Steve Ballmer Reportedly Spearheading Major Restructuring Effort Within Microsoft

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petrol42

Microsoft as a whole doesn't operate as a cohesive unit. Their Xbox, Office Software and OS Teams all do their own thing instead of working together to make great products.

What Balmer needs to do is streamline all the divisions, create timelines for new products or updates and keep to the schedule and most importantly, release polished products like Apple does and if someone isn't doing their job, Fire their ass and get someone else who could do the job right.

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Cregan89

I don't think you can really blame Ballmer for actual product failures. He's not the type of CEO who is heavily involved in product development. He definitely wasn't the one who said, "let's combine two interfaces in Windows 8" or "let's make the Xbox One require an internet check-in every 24 hours".

But what he is in charge of is the people who made those decisions, and those people should not be in those positions. Microsoft's higher up product managers and VPs are completely out of touch with their consumers. They generally seem to have a pretty good technical understanding, but they are way too arrogant, stubborn, and brutal marketers.

For example, the whole Xbox One thing... The idea wouldn't have been that bad had the Xbox boss, Don Mattrick, anticipated the backlash (how could he have possibly not seen that coming? game rentals and always on DRM have been the big next-gen hot topics all over the internet for two years now!) and made very slight modifications to the way the system was designed (like asking to insert the disc if no internet connection was present). And most importantly, simplifying and explaining the new limitations in plain english and then explaining the advantages that the system allowed for (digital game sharing, no disc required, etc.). So not only did Mattrick make this initial mistake, but then he goes and has that smartass interview and says to critics "we have a system for you, it's the Xbox 360"! Don Mattrick should have been fired on the spot. That right there is Steve Ballmer not doing his job.

Microsoft has tons of talented engineers, but the whole company dynamic is detrimental to their success. The company dynamic is all politics all the time. You only move up by playing the game, not by innovating. Anonymous Microsoft engineers come out all the time complaining about the company structure. The company dynamic actually causes employees to compete with each other instead of other companies: http://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickallen/2012/07/03/the-terrible-management-technique-that-cost-microsoft-its-creativity/

Something tells me Ballmer doesn't have the balls to make a true turnaround. Otherwise he would have done so years ago.

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maxeeemum

Wow! Cregan89 maybe I was wrong about you!

Your best comment yet!!!

+1

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samduhman

I said it years ago when they turned their back on PC gamers and released a console that they were making a mistake. PC gamers had to use the Windows OS becuase it was a requirement. SO, many of the PC gamers enjoyed building their own PCs for themselves and also ended up being called upon by friends/family to build PCs for them. This was a huge promotion wagon for the Windows operating system. Once the Xbox was realeased a big percentage of wishy washy PC gamers fled to it. Therefore MS lost their free MS OS promoters. So if MS eventually fails they only did it to themselves. Practically every console has failed while the gaming PC still keeps on trucking..... That speaks for itself.

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Cregan89

I don't think so... How much money do you think a PC gamer makes Microsoft? Maybe $100 every three years for a single Windows license that is reused for each hardware upgrade.

How much money do you think an Xbox gamer makes Microsoft? Small markup on the console itself + huge markup on accessories + Xbox Live subscription + probably a couple Xbox Video rentals + extremely expensive Xbox dev tools + ingame download purchases... They probably average at least $200 per gamer per year.

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Xenite

Here's a newsflash it's BALLMER that is the problem. Virtually every direction he has pushed the company into has been a complete disaster.

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Carbira1

He just needs to hire more developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers.

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hisqo

Many people realize their own mistakes only after a misfortune. The bucks MS made through the golden cash cow product line, Windows & Office, made them believe they are going to dominate the world forever!

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WarpathPS

I seriously doubt they ever thought that. I still remember when Sears was the big kid on the block and Kmart was the rising star and now look at both? Walmart dominates both of them. In business, it does not matter how big you can get, you can still fail and be surpassed if your gambles do not pan out.

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Fenthic

When it comes to billion dollar companies....egos trump logic. Microsoft has become very arrogant over the years and have flaunted it more and more and now its caught up with them. They were arrogant over Vista it tanked, they are arrogant over this whole one OS one experience with windows 8 its tanking, they were arrogant with their ways over the Xbox One and they quickly changed their tune due to backlash. I fully believe MS got arrogant and thought they were untouchable but back to back failures out of the gates for 2 items is NOT what a board and investors want to see.

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FrostyWinnipeg

"devices and services company"

DnS

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jbitzer

"It feels like it is going to be titanic — that Steve is doing this change for his legacy,"

As in hitting an iceberg and sinking?

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Paper Jam

+1

The iceberg was noted as being oddly rectangular. It initially lacked a Start button, is still lacking in apps, and though they call it Windows and Modern, it seems very retro and unappealing. The vessel is sinking slowly but everyone aboard seems content to ignore the problem and are choosing to go down with a ship that could be saved.

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dimitriz

Hmm, so he is going to clone himself as a "small group of confidants and board members" so he can talk all day how awesome Windows 8 is?
Groundbreaking!

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Mikey109105

So long as this restructuring includes killing Windows 8 and giving us an OS for the next iteration of Windows that doesn't look like a mobile phone on a desktop PC, I'm all for it. That, plus he should fire himself.

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ApathyCurve

He should start by firing their idiot CEO.

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Mikey109105

Since he IS their CEO, I assume he'd have a problem with that, but I agree, he needs to fire himself.

+1 to you, sir.

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Fenthic

Just because he is CEO doesnt mean he cant be fired. The board can very quickly fire him and I can for see him being on a short leash and if Windows 8 sales dont improve he could get the axe. If he manages to survive until the Xbox one is released if it is falling to the PS4 I can see him getting the axe then to.

Ballmer needs to go!

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fung0

Unfortunately, I don't believe he can be fired. Ballmer and Gates between them own enough MS stock to keep the big guy rantin' and ravin' in Redmond just about as long as he likes.

Gates could give him the boot, but if he was willing to do that, he probably would have made some moves before now. My guess is he intends to let Ballmer sink the company rather than interfere.

Bottom line, if Ballmer leaves, it will be voluntarily. Or because there's nothing left TO leave.

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wumpus

Slight correction:

It's Bill Gates' call. No matter how much stock Ballmer has, nobody on the Board is going to go against Bill Gates, especially considering Ballmer's performance since Gates left.

I just don't understand the point of just how much money they continually spend on this hopeless quest to turn themselves into something they are not. Under Bill Gates they were a company that could ruthlessly aquire software and shove it down your throat no matter what you really wanted to buy. Now they are a company that lives on the Windows and Office cash cows, and also has a side gaming sinecue that is technically in the black but will never pay back the sunk costs.

Of the major efforts from MS we've seen the gaming division and the mobile division. The gaming division had years of unprofitable consoles and the RROD, but is starting to make it back and may pay off next century. The mobile division seems to throw a billion away every few years with winCE, winphone, kin, windows phone 7, microsoft surface RT & pro, etc.

And they want to get further away from windows and office?

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someuid

+1

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yammerpickle2

I agree Balmer firing himself is the first item on the list. He has already cemented his legacy as a Titanic idiot. Second place a person in the position who has some understanding of technology and has a customer focused background. Instead of cutting loose talent focus them on what the customer wants and the customers will reward you with sales and drive up your revenue. Let's see WIN 9 with choices on interface, DX12, and native 4K multi-monitor support for the future. The PC should interface and Sync with your tablet, and phone, but it is so much more than both of those that forcing that interface on end users is just a foolish choice and one that should result in Balmer stepping down. I mean does he really think they can be a device and services leader with a history of things like Zune, etc.

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warptek2010

If Ballmer were to fire himself, I'd say Linus Torvalds would be the next logical choice as CEO.

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