Microsoft shareholder calls for Ballmer's head
Biz-lord's 'misstatement' on Windows 8 not helpful
Microsoft, in an extraordinary move earlier this week, described its CEO's comments about Windows 8 as a "misstatement".
Despite that, Steve Ballmer's statement remains available on Microsoft's website, and his words are well-and-truly out there and can hardly be put back in a box and forgotten about.
Now, according to a report in the New York Times, one MS long-time shareholder wants Ballmer to be dismissed by the company. Coincidence? Perhaps.
On Wednesday, the head of the Greenlight Capital hedge fund David Einhorn called for Ballmer to be unseated from the top job at Microsoft.
He told an investor's meeting in New York that the software vendor's biggest drag on its share price was caused by its current boss.
Einhorn pointed at failures already highlighted by Microsoft's board in September last year, when Ballmer missed out on a maximum bonus for 2010, after he failed to move quickly enough against Apple's iPad and lost market share in the mobile phone biz.
The unsuccessful launch and speedy demise of Microsoft's doomed social networking mobile device Kin also kept Ballmer's piggy bank a little lighter than he might have hoped for in the year ended 30 June last year.
Now Einhorn has made disparaging remarks about Ballmer, just two days after Microsoft ineffectually slapped down comments made by its own chief about Windows 8.
The shareholder said reports that suggested Ballmer didn't let his own kids use Google products or Apple's iPods meant that he was "stuck in the past." He also described Microsoft's search engine effort Bing as a "sinkhole," reports the NYT.
But whether his colourful comments about Ballmer will lead to other shareholders leading a revolt against the MS boss remains to be seen.
Here's Microsoft's defensive backpedal after Ballmer's Windows 8 spiel:
"It appears there was a misstatement. We are eagerly awaiting the next generation of Windows 7 hardware that will be available in the coming fiscal year. To date, we have yet to formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows."
But for all their efforts to silence Ballmer's statement about Windows 8, Microsoft flacks surely still know who's king, don't they? ®
Failure to compete
By making all of his company products exclusively tied into other company products they will either all succeed together or all fail together, but the latter is looking increasingly likely. Take the recent takeover and hobbling of Skype as an example, with Skype being prevented from providing Asterisk PABX support very soon afterwards. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. So how is Skype to compete now, with one hand tied behind their back ?
A sane CEO of this company would give the different product divisions complete independence from each other, allowing them to make technology choices in the best interests of their product development and customers, and would not require them to support exclusive non standardised interfaces and lockins with other members of the Microsoft product family.
IBM and Apple
He should be fired for not changing the company culture, emberacing changing times.
Apple and IBM are here today not because of iPod, it was because Apple had balls to dump their impossible to fix MacOS and restarted from strach NexT code without alienating existing userbase and UI paradigm. When people see Finder there and the same UI as 1984, they miss the fact that it is one of the biggest decisions to make.
Check IBM, a company who even insisted on EBCDIC encoding from punch cards. They moved to the new World, gave up hopeless and counter productive end user business, added millions of lines to open source projects.
And here, sorry for getting reminded all the time since I am on perfectly working Nokia E71, a company who puts trojans to companies, bribes people to "buy" marketshare for an OS based on failed flash killer wannabe.
"Microsoft shareholder calls for Ballmer's head"
He's welcome to it on one condition, he takes the rest of him as well.
Was it also just me...
... or did anyone else read Einhorn's description of Bing as a 'stinkhole'?
Was it just me?
Or did anyone else read that as "Ballmer baldly needs to go?"
All those calls for a chair throwing monkey icon might not be needed...