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All posts tagged Bill Gates

Steve Ballmer Gave A Classy Farewell …

… to his fellow Microsoft employees employing his usual and unique blend of humor, energy, enthusiasm and unrepentant love for Microsoft the company.

Tech blog The Verge posted the video here and if you haven’t seen this then take the time to watch Ballmer give a sincere farewell, choke back tears and succinctly explain just what and why he loves Microsoft so much.

Especially telling was his comment, “This isn’t about any one person. It’s about this company…” This came in response to Microsoft employees emotionally yelling from the audience how much they love Ballmer.

All the news surrounding Ballmer’s departure has done nothing to change my opinion and this video in some ways confirms the suspicions I voiced in this earlier post.

Steve vs Bill

When Bill Gates left the job of CEO of Microsoft, his departure video was markedly different. Gates self-deprecating sense of humor displays itself in this all-star cast video he made spoofing himself on his last day.

The cast spans Brian Williams, Matthew McConaughey, Bono, Steven Spielberg, George Clooney, Jon Stewart, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Al Gore, Steve Ballmer, Craig Mundie and Ray Ozzie.

Gates departure was a more overtly planned event which gave him the time to prepare this video which even contains him as X-Man Wolverine.

The Warptest POV

The differences in situation are clearly reflected in how each man chose his farewell. Even so the different personalities, humor and styles shine through these videos.

I’ve said it already and I will say it again. Having heard Steve Ballmer live in 2012 here in Israel I was wowed by his keynote at the Build event and regardless of alleged mistakes I will miss his hands-on leadership style and his incredible passion.

Will time reveal more about Ballmer’s departure from Microsoft? Almost certainly. The big question remains, who will be the person to replace Steve Ballmer as CEO?

Microsoft The Future…

As the saga unfolds of Steve Ballmer’s sudden retirement announcement and the tech blogs take wagers and polls over who the next CEO will be I have spent the past few days mulling my vision of where Microsoft should go from here.

Steve Ballmer

Who’s Up?

Many other blogs dealt with this issue already with reader’s polls and rampant speculation. One of my favorites is this conversation:

Microsoft - Bill Gates

Curiously no one has speculated on a come-back by Bill Gates. Still time will tell.

My Vision…

Imaging for a moment that I’m sitting being interviewed for the job. I had a thought about some of the things I would have to say …


  • It’s time for Microsoft to truly embrace Agility and not just in development. Microsoft can no longer be the turtle to their competitors’ rabbits: shorter cycles between iterations and not just keeping pace but setting the pace of innovation are a must: Windows 8.1 is a good example of the right way to do this.
  • Redmond allowed a molasses like pace in developing mobile, apps and tablets and even then as incredible as Windows 8 / Windows Phone 8 ecosystem are, the tasks of gaining traction and market share in these areas seems Sisyphusean.
  • Agility needs to be the defining factor in strategic decision making, but it needs a foundation of actionable intelligence on coming market trends in verticals Microsoft wishes to dominate.
  • Sustainable roadmaps for gaining this market share balanced with aggressive customer retention policies: Windows Phone 7.8 bones thrown to loyal consumers are not enough.
  • UI/UX and consumer usability testing of alpha versions not just rolled out to developer / blogger communities but to real world, end-user consumers. Their feedback counts more than anyone else’s.

Microsoft have made a colossal effort to rebrand since Windows Vista. Windows 8.1 (amongst other course corrections) indicates as I have said before that the company has become more responsive to consumer criticism. Whilst many of the marketing efforts deserve praise, just as often you are left wondering,

“What the heck were the marketing people thinking?”



Maybe it’s time to rethink the sometimes combative marketing strategy and focus on a clear message that lets the products speak for themselves.

Microsoft has some of the most passionate, creative and inspiring people I have met or heard speak and I strongly rate their products for stability, function, quality, scalability and UX. I believe that Microsoft’s place in the market is not just as a strong competitor but also as an innovator who stimulates innovation in others. At the end of the day, the consumer benefits from this.

Not too long ago I tweeted this,


Yes this was my call to action for Microsoft but it applies to us all. We create solutions to challenges based on our pain or passion.

What’s your vision for the future?