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back to article Ballmer now flings out work rivals, rather than chairs, claims ex-Microsoftie

An ex-Microsoft chap has accused potty-mouthed CEO Steve Ballmer of throwing any possible pretenders to his chieftainship out of the company. At least it's no longer chairs being tossed around. Joachim Kempin, who left the Windows giant under a cloud in 2002, has written a tell-all book about his time at Redmond that is less …

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Re: Balmer the Dr Evil villain

Target: missed, Eadon.

It is normally MS's licensing deals that raise your ire. The man responsible for those deals with OEMs wasn't Ballmer, but Kempin:

Under Kempin’s tutelage, Microsoft launched the Market Development Agreement (MDA) licensing concept in 1994. The drill for hardware makers went something like this: If OEMs wanted to license Windows 95 but didn’t promote or sell it, they would pay a fairly hefty price per copy. If they agreed to co-promote the operating system in ads or issue a Microsoft-endorsed press release noting they had decided to offer their customers Windows 95 preloaded on new systems, they got a better price.

-http://practical-tech.com/business/who-is-microsofts-secret-power-broker/

Kempin has been a problem child for Microsoft for years. This is a guy who lost his hunting license earlier this year for allegedly using his SUV as a weapon (as in ramming antelopes with his car instead of shooting them).

-http://news.cnet.com/Commentary-Good-riddance-to-Microsofts-problem-child/2009-1001_3-250044.html

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Meh

Re: Balmer the Dr Evil villain

E.A.D.O.N. - Now what could that be an acronym for

Eadon's Anecdotes Display Outright Nonsense....

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Re: Balmer the Dr Evil villain

Sounds like he was doing the job he is paid to do - defend his company against any perceived competition and deliver maximum value to his shareholders.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Balmer the Dr Evil villain

EADON: Evangelize Android, Denigrate Others - Natch

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Happy

Re: Balmer the Dr Evil villain

Agreed

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Re: Balmer the Dr Evil villain

Eadon's Anecdotes Display Outright Nonsense....

I've been hard on Eadon of late, but in this thread, though overstated and simplistic, I actually thought he was being pretty reasonable. Microsoft has made a lot of missteps under Balmer's direction, and I don't see how anyone can deny that those who dislike Microsoft have been served a generous portion of schadenfreude, which was more or less Eadon's point.

Personally, while I used to dislike Microsoft greatly and really despised Windows (I cut my teeth on Unix, and worked on a number of other platforms, large and small, over the years), I've become much more agnostic over the last decade or so. I've never seen a platform that didn't have glaring problems and assorted irritants, and I've found something to like in all of them. And Microsoft's declining influence in so many segments of the market make hating it seem like rather a waste of energy.

But that said, Balmer is hardly an endearing figure, and so I too will confess to a certain sympathy for Eadon's perspective here.

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Re: Balmer the Dr Evil villain

@Michael

It's not always "what" Eadon has to say ( some things do make sense), but more often than not, it's "how" he says things. Although I presume that he is very well aware of his approach.

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Windows

He'll destroy MS

Ballmer will do what Apple, Google, linux, whoever else you care to mention. And best of all, we can all point and laugh while he does it.

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Re: He'll destroy MS

Bought a copy of Windows 8 the other day just to play games of course. I've read pretty much everything I can about it before buying and I have to say it's not all bad. That said the interace is not intuitive on a desktop and it needs rethinking. I think it's going to push people away. On tablets it's probably going to be a different story but the competition is strong there.

On a related note, Steam on Linux (Ubuntu) is outstanding. If the developers support it Microsoft is most definitely going to lose quite a bit of market share. Interesting times.

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Paris Hilton

Nothing new to see here people, move along...

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Meh

Better headline

ex-MS employee tries to sell book.

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WTF?

2002 is hardly up to date

So while Balmer may not have changed it can't really be said this is how the company is now.

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Anonymous Coward

Innovation

"Kempin claimed that Microsoft did foresee the tech world's lurch into tablets and smartphones, and the rise of social media, but it didn't follow up on them after he left."

Absolutely nothing new there with Microsoft. How many times have Microsoft been in denial about the potential success of a technology only to finally produce their own (much) later on - sometimes successfully, othertimes not.

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Re: Innovation

>"the tech world's lurch into tablets and smartphones, "

>How many times have Microsoft been in denial about the potential success of a technology only to finally produce their own (much) later on

MS have been doing smartphone and tablet OSs for years... they just weren't great. [XP Tablet Edition, 2002] [Windows Pocket PC]

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Facepalm

Re: XP Tablet Edition, 2002

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_for_Pen_Computing, 1991

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Re: Innovation

I sense selective memory from Kempin. MS have been trying to sell slates (AKA tablets) for a very long time now and been in the phone biz for some time.

They didn't ignore the tablet, they repeatedly tried and failed to sell them. Gates regularly used to tell anyone that would listen that slates were going to be the next big thing. Admittedly when hardware finally made iPad possible MS didn't move fast enough to dump classic windows on their devices but that's years after he left MS!

Phones, again they had a large share of the smartphone market right up till tech allowed iPhone. And again MS didn't adapt quickly enough. But they were in the market and for a change not really failing.

Social media is more of the same. MS have bought company after company chasing a userbase, they just seem totally incapable of creating their own social platforms. But they certainly acted to get in the game.

To the extent it's even possible to foresee the massive changes, MS didn't sit back and do nothing, they forged ahead but mostly did the wrong things.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Innovation

@Eadon: I speak as a Newton owner (and former user) The Newton was a PDA, it most certainly was not and was never intended to be a tablet.

The Newton was crippled by two things: The PC/Mac link kit was waay too expensive, without it functionality was very limited and then when Steve Jobs came back to Apple, he decided he didn't like it. Steve could have developed the Newton into the first iPhone if he'd had the vision, possibly even before the first Nokia Communicator, but Apple (like MS and many others) don't really do new technologies, they take already proven technologies and make them smaller, shinier and often more user friendly.

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Re: Innovation

MS invented nothing ... yep, they don't actually *innovate* that much, very like Apple in that regard.

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Anonymous Coward

Ballmer isn't a technology visionary, he's a numbers droid. This is the real problem.

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Contrast that with Apple and Jobs. Jobs had a good idea and then told everyone to do something to realise the idea.

With Microsoft the ideas fight their way to the top to get a decision from Balmer. This is why you really need someone who is looking to the future in charge.

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Windows

Actually, the real problem.....

Is that he's a numbers guy who thinks he's a tech visionary.

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Pint

Re: Actually, the real problem.....

More like he's a sales guy who has a bit of numbers talent who thinks he understands technology and has the vision to take us all there.

Pint - just to celebrate his chucking someone out of a window...har! I slay me. :/

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Anonymous Coward

@Giles Jones

Steve didn't have good ideas, he saw other people's ideas and made products with them. There is nothing wrong with this, it's just what Edison did, but don't think that Apple are some sort of new ideas house.

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"Ballmer is the best person to lead Microsoft"

I think I just saw a pig fly past the window, probably on its way to show Ballmer how he should run Microsoft.

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Re: "Ballmer is the best person to lead Microsoft"

Pretty much any pig would be better at running MS than Ballmer is.

Then again, pretty much any squirrel, amoeba, prokaryote, pine tree, or brick would be too.

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Re: "Ballmer is the best person to lead Microsoft"

There was a good programme on the radio yesterday, In Business. Basically, the conclusion was that people get to the level of CEO by a mixture of politics and good luck, and sometimes by displaying a tiny pinch of good judgement. Once near the top, they come to believe that they deserve their status, and award themselves. They feel that they must be seen to be 'dynamic', and therefore indulge in things like acquisitions- which rarely add value but do make a lot of noise, cause a distraction and make them look like they are doing something.

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Meh

Re: "Ballmer is the best person to lead Microsoft"

You can criticize Ballmer for many things but "award themselves" isn't one of them. His salary's the lowest of any tech CEO (including stock options and other cheats) by his own choice.

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Re: "Ballmer is the best person to lead Microsoft"

> You can criticize Ballmer for many things but "award themselves" isn't one of them. His salary's the lowest of any tech CEO (including stock options and other cheats) by his own choice.

AFAICT, "lowest [salary] of any tech CEO" is right up there with "most honest politician".

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Happy

Re: "Ballmer is the best person to lead Microsoft"

"which rarely add value but do make a lot of noise, cause a distraction and make them look like they are doing something."

That's called creative inertia

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Re: "Ballmer is the best person to lead Microsoft"

>You can criticize Ballmer for many things but "award themselves" isn't one of them. His salary's the lowest of any tech CEO (including stock options and other cheats) by his own choice.

Fair enough. Obviously the programme wasn't speaking about Ballmer, it was more generic than that... but the mention of acquisitions being a way way to be seen to be doing something did chime with a few tech firms in recent years. For all I know, Ballmer may be competent, but if so then it isn't communicated well... the message isn't as clear. And then all you have to do is throw a couple of chairs and it's all people talk about.

MS have had products that have been premature, or late to the game, or else haven't set the world on fire. Media Centre Extenders, the Courier (Sony have since used the form factor, Samsung the finger+stylus combo), using the Windows brand in a confusing way (8, 8 Phone, 8 RT etc), using the Surface brand for first a coffee table then a tablet, killing off HomeServer...

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Re: "Ballmer is the best person to lead Microsoft"

Actually, it was Analysis on Radio 4: "Just Deserts" and very good it was too.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pzqx9

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2002

he left before vista, the iphone and a whole host of other shifts in computing. he may be wrong he may be right but he's hardly current

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DJV

Re: 2002

He may not be current but he is certainly adding to the continuous story of how Microsoft has been mismanaged over the years. More tales can be found here:

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2012/08/microsoft-lost-mojo-steve-ballmer

and in the book Barbarians Led By Bill Gates - another "not current" book, but well worth a read:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbarians_Led_by_Bill_Gates

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Pint

Re: Pressing further

And he waxes lyrical about Ricky "The Rat" Belluzzo, the guy who tried to cripple HP, and successfully destroyed SGI before gaining his ultimate goal over at Microsoft. Glad to see that Ricky got the boot by Ballmer, proving that Ballmer isn't a total ass.

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Flame

Cringe

I cringe every time I see his neanderthal face and sweaty flab. Then I cringe some more when he opens his mouth and sounds come out.

Steve Ballmer = cringe

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DJV
Meh

Re: Cringe

Don't insult Neanderthals - apparently, they were quite intelligent!

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Re: Cringe

>Don't insult Neanderthals - apparently, they were quite intelligent!

They were- they just weren't as nasty as us!

Still, some of us Europeans have up to 5% Neanderthal DNA... amazing really, that interspecies breeding went on before beer was invented!

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Trollface

He was a visionary

Joachim Kempin, who left the Windows giant under a cloud in 2002

-------------------------------

Spotting the cloud potential in 2002 a full ten years before it came mainstream. Microsoft need visionaries like him

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Anonymous Coward

Re: EADON the OS n00b

If you knew anything about operating systems, I seriously doubt Linux would be your favorite. Its a Kernel. Its cool, but its not an Operating System. Without the GNU packages there is no "Linux". Gonna be fun booting your shit without a bootloader huh?

GNU/Linux is just slightly "good enough" for everyday use. Its grown-up enough now. I use it professionally but I have to use what my employer uses, otherwise I don't have a job. So I use Windows. I use BSD. I am forced to maintain a Solaris workstation. I use proprietary Unix-like operating systems designed by Sperry, Burroughs, or Unisys for some things. I use whatever I need to get my job done. Being wedded to one set of technologies is really one thing. Career suicide. And you seem firmly wedded to idealism about one set of technologies which is masquerading as expertise in all areas of computer technology.

And if you knew anything "like for reals" about CompSci and Computing, other than spouting evangelical sales garbage about a Kernel, you probably really wouldn't get a Kernel, no matter how cool it is, or how badass the community is or whatever, confused with a full blood Operating System as you seem to. You also probably wouldn't use antiquated insults toward Windows users either. I dunno, but it really seems like you think that there are just three to six operating systems out there just from reading a multitude of your posts.

You probably wouldnt call Free and Open Source Software simply "open source" either. Or get the terms confused.

I dunno, draw your own conclusions. Ive drawn mine.

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Pint

Re: EADON the OS n00b

I am a Linux user-I just like to come here to watch the zealots abuse each other about which OS is the Worlds greatest

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