01.19.11

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Another Software Company’s CEO (Named Steve) Expected to Leave

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Steve [Ballmer], I’m sure you’re aware of this. Our call lines are being overrun. [by Vista complaints]“

Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Mark Hurd

Summary: Steve Ballmer needs to leave due to failure after failure, say pundits

Apple’s Steve is out and Information Week seemingly thinks that Steve Ballmer is next:

So here we are in the second week of January, and it’s already looking like 2011 could be a repeat of 2010 for Microsoft. A confused, belated, and underwhelming mobile strategy? Check. More top-level defections? Check. Languid stock price? Check.

At some point, it all comes back to Ballmer, the CEO. The question now is how long Microsoft’s institutional shareholders, and its board (which cut Ballmer’s bonus in half last year following the KIN debacle) will let this go on.

“Ballmer’s Microsoft desperately needs a makeover” says the deadline of a very strongly-worded and critical piece from Nick Farrell in the British press:

It seems that all Microsoft’s chickens have come to roost and have now tucked up their heads under their wings and are dreaming of wriggly grubs.

After years of being the bad-guy in many of the IT industry deals, the Imperium is reaching the point where the great unwashed will only buy its operating system, somewhat grudgingly.

For the last few years Microsoft has been entirely on the back foot and yet still regarded with suspicion. Its own attempts to enter the mobile industry have been treated with much mirth, somewhat unfairly. If any other company had produced it everyone would be praising it to the skies, and yet for some reason it is failing to move.

All those years of evil court cases, anti-trust actions, buying rivals out generally being the corporate Mr Evil have undermined its image to the point that people expect it do something nasty.

Lately however the sum total of the Imperium’s legal efforts have been defensive against other companies who are playing the patent wars against it.

Microsoft’s brand is becoming quite worthless. Products like KIN and Vista Phony 7 [sic] quickly become an epic joke, the malice of the company aside. There is this widely-watched cartoon about them generally being disliked and even the raves about Xbox are apparently in vain as Nintendo is the only company which actually makes money from consoles and its lead is said to be maintained:

It appears the Nintendo Wii finished 2010 as the top-selling video game console, with the Xbox 360 nipping on its heals.

Following the release of video game sales figures by market research firm NPD Group, Nintendo announced it had sold more than 7 million Wiis last year, with 2.3 million of those getting scooped up in December alone. The company also sold 8.5 million DS handhelds in 2010, impressive numbers ahead of the spring launch of the Nintendo 3DS.

Take this with a grain of salt because the last time we checked, NPD Group was funded by Nintendo. NPD’s business model relates to deficient statistics which leave room for bias. In any case, the leadership of Xbox left in droves and there is almost nobody left to leave, except Ballmer. My co-host Tim predicts that Ballmer will have no more than 6 months left at Microsoft. There will be no-one left to threaten furniture.

“I have never, honestly, thrown a chair in my life.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO [CNET News]

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2 Comments

  1. TemporalBeing said,

    January 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Gravatar

    Per Xbox vs. Wii – the Xbox will only ever be able to nip at the heals of the Wii, same with the PS3. Why? B/c the Wii redefined the market. Instead of aiming to capture the 5-10% of gamers out there that are hard-core gamers with cash to burn (typically ages 12-30), Nintendo aimed at the other 90-95%. Where’s the real money at? Not in the hard-core sector. So XBox and PS will always lose out to the Wii.

    And no, Kinect and Move will not solve the problem either for them either. The systems are (i) just too bloody expensive, and (ii) the games are targeted at people who are going to sit there and learn how to do some repetitive motion over and over for hours on end. Most people like to play games; but they also don’t like to have to learn dedicated skill sets to play them. That is what makes the Wii different. And that is why it is selling.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    At a profit even, unlike the rest.

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