The Ultimate Update: Steve Ballmer to retire in 12 months

Just when I thought the world of IT had settled into a boring series of non-announcements…
“Microsoft Corp said on Friday that Chief Executive Steve Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months, once it completes the process of choosing his successor.”

see Microsoft's Steve Ballmer to retire in 12 months.

Just like the infamous updates of its flaky operating system, M$ announces Ballmer’s retirement at the start of the day in their timezone. Instead of causing panic, the pre-market share-price rises sharply… Hmmm. I guess it was too good to continue his inept management. I can only hope they replace him with someone equally incompetent. I can just imagine the knives being sharpened at One M$ Way. A year of lame duck management could boost the popularity of GNU/Linux and Free Software greatly.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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20 Responses to The Ultimate Update: Steve Ballmer to retire in 12 months

  1. matchrocket says:

    bw wrote: “A product is something entered into a market by an individual vendor. Linux and Android have multiple vendors, none of whom seem to have much of a market overall.”

    You really said that bw? What a bone head thing to say. Detroit makes cars by… who? Computers are made by… who? Those are products bw. Yes, you need to be told that because somehow you forgot. Lenovo and HP both make computer products with the same OS and nearly identical specs. Those two nearly identical “products” are then added in together with other similar products that make a market. Lenovo and HP’s share can then be measured against that market.

    You seem to be saying that because Android is made by different vendors it somehow doesn’t count as one block of a “product” and therefore that can’t be measured against other similar products. Of course it can. Android is a product made by different vendors just like Chardonnay is a wine made by different vineyards.

    You need a new brain bw or stop the one you have from communicating.

  2. bw says:

    */Linux is a cooperative product of the world

    You can define any abstraction that you wish to define and then make up rules for the environment in which it operates, but that does not mean that it has any effect in the real world.

    bw’s position is that a notebook PC is not a product

    That is true. Notebook PCs define a market category that can be subdivided in terms of size, end user target (for example MacBook), price range, etc. The whole shebang is a subcategory of PC.

    don’t ask us to follow you down the rat-hole

    And vice-versa.

  3. oiaohm says:

    bw carriers on 3g/4g networks can tell how much network traffic iphone and android are using. comscore has some great stats on how iphones and android is used. So there is absolutely no reason to be guessing.

  4. bw wrote, “A product is something entered into a market by an individual vendor. Linux and Android have multiple vendors, none of whom seem to have much of a market overall.”

    A product can be a product of a person, an organization, a nation, the world… */Linux is a cooperative product of the world. The pieces are somewhat independent and somewhat dependent. bw’s position is that a notebook PC is not a product because it was made by a bunch of different manufacturers and sold by multiple vendors. That’s nonsense. A product does not even need to be sold. I gave away a bunch of cinnamon buns at dinner last night. They were my product. M$’s product is not sold but licensed. M$ sells the licences to OEMs who sell them to consumers. Multiple vendors mean that M$’s licences are not products… in bw’s world-view.

    You may restrict your vision of the world any way you like but don’t ask us to follow you down the rat-hole.

  5. bw says:

    We can also count Android/Linux and GNU/Linux as a single product

    You could if you had no concept of “product” as it is used in commerce. For starters, even those who use the software rarely call it “GNU/Linux”. It is “Ubuntu” or “Mint” or whatever. And you may be the only person in all of North America saying “Android/Linux”. Trying to ally these things with GNU or even Linux itself is reminiscent of George Bush counting his world-wide allies in the Iraq War.

    Even your homeys around here, oiaohm, doughman, and the new guy, Ernesto, aren’t using those terms. Look down the page at their latest posts in this thread.

    A product is something entered into a market by an individual vendor. Linux and Android have multiple vendors, none of whom seem to have much of a market overall. Microsoft Windows, on the other hand, has a vast majority of its market and of its installed base as well. It really has no competitors as conventionally defined for product markets.

    Why do you suppose, with the verified hundreds of millions of cell phones and tablets being sold in the world today, Android and iOS have such a low internet user share compared with Windows? I am sure they are being used, I see half the people walking by me fingering around on their iPhone or equivalent. I can only think that they are doing their mail or reading Facebook or Twitter and that the sites that service these functions are not being counted in the stats. I doubt that any of these sites are very interested in paying for the monitoring services anyway and so do not participate in the count.

  6. Ernesto wrote, “-4-5% of notebooks”.

    I think you confuse market share with installed base. Ubuntu GNU/Linux, by itself, probably has that share of notebooks. That leaves other distros with a few percent of installed base and market share. Then there are desktops and thin clients both x86 and ARMed. The real impact on Wintel is that while */Linux share of everything is growing everywhere, Wintel is stagnant at best and declining in many ways. A year of uncertainty about who is the boss at M$ will only help in the short term while the */Linux installed base grows. One of the barriers to entry was lack of mind-share. That’s gone. Everyone, developers, OEMs, retailers, consumers and organizations large and small love the choices they now have in the market.

  7. Ernesto says:

    Linux has now:

    -95% of supercomputers
    -85-90% of servers
    -80% of smartphones
    -67% of tablets
    -4-5% of notebooks

    not forgetting that whole economic ecosystems is moving to Linux/open source softaware…

    Can we say now that Microsoft is actually just a dead horse not even worth of kicking?

  8. dougman says:

    I have jumped from Linux Mint 9, 11, and now 13 which is good till 2017.

    Migrating in Linux is so simple, and costs me nothing but 30-minutes.

  9. oiaohm says:

    bw
    –You really have to pick your spots to make that true. Windows, to me, is a single product. There are old versions and new versions and various people are using them and will continue to use them until they eventually get a new one. Isn’t that what Linux users do, too?–
    In fact Linux user and Windows user behaviour is different. Linux users commonly have the most current OS on very old hardware. Or old OS on new hardware.

    Its like my current debian machine its been through 3 motherboards and 2 primary boot hard-drives. It was a clean install year 2000.

    Linux users are more likely to migrate there existing. Windows users don’t do this. Licensing is partly against it. Linux users normally don’t run into the problem of a not being able to get a replacement motherboard that works either.

    –I know some get their thrills by installing one distribution after another and going back and forth, but that is not the way the great majority of people use computers.–
    Not even that common in the Linux world.

    Common is normally liking one of the majors and sticking to it decades at a time.

  10. dougman says:

    Linux, is NOT the “tail-end Charlie” of operating systems. Linux, runs the majority of the web, smartphones and a host of other devices around the world.

    If you consider all computing platforms, including mobile, than Windows has only 20 percent and Linux has 42 percent – and that would be in the form of Google’s Android alone. The shift from Microsoft’s 95 per cent share of the computing platform market in 2004, when PCs dominated the computing landscape, to just 20 percent in 2013.

    So again, Broken Windows and all the other trolls that congregate here, are not being truthful as they have a gravy train to protect.

  11. bw wrote, ” Windows, to me, is a single product.”

    In that case, GNU/Linux still shows a significant share of page-views regionally and globally. That’s why all the fuss. We can also count Android/Linux and GNU/Linux as a single product.

  12. bw says:

    StatCounter shows GNU/Linux ahead

    You really have to pick your spots to make that true. Windows, to me, is a single product. There are old versions and new versions and various people are using them and will continue to use them until they eventually get a new one. Isn’t that what Linux users do, too?

    I know some get their thrills by installing one distribution after another and going back and forth, but that is not the way the great majority of people use computers.

    I don’t really have any personal loyalty to Microsoft, Apple, Google, or anyone else. I am a user like most people these days and it seems to me that the only issue regarding Microsoft longevity is how long they continue to make a lot of money from what they are doing with Windows overall.

    I used the gold mine analogy somewhere else around here and I think it applies. When the ore runs out, Microsoft will either go somewhere else or those who made all that money will just sit back and enjoy it. I do think it will eventually run out and the only question is when. Your guess is way too soon, I think.

  13. bw, wrote, in error, “They shows Linux as the Tail-End Charlie of operating systems year after year.”

    StatCounter shows GNU/Linux ahead of many versions of that other OS globally (2K, 2003, beta-“8”) and regionally (e.g. Cuba – GNU/Linux is ahead of “8” and Vista).

  14. oiaohm says:

    bw the funny part is Linux is most likely going to take off and it not be called a year of the Linux Desktop.

    The is a lot of fusion work. Some is just down right wrong. Some is overdue.

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTQ0MzU
    bw read and wake up. The default X11 server has been badly managed on Linux and Unix based for a long time.

    Really the death of x.org foundation is one of the best things that can happen.

    It will not be possible for x,org foundation to get back its not for profit status.

    Yes bw in recent years the USA government has tighted up on handing out not for profit status to open source projects. This forces these project to come under unified banners.

    Lot is changing in the open source world. Common complaint about fragmentation this is coming less.

  15. bw says:

    None of the webstats show GNU/Linux is stagnant or declining

    They shows Linux as the Tail-End Charlie of operating systems year after year. If you are encouraged by that, then bless you for your patience. They could just as well change the category to “Others” and not have to change anything else and remain accurate.

  16. dougman says:

    Given up? Your the only person that gave up.

    bw mentioned this sometime ago, after he installed Ubuntu.

    “I installed Ubuntu a year or so ago on an old Compaq that had XP originally. It worked just fine although there wasn’t anything that I thought was so useful that I needed to keep it around. “

  17. bw wrote, “Wouldn’t it be ironic if Linux finally took hold after everyone had given up?”

    GNU/Linux took hold more than a decade ago. Where have you been?

    None of the webstats show GNU/Linux is stagnant or declining. There’s growth everywhere. StatCounter’s Global Stats show WW growth of 50% over the last year.

    No one has given up either. They are just accepting slow growth. I don’t.

  18. dougman says:

    About damn time, any replacement would be a step-up from the Monkey-Boy.

    Now, if M$ can do what Google did and take a stock copy of Gentoo and build a OS around it, then maybe they will be relevant in the long-term. Also, provide .deb files for M$ Office, like they did for Skype.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvsboPUjrGc

  19. lpbbear says:

    Only time will tell if his replacement is as obnoxious and ruthless as he is. My guess is whoever it is will come out of the starting gate trying as hard as they can to impress shareholders.
    Hopefully that person will actually focus on product quality instead of attempting to manipulate industry standards and interfering with other tech products and companies with lawsuits and patent threats as a substitute for innovation and sales. We can hope the change is a benefit to FOSS.
    In any case good riddance to bad rubbish.

  20. bw says:

    A year of lame duck management could boost the popularity of GNU/Linux and Free Software greatly

    Maybe, but that is a forlorn home, in my opinion. Lord knows, some sort of help is desperately needed if these things are ever going to make it to the mainstream.

    There have been many false starts in the past and they have never panned out, but maybe one day something will come around to lift Linux off of the footnote page to IT history. The Year of Linux has been heralded so often that it has worn thin and its staunchest prognosticators have all gone away. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Linux finally took hold after everyone had given up?

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