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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My point was that computer geeks will be able to deal with upgrades on any OS, while non-geeks can cause just as much havoc on their system if they attempt an OSX upgrade on their own as if they try it with another OS.

Mac users go to the App Store and press "Install" and OS X downloads and installs. The percentage of OS X users that have to seek assistance is diminishingly small, largely because Apple has a well-defined, limited hardware base; just like Sun does, which is why Solaris, like OS X, normally installs with minimal problems.

Now I'm sure that you can find plenty of anecdotal evidence on the web of people reporting problems, but, statistically speaking, it's rare. Just look in any Apple Store after an OS upgrade. If it was so problematic, the "Genius Bar" would be slammed for weeks with people seeking assistance (especially when over 10% of Mac users upgraded to the latest OS in the first month it was available). But it just doesn't happen.

You do not have to go back to ancient hardware, just try Lion on the mid-2009 13" Macbook Pro...

I'm running Mountain Lion, and ran Lion before it, on a white MacBook with a Core 2 Duo from 2008 and I've not had speed issues with it. Perhaps it's because I tossed in some bigger SIMMS, but that's not exactly rocket science.

And, what may be even more of a surprise to you, some people still use optical discs to install professional software

I don't think you're going to surprise me a lot. I work as an engineer at an aerospace firm and have been an engineering professional for over three decades. And the firm where I work installs software using images over their corporate network. We don't have IT people travelling all over seven buildings on our campus carrying optical discs.

The only real answer to the social engineering problem is user education, and you know it as well as me.

Relying on educated users for security is hopeless. Corporate America does not rely on user education. They rely on OS permissions and controls. OS X notifies users whenever there is an attempted escalation of privilege. It notifies the user when an app is coming from an unknown or untrusted source. That's far more reliable than trying to teach the unwashed masses.

And why should Unix devs buy a Mac and learn completely alien development tools in order to build Mac versions of tools that will otherwise work well on any other Unix?

They should not buy it if they don't want to develop for it using its native interface. It's like arguing that Windows should still be providing full VESA graphics support for MS-DOS command line games.

Though I'll admit that such people probably shouldn't buy Apple hardware anyway, since Apple doesn't care about anyone who wins less than twice the median income of an industrialized country.

I don't have a metric for how much Apple "cares" about people, but they are not in the business of producing competitors to the $35 Raspberry Pi. They make a premium product and they gear the policies and support accordingly. You may "win" your income, but I earn mine through my technical expertise, hard work, and intelligence.

Fair enough, then again this "our way or the highway" approach is probably exactly why OSX has such a small share of the desktop OS market, in spite of largely outperforming its Windows competition in many key areas.

What percentage of cars on the road have Porsche engines? How about Hyundai engines? Is that a comment on how wholly unsatisfactory Porsche engines are to the motoring public and how much more desirable Hyundai engines are?

Apple shipped more client PCs than any other firm last quarter, including Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. That, despite having higher initial prices. Since that's the only way to get OS X (practically & legally), isn't that an affirmation from the marketplace that OS X is very desirable? Isn't the proliferation of "hackintosh" websites and forums devoted to running OS X on non-Apple platforms also evidence of OS X's desirability?

Edited 2013-08-26 20:47 UTC

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