Steve Ballmer has endured something of a turbulent few years to say the least and has once again found himself squarely in the crosshairs of several influential critics. The Microsoft CEO has even been urged to step down from his position gracefully or face relief of his duties by company directors, as his decisions are again put under the microscope and scrutinized to the highest level.
To call Microsoft anything but a huge success would be unfair and inaccurate, with the company having weathered the global economic crisis to come out largely unscathed in terms of reputation, value and stock price. However, when considering the way in which Microsoft is performing in comparison with rival consumer technology brands at the very top-end of the market, the picture isn’t quite as rosy as it appears.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone operations have so far fallen flat at the first hurdle and the latest Windows Phone 8 campaign is off to a less-than blistering start. Even the company’s email and search engine products are beginning to feel a little dated to say the least, and then there’s Microsoft’s first venture into the hardware market by way of the Microsoft Surface RT Tablet – not to mention the decidedly absent Surface Pro Tablet.
Some are not suggesting that the Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet could in fact become something of a decision-maker in terms of whether or not Ballmer holds onto his position in early 2013. The Surface RT Tablet has so far achieved only “modest” success according to Ballmer himself, while the high-end Surface Pro Tablet is yet to make an appearance.
With an expected price-tag of $800 for the lowest spec version of the Surface Pro Tablet, chances are it could go either way in terms of success – Ballmer’s future therefore potentially hanging in the balance.