Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft's CEO More Likely to Leave After His Disastrous Skype Move

Summary: Anger within Microsoft and the community of its shareholders is likely to increase pressure on Steve Ballmer, as it already does

SKYPE being bought was a great deal for its developers, but a total waste of money for Microsoft. "Angry Microsoft stock holder admits to a lot of thing we already know about Microsoft in the Free Software community," says this person to the FSF group, pointing to this piece which was titled "The Ballmer Days Are Over"



I think it is appropriate at this time to start the countdown of how long Ballmer has left until he “steps down”. 1 This Skype deal should be the final nail in the coffin for the Ballmer era at Microsoft, yet I fear that employee number 30 may get a reprieve. Let’s take a stroll down Ballmer memory lane:

$8.5 BILLION

Ballmer’s acquisition of Skype for $8.5 billion dollars is not only a gross overpay, but a complete waste of money for Microsoft. Ballmer has yet to lay out a clear reason why Microsoft wanted Skype. He has only stated the obvious: integration in Microsoft products — which could have been done in a partnership instead of an acquisition. In fact, the acquisition by most accounts sounded more like a move by Ballmer to buy something that others 2 may have wanted to own — just for the sake of others not owning it.

Beyond that is the fact that Microsoft has 89,000 employees — are you telling me that the company that put a computer in every home couldn’t create a Skype clone?


Microsoft employees too are unhappy about this deal. While the company lays off a lot of employees and pays less to the rest (e.g. by offshoring), here we have a major waste of money.

My co-host Tim predicted that Ballmer would leave Microsoft some time around the middle of this year. Is the board about to take action? Ballmer sure hasn't helped Microsoft's attempts to paint itself as a friend of "Open Source". People are already abandoning Skype and using just SIP clients. Earlier today we ran a successful test recording with just free software and getting good results. Our interview with Richard Stallman is coming soon.

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