Ballmer's 10 years with Microsoft and the Internet

A look back on Ballmer's Web achievements since Bill Gates handed over the reins

Ten years ago on Jan. 13, 2000, Microsoft's Bill Gates turned over the CEO reins to Steve Ballmer, who emphasized then that the Internet would be the target for much of the company's new software development efforts.

Fast forward to today's product integration announcement with HP and events over the past year with cloud computing and Windows Azure, and Ballmer's words ring true. Back in 2000, Microsoft was still under threat of being broken up by the Department of Justice. Today, Ballmer is trying to meld enterprise and cloud computing.

He has spent the past decade working through lawsuits, mergers, acquisitions, competitive battles and, of course, new software, including last year's official launch of Windows 7, which could become the legacy of his leadership at Microsoft.

He has put his stamp on the company, including a multi-year reworking of the executive staff. Under Ballmer's watch, company revenue is up 163%, but the stock price is down 39%. Ballmer oversaw Microsoft first-ever mass layoff last year and was greeted in 2010 by the Newsweek prediction that he would not survive the next 12 months.

The CEO has been noted for his sharp, and sometimes loose, tongue. In 1999, the year before he took over for Gates, Ballmer's comment that tech stocks – including Microsoft – were overvalued cost Ballmer $1.2 billion on paper as the market went on a two-day tank that eventually dragged the Nasdaq composite index to a five-month low.

And Ballmer's developers, developers, developers rant – and accompanying YouTube video documenting his dance moves – are legendary.

But Ballmer is nothing if not tenacious and optimistic.

In November, he sat down with Network World and reflected on the past 10 years. He said he takes pride in where the company is positioned today and its outlook for the future. When asked what were his greatest successes, greatest challenges and greatest regrets over that time, he chuckled and said. "Well, I probably had all three of those in spades."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftAppleAndroidweb-based appssteve ballmerWindows Azure

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Fontana

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?