Staff Reporter 

Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer leaves behind an interesting legacy

Write to the Point


Microsoft is about to see big change in the upcoming year as its CEO Steve Ballmer steps down in the coming months.

Ballmer has been the main guy at the company since 2000, during which operating systems from Vista to Windows 8 were unveiled. Think about it, in the past 13 years, a lot has changed. An article in the Wall Street Journal went through Ballmer’s heights and pitfalls as CEO, touching on the company’s growth and expansion while failing to make that big splash in a market that’s diversifying.

I dabble in both Windows and Mac’s OS X for my operating systems, and can’t say I have a favorite.

There are some things Microsoft does well, and others where it doesn’t. It should count tablets in that arena after the Surface fell flat on its face last year. A solid operating system, a video game empire, a growing cellphone market all define the company’s latest successes.

Since 2000, Apple has surged to become the leading technology company worldwide. While Microsoft developed the successful Xbox video game console, Apple has made waves with the iPhone, iPad, iPod and other iProducts.

Meanwhile look at the latest announcements from Microsoft and there really isn’t a lot of buzz around its products. As a society, we went from waiting on the edge of our seats in the 1990s and early 2000s to now just saying “meh.” We hardly remember that the company was accused of being an abusive monopoly in 2000, during its powerhouse years.

Sure, Microsoft has let some prime opportunities pass it by, but the company is still incredibly influential in today’s saturated computer market. While I highly doubt the company will read this column, the best advice it could possibly receive is to not diversify. Don’t try and be everything to everyone, which is what other businesses seek. Instead, if Microsoft can be the go-to company for its current offerings and build those up, it’ll be set well into the future.

Despite the track record over the last 13 years, Ballmer is a talented leader who understands both the business and technology side of Microsoft. You don’t often see that in some of the larger companies. Things could have been much, much worse if the company wasn’t in his hands. We’ll see where it goes in the future.

On a separate note, this will be my final Write to the Point for the Free Press. I’ll be continuing my freelance photography work as well as serving at Spokane Christian Church, producing videos and other multimedia. I’d like to thank numerous people I’ve worked with throughout the West Plains over these last two-plus years. It has truly been a pleasure to know you and see your passion for your community.


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