It’s an odd world. Especially the one that includes the sphere of computing.
In most areas of business, a CEO would get little to no attention for doing nothing, and certainly would get very little love in print for the effort. Business is predicated usually on what positive things are done, not what mistakes are avoided.
But the articles are popping up now about how Ballmer, the nearly always suspected purveyor of ill, and bad tidings is being held up as intelligent and resourceful.
The idea of not speaking of the vaporware Windows tablet is the only time I can agree with the article in InfoWorld, as the rest of it is simply too easily dismissed as something where Mr. Ballmer did nothing and is receiving credit simply because two unrelated events happened in juxtaposition.
The announcement of putting Windows on the ARM platform is, as others have mentioned, nothing new. It is only the move for the very latest version which is new, so the move is evolutionary, not revolutionary.
Pushing the head of the Server and Tools division out is a move we are not fully sure was Ballmer on his own – as I have read many articles concerning this, and none states that Ballmer was doing the pushing of this veteran of Windows directly. Also, I think it is a bad move, and just another time that Steve Ballmer shows that he is a salesman above all else, and perhaps only that, allowing those who are the heart and soul of Windows to leave while the sales force and bean counters stay.
What will happen when there are declining sales, and all the beans have been counted?
One thing most people are not willing to give enough credit to in the Windows 7 upgrade cycle is that many people, no matter how happy they were with Windows XP, were ready for a change. That, along with the fact that Windows XP is no longer available for sale on any legitimate purchase, makes for a climate where sales of Windows 7 are going to be high, no matter what.
If someone came along, out of the blue, with a Windows XP workalike, that was free, or close to it, Windows 7 numbers would start to look like the sad numbers that Vista posted. There is little brand loyalty among many, and so when that Linux alternative comes that has the magic people are looking for, Windows will be yesterday’s news.
Until then, Ballmer will look like a hero to the unwilling-to-analyze-the-situation throng, and his decisions, though they may be simple acknowledgments of the default choices that go by, will continue to be heralded as good ones.
When the overall tide turns, nothing will stop his imminent demise.