Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said he was betting the company on Windows 8 when he launched the new operating system last October.
Last week, however, Microsoft tacitly admitted sales of Window 8 were weak and promised to fix flaws in the software with future updates.
Window’s 8 was supposed to put Microsoft back into the mobile device game it has been losing to Apple for years. It hasn’t yet. And after missing out on just about every consumer computing revolution in the past decade, some say it’s time for Mr. Ballmer to step down.
One of them is Joachim Kempin, who for 15 years ran the Microsoft division that sells operating software to PC manufacturers.
He released a book, expressing his frustration with Mr. Ballmer, last October, timed to the Windows 8 release, called “Resolve and Fortitude: Microsoft’s “Secret Power Broker” Breaks His Silence.“
Mr. Kempin frequents a mall near Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash. “There is an Apple store, crowded,” he said in a telephone interview. “Go in the Microsoft store, and if you find five people, you’re lucky.”
Some are calling the Windows 8 flop the biggest consumer product launch failure since “New Coke” 30 years ago. But Microsoft is still growing on the strength of its other businesses – primarily business software and cloud computing. As for Mr. Kempin, Microsoft doesn’t pay him much heed and says he’s a guy who retired a long time ago.