Ballmer out: Reaction from the Twitter trenches

Ballmer out: Reaction from the Twitter trenches

Summary: The Twittersphere reacted with mixed emotion: some loved Ballmer, some hated him, but pretty much everyone agreed that he had to go at some point.

TOPICS: Microsoft
(Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft fans, reporters, pundits and critics are out in force debating the announced departure of chief executive Steve Ballmer, who on Friday said he would retire within the year.

We immediately headed to Twitter as the source of quick-hit initial reaction from high profile industry folk, entrepreneurs, Microsoft watchers, and even competitors, to see what the overall impression was.

Mixed at best, it's fair to say. We start with The Verge's Nilay Patel, who was one of the first to ask, simply, whether or not Ballmer's announcement was his to even make. Did he decide to leave, or was he kindly nudged in that direction?

With talk over "what's next" at the company, as it continues its strategy moving away from strictly software to devices and cloud services, ZDNet's Simon Bisson suggested that a sudden change is unlikely.

Others looked on the bright side of today's news. BGR's Zach Epstein noted Microsoft's stock price, which rocketed by more 8 percent in pre-market trading.

Serial entrepreneur Marco Armant put Ballmer's retirement on a par with former Apple executive Scott Forstall's firing. 

But some were far more optimistic. New York City-based entrepreneur Anil Dash looked back at Ballmer's time in "office" and what he accomplished.

The Financial Times' Tim Bradshaw got a little nostalgic, calling him "Ballmer to the end," highlighting the Microsoft boss' passion for the company.

Though, many dug in the nails while they had the chance. Security and privacy expert Nic Cubrilovic called the move "long overdue," hinting that the software giant may have a strong future if it's succession plan is handled correctly. 

Also looking ahead, former Microsoft employee Robert Scoble chimed in, hinting that Ballmer was perhaps stuck in the past.

While "Fake Steve Jobs" author Dan Lyons followed a similar path of thinking, saying he predicted this outing four years ago, hinting that the company wanted rid of Ballmer long ago.

Some stirred the shake-up and split-up pot of rumors. Entrepreneur and startup investor Mitch Kapor considered whether Microsoft's many billion-dollar businesses should be split up or sold on.

And Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus suggested the software company should embrace change now Ballmer has a path paved towards the door. (Although, Microsoft still generates billions of dollars from Android per year in royalties.)

And one last word from ZDNet's Ed Bott, which I'm including simply because it made me laugh. That's all.

Topic: Microsoft

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  • Ed Bott

    gets the blue ribbon for his tweet.
    • Re: Ed Bott

      For once, I agree with you ;)

      Won't be surprised, some day Ed Bott actually claims Unix is better than Windows..
      • Ed Bott has never been a liar

        I see no reason for him to start now.
        • Re: Ed Bott has never been a liar

          Who said he was?

          Ed Bott is the perfect soldier: he does what he is ordered. What wrong you see in this?
          For some reason, I don't see your kudos for Ed.
          • No one said Ed Bott has been a liar

            Which is why I'm wondering why you believe he will lie about Unix being better than Windows?
          • Re: No one said Ed Bott has been a liar

            Now, Toddy, you need to decide which it is.

            You can't have the cake and eat it too.
          • What do you mean "he does like he's ordered"?

            I honestly believe that you post based on what someone higher up tells you to post, but Ed has always been an independent blogger, and calls them as he sees them.

            You call them as someone else tells you how to call them. I base that entirely on the fact that your writing structure shows you have intelligence, which is why I find it incredibly hard to believe that you're as ignorant about technology or MS as you come off to be in your posts.
            William Farrel
      • RE: "For once, I agree with you"

        That's where you _should_ have stopped. It's a thankless job, danbi, but hopefully, with my coaching, you'll learn when to hold your tongue.
  • Great CEO

    Ballmer is a Great CEO and wish him all the best.
  • Good News Everyone!

    There's really nothing surprising about this at all for anyone who's been paying attention to the slow motion disaster during the last two years of Windows 8/Windows RT/Metro UI/Surface/Apps Store/Xbox One. Flipping a penny would have yielded better decision making than Ballmer because a penny would have been right at least half the time.

    The only surprising thing is that the magnitude of this disaster must be known internally to be so much greater than what is known externally that the board was actually forced to act.

    Unfortunately, for Microsoft to have any chance at a good long term future, Ballmer needs to leave immediately rather than a year from now. In today's extremely fast paced tech world, a year of aimless drifting for a company like Microsoft is practically an eternity in dog years.
    Asok Smith
  • Ballmer out: Reaction from the Twitter trenches

    Niley Patel and Dan Lyons are trying to create an issue that doesn't exist. What a couple of chumps they are. Steve Ballmer said he would retire when his kids were in college so this really isn't any sort of shock. Microsoft has a bright future that is introduced by Steve Ballmer so he should be getting a lot of kudos for the achievements he made and set up Microsoft up for.
    • Ass Loverock-Davidson

      If that were true, then it would in 2018, not 2014.
  • Fake Lyons

    Question Dan Lyons predicted Ballmers ouster in 2009 as happening in 2010 it's 2013
    and Ballmer is retiring not being forced out so how is that relevant or even remotely correct?
    wasted tweet. Llke like Dan Lyons is the fake here!
    preferred user
  • Fanatics

    A small but reasonably balanced and representative selection of tweets based on what I saw. This story highlighted some long-standing polarisations -- the Microsoft lovers and the company's haters were all out in force.

    I always roll my eyes when I see a fanatic like Bisson (hardcore Apple fanboy) cited, though.

    Tim Acheson