If investors didn't like Microsoft's
Ballmer has issues, sure. He's been dismissive of the iPhone. He's laughed at Google's
Haters, I give you schadenfreude. You too, Palm
So there are good reasons to doubt Ballmer's judgment. But we could say the same thing about most CEOs at one time or another. Few are as passionate about the companies they run as Ballmer is about Microsoft. Call him Mr. Softy's chief executive and cheerleader.
Ballmer has also seen his share of successes. Bill Gates may have been the one to sound the alarm about Netscape in the '90s browser wars, but Ballmer, as Gates' deputy, helped to marshal the forces that created Internet Explorer and subsequently choppped Netscape down. You want to bet Ballmer isn't sharpening a hatchet with Google's name on it? Sure he is; a big, bright Azure blade that stings as it Bings. And Ballmer's undoubtedly aiming for a kill.
I'm betting on Google, but I'm not about to underestimate Ballmer. He's a smart, ruthless competitor who has a record for winning over the very long term. Count him out at your own risk, investors.
Get your clicks with related Foolishness:
- Microsoft is officially out of Money.
- Good job cutting bait, Mr. Softy.
- Bing sings, but could still use more zing.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned stock and options positions in Google and a stock position in IBM at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy just ordered you a wake-up call for tomorrow. You're welcome.