Ballmer is brilliant, definitely knows a lot about the price of everything and he’s done well for his personal bottom line. But he’s not done as much for Microsoft’s legacy. I won’t rehash their shameful behavior during The Browser Wars. The only two words I need to want to steer clear of being a businessman like him are, Internet Explorer.
Under his purview Microsoft actively interfered for over a decade with the development of the WWW. With the same business acumen he contributed to Microsoft’s current conundrum of trying to navigate an IT world which has expanded far away from the desktop. There appears to be some hope under Nadella that their huge cash stores (and all the amazing R&D they’ve bought and buried!) will help them pilot their way off the Ballmer shallows and join the rest of the innovation community as collegial competitors.