Microsoft employees allegedly left “in droves” during Ballmer’s company meeting speech

By Tom Warren, on 27th Sep 11 12:04 am with 147 Comments

Steve Ballmer at BUILD 2011

Microsoft employees allegedly left “in droves” during Steve Ballmer’s recent speech at the recent annual Microsoft Company Meeting.

The claims were made in comments at mini-Microsoft, a site authored by a a secret Microsoft employee who regularly blogs about internal changes at the software giant. The comments section of mini-microsoft’s latest blog post has provided some interesting insight into the closely guarded Microsoft company meeting over the years. Microsoft holds an annual meeting for its employees to rally the troops. Key Microsoft executives are usually in attendance to highlight any upcoming company wide changes and show off the latest work from Microsoft’s vast product teams.

Some of the anonymous comments at mini-Microsoft appear to indicate that a large number of employees were not present during Ballmer’s speech at the meeting. According to one commenter, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, was speaking whilst “people were leaving in droves.” Seattle PI spotted the comments on the blog and picked out a handful of interesting ones:

  • What a sad spectacle. While SteveB was yacking away, people were leaving in droves. Back in the good old days when BillG spoke, EVERYONE listened.
  • Steve, you’ve lost the support of your employees – when will you realize that you’re holding this once great company back? Oh and BTW, you can take LB (HR chief Lisa Brummel) and KT (COO Kevin Turner) with you too. They like the taste of your Kool Aid…
  • Now for the unpleasant weeks ahead. Wonder what flaming bag of you know what LB will lay on our doorsteps? She rolled out cuts to our bennies last year just after the company meeting, what’s next???
  • Great demos and pretty good overall. Only thing is the last part, windows, cannot lose. Sounds a bit defensive from our CEO.
  • Okay it’s been a couple years since I personally attended the company meeting but, wow, I have to say that was the worst one I’ve ever seen by far. I tried, I swear I tried to keep my admittedly sinking attitude in check and be objective. But it was just too much to endure such painfully flat demos and lifeless speakers in their sleepy attempts to show excitement about our products and our future. The train dance thing (the few times they did it) got old fast but it soon became a welcome reprieve from the on-stage monotony. It seemed like almost every demo was something about Win 8 tablet, with a few quick nods to products that are actually doing well in the marketplace, then back to praying to the Windows 8 gods for rain.
  • Is Win 8 tablet all we have left to be excited about? Has the morale across the company slumped so much that 20,000 of us together can’t even generate a decent applause? Please someone tell me I’m wrong. Tell me I’ve just got a bad attitude and I completely misread the meeting.
  • Yep, pretty sad to see all the seats empty out while SteveB was talking…hopefully he gets the hint and bows out in the Win8 timeframe.

From the comments it would appear that Ballmer’s audience was not full of eager employees waiting to hear the next best thing, instead it was full of empty seats. The comments could be from non-Microsoft employees trying to stir up trouble but WinRumors spoke to two separate employees present at Ballmer’s speech and both confirmed that attendance was thin. Neither would say whether employees were walking out during Ballmer’s speech however. The Seattle PI asks is it time for Ballmer to leave Microsoft and has Steve Ballmer lost the support of Microsoft employees? Mini-Microsoft tipped Steven Sinofsky, chief of the Windows Division, as a potential CEO candidate. Microsoft lacks a visionary leader and Sinofsky appears to fill that role very well. Co-founder Bill Gates handed over the CEO position to Steve Ballmer in January 2000 and transitioned from full-time work at Microsoft to focus on his philanthropy in June, 2008. Gates’ departure came after his vision and belief that tablet computing would be mainstream by 2012 (see video). Gates was right but Ballmer has often misjudged competitor products, he laughed at the introduction of the iPhone and branded it “the most expensive phone in the world” (see video). The iPhone went on to redefine smartphones and triggered a battle for a space that Microsoft had invested heavily in with the now defunct Windows Mobile operating system.

Glassdoor.com, which allows employees to anonymously rates their employer, reports that 55 percent of employees disapprove of Ballmer and 45 percent approve, based on 1,691 ratings. An influential hedge fund manager called for Ballmer to quit in May. Microsoft’s board of directors supported Ballmer following the calls for him to quit. Microsoft’s nine-person board, including Chairman and co-founder Bill Gates, supported Ballmer at the end of May. Microsoft’s stock has suffered since Ballmer has been in charge but most analysts and investors feel it would be a hard task to find someone adequate to replace him. Is it really time for Ballmer to step down?

Image Credit: Long Zheng (Flickr)

  • Anonymous

    Lol Tom you’re so biased… We get that you’d love Sinofsky as the CEO.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      Ha, not at all :) I have no interest in seeing Ballmer stepping down. I think he does more for MSFT than most realise.

    • Akk

      i prefer sinofsky, this job will be great for him & the company

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      Why exactly?  Because he’s “new”?

      Like Thom said I think Balmer does way more for MSFT than people realize.  Microsoft get’s 95% of its revenue through partnerships.  Microsoft has ALWAYS been great at partnering and I think Balmer had a lot do with that.  Nokia and other hardware partnerships, the Telcoms, Bing integration everywhere, a lot of the partnerships taking place in China right now.

      He may not be the greatest creative mind, but he’s probably one of the greatest business minds out there.

      I don’t think Microsoft becoming closed and turning into Apple is a great idea.  Apple had a great run, but it has always had great runs in the past and then got overtaken. 

      It’s no surprise that Android took the market so quickly, because once you offer the market the variety and flexability that Android offers that iOS could not.  Then everyone jumps on board. 

      Microsoft is the company that offers quality AND flexability for power users and businesses..  As soon as they start forgetting that it’s over.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah it’s not like we haven’t seen record profits with Microsoft or anything. Once people get past the flat stock price (which I admit, is pretty hard to do) you can see a lot of passion in Steve. The Kin was an obvious failure. Zune is in part to blame in for iPod’s dominance in the market. But Steve is at least trying to grow the company by reinvesting in Bing (which is growing!) Zune *Services* (which I’m surprised has killed iTunes yet) Advertising (imagine if this finally takes off with Windows 8) and of course, Windows Phone.

      Steve can come off dumb sometimes, but he actually is a super smart guy (unlike Bill Gates, Steve finished his degree at Harvard) and trust me, all the people out there making fun of him, Steve makes some pretty big decisions that would blow your minds to pieces. His job is not easy!

    • Moodsman

      Ballmer seems to be good at getting things wrong initially and than having to get them fixed. Vista, Kin, xBox 360 were all deeply flawed products. He missed the phone and tablet tidal wave by ten years. Thinks that Kinect is a big deal for the future of MSFT.
      Time to get someone with standards and vision in place, let Ballmer go back to sales where he belongs.

    • http://about.me/mackenziepricee mackenziepricee

      Sure, while Ballmer has been in charge the company has produced some great products but how late have they all been?  A tablet friendly OS should of been around when Vista was released!  Then in Windows 7 they half backed in some touch controls and tried to tell everyone that the HP Slate would be the future. Now, 4 years after Vista they have decided to have a decent go on a Tablet friendly OS.  By the time Windows 8 is in RTM it will of been 5 freaking years.  Another example is the phone.  I love my Windows Phone 7, though they only produced that because they were under pressure from Google and Apple.

      The company never leads, it only follows with products that are made for defence.

    • Anonymous

      Zune had no impact on the iPod. There were other, better performing music players that the Zune didn’t catch. SanDisk did better in the PMP market if I’m not mistaken.

    • Anonymous

      How did they hope to compete against the ipod touch when the zune counld not play games. The zune hd was a great looking device, but for the same price I am getting the devices that runs applications and games.

    • Guest

      Passion: 10
      Effectiveness: 4

    • Axd

      George W. Bush finished his degree at Harvard too…

    • rsgx

      Glad I’m not the only one who likes him.

  • http://www.ratdiary.com spragued

    As Gates showed, no one is irreplaceable. Ballmer belongs to an earlier era. I think the high profile that Sinofsky had in the recent Win8 show indicates that the transition may already be underway.

  • http://twitter.com/ParkerReno Parker Ciambrone

    I almost feel like I could do better, or just have Gates fill in until they find someone!

  • http://www.awesomeannie.com/ Sean M

    Ballmer is a terrible CEO that should’ve been replaced years ago. Microsoft needs a visionary or creative type to lead the company.

    • Anonymous

      Ballmer should never have been CEO in the first place. As soon as he was announced as the new CEO, I thought MS would stagnate, then die… It’s been 11 years, but the performance of MS has not been great since BG stepped down as CEO. He left in 2006, and things have not been good…

    • Guest

      “It’s been 11 years, but the performance of MS has not been great since BG stepped down as CEO.”

      Yeah, revenue has only more than tripled and profit doubled.

    • Anonymous

      True, but was that due to Ballmer, or was that due to work started before his reign? XP was released in 2001, after Ballmer took over, but it was started well before, and, Gates was still around full time until 2006. I’m not sure what Ballmer sans Gates can be credited with.

    • Frylockns86

      @GDal:disqus

      Windows 7, IE9, Windows Live, Azure, Kinect, etc…

    • Anonymous

      The company is owned by shareholders; You might want to check how MS stock performed in the last ten years. It would be an interesting reading……..

    • Anonymous

      and who gave his CEO seat to ballmer?… oh yeah Bill Gates!
      bill gates is and WILL BE chairman, if he doesn’t trust ballmer he would have kicked him out, and not supportthing him, but yeah, people like you and mini-microsoft, blame ballmer? then why dont blame the Bill gates because its been 11 years since ballmer is CEO. so then its pretty much his fault if Steve Ballmer is “ so bad CEO”

    • Anonymous

      Yes, BG gave Ballmer the seat. Ballmer is one of the original Microsofters, and BG’s friend, so it’s understandable. I can’t judge SBs abilities, but what I see is not the same or better than BG. BG left at the top… SB is struggling.

    • Guest

      Give this man a cigar! You’re right. The person to blame isn’t Ballmer; it’s the board, including most importantly Bill. It’s the board’s job to make sure the CEO is going his job, and if not to fire him and get another.

    • Alique Williams

      That’s not entirely true; Gates did not want to give up his position. He was basically forced off. What happend was that after the 1999 encounter with the government, the board wanted to replace him as CEO. They didn’t want to make it seem that way publically (because of the negative effects on stock price, ect) and so Bill voluntarily stepped down and assumed the cheif technical officer position.

    • OMG55

      As one reader put it below, the company is owned by the board and its their job to replace hte CEO when the see fit. Ballmer might not be tech savy, but he know how to sell a product, it evident in office, XP, Win7, and all of the deals he’s putting in place with manufacturers. We tend to be blaming him for the failures related to tech product that MS have brought to the table, but isn’t it the job of the techincal people to introduce a product that’s worthy to be manufactured??? if the window 7 slates and courier are all the the tech gurus employed by MS had to bring to the table, it’s Ballmer job to say “No” to items he and the board don’t think will do well in the market. I understood them taking the risk on a windows 7 slate, but i honestly believe the courier only would have had a specific sector of the market and would not have done well with consumers. If they rush something to the market, it will only fail like….HP touch pad, playbook, and Zoom. It is critical to get this right, otherwise we will simple be discounting the Win8 slate to offload just like the rest of the bunch who have fail against the ipad. While I think Steven S. is brilliant technically, does that make his CEO material??? Can he be objective when it comes to his creations or would he want to bring all of his ideas to market due to ego?? And if one of his ideas/product are denied, would he then leave like Mr. Allard did because the courier was rejected???? I’m simply saying there’s a lot of thought the needs to go into replacing a CEO and a lot of question should be asked of a potential replacement. Just because someone has brilliant technical ideas, doesn’t neccessarily mean he/she are CEO material…they may be in the right spot within the company.

    • Guest

      Almost right. The company is owned by shareholders whom the board is meant to represent broadly. But in MS’s case they’re intimidated by Bill, so more often end up doing his bidding. 

  • Anonymous

    Ray Ozzie should have been the next Bill Gates. I am still not sure how or why we lost such incredible talent.

    Glad many of his Mesh ideas are making it into Windows 8, though.

    • Andy_bernards

      Ray Ozzie should never have been let go.

    • Guest

      Ray wasn’t let go. He quit after most of his pet projects were taken away from him or downsized over the year or more leading up to his departure. Ray has a great understanding of where technology is going. But it’s not clear that he had the ability to figure out how to profit from that.  And at MS, without any real formal power, he clearly wasn’t successful in convincing product groups to follow him.  The latter could have been fixed, but the former can’t be.

    • Tom

      Ray Ozzie?  The guy who kept rewriting Lotus Notes at each new company he joined?  Complete with bizarre error modes and even more bizarre error messages?

      The guy he reminds me of is Jim Allchin.  That dude was in charge of *three* attempts to create an object file system for Windows.  All three attempts failed and never shipped.  The third time was WinFS for Longhorn.

    • Guest

      “The third time was WinFS for Longhorn.”

      And whose dream was he trying to realize and who was helping him daily as CTO? Bill Gates.    Allchin should have been fired not ritired. But let’s keep in mind that it was Bill’s fingerprints all over Longhorn and Vista which likely precluded that.

  • Dchana

    The day of the CM is a sunny day in Seattle. People left early to enjoy the sun.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      Probably very true. I’d like to think that people would hang around for the CEO to talk though.

    • Guest

      That’s about the worst excuse for heading out early on your CEO’s talk that I’ve ever heard. Nobody has ever gone to a Stevb presentation to hear about where technology is going. You go because Steveb is, or at least used to be, exceptional at firing up the troops. Which is exactly what you’d expect employees should want at the annual company meeting. If even for that they are motivated enough to stay, then that’s a staggering indictment of either how little employees now care about the company, or where respect for Steve has fallen to.

    • Anonymous

      2 years ago, I would have given Steve B a D. Today 
      - Seeing where the Xbox product line is 
      - Seeing what kind of excitement Win8 is generating (CES was back in Jan. That’s when the first glimpse of Win8 on ARM was had) 
      - Seeing how WP7 with NoDo came and went and now Mango is practically in the wild. 
      - Seeing how Office 2010 and Office 365 are alive and kicking. 
      - Seeing how IE 9 and Windows 7 are gaining traction. 
      - Seeing how Bing is consistently chipping away at google’s search market share. 
      - Seeing how every OEM is gearing up for either Win 8 or WP7.5 or both in Q4 2011
      - Seeing how cloud offerings are consistently beating the competition
      - Seeing how the company managed to secure long term deals with FB and Twitter 
      - Seeing how the company has the most promising 3 screen strategy of all players in the space
      - Seeing how they have managed to secure Baidu as a partner (10 million queries a day)
      - Seeing how wall street is mostly bullish on the stock with 0 sell recommendations
      - Seeing… Ah the hell with this. Just fire the guy! Look how crappy a job he’s doing!

      The only thing I see in this blog that may have come out of a Microsoft employee meeting is maybe, jut maybe, employee bennies being shrunk which is a trend happening across all of corporate America not just Microsoft. The rest of this idiot’s posts are simply garbage IMHO. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=555210817 Brian Kane

      - Seeing where the Xbox product line is Wii 86m, Xbox360 55m, PS3 51.8.  For coming out a full year before the competition and a huge % of sales being replacement sales, this isn’t a blow-away success.  Certainly Kinect has been a fantastic launch, but 5% share in Japan and 26% share in Europe is disappointing.  The 360 is dominating in the US, competing globally.

      - Seeing what kind of excitement Win8 is generating (CES was back in Jan. That’s when the first glimpse of Win8 on ARM was had) 
      Excitement does not = sales or execution.  While there has been a small team of MS people writing Windows on ARM since XP or whenever, actually getting it to work consistently accross multiple hardware configurations may be an issue (drivers anyone?).  Also porting a x86 app to ARM is proving challenging, so there may be a HUGE app shortage for a long time.

      - Seeing how WP7 with NoDo came and went and now Mango is practically in the wild. 
      With less than 2% marketshare.  When royalties from Android are dwarfing your own sales – concern.  Just launching updates to a lacking product isn’t cause for celebration. Mango does not put us past iOS5 – my most estimates STILL behind.

      - Seeing how Office 2010 and Office 365 are alive and kicking. 
      Office 2010 has been a huge success, but there is still the HUGE question of how Microsoft will address the tablet, phone, and other non-PC devices with Office.  The core of Office – enterprise CALs is fully intact, but the consumer Office business, albeit less than 20% of overall, is at huge risk.  As people use Evernote, Apple’s office suit, and Google Docs, they are realizing how (for basic users) they don’t need Office.  I can’t live without it as an information worker, but most can.

      - Seeing how IE 9 and Windows 7 are gaining traction. 
      Both are losing market share in every recent report I have seen. IE9 + 10 are great products, but that’s more of a statement of catching up to Chrome than anything else.  

      - Seeing how Bing is consistently chipping away at google’s search market share. 
      Not in a meaningful way and from an investor perspective losing over $260m CONSISTENTLY is not very exciting.  Google is still well over 80% worldwide marketshare of search and is absolutely dominating mobile search at 90+%.  A large amount of Bing users use Bing because it’s the default with IE.

      - Seeing how every OEM is gearing up for either Win 8 or WP7.5 or both in Q4 2011
      Doesn’t equate to sales.  Remember that the core of Windows is still the enterprise (over 80% of units).  There is some concern regarding securing enterprise agreements when a lot of big business is nervous about Win8.  

      Touch, metro UI, etc. are all very consumer-focused solutions (tablet focused solutions) which is cause for celebration.  But will it be enough.  The iPad is proving that when price is equal consumers chose Apple.  The question for MS is what experience they can deliver for less than Apple (i.e. a successful Macbook Air competitor has to be $799 or less).  That puts a lot of pressure on OEMs to innovate with Apple’s hardware, which they largely are not.

      - Seeing how cloud offerings are consistently beating the competition
      You probably need to substantiate this, but MS is losing big in many areas to Linux and VMWare.  A lot depends on how you define cloud – which is essentially taking a function and moving it to someone else server (hosting).  

      - Seeing how the company managed to secure long term deals with FB and Twitter 
      By necessity (an enemy of my enemy is my friend).  It remains to be seen if this grows Microsoft share in relevant categories (search, mail, maps, news, etc.)  It also is unclear if this makes the division more profitable which is the key concern.

      - Seeing how the company has the most promising 3 screen strategy of all players in the space
      Completely and totally disagree.  Apple iCloud is the first compelling offering in the consumer space at least.  Every MS example I can think of has been a disappointment (Media center connection from Xbox to PC, Skydrive to this point, synching browsers on new PCs, etc.).  MS’s challenge is that it needs to be 3 screens, not 3 MS screens.  Integration with my Windows Phone and Xbox is great, but what about my iPad, Chromebook, etc.  MS has been a very walled in garden with their 3 screens in a cloud approach.

      - Seeing how they have managed to secure Baidu as a partner (10 million queries a day)
      The secured the English version of Baidu searches.  Given that Google is their key threat – back to ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend.’  It’s great to see a stronger partnership – but how this leads to any significant profit increase is a huge TBD.

      - Seeing how wall street is mostly bullish on the stock with 0 sell recommendations
      Wall Street is not bullish on Microsoft.  Tech stocks are momentum stocks and Microsoft is a profitable bluechip with negative momentum in many key areas.  Microsoft is perceived as being a company that spends 7B a years in R&D simply to collect patents and white papers, used ONLY to defend itself.  And guess what – that’s mostly true.  Investors see little technology vision, just a lot of jargon like ‘cloud’ and ’3 screens’ thrown around.  I can watch Star Trek if I want a tech vision.  For Microsoft the challenge is execution.

      - Seeing… Ah the hell with this. Just fire the guy! Look how crappy a job he’s doing!
      He really is doing a crappy job as there has been a huge shift in technology.  Whereas your home PC ran windows in the past because your work PC had Windows, IT trends are now shifting more and more to consumers.  And with Google and Apple at bonafide competitors with software+hardware under their belts, they can’t just sit on Apple anymore.  And in those world Windows and Office largely don’t exist and most people are realizing they don’t need or miss them.

      When is Microsoft going to stop being ’3 years behind!’

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, MSFT is in BIG trouble. We’ll see how big a decline in net income their FY2012 Q1 was from FY2011 Q4. I predict down to $5.0 billion.

    • Guest

      Are the changes coming because of Steve and the company have changed or because competitors have made such inroads in almost every area that you mention that MS has been forced to do things differently?

    • Dicks

      Totally agree with this post, my sentiments EXACTLY!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/peterpulmonary1 peter terry

    anonymous blogs like mini microsoft are not a place to get good advice
    you do realize you are trying to make a meaningful story out of something written in an anonymous blog, don’t you?
    how do you know mini microsoft is not laughing at “all those bloggers, taking me seriously”?

    • Anonymous

      Its probably just an Apple/Google stockholder trying to spread rumors.

    • Tom

      No, hMini-Microsoft was a fun blog to read around 2006 or so.  You got some real inside information about Microsoft, including some real juicy rumors.

      These days, though, the trolls have *completely* taken over the comments section.  The signal-to-noise ratio is down in the single-digit percentages.  I’ve seen a number of blogs take this downward spiral before, and it’s all but impossible to turn around.  You won’t get quality commenters back, so long as the atmosphere is so poisonous.

      That having been said, they are right about Steve Ballmer.  Even a broken watch is right twice a day.

    • Anonymous

      you did read the part where Tom said he was able to verify some of the story?

    • Anonymous

      yea lets trust the guy who criticizes Ballmer for laughing at a $500 subsidized iphone.

  • Daniel Paulino

    watching that video with stevie J and billy G is simply mind boggling. two of the most influential people in our time, sitting side by side in peace (not suing each other to death). No matter what people say, steve jobs had vision, but bill gates had even greater vision (for predicting the tablet, the tv entertainment space, etc). I don’t think we’ll see another person like these two any time soon unfortunately.

  • http://about.me/mackenziepricee mackenziepricee

    I think that J Allard was the only one with a bit of sense.  Real shame he left a few years back.

    • Guest

      Allard knew nothing about enterprise software and outside of his role with Xbox, which has lost billions, what successful effort did he lead in the last decade?

    • http://about.me/mackenziepricee mackenziepricee

      And?  The move into Xbox was ideal.  Please tell me how Apple TV and Google TV have been going?

    • Guest

      The move into Xbox still has a net loss of something like $5-6 billion, down from a high of more than $8. How is that ideal?

    • Tom

      Apple’s failure != Microsoft’s success.

      Although, if Xbox keeps up their current level of success for another twenty years, they might just make enough profit to pay back the original investment.  That’d be a milestone worth celebrating.

  • Moodsman

    Look at the stock price for guidance. If they tell you it is doing well, compare it to Apple or IBM.
    It’s time for change in Microsoft, starting with Ballmer. He presided over Vista, missed the phone and the tablet by a decade. He has ZERO vision.

    • Anonymous

      Stock price != Successful company. 
      Its about public value, and rate of growth. Microsoft is already at critical mass in the PC market, making them less valuable to invest in. and Gates was still there until 2008, so he had A lot of say in Vista, Which wasn’t that bad and a huge upgrade over XP.

    • Guest

      MS has invested far more in R&D and new ventures than Apple over the last decade. How is it that Apple is now larger and growing 7x faster?

    • Guest

      “missed the phone and the tablet by a decade.”

      Um, want to try that one again?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UTVUYEYHCGPBXMB2R3XBBNFMHY Mark

      in fact the stock price is the same now as it was 10 years ago but the company’s value has decreased by about half

    • Guest

      Inaccurate.

  • Frylockns86

    Sweet. Maybe he’ll be joining Aperthaker soon. =D

  • Frylockns86

    I wonder if he stomped on an iPad in anger….

  • Anonymous

    One word: Sinofsky

  • http://twitter.com/Polychromenz Tony Gorham

    I get the whole sinofsky thing I really do, I’ve said it myself but if he takes the CEO role he will be bogged down in corporate bs and we loose the technical input. I say leave thinsg alone until someone else can come and help. Its not like Bill didnt lean on Ballmer to run things. We dont need Ballmer to go we just need a new Gates to compliment things – that would be wher sinofsky can shine… 

    • Anonymous

      Sinosfsky is exactly where he should be. in control of Windows.

    • Guest

      Unless W8 does a Vista. In which case Steve will throw him under the bus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=694461618 Dan Uff

    Time for “uncle Fester” to go, now, before Microsoft DOES go belly up.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like a troll to me. 

  • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

    I think they should do a sting operation on mini-me and fire his ass. Bad for morale. Who needs crap like this. Ballmer and friends BUILT the freaking company, he can stay as long as he wants. If the investors have such a  bug up their ass, let them go invest in something else. No one is stopping them. Be my guest. I have products and great progress to look forward to. Lets get the marketing going and start looking ahead. Enough of this dragging me down crap. Gimme my goddamn Mangoes baby.

    • Guest

      “If the investors have such a bug up their ass, let them go invest in something else. No one is stopping them. Be my guest.”

      By investors do you mean MS’s owners or investors generally? MS’s owners have been amazingly patient given that the stock has lost 50% since Ballmer took over and flatlined for years. If you mean investors generally, most moved on from buying MS long ago. That would be part of why it flatlines. And you might want to look at what insiders including Ballmer and Gates are doing. Because they’re sellers too.

  • Pacifica1

    I’ll say it here, mini microsoft is a phony. He doesn’t work for Microsoft.

    • Guest

      Okay, after seeing all that evidence I’m convinced. Oh right, nevermind.

    • yup

      I agree, it really doesn’t seem legitimate. All the info he posts can be gleaned from public info and the reports of company meeting simply aren’t true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Viki-Maverick/100002523433166 Viki Maverick

    They should have got Steve Jobs on stage a few minutes after Ballmer’s speech for delivering the speech. The people who left or didn’t make it would then repent for the rest of their life. :P

  • Anonymous

    i really couldn’t finish Reading this article… that mini-Microsoft is stupid, dumb and fake.

    if he is “anonymous” how do you know he Works at Microsoft and its just only an idiot who just wants to spread alot of crap rumors?

    like i said before… Bill Gates is still Microsoft Chairman. if he wanted you know ballmer would get replaced but Gates havent done that, instead he gave his ceo seat years ago to ballmer!

    so who can i trust? an idiot with so much balls (/s) that cant say his name. or bill gates who gace his seat to ballmer and still support ballmer?.

    i dont know why people is listening to this idiot “mini-Microsoft” like i said…. its stupid to even think or be like “oh yeah he Works at microsoft” because… oh yeah, we cant be sure because he is anonymous.

    i can only think, he is an idiot childish immature person. if he seems not to like Microsoft and talk alot crap about microsoft, she should then leave the company. people like this make me sick… “im anonymous but i work at a company i don’t like… yeah, i can write whatever i want because i have no balls to say my name, but i have “balls” to write any crap i can write”

    • Guest

      Um, because he’s able to talk intelligently about what’s going on internally? Reference internal only events and emails? Refer to things first hand that only an employee would know? Because at least one well known credible reporter met with him and confirmed it?

    • Emi Cyberschreiber

      and this is been said by a “guest” amazing thing specially to what i said :) did you read about how i see he is a pathetic idiot with no balls who cant even say his name? ;)

      if he works at Microsoft he would be more pathetic and idiot… you know if you dont like a company but start writing alot of crap about it, that makes you more pathetic, if its a google or Apple or redhat employer or whatever, that would make him just an idiot with no life.

    • Guest

      It could be said by a one-legged monkey. The issue is can you refute ANY of it? And the answer is no.

    • http://twitter.com/dylanrmullins Dylan Mullins

      You’re a retard.  Learn to spell and use proper grammar before attempting to put forth any sort of derisive argument against another.

      Ignorance is winning.

    • john

      How does he or she speak intelligently? The articles consist of a bunch of glass half full sentiments without any facts to back them up. For example they state, Is Win 8 tablet all we have left to be excited about?

      That is absurd, if you take the time to think about it. First of all, Windows 8 is a huge deal, not some minor update to some random thing. Secondly, its flat out false. They are completely ignoring Wp7, Xbox, Bing, etc. Those teams, commercially successful or not, are doing some amazing things. Bing for example has forced Google off its lazy butt and made them actually do some pretty huge changes with search engine. Thats a big deal. Thats exciting!

      So really, this employee is full of crap. He or she is probably in some really lame department at Microsoft, spending the day reading TechCrunch instead of doing anything productive.

    • Guest

      If you had read him over the years you’d know. Or you could go into his archives and find out.

      And the example you give is actually a commenter, not him.

    • Post

      Hey doesn’t say “is win8 tablet the only thing we have to be excited out?” a commenter does. The fact that you did not bother to actually read and comprehend what mini-ms wrote and yet somehow feel qualified to comment on his intelligence and use of facts is, um, striking.

      What minims wrote about SteveSi saving SteveB’s bacon is 100% true. The market does not beleive in Ballmer and the they have a point. The truth is Ballmer does not have a vision. He could just as well be the CEO of GM. He is just a business guy and tech company needs someone with vision.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know about the intelligently part. If you work for Microsoft and understand what the “post-pc” era is all about, then why wouldn’t you be excited about Windows 8? What does Mini Microsoft want the rest of the troops and the generals be excited about? Natural Keyboard? Internet Explorer 10? Office 365? Those all mean nothing if there is no Windows! 

      Once again. Intelligently? Really?

    • Guest

      How can anyone profess to know what the “post-PC” era is about when nobody can even agree on its definition? I don’t know whether he’s excited about W8 or not.  But I suspect that like me and any other intelligent person who follows the company, he’s focused on the larger picture and worried about how MS once again let a decade head start slip away from them, giving Apple and Google a multi-year span to solidify their leads, tanking the stock, and leaving MS the unenviable task of having to come back from way behind again. Just like in mobile.

      I’d say the person who started sounding the alarm bell back in 2004, when a lot of missteps could have been avoided, is pretty intelligent. Unfortunately a lot of people then and now were like you and wanted to shot the messenger instead of address the problems. And we see the results.

    • Tom

      I don’t know if the guy who does the blog today works at Microsoft.

      But I’m 99% sure that the guy who did the blog back in 2006 worked for Microsoft at the time.  There were more than enough information at the time to establish his bona fides.

      The thing is, the blog has so completely changed in character over the past five years that it’s quite possible a different guy is running it today.  That’s the nature of anonymous blogs.  I’ve seen it happen before.  Usually the blog goes downhill after that.

      P.S. Didn’t your parents teach you not to feed the trolls?  You’re just wasting your time commenting on Mini-Microsoft.  It’s at the point where the trolls outnumber the humans.

    • Guest

      I can’t imagine one handing off to the other. The level of trust would have to be tremendous. A more likely explanation is that blogging is like writing generally. If you do it frequently you get into a rhythm and find your voice. When to do it only sporadically, as he now does, you lose that. He’s probably burned out as well. He’s been doing this for a long time and many of the things he hoped to have MS avoid have unfortunately come to pass.

    • Xian Caldwell

      but you are using a psuedonym.

  • Guest

    Forget whether Ballmer should go or not. I’m still trying to get over Nick Eaton having the gall to call Mini cynical. LOL, when it comes to MS, Nick is one of the most cynical, sarcastic, negative people out there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1367315317 Sebastian Oliva

    I want Sinofsky or Gates, preferably Gates, he was like my hero when I was a kid, and I was SO crushed to see him leave, but I’m also growing on Sinofsky, he seems more Gates’ish, like, he seems more, I dunno, like a better speaker or someone who seems like they’re more tech’ish, and not like they’re sitting there representing a tech company because they’re a good “business” man.

    • Guest

      Gates is never coming back. He phoned it in for years before he left and now he’s really gone. He even said the other day that he didn’t care how anyone remembered him or the company he founded. He’s moved on. Which is why Ballmer has been able to run amok.

  • http://twitter.com/gamefm gamefm

    Steve B might not be a Tech visionary. However he is a brave, tough and discipline business man and manager. (business visionary, taking calculated risk) He seems to respect his product, designer and engineers vision and skill set.Steven Sinofsky execute and manage product very well. I am not sure whether he is a tech visionary or not.Nevertheless both seems to respect their staff innovation quite abit, at least in public. (since I am no insider)Unless Steve B want to take a break. I hope MS stick with Ballmer, until they really found someone. I think innovation from are coming thru, from Bing, WP7, Win8, Azure … other online service. N take a good look at their strategy and strategic position they are holding, from living rooms to cars ….. //only weakness now is their perspective of the bath roomYoung gen might not agree on wisdom and stablity. They might not have the required discipline. Their energy is wisely put to good use at MS, changing the world, with a good stable company to fund it.It is not hard to find companies, where their strategy is all over the place. Throwing CEO like used tissues.   Stop listening to wall street etc, most of them are just looking for quickie. 

    • OMG55

      Yeah, look at HP. They rushed to replace their CEO and less than a year later, they’ve replace him with another. They have also lost their relationship with Cisco, who generated alot of server business for them. Ballmer is still building relationships globally which could go a long way in securing MS position in the future. Once the iphone and ipad cool off, what other segment of the market does Apple lead in???? They will have nowhere to go but down. That’s what being self absorbed and unable to play with others will get you. For Example, Apple has three product that are their money makers: ipod, iphone, and ipad. The first of three has already began it’s trip into oblivion (ipod), next the phone will be just another contender in a saturated market, and the ipad will follow, because eventually others will get it right and have a product that will compete thereby reducing the ipads market share.

    • Guest

      Yahoo is another example. They definitely shouldn’t rush to replace him. OTOH, he should be replaced.

  • Anonymous

    GDal – name me one MSFT product you think if interesting, innovative and fun.

    • Anonymous

      XBox 360, Office 97, Active Directory, DirectX, Windows XP, Surface, and others. All innovative, some fun, and all interesting when introduced. I’m not seeing the same today, except in XBox Live and Kinect.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, MSFT has seen better days. Seems like a joke of the industry these days. No super talented people want to work there. In fact when MSFT interviewed those MIT graduates, I heard that they laughed in the face of the recruiter!

    • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

      Delete to the left much?

    • Guest

      “No super talented people want to work there.”

      Can you really be this stupid, even off your meds?

    • Anonymous

      Harsh! Hadn’t heard that story…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q6M33SC7AMDYYZUPUMJIS37IH4 Tekster

    Tom, why would you spread this kind of sick stuff, just get more clicks? I donnnn’t understand.

  • john

    Employees like this need a serious reality check. Its just a case of “grass is greener on the other side.” I mean, the guy tries to act as though Windows 8 (nevermind how huge a deal it really is) is *all* there is to look forward too. But honestly, lets look at other companies. Even Apple is really boring if you use this guy’s attitude. I mean, iPad and Iphone……. yay…….

  • Anonymous

    I don’t blame everyone. The shuttle buses were leaving as scheduled, and some of the demos went on longer than the scheduled time. Ballmer’s speech was last and got squeezed.

    • Guest

      Tell the buses to wait. It’s the CEO.

    • Entegy

      I don’t care if it’s the prime minister, I’m not missing my bus if it’s the last one of the day.

    • Guest

      The buses were hired by the company. I’m pretty sure they could have been persuaded to stay.

  • Anonymous

    Ok for those who actually been following Microsoft for years like myself can easily see that this new “Mini-Microsoft’s” credibility of Microsoft’s employee should be heavily questioned. Simply looking at his blog its very easy to spot that information that is provided 95% is one that’s publicly available anyway.

    His tone is negative or merely neutral towards Microsoft in every singe blog post that he writes. He manipulates some of that available information with bunch of other leaked and even made up information to preach his negative tone as if he was authentic “Mini-Microsoft” from some years ago.

    I am more than sure that at best this guy is either an angry/upset employee, but most likely just an Apple or Google fan who is on mission to deceive to believe that Microsoft is collapsing.

    • Guest

      Did you know that Ballmer’s recent internal email had some sort of edit by Frank Shaw at the end? I didn’t. And I never saw that reported anywhere else. That’s one of literally hundreds of data points that Mini is an employee.

      And how positive would you still be if you’d been warning about the direction of the company since 2004, and yet very little was done such that in 2011, MS has been passed in revenue, profit, market cap by Apple, is routinely referred to as a laggard, and whose very future is now openly questioned to the point where the VP of Communication has to put out #notdeadyet posts?

    • Anonymous

      Well as I mentioned earlier he easily can be an employee at MS or have an access to some internal information at Microsoft. Maybe he ex-employee and still communicates with friends at Microsoft or just a janitor there, who knows. But troll-like negative tone in every single blog post, even if I was working at company that wasn’t doing too great I wouldn’t bash it every time, would you? I That’s why his credibility should definitely be questioned regardless.

      Now Microsoft doesn’t have to be always #1 or conquer the world, things change tech world always shifts into different directions. Microsoft is still among top dogs in industry world even though they had multiple miss-steps in past decade, well who doesn’t. They are still growing, with profits beating expectations every time lately. I just like what their products and what they do, sure I wish they were always #1 but hey they’ve you run faster when you have someone to pass don’t you?

      I think of Microsoft today as Rocky from Rocky Three!

    • Guest

      Okay, I actually agree with a lot of that.

  • Guest

    I was there. I thought the overall mood at the meeting was a little different from past years, but can’t put my finger on how. We heard about some pretty cool things happening in several product groups. As for Ballmer’s talk, it’s always the last session after about five hours, and each year there are always some people leaving early. I don’t think this year was any different. I did _not_ see people leaving in droves.

  • http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/ Medicalquack

    Did Balmer ever write code?  I don’t think so but correct me if I’m wrong.  Coders like Gates who know the mechanics predict a lot better.  I do the same on my healthcare blog but I’m only an “ant” by comparison, but having that knowledge works! 

    • Anonymous

      Ballmer is an MBA, beancounter  type. Gates was a coder back in the 70s but a hacking-type.

    • Guest

      No. His undergrad is math from Harvard where he won an academic scholarship. He also attended Stanford for a couple years of their MBA program but left early to join MS.

  • Anonymous

    Jesus could have walked on stage with a cold fusion reactor, and people would have still left early. It’s just a company meeting. Mention a change in salary and benefits and everyone who have stayed.

    • Anonymous

      When Steve Jobs is talking everyone is in Rapture dude.

  • Guest

    And the clicks go to the moon! Outstanding linkbait, Tom.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s what angers me about anonymous posts like those.  First, let me say I don’t begrudge someone for expressing anger or frustration at a business run poorly.  However, I absolutely despise whining little brats who just go around bashing, insulting instead of actually adding in some substantive ideas to SOLVE the problems they’re complaining about.  Come to the table with your issue, but then follow that up with proposals to fix them.

  • Guest

    Well, at the time it was the most expensive smartphone and if you’ll recall initially didn’t sell well, forcing Apple to cut the price. But yeah, he was badly wrong about how successful it would be. He had a lot of company in underestimating it though.

  • Hrennie

    I can’t believe people are still talking about this, EVERYBODY knows it’s Scoble. He started it back in the UMPC days & is still bitter about the entire debacle.

    • Guest

      No. Scoble’s ego precedes him. Mini’s doesn’t.

  • http://twitter.com/gamefm gamefm

    Xbox might be the only ‘STB’ which consumers are willing to folk out money to buy. Now MS can introduce new interface to TV, Bing, Voice, gesture …. to get content.

    MS seems to have solve one of the 2 go-to-market problem for TV, mentioned by Steve Job. (http://allthingsd.com/20100601/d8-video-steve-jobs-on-why-apple-tv-is-a-hobby/)

    It will be fun to watch whether they can solve the 2nd problem, related to balkanisation.

    Living room might not be as ‘lucrative’ / huge as compare to personal device example smart phone. Nevertheless, it is still a market segment with alright influential power on individual purchase decision.

    The strategy is inplace, now they need to execute and reap the ROI. Although the chances to fail are still there, MS board and management has build an learning organisation.

    • Anonymous

      Yes Apple realized that the real consumer purchasing is happening over smartphones. Once again, MSFT doesn’t “get it”.

    • Guest

      Guess that explains why they entered the smartphone market nearly a decade ahead of Apple huh?

  • Anonymous

    For killing the Courier I say fire Steve Ballmer.. hdoesnt have the alls top try anythiong new .. he always want to catch up on what Apple has suceeded..

  • Anonymous

    The guy might be a fake but its still doesnt take away the fact that Ballmer isn’t the kind of leader MS needs at this time. Steve doesnt want to try anything.. he only wants to get into markets wherte others has suceeded…. Why did he kill the courier? He just doesnt want to try anything that has some risks attached to it . Risks makes heros

    • Guest

      I agree with your conclusion but your facts are all wrong. Steve has taken lots of risk in numerous areas. In fact nobody has spent more in new ventures and R&D than MS. And many were ahead of their time. MS helped pioneer such things as: interactive TV, smartphones, tablets, embedded car technology, UMPC, etc. They even anticipated the importance of search and were an early entrant on the local side via Sidewalk. The problem is that none of these has led to major wins and in some areas important areas, like mobile and tablets, MS has subsequently had their ass kicked. That’s the real reason Steve should go.

      Courier was killed because is was mostly vaporware and would have been prohibitively expensive to manufacture. Many OEMs are struggling right now to source even one screen given Apple’s major control over supply through large upfront commitments (which they frequently cancel later, but it has the desired effect of freezing out competitors) far less two. A better question is why didn’t MS anticipate the need to modify Windows or create something else for tablets years earlier? They’d been in the market for neary a decade before iPad came along. And it’s not like they didn’t have the iPhone/iPod Touch success to give them a clue about what was likely to come.

  • Guest

    That picture is not even from the company meeting (he was wearing a blue shirt and white pants.  I was AT the company meeting and it was well attended throughout.  Terrible reporting.

    • Anonymous

      who said the pic was from the company meeting?

  • Anonymous

    …and you believe everything that you read on the internet from an unnamed source? Uh, OK…

  • Anonymous

    Another “top heavy” organization boring its people with politics no doubt.

    being-anon.at.tc

  • Anonymous

    ” but most analysts and investors feel it would be a hard task to find someone adequate to replace him.”  Really.  How about Minnie Mouse or Daffy Duck?  Certainly they would not do worse.  Anybody alive could replace him without hurting the company. Look at his record!!

    • Anonymous

      How about a dancing monkey? Yeah a really terrible record. How many consecutive profitable quarters under Ballmer?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

    This is just wrong… an entire post based on anonymous comments, posted on a blog of some unknown Microsoft employee!

    • Anonymous

      The comments were verified by WinRumors.

    • Guest

      WinRumors verified that the anonymous comments were in fact made anonymously? Wow, investigative journalism at its finest!

  • Anonymous

    There is a certain level of analytical personality that usually ends up being a complete ass about anything they don’t like.  This article is 100% example of that type of person.  Avoid them at all costs.

    • Anonymous

      You just “shoot the messenger”. You know mini-MSFT is right.

  • Guest

    Anyone else seeing some comments having no reply box (just a like one?)

  • Anonymous

    Ballmer should be fired for the following reasons:

    * no tech vision, look how badly they’ve been left behind in mobile, tablets, smartphones
    * ridiculing innovative products like the iPhone
    * ridiculous behavior(remember the monkey dancing)
    * stock price flat for a decade, allowing MSFT to be surpassed in market cap

    • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

      Talk to me when Apple starts it’s 11th billion dollar company within the company. It’s like this. I live in Massachusetts. And the Red Sox fans ENDLESSLEY rank on me because I’m a Yankee fan. So I let them have there fun, keep my mouth shut, and then smile quietly when we come back from whatever down position we were once in; to again, and again, and again, take back what is rightfully ours. Take that analogy to the bank. No reply from me will be necessary next time. I’ll just be sitting here smiling quietly, and I’m guessing there won’t be much coming out of your mouth either.

    • Guest

      Why do you care unless you’re a shareholder?

  • Futuristic

    To accurately forecast what lies ahead for Microsoft, one only need look at the debacle it created with regard to Silverlight and the degree to which the developer community’s passion for what is – and will remain – its finest technological achievement – was treated with utter contempt.

    Sinofsky as potential CEO?  Doubtful, for when Windows 8 fails, as it most certainly will, Sinofsky will be held responsible and like Allchin with Vista before him, fade into obscurity.

    Guaranteed…

  • Anon

    This isn’t new. Frankly the company meeting is boring as hell for most of us, it’s just a nice excuse for a break day with free beer. I didn’t even go this time around.

    Would Sinofsky do better? Hell no, he’s focused on his own little empire and doesn’t give a frak for anything outside windows. Look at how he’s sabotaging dev-div. You think that’s CEO material? No way, he’d rip the entire company apart.

    • Guest

      Hard to get to from Delaware anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Steve has one more trick up his sleeve, that being the purchase of HPs PC division and the verticalization of the windows experience ala apple

    • Guest

      Well, that would certainly speed up his getting booted by shareholders.

  • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

    I think Gates need to step back in and retake the company.  Imagine the tech news frenzy that would be. ;)

  • Anonymous

    I’m shocked! So 45% actually approve of Ballmer???

    • Guest

      FO troll.

  • Guest

    Ballmer should go. But the question is who do you get to replace him? He should have been grooming multiple candidates long ago, but the only one that ever seemed to have his partial nod was that wingnut Bach, who was subsequently retired after screwing up mobile and tablets and losing the HP account.

    Sinofksy is technical where Steve isn’t, got Windows back on track with W7, and is certainly taking a risk with W8. But does he have the overall strategic and leadership skills to think two steps ahead of Apple, Google, VMware, Salesforce, etc, and get MS’s notoriously independent and uncooperative groups there ahead of them? I’m not convinced.

    I’d like to see someone like Paul Maritz instead. Technical, highly strategic, and very aggressive. He has already been running circles around Ballmer as CEO of VMware, and of course used to work at MS, so knows it intimately.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Tom,why don’t you understand something before blogging about it? Do you know why Ballmer laughed in that video? The iPhone was going to Sell for $500 subsidized on a contract. Thats absurd. Tell that to someone now and they would laugh. No matter which way you try to spin it,bloggers are not journalists. They lack the integrity of journalists. More like wannabes.