Will Bill Gates Return to Microsoft? ( Dvorak PC Magazine 2013-07-24 )
As for Gates becoming the operational CEO, forget itthere's no way he can come out on top. If he returned and all of a sudden the company began to flourish again, people would call him incompetent for putting Ballmer in charge when he could clearly not keep the ship afloat. In the more likely outcome, which would result in either little change or a quickened decline, he would be mocked for hubris and for being out of touch. Neither one of these scenarios is worth it. Although, I could guarantee his CES keynote would be more entertaining than the alternatives.
And remember, Gates himself has changed. Now he is a featured guest on all sorts of talk shows where he pontificates for a living. During the go-go years at Microsoft, he would mingle with "the people" at user group meetings. He'd be at trade shows and events where he'd engage in discussions with the hard-working technical class. Now he only associates with the elites at places like Davos and the Allen & Company enclaves where he chats with the likes of Rupert Murdoch while sipping Kistler Chardonnay.
This is not the Bill Gates we once knew. He's no longer the amusingly competitive but normal guy obsessed with Microsoft. Now he gets the red carpet treatment all around the world and the seat next to the emperor of some hinky country trying to attract some cold Gates Foundation cash.
Nobody can transition from a caviar lifestyle to mere CEO slouch status. What would be the point?
I would have to agree with that. Billg has far to much to lose to go back now. And besides all the reasons Dvorak mentioned, let's not forget that he left when he was exposed in the Antitrust trial in a very bad light. He had literally become the lightning rod and most likely promoted Ballmer to take the heat off ...
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was called "evasive and nonresponsive" by a source present at a session in which Gates was questioned on his deposition. He argued over the definitions of words such as "compete", "concerned", "ask", and "we". Businessweek reported that "early rounds of his deposition show him offering obfuscatory answers and saying 'I don't recall' so many times that even the presiding judge had to chuckle. Worse, many of the technology chief's denials and pleas of ignorance have been directly refuted by prosecutors with snippets of email Gates both sent and received." Intel Vice-President Steven McGeady, called as a witness, quoted Paul Maritz, a senior Microsoft vice president, as having stated an intention to "extinguish" and "smother" rival Netscape Communications Corporation and to "cut off Netscape's air supply" by giving away a clone of Netscape's flagship product for free.
Although I was personally on Microsoft's side on those specific issues of MSIE, Netscape and ill-advised government intrusion into that trivial matter, I do remember feeling ill after reading and then seeing his deposition which came off as arrogant at times. Looking back now though it is impossible to feel the same sympathy for the company. Can't imagine why.
What Ballmer Can't Get Right ( Dvorak PC Magazine 2013-07-26 )
Who in his right mind would spend $500 on a Windows RT tablet when you can buy an iPad for about the same price? Does Microsoft think consumers are insane? I've been around a dinner table full of people when someone asked which tablet to buy and everyone said "iPad." And that included me!
So Microsoft takes a $900 million write-down and decides to put the Surface on sale for $350. This will attract nobody. The sweet spot for these devices was established when HP sold out an entire inventory of TouchPads in August 2011. The 16GB tablet sold out at $99 and this is despite the fact that the white elephant was abandoned by HP.
Boy, he got that right. Of course we all got that right in this very thread last October. It is amazing that nine months have come and gone and this obvious and inevitable outcome has only barely started to penetrate everywhere else. Not talking about Dvorak, but Ballmer and company.
BTW: If you look upthread a couple of posts for the article about a new HP tablet you will see that this $99 price is once again in play! What on Earth is HP doing I wonder?
EDIT: clarity, editor CRLF bug
Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 02 August 2013 - 03:57 AM.