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Steve Ballmer Era – Successes and Failures


Steve Ballmer will no longer be the CEO of Microsoft within the next 12 months as soon as his successor will be chosen. Hired in 1980 by Bill Gates, Ballmer held various positions within the company before becoming the CEO finally in 2000, a position he held until the appointment of the new CEO. In these 13 years, the Redmond Company has tripled its turnover and doubled the profits, but its market capitalization has fallen from 600 to 270 million dollars.

For several years, the investors have held Steve Ballmer guilty of having failed opportunities to enter the mobile industry, leaving the market in the hands of Apple and Google. These errors of assessment and the slow adoption of Windows 8 have accelerated the decision of Steve’s departure from the company.

According to the latest rumors, Ballmer would have also lost the support of Bill Gates. Let’s briefly retrace the era of Steve Ballmer, listing the successes and failures of the past 13 years, considering the final products for users.

Pocket PC/Windows Mobile (2000)

The Pocket PC handhelds were based on Windows CE, some of which also supplemented telephony features. The operating system had been updated several times up to version Windows Mobile 6.5.3. In 2010, Windows Phone 7, the successor was introduced which inherited features, including architecture.

Windows XP (2001)

Announced in 2001, Windows XP is the first successful product of Ballmer era. About 17 million copies sold in the first two months since launch. Even today, the operating system, is still being very used. As per statistics, 37% of computers around the world are running Windows XP, ending extended life cycle on April 8, 2014.

Xbox/Xbox 360 (2001)

Over 24 million Xbox and more than 78 million Xbox 360 sold worldwide. One of the biggest commercial success stories of Microsoft, thanks to Kinect sales (8 million units in the first 60 days, Guinness World Record). In November, new Xbox One the successor will be introduced.

Zune (2006)

The media player was supposed to be the answer to the iPod by Apple, but it turned into a failure. The marketplace for buying music and video has been terminated August 22, 2013. However, some features, including the Zune HD interface inspired Windows Phone 7.

Windows Vista (2007)

The biggest regret of Steve Ballmer, and the biggest flop in the history of Microsoft. After 6 years of development dropping many features, the Redmond Company unveiled an incomplete and inconsistent operating system that is the most “hungry” for RAM and battery.

Windows 7 (2009)

Over 100 million licenses sold in the first six months of the launch. Windows 7 is still the best-selling operating system ever and also the most popular one with a market share of 44%, and the second major success of Ballmer after the Xbox.

Kin (2010)

Presented in 2010, the two social phones have been removed from the market after just two months. Kin was the fastest flop in the Microsoft’s history.

Windows Phone (2010)

The operating system has been developed to counter the dominance of Apple and Google in the smartphone industry. Although Windows Phone 7 has not convinced consumers while Windows Phone 8 achieved a double-digit market share in some countries, especially thanks to the Nokia Lumia smartphones.

Windows 8 (2012)

Windows 8 has the difficult task of continuing the legacy of Windows 7. The operating system incorporates several interesting features, but the new interface has stunned users. The situation could be improved with Windows 8.1, which has scheduled to release on October 18.

Surface (2012)

The fourth failure of Ballmer era. Again, the goal was to counter Apple and Google, but the tablet didn’t have the expected success. The Surface RT, based on Windows RT, caused a loss of $900 million. To recover a portion of the initial investment, Microsoft was forced to reduce the price.

Now, only time will tell how good Microsoft will perform without the Ballmer and under the new CEO rules.

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