs hence the reason it doesn't need to be equal to PC to compete and its all about the experience not the package with consoles which destroys pcs. Just stop being silly. You don't get the same experience with the left over games that PC gets. Sorry but its not apples to apples here.

posted on 24 Aug 2013, 07:01 1

45. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

I fully understand that consoles don't need to have as high of specs as PCs to get a good experience, but once you invest in a good PC, not only do you get a superior gaming experience, but you also get all the productivity and functionality benefits of a computer.

I mean really, if you're going to buy a console ($400-500), and an average PC for school/work or something (maybe $300 for a decent laptop, plus ), you might as well not buy the console and add the money you would save to your PC budget and get a good gaming PC. It would cost about the same as a console and PC together, and you would save money because online services are free and the Steam sales can get you really good games for dirt cheap. At that point, there would be no reason to get a console except for the exclusive games.

posted on 24 Aug 2013, 07:07

46. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

Couldn't edit fast enough,

"(maybe $300 for a decent laptop, plus $140 for Microsoft Office)"

posted on 24 Aug 2013, 13:38

50. SuperMaoriBro (Posts: 533; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)

Congratulations. All that time and effort only to show you're an idiot.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 13:09 1

35. madpiyal (Posts: 108; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)

You made me laugh louder. You should know about tech before writing. Xbox1 is the biggest fail in gaming industry. And its a joke compared to PS4. I own Xbox 360, so you know I'm not talking crap. I was hugely let down by microsoft to my friends when they announced Xboxone.

And do you know its 'always-on'? And I hate the fact it needs internet to play otherwise it will stop working. Its a hardware not a software for crying out loud. If my ram doesnt work just because of I do not have internet what in the hell it is good for?

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 13:12 1

36. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

People on the consoles don't understand what 60FPS is, a game that runs on 30fps on the xbox one will run at 60fps with better graphics on the PS4.

Play some games at 60fps or higher, 30 fps will feel sluggish and laggy after you do.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 15:14 1

40. papss (unregistered)

I stopped reading your com.ent with always on and needing the internet. You fail lol maybe you should read up before spewing nonsense that's inaccurate. That was old news dude.

posted on 24 Aug 2013, 06:43 2

44. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

Microsoft said that it wouldn't need to be always online a long time ago, man.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 09:25 2

8. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

na na na na hey hey good bye

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 09:32

9. PhoneCritic (Posts: 796; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)

This seems like a strategic move by MS. a Big management shake up was needed in order for MS to compete with the likes of Google, Apple, Samsung, LG etc.. the Duopoly of MS and Intel is over as people are transitioning from Desktop and laptop computing to pure mobile computing. Soon business will do the same with cloud computing via app purchases rather then software purchases.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 09:35 1

12. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

Cloud is nothing but part of larger game-plan called PRISM.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 09:45 1

13. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

Funny that you mentioned that cause it recently got lekaed the NSA was paying companies like Microsoft money for their cloud networks so they can spy on people.

No matter how many tracking blockers, ad blockers, proxies or VPNs you are using they are still tracking you and recording data.

posted on 23 Aug 2013, 10:01

17. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


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