Timeline of Steve Ballmer's Past 33 Years at Microsoft

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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Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Azn Cracker
    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.
  • spartanmk2
    Buh-Bye! /wave
  • house70
    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.
  • Parsian
    He should of listened to the consumers more.
  • irish_adam
    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!
  • the1kingbob
    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.
  • QEFX
    @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.
  • back_by_demand
    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
  • damianrobertjones

    Pc sales slumped BEFORE Windows 8
  • damianrobertjones
    "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.