Best Argument: Yes
Audience Favored: No (55%)
Speed and wisdom needed
Robin Harris: Microsoft's almost 100,000 employees are a big ship that will take time to turn around. While Balmer's missed opportunities made Microsoft look dumb, they have a deep bench.
What Microsoft needs is an executive who knows who the most effective players are. Who understands where the company is strong - they design some pretty good hardware - and where they've gotten flabby, if they are to win in a mobile world.
No outsider would know this - and it would take them at least 18 months to find out. This insider has to to be willing to break many eggs and buck Ballmer's recent "everything to everybody" non-strategy. But the world's most profitable company can't afford a year or two of on-the-job training - and only a capable insider can move fast enough and wisely enough to ensure that Microsoft's best years are ahead.
It's time for a Microsoft 2.0
Ken Hess: It's time for some new blood and a new perspective in Microsoft's lead position. This is a rare opportunity to bring someone in from the outside who has seen Microsoft, its successes and its failures, from an outside-in viewpoint. Because of Microsoft's unique position in the technology software market, this transition takes place at a major crossroad in its history and in its future.
Cloud computing, tablet computing, mobile computing, and SaaS offerings have been key areas where Microsoft has been perceived as lagging or slow to embrace. Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 haven't seen the kind of adoption rates predicted, its Surface Tablet sales were disappointing compared to those of Apple and the ever-growing Android-based market.
For Microsoft to continue down its current path means doom for the company. To make the kinds of changes it needs to make, Microsoft will have to, in essence, reboot itself. It's time for a Microsoft Reformation, a Microsoft 2.0, if you will.
Corporate cultures often become too inbred, too complacent, and too happy with past successes. Microsoft has awoken in a brave new world and wonders what has changed. What has changed most is how consumers and businesses want to use software and how they want to pay for it. A Microsoft insider, I'm afraid, will not adequately (pardon the pun) fill the bill.