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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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.

Just to be clear, I do not state things as facts unless they are facts:

Since you composed a lengthy post detailing why you doubted the veracity of the absolutely true thing that I wrote, I'll take the time to respond.

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

1. Dropping support for the the PowerPC and PowerPC applications in later versions of the OS made the upgrades more appealing to most users. The result was a faster OS with a smaller memory footprint -- because it was no longer hauling around the baggage to support outdated PowerPC processors that Apple phased out seven years ago.

2. Breaking Quicktime 7 API compatibility was fine. Apple did it in order to pressure developers to update their apps to the massively upgraded Quicktime X. But they still made a Snow Leopard compatible version of Quicktime 7 available for download for those cases where the app was not being updated.

=> Strongly raising hardware requirements, spreading kitsch visuals everywhere,

If a user wants to stick with outdated hardware, they are free to use the OS it came with or some later version that still supported it. I don't want my UI and user experience compromised because they've chosen to use hardware from the Jurassic era. My Mac Pro, a machine from early 2008 is still supported in Mountain Lion and looks like it will continue to be in Mavericks. And it's just as fast and responsive now under Mountain Lion as it was under Snow Leopard, probably more so.

hiding scroll bars, and reversing scrolling direction in Lion

You're complaining about things that are changed back with single checkboxes? That's "user disturbing"? Maybe to a disturbed user.

=> Disturbing software installation with Gatekeeper

If the user is too stupid to know how to check a box labelled "Allow applications downloaded from: [*] Anywhere" then they have no business installing apps from sources other than the App Store. Period. That's just one way that Apple improved the OS to reduce the spread of malware to computer-illiterate users. Or would you have preferred Apple followed the Windows model, where gullible users are tricked into installing malware by fake pop-up windows that appear while browsing and warn of ominous virus threats?

and dropping official support in Mountain Lion

Why should Apple continue to develop and support something designed for graphical Unix apps that do not supply a native Mac interface? I think that they gave the developers more than enough time to move to the native Mac interface.

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

If you're still on dial-up, then your Mac is too old to run Mountain Lion or Mavericks. Non-issue.

or wants to open an App Store account.

The idea is to force those people to open an App Store account, even if they don't want to, so that they will purchase software through the App Store, driving up Apple's profits, while allowing Apple to reduce the proliferation of badly behaved apps and apps that contain malware.

Apple chose to move forward rather than hobble OS X and drive up development and distribution costs in order to continue supporting outdated hardware, outdated software, and luddite users. That was the correct decision from both technical and marketing perspectives. The result is that OS X Mountain Lion has the fastest adoption rate of any desktop OS, surpassing 10% in the first month alone.

Edited 2013-08-26 10:17 UTC

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