In August, Steve Ballmer announced his impending retirement as CEO of Microsoft. He promises to choose a successor within a year.
I suspect it won’t be me. I told Microsoft, as I told Harvard during its recent presidential search, I’d only take the job if the company gave me a completely free hand. (Neither institution asked me; I’m just saying.)
Nevertheless, you can depend on me to continue as the diligent court jester, speaking truth to power for as long as they’ll listen or at least not try to shut me up. I call ’em as I see ’em. And I have some advice for that brave soul who takes the reins at Microsoft, whoever it turns out to be.
So, my incoming friend, I’ve mapped out your global strategy. All you have to do is execute. Good luck from your faithful court jester. You’ll certainly need it.
David S. Platt teaches programming .NET at Harvard University Extension School and at companies all over the world. He’s the author of 11 programming books, including “Why Software Sucks” (Addison-Wesley Professional, 2006) and “Introducing Microsoft .NET” (Microsoft Press, 2002). Microsoft named him a Software Legend in 2002. He wonders whether he should tape down two of his daughter’s fingers so she learns how to count in octal. You can contact him at rollthunder.com.
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