25 May 2006

Ballmer's gotta go!

I wrote back in March about who should carry the can for Microsoft's failings. I concluded that Steve Ballmer was the logical candidate.

Since then, things have only worsened - with a poor 1st quarter, and the stock even further down - now back to something around 1998 levels. That's amazing for a convicted (and essentially unreformed) monopoly. Just yesterday, while Microsoft is trying to rally its supporters with lots of good announcements at the annual WinHEC Conference, Ballmer (who is absent that event on a trip to Japan) seemed to put his foor in it again by indicating Vista might be further delayed (here's a link from DailyTech that came easily to hand).

A considerably more intelligent and informed writer than me, Paul Kedrosky, in a not-so-subtle post yesterday entitled "Fire Steve Ballmer Now" is obviously of the same view. I particularly liked the link Paul had in his article to a Google video of a recent Mr Ballmer performance. I wonder if he had been watching Ricky Gervais in The Office for inspiration? Unbelievable.

I've heard other rumblings from the Wall Street/Financial press about this, and there have also been clamourings from within Microsoft itself - read the Mini-Microsoft blog for more on those.

But really who should we be listening to on this topic? How about from the man himself in a conference at the Institute of Directors in London last month? Maybe he's not so dumb after all, and perhaps he's in Japan to learn how to gracefully fall on his sword?

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