The Future without Steve Ballmer

On Jan 1, 2011 in an email to friends, I wrote that I believed 2011 would be Steve Ballmer’s last year at Microsoft – in my opinion he had to go. Obviously I’m not the first to think this, but today the chant has gotten MUCH louder. David Einhorn, a high profile hedge fund manager has said the same thing. David does a good job setting up the business rational.

As a developer, we have the technical perspective, which centers around the baffling lack of of vision. Just look at Windows – something Microsoft is suppose to be good at. Specifically look at WPF or Silverlight.  Where in the world are they going with those? IS there any strategy? Any roadmap at all? In my opinion is really doesn’t look like it. Then you have clear outward signs of vision trouble. Here and here and here.

There’s obviously a problem when people start groups like this or when they start asking questions like is WPF dead?

Now whether or not WPF, or Silverlight, or WP7, or MS “thing X”, will exist going forward is not the problem. The problem is that we – the developers – have to make big bets based on too many maybes, rumors, and speculations. Is seems like lately all we get are fuzzy vision statements from Redmond.  There is VERY little concrete direction from Microsoft and I find that particularly troubling. If you are developer check out these vague answers.

So does Ballmer need to go? Absolutely because right now the vision at Microsoft is completely disjointed and that is failure of leadership.


UPDATE: As a developer friend just commented, why is Visual Basic still around? Now I wonder if it’s a lack of vision or lack of backbone.

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