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Timeline of Steve Ballmer's Past 33 Years at Microsoft

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 23 comments

A look at the major milestones and products from Microsoft during Steve Ballmer's tenure.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer revealed today that he will be retiring from the company within the next year. The immediate response from the financial market was one of optimism, as evidenced through a jump in the stock price. Regardless of your opinion of Ballmer, there's no denying that he's played an essential role in the rise of the world's largest software company. 

Take a trip down memory lane with an infographic courtesy of our sister site LAPTOP:

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  • 0 Hide
    Azn Cracker , August 23, 2013 1:11 PM
    Saw him in the parking lot during a Microsoft Store opening. Am I cool or what?

    Sad to say the store doesn't have that many patrons.
  • 1 Hide
    spartanmk2 , August 23, 2013 1:12 PM
    Buh-Bye! /wave
  • 5 Hide
    house70 , August 23, 2013 1:15 PM
    Not a single day too soon.
    The sad part is, this clown will get a huge bonus (on top of what he's already got) and will live the rest of his care-free life thinking he was one of the greatest assets at MS.
  • Display all 23 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    Parsian , August 23, 2013 1:19 PM
    He should of listened to the consumers more.
  • -1 Hide
    irish_adam , August 23, 2013 1:49 PM
    lulz at all this hate for Balmer, microsoft is not a 1 man band, you cannot blame every problem microsoft has on him. As the timeline shows he has been with the company since pretty much the start in a leading role. I think its fair to say the company would not be as big as it is now without him.

    though that said, the company itself has stifled the PC industry and abused its monopoly position for decades. I mean the same people that post here bitching about how crappy M$ is are the same people throwing Balmer to the wolves for ruining the company

    surely if he really is destroying microsoft then long may he stay!
  • -1 Hide
    the1kingbob , August 23, 2013 2:23 PM
    I find it odd that one of the worst WinOS (Vista or ME) and one the best (Win7) are not mentioned on the chart, and the 360 is oddly missing as well. How could the two best things to come from Microsoft be missing? The 360 kept Sony in check and Win7 finally gave a worthy upgrade from XP.
  • 2 Hide
    QEFX , August 23, 2013 2:57 PM
    @the1kingbob: ME wasn't that bad. Mine ran rock solid for weeks at a time. You just had to remove all the extra crap that came "pre-installed" and made sure your hardware was supported. My issue was the memory limit, but so be it. Just for all the ME haters ... if you spent 10 minutes (well 3 hours actually) removing the extra crap it would have been a good (but not great) OS.

    VISTA shouldn't have been released when it was. MS should have waited at least 6 more months and fixed things, oh and only released a 64 bit version. They could have kept XP as 32 bit for a few more versions (XP SE, XP Final Edition) and had VISTA on as the 64 bit flagships. But then I wasn't head of MS, so not my fault things worked out as they did.
  • -1 Hide
    back_by_demand , August 23, 2013 3:10 PM
    So quick to hate, a year after he took over as CEO they released XP and Xbox, the 2 biggest things ever to happen at that time, then to eventually get to Windows 7 and Xbox 360 - it seems Ballmer get grief for a goddam Start button, get over it, that was all Sinofsky and he got whacked for that
  • 1 Hide
    damianrobertjones , August 23, 2013 3:33 PM

    Pc sales slumped BEFORE Windows 8
  • -2 Hide
    damianrobertjones , August 23, 2013 3:34 PM
    "He should of listened to the consumers more."

    Never, ever, EVER listen to consumers as you'll get 10 different answers, requests and ideas. None of those 10 customers will EVER all agree on nearly anything. It's suicide to do such a thing.
  • -1 Hide
    Blessedman , August 23, 2013 3:50 PM
    He was a much better salesman than a captain. Win8 should have never been released. As much as everyone says they hated Vista, Vista >>>> Win8. I had some driver issues with vista, but it was far superior to winXP and anything apple made or currently makes.
  • -2 Hide
    sean1357 , August 23, 2013 3:55 PM
    I think the future of Microsoft will turn into like IBM. More likely, Apple and Google will be the future ahead of technologies.
  • 0 Hide
    radiovan , August 23, 2013 4:07 PM
    I remember in the 1990's Bill Gates was vilified for one reason or another; 25+ years later, you have the keyboard-business-analysts welcoming Steve Ballmer's retirement, at Microsoft. To the hind-sight 20/20 Generals: If you are so smart about what should have been done at Microsoft by Ballmer, how about you start your own business and show us how it's done. You have 30 years from your day of go.
  • -5 Hide
    irish_adam , August 23, 2013 5:43 PM
    I think the future of Microsoft will turn into like IBM. More likely, Apple and Google will be the future ahead of technologies.

    62% of the World's computers run Windows. 9% for MAC and .8% for 91% of the World's computers run software from Microsoft. Your statement is ridiculous.

    Your statement shows a lack of foresight, hes talking about the future. Computer sales are on the decline, while tablet and phone sales are on the rise which will soon give Apple and Google a lot more influence in where technology is going.

    I'm not saying that the desktop is going to die out but lets face it the pace of evolution on the desktop and laptop side of things is shockingly slow these days, most new tablets and even phones now have a higher screen resolution than most new laptops, whats up with that?
  • 1 Hide
    falchard , August 23, 2013 9:00 PM
    I think Balmer is a vey smart economist under everything else. There is one fundamental reason why. He dropped out of Stanford University. People should understand that if you are an Economist you should learn economics, if you are a Smart Economist you drop out of college because the cost/benefit ratio does not match.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , August 23, 2013 10:38 PM
    Julie Larson-Green is likely to take over, but if Microsoft is smart and Ballmer can take the credit for it, they should finally acquire Yahoo. Then, install Marissa Mayer as CEO. Yahoo overtook Google in the US for web traffic last month and stock is up 75% since she took over. Also all the monkey jokes about Ballmer would dry up because Mayer is smokin' hot!
  • 0 Hide
    cypeq , August 26, 2013 4:03 AM
    Desktop is on the diminishing line because technology went far enough that 5 year old pc is still more than good for multimedia / office tasks. Laptop prices from what we had 10 years ago almost halved and the cheap ones provide flawless multimedia experience. Tablets and smartphones now chip out not even from pc but also console market.
    Thing is the PC is still irreplaceable in many applications but it's not alone on the market like it was 15 years ago.
  • 1 Hide
    sidramia123 , August 26, 2013 4:58 AM
    Apple Vs Google Vs Microsoft
    Stock Performance:
    Research Expense:
  • 1 Hide
    house70 , August 26, 2013 5:13 AM

    No outgoing Microsoft executive ever gets a severance package because they already are worth hundreds of millions or in Ballmer's case billions of dollars. He's leaving with 333M shares or $11.5B. Why don't you do some research before showing your blatant stupidity.

    I mentioned bonus, not severance package. He's been getting a bonus every year, I don't see why not this year.
    Take your own advice and research some, after you have learned how to read, of course. Spewing insults left and right does not make you seem more intelligent .
  • 1 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , August 26, 2013 6:27 AM
    I'm a little amazed at how much this guy is worth. I know he got paid millions a year as CEO but not enough to make him a billionaire, so his stock options must have been really good.
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