I came across a very interesting article that endorses Steve Ballmer’s leadership.

It’s from Betanews.com and it’s written by joe Wilcox.

Some quotes:

As a long-time supporter of Microsoft’s CEO, my June 2010 commentary “I have lost confidence in Steve Ballmer’s leadership” came as a surprise. At the time, Windows Mobile was a train wreck; iPad launched to huge success, leaving Microsoft clueless; and Apple’s market capitalization exceeded Microsoft’s.
But Microsoft 2011 has got me rethinking Ballmer, and I’m feeling awfully optimistic that 2012-2015 will be his company’s second act.

He has more..

As I explained in January, Ballmer spent much of 2010 consolidating control over the executive team, which also included making top leaders more accountable. Ballmer brutally and publicly ousted Server and Tools president Bob Muglia (January 2011); gave Ray Ozzie, chief software architect, a firm boot out the door (October 2010); and sent Entertainment & Devices execs J Allard and Robbie Bach packing (May 2010). Among others. Business division president Stephen Elop left in September 2010, but he was more an emissary preparing for Microsoft’s silent takeover of Nokia (February 2011).
In 2010, Ballmer started taking charge like never before, not just making Microsoft’s top chiefs more accountable but ending fiefdoms that had formed around them. If no other reason than that, Allard, Bach, Muglia and Ozzie had to go. The era of personal fiefdoms is over at Microsoft. This year, Ballmer has gone further, by giving more decision-making authority to techies, and taking it away from marketing types. It’s sensible management but, unfortunately, corrects the autumn 2005 reorg that ousted techie leaders for marketing managers. Ballmer is fixing a problem he created five-and-a-half years ago.

He lists 5 areas that he believes that Microsoft is doing right..

  1. Kinect
  2. Azure
  3. Marketing
  4. Windows Phone
  5. Windows ARM

I think the article is a little too heavily skewed to Ballmer.

My rejoinders

  1. He points out Ballmer is fixing a problem he created five-and-a-half years ago.
  2. Kinect is still a wait and see – I agree it has HUGE potential
  3. Marketing – I couldnt agree less that Microsoft is doing a good job with marketing. Their commercials often come across at humorless attempts at humor. I cannot think of one MSFT commercial that is so amazing or memorable for good reasons. They seem to have a certain style of humor that isn’t trendy or hip. As for opening retail stores, don’t really care one way or the other..
  4. Windows Phone 7 – I havent seen anything to assure me that Windows Phone 7 will be a competent Iphone 5 challenger anytime soon. People can talk design philosophy all day long, I havent seen anything that makes the market super excited. Partnership with Nokia – I am out and out skeptical that it will go the distance. I havent really seen MSFT do tech hardware partnerships that well…
  5. Windows on ARM – Jury is out. Anyone can be excited about something that is vapor-ware. The Ipad is strong. Very strong. Not really sure that Windows and tiles will port to the tablet as sexily as Apple and the Android. Time will tell, I may eat my words ..

Bottom line.. interesting article that goes at Microsoft waaay too softly.

What do you guys think?

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of EyeOnWindows.com, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. (www.learnabouttheweb.com) and The Redmond Cloud (https://www.theredmondcloud.com).

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