On a personal note, I’ll just add that Ballmer was one of the good guys. Though he was relentlessly mocked for his over-the-top public appearances in years past, Ballmer was also relentlessly pro-Microsoft and it’s very clear that the troubles of the past decade were at least in part not of his making: Ballmer inherited a Microsoft that had been driven into an antitrust quagmire by Mr. Gates, handicapping its ability to compete effectively or respond to new trends quickly. While many called for his ouster for many years, I never saw a single leader emerge at Microsoft who could fill his shoes or the needs of this lofty position. Looking at the available options today, I still don’t.
What a fucking shill. As I have shown before, Ballmer inherited a Microsoft on the rise, not on the fall. The anti-trust stuff did little to stymie the company and had Ballmer been competent it would have had zero effect on Microsoft.
You don’t see viable replacements today at Microsoft because Ballmer booted anyone he saw as a threat to his job. Ballmer ran the company scared of losing Windows and Office dominance, and ran his firings of executives scared for his own job. That’s not someone who is “relentlessly pro-Microsoft” — that’s someone who is operating in pure self-interest.