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BLOG: Microsoft: Ballmer may be going but our direction remains the same

Tim Greene | Aug. 29, 2013
Official blog says the company’s beliefs are unchanged

Microsoft promises to keep hammering away at same business principles that were forged during the tenure of CEO Steve Ballmer, who has announced he's leaving the company within a year.

According to The Official Microsoft Blog the company will adhere to the core beliefs that it and Ballmer first articulated last fall:

"We believe that technology is the key to unlocking human potential in all its forms, and that our job is to make it as broadly accessible as possible.

"That people don't stop being people when they go to work or stop making things happen when they go home.

"That being human is at least as defined by creating as it is by watching, playing and sharing.

"That evolution entails an ongoing, messy diversification of use cases, form factors and scenarios, not a simple clean progression from one thing to another.

"That the intersection between hardware, software and the cloud services that connect them is the space where great things happen.

"And finally, we believe that any attempt to isolate these activities from one another and treat the boundaries between them as fixed vs. fluid is artificial and limiting.

This is pretty much the set of talking points the company has been stressing for the past 10 or 11 months. They play out in the diverse set of products Microsoft offers as described this way in the blog, written by Frank Shaw, corporate vice president of corporate communications: devices and services; enterprise and consumer; individuals and teams; cloud and on premise; infrastructure and line of business; OEM and first party; work and play.

Reiterating these goals and ideals in the blog implies that Microsoft plans to keep following them. On the one hand this could be viewed as a reassuring statement that Microsoft will remain stable during the transition away from Ballmer. On the other, it could be interpreted as a firm commitment to the same policies and choices that led to dissatisfaction with Ballmer in the first place, which would tie the hands of a new CEO and minimize any impact that person might have.

That it signals a certain stability going forward will be comforting to corporate customers with mammoth investments in Microsoft products and product roadmaps. No doubt allaying the fears of customers is one goal of the blot. But it also fails to address what changes they can expect with a new CEO, something else businesses need to hear in order to be reassured.

Shaw's blog criticizes those who have written negatively about Microsoft in the wake of the announcement that Ballmer is leaving. "So when people see the "worst of times" while we see the best still ahead of us," says the blog, "we know it's simply because we're not looking through the same frame or the same time horizon."


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