Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 13:12 UTC

Microsoft Corp. today announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company that empowers people for the activities they value most.

“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,” Ballmer said. “We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.”

This was long overdue. Microsoft needs fresh blood at the top - not a salesman, but a visionary.

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"Of course, it only concern enterprises. Home PCs are never upgraded and it is an endangered specie."

Macs are upgraded. Want to know which version of OS X has the largest installed base? It's the most recent one -- Mountain Lion. That's because Apple charges a reasonable price and makes upgrades that improve the user experience.

I wouldn't bet on it.

Though this is admittedly anecdotal evidence, non-geek Mac users around me tend to upgrade their OS about as often as their Windows counterpard. That is, only when their tech support begs to let them do it.

The reason being that OS upgrades tend to break some software compatibility and user habits. And even if OSX does indeed a better job at avoiding it than other OSs, in sense that breaking stuff always seems to be done on purpose, it is still not totally exempt from this problem.

Some examples of user-disturbing changes in OSX off the top of my head:
=> Dropping PPC compatibility and breaking Quicktime API compatibility in Snow Leopard
=> Strongly raising hardware requirements, spreading kitsch visuals everywhere, hiding scroll bars, and reversing scrolling direction in Lion
=> Disturbing software installation with Gatekeeper and dropping official support in Mountain Lion

Also, the App Store-only requirement put on OSX upgrades since Lion probably put even more people away from upgrading, since not everyone has a fast and reliable Internet connection or wants to open an App Store account.

Edited 2013-08-26 07:13 UTC

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