Hugh - Staff Writer (UK)
There's one thing I'll definitely miss about Steve Ballmer – the pictures of his amazing facial expressions. But it's time for the Ballmer to roll on. Apple and Google are taking big bites out of the Windows monopoly, and while it hasn't been all bad under Steve – he's helped the company go through some big changes in his time without it collapsing – we need someone to make it feel not just new again, but relevant. I'm also sad because we're now several steps back from Ballmer's Bargains ever become a reality.
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Who should replace Ballmer? The Winklevoss twins
Michelle - News Editor (US)
I, like Kate, have a soft spot for Ballmer, though he's not the right person to lead Microsoft into the next phase of its long life. When I saw him at Build 2013, there was something deflated about him, a distance that was ill-fitted for the CEO of a major corporation that was introducing a heralded refresh (Windows 8.1) to its already radically new OS (Windows 8).
Perhaps he'd already started checking out, and if that's the case, then it's high time Microsoft got an injection of fresh, bold, hopped-up on Red Bull blood. Techies I've spoken with suggest Julie Larson-Green is being groomed for the position, and while the One Microsoft will likely promote from within, there's a chance they could look beyond Redmond's walls.
Who should replace Ballmer? Elon Musk
Nick – Managing Editor (AU)
Ding, dong, the Ballmer's dead! Well, he's not dead exactly, but his career at Microsoft is. All I can say is that I'm surprised it took him this long to retire. While there have been a few successes under his management, who can forget the blusters and failings? In my mind, he hasn't really been the person for the job ever since his arrogant dismissal of the iPhone and the subsequent decision by Microsoft to name its refreshed Windows Mobile offering as "Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series". Ergh.
More recently though, the flips and backflips of the Xbox One, coupled with the disaster of Windows RT have shown that Microsoft is truly lacking a focussed decision maker at the top. Here's hoping the change will help refloat Microsoft's sinking ship.
Who should replace Ballmer? Ben Affleck