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Prominent hedge fund manager calls for Microsoft's Ballmer to step down - Page 2

post #41 of 116
I'd be more likely to believe something a drunken old hobo said than from the criminals who run hedge funds. They belong in jail.
post #42 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Balmer is a tool, but he is not the problem. The company is too diversified, lacking focus. Splitting the company up is probably what needs to be done. Something like this, perhaps:

Computing. Windows, SQL Server, Office, and similar products.
Entertainment. XBox, Windows Phone, MSNBC, Bing

The argument against doing this is you lose the synergies between the various divisions of MS. But it's starting to become clear those synergies either don't actually exist or are not as powerful as assumed.

So what do you think a CEO is supposed to do?

Look at Berkshire Hathaway. Or GE. Both well run companies that are an order of magnitude more diversified than Microsoft. The difference is that they all have competent CEOs who have created a vision and corporate structure that allows them to succeed in multiple markets.

Focus and leadership is ALL ABOUT the CEO. Ballmer failed - miserably.
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post #43 of 116
It's only a matter of time before Microsoft drops enough for Apple to buy them out!
Quote:
Originally Posted by drow View Post

Bill Gates will return as "CEO SP2"
post #44 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondgeeza View Post

lol. you are cruel, give them a chance.

Deep inside, you know you want it too
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post #45 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

I'd be more likely to believe something a drunken old hobo said than from the criminals who run hedge funds. They belong in jail.

Yeah, I'm too with Michael Moore in this one. Don't listen to the hedge fund manager, let Ballmer stay!
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post #46 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kane08 View Post

Windows/MIcrosoft could be a lot better, but their biggest problem is legacy. They have to support so many hardware configurations and outdated software that any program becomes monstrously bloated and full of serious bugs. They need to ditch the NT system, drop a lot of legacy, and build a new system from scratch. Then they could just have a simple emulator to run .exe files for transition compatibility, kind of like Apple did when it switched from powerPC to intel

I believe there's a lot of corporate customers who "designed" their "solutions" around the assumption that 'Windows XP/IE 6 is Everything We'll Ever Need'.

I don't think Rosetta will cut it for them. Oh, Visionaries!!!
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post #47 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeecroft View Post

Ballmer should go. Microsoft should be split up. The crummy products, which means most SKUs, should be tomb-stoned. Then they might have a chance of making something innovative and beneficial.

Splitting up Microsoft is an interesting idea as a fix (and ironic given that some in the government wanted to split them up a punishment). I think this idea has merit. I for one really like MS Office 2011 on the Mac -- I think it's a very solid product. But as good as it is, you can still see ways in which they artificially restrict it in order to make the Mac a second class citizen. I'd love to see the application division spun off into its own platform-agnostic company that just focuses on making great programs for Windows, Mac, iOS, and whatever other platform is worth the investment. I suspect that an MS Apps company would end up being the most valuable of all of the pieces of Microsoft.

As for the rest of the company, I don't really care what they do with it.
post #48 of 116
I agree Balmer appears to be navigating the ship in big loops and Microsoft is getting no where fast. Remember it is very hard as most tech company CEOs will tell you to be Apple. Microsoft has a solid enterprise business but their consumer business is going to Apple at a steady pace. Perception is important and Microsoft is now thought of for its many failures in the past several years. The shine it once had is now dull. Perhaps if the DOJ had split them up in 2001-2 we would have a stronger more focused company today. That might be the behemoths only chance to grow in the future by shrinking or splitting into smaller more focused divisions.
post #49 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post

Yeah, I'm too with Michael Moore in this one. Don't listen to the hedge fund manager, let Ballmer stay!

Should we start a please-let-steve-ballmer-stay-CEO-at-microsoft fan club?
post #50 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Splitting up Microsoft is an interesting idea as a fix (and ironic given that some in the government wanted to split them up a punishment). I think this idea has merit. ...

It might be the best solution for some of the divisions it would be split into, maybe (or maybe not) it would do something for shareholder value, at least in the short term, it might even increase innovation out of the divisions (in other words, it might spark some). But splitting up the company doesn't help "Microsoft". It'll never happen while the old guard are still in charge: too much ego involved there.

From what I've read about the culture inside the company, though, I don't think there is any way to "fix" Microsoft. Which isn't to say they won't make piles of money for many years to come, just that I don't think they'll ever be a force dictating the direction of the technology sector again. They'll either become like IBM, making (lots of) money off legacy systems and services, or they'll split up and perhaps one of the divisions will develop into something that has some innovative spark.

It could be interesting, if they split, to see what develops. But, either way, they need to get rid of Ballmer, he's simply an albatross around their neck.
post #51 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

Should we start a please-let-steve-ballmer-stay-CEO-at-microsoft fan club?

How about a "We love the Microsoft Information Minister" web site?

"We are crushing the Apple and Google forces, we have retaken the technology industry."
post #52 of 116
Yes, it's time Microsoft's hairy, sweaty, monkey car salesman steps down before permanent damage is done. It should have been done 10 years ago.
post #53 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

....Windows of today is the best ever and I now have far more confidence in the reliability and stability of Windows than I do in Mac OS X..

i have no words
post #54 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondgeeza View Post

fair point! confused between uk and american billion here though. i assume billion is million million otherwise it wouldn't be such a biggie.

No. A Billion means a thousand million in US. A million million is called a Trillion.
post #55 of 116
Microsoft was not built on innovation, from the beginning Microsoft modus operanzi was to integrating outside technology by buyout small emerging company techs or to steal it. Basic, Dos, windows NT kernel, Internet Explorer and AVI are only few of their tech created outside from Microsoft.

The big problem Microsoft is facing right now is the fact that Microsoft can't do this easily anymore. Everyone knows Microsoft now and ask the big price from MS now. Look at Skype insane transaction, buying a company 10 times his revenue only for his consumer base. I wonder how much revenue MS is already made with Hotmail. This is puzzling me, Microsoft is not a consumer centric company, MS client are HP, DELL, HTC not the end user. Microsoft never got technical support right, when you call at M$ the first thing they ask for is you credit card.

Bill was at least a tech nerds that was very interested in new tech and look for way to integrated new emerging tech to Microsoft, look at how Bill jump into the Macintosh wagon before his launch to gain access to it and got a prototype to play with and to come out with the first version of windows a year later.

Ballmer is a manager type of guy, he got absolutely no clue for technology. Unlike Bill, he doesnt understand software from the inside out and got no vision on what is the next by bet.

Microsoft still surf on Windows 95 and Office tsunami waves, but those waves is in near end.
post #56 of 116
The only thing MS should focus on is increasing basic engineering skills.

They are already in an enviable position and have a great model for success as long as they remember what it is: supply OS platform and Office to businesses, listen to the feature requests of the world's most successful companies who are already their customers, and just do what you're told. Occasionally copy some consumer features from Apple. Don't try to think too much.

In the same way that leading is easy when you have a real pro team, innovation gets easy when you have great engineering. MS should start here, make evolutionary not revolutionary continuous improvement in stability and security, but not try to innovate from where they are now.

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post #57 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Balmer is a tool, but he is not the problem. The company is too diversified, lacking focus. Splitting the company up is probably what needs to be done. Something like this, perhaps:

Computing. Windows, SQL Server, Office, and similar products.
Entertainment. XBox, Windows Phone, MSNBC, Bing

The argument against doing this is you lose the synergies between the various divisions of MS. But it's starting to become clear those synergies either don't actually exist or are not as powerful as assumed.

A typical way to go in situations like this is for the company to re-assess and strip away the non-profitable parts. The new CEO gives long speeches on how they are going to "sharpen their focus" etc., and all the dead wood is let go and recorded on the books as one big loss so they can move forward afterwards.

So in Microsoft's case that means ditching almost everything in your second category. It means getting rid of their "cloud business" (Azure etc.), as well as X-Box, Windows Phone, MSNBC, etc. The biggest problem I see is X-Box. I don't see it surviving on it's own and I don't know who would want to buy it.
post #58 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kane08 View Post

As a former Winodws lover and Apple hater, I just have to comment here.

.......

Xbox - their best product, and actually deserves it's position

..........

I guess because it was designed on a MAC!
post #59 of 116
Letting J Allard go was stupid, the Zune might have failed, but I got a Zune HD and it is an excellent media player

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post #60 of 116
Gates seems to like Ballmer to much to let him go yet.
They ought to try going the RIM way, and go dual CEO's
for a trail run. Let Ballmer take care of the 'Cash Cows'.
And get a good young prospect to run the competitive part.

Maybe they could entice a Scott Forstall or someone like that.
post #61 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post

I feel for the guy but I'm not so sure he's doing a BAD job. He's made some mistakes, but so have dozens of other CEOs; their replacements haven't always been much better. Microsoft is a monstrosity of a ship and it's slow to change course. Nevertheless, earnings look pretty damned good to me. Ballmer is not without his flaws and he is a victim of the times, but I doubt a changeup in CEO will do much for them. Better to stick with continuity with someone who understands the company. Anyone else coming in will be so overwhelmed that I imagine they'd divest most of the company before they make their investors happy. Yet IDK if that's what MS should be doing at this point. From where I'm sitting, you need as much vertical integration as possible to go up against Apple.

He's doing a horrible job, actually. Microsoft is making money from their established Windows monopoly, Office, Exchange, XBox, etc. Think about what's happened on Ballmer's watch:

>Windows Vista=Disaster

>Zune=good product, horrible marketing, inferior to iPod. Product now dead.

>Smoked by the original and subsequent iPhones. Ballmer acts as if no one will buy the original iPhone, stating (while laughing) "it's the most expensive phone in the world.

>Complete failure to launch in the tablet market. iOS and Android are destroying them.

>Failed retail initiative.

>Apple, the company that was partially saved by M$ 15 years ago, is now the world's most valuable tech company.


Baller's leadership has been a disaster by almost any measure. Microsoft is doing a few things well right now, none of which are new: Windows 7 (what Vista should have been), Office, Exchange and the now long-in-the-tooth Xbox. These are from established user bases. They are rapidly losing the battle for consumers/home users. Not only is the Mac better and more in tune with what they want, Apple has a solid retail presence. Been in an Apple store lately? The one at my local mall always at least 50 customers inside, with nearly as many employees. Apple is booming beyond belief. And Baller is complaining about how many iPads they're selling.

I also disagree that they can't really do anything. M$ should get back to what M$ does. They should stop trying to compete where they cannot, and start making software for the devices that are selling while maintaing their current anchor products. Example: Where the hell is Office for iPad? They could sell that software for 10 times what other developers are getting. Where are their iOS efforts? Where are their efforts to make Apple's consumer products more compatible with their own systems?
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post #62 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffhrsn View Post

My how the mighty have fallen. If this p***k hadn't displayed so much arrogance over his tenure, I wonder if I would have felt so much glee in reading this article.

EXACTLY!!!!!! I have listened and read this man's arrogance for decades and it is heart warming to read about him failing miserably.

On the other hand, may he stay in power for as long as it takes for MicroShaft to die!
post #63 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

One other thing to point out, while Balmer gets the heat, Microsoft's stock price has been flat for the last 10 years, extending back well into the Bill Gates era.

Good point. Perhaps the real problem is a bit different. History shows the real problem. If you look at the progression of a company from start to finish MS is falling right into the pattern. As you get larger and larger you become less adaptive and more entrenched. Some companies just fade and others manage to transform but it is not an easy process. IBM comes to mind as a company that seems to have finally found its way back.

Anyway, MS is at the crossroads right now. They really need a visionary and, unfortunately for them, Ballmer seems to be lacking in that respect. But it is a bit too early to count them out.
post #64 of 116
Bye Bye BirdieXXXXXX Balmer

Bye Bye Balmer
I'm gonna miss you so;
Bye Bye Balmer,
Why'd you have to go?
No more sunshine,
It's followed you away;
I'll cry Ba-HAL-lmer,
Till you're home to stay.
I'll miss the way you smile,
As tho' it's just for me;
And each and ev'ry night,
I'll write you faithfully!
Bye Bye Ba-HAL-mer,
It's awful hard to bear;
Bye Bye Ba-HA-HA-HAL-mer
Think I'll always care,
Guess I'll always care,
Guess I'll always care!


Bye Bye Balmer
The Army's taken you now
I'll try Balmer
To forget some how
No more sighing
Each time you moved your lips
No more crying
When you twist those hips
Your swivel and your sway
Your super trooper
There's nothing left to say
But Steveie you're a jet
Bye Bye Balmer

Bye Bye


She's GaaJus... and so is the Goog!

Apologies for a quick edit of an old VHS LP recording
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post #65 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post

Pllleeeeaaaaassseee let him stay, just one or two more product flops! Pllleeeaaaaasseeee!!!!

Exactly. +1 We Apple fans should be rooting for Ballmer not wishing for his firing. Be careful what you ask for as you might be moving from the frying pan into the fire. The thought of Bill Gates actually returning gives me a chill. Gates is a true business genius.
post #66 of 116
That means that bubbles is NO LONGER running Microshaft.. So.. will he turn up in Espoo running Nokiasoft?? Gets COLD in Finland in the winters Steve... Got enough wodka? OR, is he going to pop up at MicroSkype trying to BE a new client.... Or is he 'broad'band....

Time for Stevie to step away... When Bill left - Steve was exposed and highly radiated.. NOW - he's cooked - well done...
post #67 of 116
I went to a baseball game the other day! There was this big clumsy bald guy, jumpin' around, sweating, between second and third -- obviously trying to play shortstop.

He made 4 Balmers in a single inning!
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post #68 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

Clearly none of you saying things like "crummy products" and "crappy OS" have used Microsoft's offerings lately. If you had, you would be praising what is on offer:

Windows 7
Office 2010
Office 2011 for Mac
Internet Explorer 9
Windows Phone 7
Zune
Xbox

All of these are truly excellent products, most of them worthy of being the market leader.

Windows 7 - better than Vista, still as clunky and hard to use and maintain as ever. Not worthy of being the market leader.
Office 2010 - continues the awful ribbon interface because MS could never design a good set of pull down menus. People who like the ribbon only like it because MS had a confusing set of menus. Word also crashes on 500+ page documents with Track Changes turned on.
Office 2011 - ditto for Office 2010, and now the formatting palette in Word is gone.
IE 9 - oh please.
WP7 - no.
Zune - compared to an iPod? Don't even try.
XBox - agreed - this is a truly excellent product worthy of being a market leader.
post #69 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

Should I really be surprised that people here seem to be passing judgement on Microsoft's products without even using them?

Clearly none of you saying things like "crummy products" and "crappy OS" have used Microsoft's offerings lately. If you had, you would be praising what is on offer:

Windows 7
Office 2010
Office 2011 for Mac
Internet Explorer 9
Windows Phone 7
Zune
Xbox

All of these are truly excellent products, most of them worthy of being the market leader. Certainly the Windows of today is the best ever and I now have far more confidence in the reliability and stability of Windows than I do in Mac OS X.

Microsoft also offers incredibly good support for previous versions, continuing to release updates long after a new version is on sale. This means that Windows XP and Windows Vista are now rock solid (a long way from where they were 6 or 7 years ago).

OK this is a Troll post, and I know we should not feed a Troll but let me do some exception here and let me tell about M$ product.

*Windows 7: Small head medusa, go check the mess in your Winsxs folder that contain more than 7Gb of replicated stuffs from all previous Windows for all previous hardware architecture that is use to run software in "compatibility mode" for preserving stability. stable maybe, bloated yes.
Office 2010 and 2011: 0 new features only UI reorganized, sames awful bugs with core features
*IE9: what a joke from Microsoft to push Web standard after so many years of crippling the internet with IE6 only compatible web site with active X, Silverlight crap.
Windows7Phone: Back to square one from WM 6.5, recycled Zune UI and not a fully fledge OS like iOS is.
Zune: Dead, Micorsoft kill it.
*Xbox360: The game console with the highest failing rate of all time.

To this day Windows is still the only non-fully posix OS on the market. Windows never been a cutting edge OS, Windows was made with "get the job done" in mind, and still cripple with too many runtime environment making it nearly impossible to track all way to install things without users consent or knowledge.
post #70 of 116
In a way I would hate to see Balder go. I always like doing MS jokes and cartoons and all the cut and paste work on him and MS products. When he leaves he should do movies, like a rework of the three stooges series along with _ _ _ _ _ _ l _ _ _ l and _ l _ _ _ e .
post #71 of 116
Pretty homogenous looking top 10 there. If the bald guy didn't shave, it'd be 9 outta 10.

Probably is time for Ballmer to go. I don't dislike him as a CEO completely, but when's the last time he said something more intuitive and market-related than, "Developers, developers, developers, developers"?

"GIVE IT UP FOR MEEEEEEEEEE!" -- Steve Ballmer
post #72 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I also disagree that they can't really do anything. M$ should get back to what M$ does. They should stop trying to compete where they cannot, and start making software for the devices that are selling while maintaing their current anchor products. Example: Where the hell is Office for iPad? They could sell that software for 10 times what other developers are getting. Where are their iOS efforts? Where are their efforts to make Apple's consumer products more compatible with their own systems?

Agreed. Office for mac 2011 is wonderful, even better than the Windows counterpart.

Wasn't "embrace enhance extinguish" once their slogan? They could at least try to do something like that with the iPad.

1. They really have to release Office for iOS. Right now they are loosing a lot of money potential money here. (Embrace the iPad)

2. By the time they release their own Tablet OS/Windows 8 they could ad some exclusive features for that so people would buy Windows tablets (think Sharepoint support, full compatibility (VBA support) etc). They could even blame missing support on the "flawed" AppStore. (Enhance your products so that they will become partially incompatible with the rest)

3. Drive lots of sales for Windows tablets, (Extinguish the iPad)

Seriously Balmer! This is what you are good at. At least try to do it.
post #73 of 116
There are two sides to Microsoft:
  • The boring business company (Office, Windows, Exchange, etc) which does really well.
  • The cool technology side (Xbox, Zune, Bing, Courier, WP7, etc) which does really badly.

If you are on the "business" side you roll your eyes and wait for the latest thing the "cool" side is trying to either be cancelled before it is released or to flop.
post #74 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

Should I really be surprised that people here seem to be passing judgment on Microsoft's products without even using them?

For what it's worth you could add to your list .NET/VS2010, Azure, Office Web Apps and SharePoint.

In any case you've probably noticed by now that Microsoft has something of a perception problem...

Every successful company is going to have their haters, and they are always going to actively avoid learning anything that will compromise their prejudices.

The biggest issue for Microsoft is that the negative sentiment has leaked beyond the hardcore anti-Microsoft crew. Microsoft products are increasingly seen as something to be used (or suffered through, for the huge amount of people still on a bloated, locked down, underpowered machine running XP) at work.

For home Apple and Google are being seen as "cooler" companies that are more up to date.

I think the next few years (and the release of Windows 8) is going to be a real turning point for Microsoft... they will either turn up as sentiment improves and Microsoft recognizes their three screens post-PC computing platform, or they turn down if Windows 8 bombs.
post #75 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

I'd be more likely to believe something a drunken old hobo said than from the criminals who run hedge funds. They belong in jail.

Well, if that's what it will take for you to believe what is being said then I'll also gladly say that Ballmer has to go.
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post #76 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post

I feel for the guy but I'm not so sure he's doing a BAD job.

Agreed. Or rather he has done a bad job but it is not all his full fault. A captain is only as good as his crew and frankly I wonder about that crew. I wonder about their skills, particularly in speaking up to their boss.

Jobs is highly involved in all aspects. But he also hand picks his execs and trains them in his way of thinking and doing. They can talk to him in his terms because he taught them. He knows that he can go to them with an idea and say 'how do we make this happen' and they will do it and in a way that he will approve of.

I highly doubt that Ballmer is in the same situation. Or even close to the same.

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(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #77 of 116
This is terrible news: I mean WTF I wish these people would shutup about Balmer's incompetance. The longer Balmer remains in charge the faster MS will go away and die. IF they put someone in charge who knows what do - is the day we need to dump our Apple stock arrghhhhh

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

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Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

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post #78 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post

I feel for the guy but I'm not so sure he's doing a BAD job. He's made some mistakes, but so have dozens of other CEOs; their replacements haven't always been much better. Microsoft is a monstrosity of a ship and it's slow to change course. Nevertheless, earnings look pretty damned good to me. Ballmer is not without his flaws and he is a victim of the times, but I doubt a changeup in CEO will do much for them. Better to stick with continuity with someone who understands the company. Anyone else coming in will be so overwhelmed that I imagine they'd divest most of the company before they make their investors happy. Yet IDK if that's what MS should be doing at this point. From where I'm sitting, you need as much vertical integration as possible to go up against Apple.

You must have missed the $8.5 Billion purchase of Skype. Not to a mention a CEO's job is to increase the stock valuation.
post #79 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

I'd be more likely to believe something a drunken old hobo said than from the criminals who run hedge funds. They belong in jail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Well, if that's what it will take for you to believe what is being said then I'll also gladly say that Ballmer has to go.

Yeah... I don't think that anyone can un-ring this bell!
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post #80 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by z3r0 View Post

It's only a matter of time before Microsoft drops enough for Apple to buy them out!

I would like to think that Apple is not that stupid. Microsoft being around is part of what keeps Apple from being nailed with tons of antitrust charges. If they bought Microsoft that protection would disappear.

Perhaps if Microsoft spun out a couple of smaller items like the Xbox or the Zune, Apple might buy those but they should be keeping the computer side of things miles away

And as much as I don't like wishing unemployment on anyone, Microsoft needs to drop the whole retail store project. It's a total joke and from what I heard is bleeding money. Showcases in select major cities makes sense perhaps but trying to match Apple is just a waste.

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