I think it’s great that a company has an aggressive leader that has a vision. It’s exactly how Bill Gates got to where he was. People have noted how he ruthlessly took the market away from IBM and dominated the computing industry for the last two decades.
And now it’s Ballmer’s turn to drive. And he’s doing a really bad job.
Right now, Microsoft has so much momentum, that it would take a whole lot of screwing up (about 10 years straight of it, actually) before they go bankrupt. But they aren’t invincible. Google is closing the gap, and the web is threatening many of their cash cows. Things like thin clients and web applications threaten Windows and Office. So what’s Microsoft — no, Ballmer — have to say about it’s first real threat in a decade?
While people can point out how incredibly hypocritical the statement is, what’s really wrong is who’s saying it. As one of the top business people in the world, you really should expect more professionalism. Sometimes, Ballmer just comes off as a grade school bully who got the CEO job. He doesn’t have anything nice to say about anybody else, loves to ruin other people’s days, and when he gets caught being naughty, cries and whines like society owes him one.
The problem with this man is that he is not sincere. He’s willing to spit on his competitors no matter how they’re doing, and never acknowledges their success. While you can’t expect a CEO to be touting the successes of another company, you do expect him to at least give credit where it’s due. Such a person, therefore, is hard to trust because you never know what he’s really thinking.
If I were doing business with Ballmer, and looking at the history of Microsoft’s backstabbing nature, I would be afraid. I would never trust him. It really is a matter of time before Microsoft becomes the next IBM. Well, at least so long as people like Ballmer are at the helm.