Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet interviewed Steve Ballmer as he prepares to step down as CEO of Microsoft. Larry Dignan and Mary Jo summarize the interview in video below.
Ballmer’s biggest regret – the black hole that was Vista and the related loss of focus in adjacent markets like mobile. And his biggest pride – that Microsoft was immensely profitable during his tenure.
To me, during his tenure Microsoft became a “slow” follower in countless markets – smartphones, search, clouds, tablets etc. The good news is he continued to be a follower and an investor in many of those markets, and probably his enduring legacy will be the sprawling portfolio he has tried to leverage under the One Microsoft strategy .
I was impressed during the analyst event in October when they described how they brought together Retail software, with Nokia Lumias and with other functionality developed by cloud partner Avanade for a POS solution in the sky for Delta. They told us how they were packaging for digital agencies their marketing apps along with access to their media properties.
The new XBox One leverages Win 8, Kinect, Skype, Azure, SkyDrive, Hyper V, Bing and other Microsoft assets.
Expect to see more such plays, especially as they target specific industries where they can mix and match what Ballmer and his executive team has identified as Microsoft’s competencies
- Operating System
- High Value Apps
- Cloud Services
- Machine Learning
- Natural UI
- Consumer/Enterprise (comfort with both)
If the next CEO can build out vertical and process leadership they could be firing on many more cylinders. That would make them scary.