Steve Ballmer Offers Management Advice for Other CEOs

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gatorXXX

I just want to carve something on his bald head....Google logo maybe? A big "X"? Something in lavender?

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The Mac

how about a nice tramp-stamp...

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gatorXXX

A dolphin and a unicorn in a yin-yang type symbol with tribal barbed wire streaming from the left and right sides?

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The Mac

tribal is a little hipster these days, how about some Ivy? or better yet flames ala Harley Davidson...

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gatorXXX

On Ballmer? That would give Harley Davidson a bad name...

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The Mac

you have a point....

ivy it is...

lol

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Mikey109105

Take advice from Ballmer? yeah, I think not. I was laughing the entire time I was reading the article.

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Cregan89

I'd love to see one of these idiot MaxPC commenters run Microsoft, or any tech company for that matter. That would be hysterical!

There would be the initial shock that as CEO you spend most of your time hiring/firing people and reporting to shareholders. Followed by the shock that your bosses (the shareholders) don't give a flying f*** about "Start Menus", they want to hear about profits, projections, and future growth. And regardless of EVERYTHING else, if those numbers aren't good you're fired.

Once you managed to schedule some time in front of the actual product heads, you'd give them your ultimate "vision" for Windows! 5 years later you'd release "Windows XP l33t". It would resemble AutoCAD both in terms of looks and complexity. There would be more lists, dropdowns, tabs, options, and microscopic buttons than you could shake a stick at. 20 virtual desktops, DirectX 28 for Supercomputers, ray tracing graphics, imitation glass and imitation steel 3D GUI, every single button and function can be customized and changed. Office would be exactly like Office 2003, because MS of course got it right the first time and should never ever reorganize or change the UI ever again. Except take the toolbars, and just double it. Even more options, perfect. And then release...

A total of 218 MaxPC users would buy one license of it and then never have to buy another one ever again because they don't buy new computers, they upgrade parts. But oh boy would they LOVE it! Meanwhile, the rest of the world would switch to easier to use Macs and tablets and cloud powered Google Docs. Your focus on two single Microsoft products would mean you would completely miss out on the game console market, and the vastly more profitable business software and cloud services markets. Profits would go from $20 billion to $13 thousand (if you're lucky, you're completely against DRM and subscription based services so piracy would eat away at your profit), you would be fired, and Microsoft would cease to exist.

Good work though, you created the worlds most powerful, complicated, and unintuitive OS of all time!

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Sparx10

This speaks more about the faults of investors controlling your company than anything else IMO

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

M$ employees are so bitter these days . . . .

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PCWolf

I love how so many US Corporations are Making record Profits in this so called "Bad Economy". Seems it's only bad for the middle class & down as they ship more & more US Jobs to other countries while at the same time, filling US Jobs with imported cheap labor using Worker Visas. It's a great time to be an American Corporation, but a horrible time to be a US Worker.

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The Mac

Could be worse, all these socilaist fruit cakes could start taxing these corporations even more, causing them to move the actual companies elsewhere.

Then youll get nothing.

Would that make you happy?

If the unions didnt force unskilled labor to pay $50 an hour for slapping a chip into a PC board, these corps wouldnt have to use china to do it.

Do you want to pay $600 for your Iphone? or $6000?

if you say $6000, you would be one of 10 people who would be willing to do so.

You cant make money that way.

Im always amazed at the number of Liberal weenies in the tech field...

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limitbreaker

While you make a valid point, the problem is that there is no useful far left or far right. There needs to be a balance and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It's the governments job to reduce the gap between the rich amd poor and keep a strong middle class. In my opinion the democrats are bad but the republicans are borderline crazy which is slightly worst. Calling people liberal weenies is kind of ignorant but I know you're a smart guy Mac so this is why I get surprised when I see you taking such a far right approach to things.

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The Mac

i would hardly call my hate for unions far right.

They serve no useful purpose other than to bleed their members dry, and force companies to pay more for less.

I was in both the United Foodworkers, and the Teamsters.

I had less money in my pocket then any other jobs ive ever had.

There was a time in the early industrial development that they were useful, that time ended in the 60s.

As far as my liberal weenies comment goes; i suggest you review some of these posts. They arent looking for a company to run, they want a commune.

lol

Unicorns and Rainbows my friend, unicorns and rainbows..

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gatorXXX

The unions are single handedly keeping our prices high. For everything. Demands such as $15 an hour as a starting wage (backed by unions)is asinine. I agree that people need to make more to feed families and such but that's not the unions job. It's the persons job. Need more money? Get a second job. Not making enough? Go to school and learn a trade or get a degree.

It shouldn't be up to the unions to dictate what workers need to make. What ever happened to earning your way based on merit, hard work, and possessing skills needed to thrive. All this went out the window due to liberals and union conjuncture for equality...Skilled? $15 an hour. Non-skilled high school drop out...$15 an hour. Can't afford health care? No problem...we'll make the ones that have it pay more so you can get it too. Then we'll give you subsidies and make them pay even more...all the while the middle class (like me) who make too much for "entitlement" programs spend more which essentially lowers us into the "poor" section the liberals speak of.

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The Mac

pretty much this...

most of the union members i know these days are fat, lazy and entitled...

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Tell us more about how wonderful it is being a rich white man.

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The Mac

i wouldnt know, im certainly not rich, but i am white...

i can tell you what its like to be a well educated struggling white man however...

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gatorXXX

Amen!

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gatorXXX

You had me at "no useful far left and far right" but that's where it ended. It is NOT the governments job to the reduce the gap in anything especially when it comes to self economics. That's our job. We need to be responsible and take charge of ourselves. Period. Letting the government continue on as it is...ahem Pelosi, Reid, Obama, cough...telling us we need equality...is ignorant of itself.

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limitbreaker

Yes we do but there needs to be opportunities and I believe the greatest job of a government is infact to keep the middle-class strong because otherwise the economy can collapse and start looking a lot like a third world country. That is not to say that its okay to give unions too much power because that too can be self defeating and take away jobs which ultimately means the government failed to make proper laws. Unions becoming too strong starts to look a lot more like a mafia.

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gatorXXX

I agree. There needs to be opportunity. But the government needs to help businesses create these opportunities. Making business pay more (much more) in health care and/or making the working class pay more for healthcare isn't helping this situation one bit.

Case in point. Me and my wife together make about 50 thou/yr. and have 3 kids. After all said bills/taxes we clear enough to survive. But this Obamacare crap has now effectively doubled our premiums with a much higher deductible...and we get our insurance from our employers! Going through Obamacare, it's tripled in price! That effectively makes us have to cut every corner known to man. We can't afford now to purchase "extra" things that people buy for self gratification thus making our money stay in the bank. How is that helping local businesses stay afloat? How is this helping the middle class?

We are getting sandwiched because the government won't stay out of our lives. They want to control it. Just like the unions. On this current path...there will be only two classes...Rich and Poor.

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The Mac

ummm....too late

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The Mac

Holy crap! A resonable response.

Where the hell did that come from?

Agreed, far right is just as bad as far left.

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gatorXXX

It was reasonable. Made it kinda of hard for me to respond...:)

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The Mac

Wow, im glad none of you people are in charge of anything. Youd have everyone running around giving away money and organizing group hugs.

Balmer may be a douche, but he was a hell of a CEO.

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fung0

More like the CEO from Hell. This is the guy Forbes picked (a year ago) as the #1 CEO who should already have been fired. ("Without a doubt, Mr. Ballmer is the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company today.")

I'd give Ballmer marginal credit for not screwing up in the enterprise space - but even there, Microsoft's earnings escalated mostly on pure momentum. While Ballmer was farting around with music players nobody wanted, he dropped the ball on tablets and phones, and managed to to turn both Windows and Office, the company's core best-sellers, into abominations that nobody really likes any more, and which are now sinking the entire PC industry.

Even more importantly, Ballmer has failed to advance anything, in any real technical way. Windows 8 doesn't do anything Windows XP (or Windows 2000) couldn't do. Office hasn't seen a meaningful expansion in capability since the 1990s.

Ballmer's big achievement? Killing Microsoft's PC gaming efforts - a market it OWNED totally, via Windows - and embarking on an arduous and profitless battle over consoles. It's been very convincingly argued that the Xbox division has never turned a real profit. The Xbox has certainly failed to 'capture the living room,' and will soon find itself competing not just with the PS4, but with all manner of Android and Linux-based devices that will offer greater capabilities without the crushing R&D overheads. (Ironically, they'll leverage open PC-like architectures, just as Microsoft once did - back before Ballmer took the helm.)

In short, Ballmer turned the world's PC powerhouse into a Nintendo also-ran, and a non-starter in music and mobile. He's even come perilously close to destroying Microsoft's stranglehold on PCs and productivity suites - a hold previously so strong it was widely regarded as a de facto monopoly.

Sheer genius, that's the only word for it.

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poee

QFT!

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yammerpickle2

Ballmer did not even take his own advice.

Make sure you see the whole playing field. Hmm, didn't really see Google stealing your thunder, and not seeing that many business and classic users would be alienated by WIN 8.

Don't pin hopes on a single individual or "dream team". Like betting your core business accounts on WIN 8 with a smart phone / tablet interface. Not even an option for the start menu?

Realize there's no perfect business model for every era. There is so many examples I'm not even sure where to start to list them. The easiest is MS continuing to pretend they are Apple.

Don't place only long-term or only short-term bets. Place short term profits ahead of core customers and damaging long term relationships with customers. Again too many examples to list here.

Know your limits. Pretend you know better than your customers and then spend millions in marketing hype to convince them your right.
MS surface anyone?

Steve, I know it is hard for a big blow hard like you, but just keep quiet, and try to go out with at least a little bit of dignity.

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fung0

Excellent summary... this is Ballmer's record in a nutshell.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

"...our company's transformation to a devices and services company..."

I thought Reed Hastings had taught the world just how brilliant it is to take a giant shit on the very customers responsible for your success.

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Joji

The Xbox brought many great games to the world along with some "interesting innovations." That's all I got. Apart from that, the decision to destroy PC gaming and make multiplayer a payed feature was a bad feature. I mean, I have to pay extra money to access online multiplayer on an Xbox? If that was Balmer's decision then I hope he dies of a terrible death along with making sure everyone goes and destroy his grave into pieces. That's how I feel about Balmer.

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wolfing

I would recommend every CEO to go to this seminar, to learn what NOT to do.

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firefox91

$70 billion > $25 billion. Regardless of some of his missteps, that right there is what being in business is about. That is success.

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Sparx10

Based on that comment alone, I hope you never run a business. There's much more to a business than just greed and money.

Unfortunately, very very few people see this, and thus our world is dominated by greedy businessmen and politicians, doing whatever is necessary to shove yet another billion dollars into their already unimaginably huge bank accounts.

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US_Ranger

And if everyone thought like you, one sociopath could wipe out everything easily. Believe it or not, sometimes greedy people drive innovation. Take off the socialist blinders for a minute and realize there are positives in this situation as well.

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Sparx10

Oh yes, greed does drive innovation, just look at the ongoing Samsung v. Apple, or any number of patent troll cases. So much innovation is occurring, I think we may end up with wearable quantum computers, flying cars and warp drives by the end of 2015.

Or how about these supposed "next-gen" consoles, why, they're so innovative they're using tech equivalent to PCs from 2008 and yet the year is nearly 2014. Oh but that isn't all either, they want to make these obsolete pieces of shit last for 10 years. SUCH INNOVATION.

Real innovation is done by university researchers and corporations like NASA or SpaceX, working towards a brighter future rather than purely caring about padding their bank accounts.

Also I have no idea what you mean by "And if everyone thought like you, one sociopath could wipe out everything easily.", care to explain?

I like that by not being greedy, you're automatically a socialist or communist these days.

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The Mac

I hate to be captain obvious, but its legislation by oblivious politicians that enable patent trolls.

The fact that the do so is merely business strategy. They are doing what they are supposed to do: make money for their investors.

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Random

This guy shouldn't be dishing out any advice. Hopefully the next CEO will clean house and hit CTL-ALT-DEL on Windows 8 once and for all!

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John Pombrio

He forgot one: Don't stay at your job until you think you are God, stifling innovation, and everyone in the company hates you.

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Xenite

Advice from the person that single-handedly ground the worlds biggest tech company into the mud.... yeah I'll pass.

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limitbreaker

My impression is that he pushed Microsoft into short term gain at the cost of long term credibility and customer loyalty and now he is bailing the titanic before it sinks.

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iheartpcs

* Ignore your customers
* Do whatever you feel like doing regardless of what the market requires
* Tell your customers they don't know anything
* Don't promote your products but rather diss the competitors
* Every so often tell your customers you care about them (they wont notice that you don't actually care)
* If all else fails, force your product on the public by taking away choice

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Sparx10

All but the "diss the competition" line seem to really apply to Google as well right now.

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gatorXXX

Not true. Google has updated most of it's apps based upon customer/user response. In fact, they are now adding their apps into the play store so you can have a choice. Sure there are proprietary core apps and services as with ANY company but at this moment, the only thing Google is guilty of is using your info for corporate gain...but in recent light...they ALL are doing it...Google, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, LG, and the list goes on.

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Sparx10

Yeah, they're doing well with their apps and with Android. In my comment I meant the whole YouTube/Google+ thing going on right now.

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gatorXXX

I understand. But those are the core apps I was referring to.

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Ghost XFX

Funny. he didn't follow any of this when Windows 8 was being created...

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iheartpcs

Ballmer is phonier than a dime store politician.