Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, is the de facto corporate standard. As much as Google would like to try to get large companies to move to Google Apps for Business en masse, it simply isn't going to happen - and Microsoft will continue collecting handsomely for the privilege of running Office on millions of corporate desktops and laptops.
The company is solidly profitable, owns more than $100 billion of net assets and possesses more than $70 billion in free cash. Put under a lens that excludes anything but financial performance, this company is rocking, and as CEO, Ballmer deserves much of the credit for this admirable set of results.
Ballmer was executive vice president of sales and support before taking on the CEO reigns from Gates, so it makes sense that he is a numbers guy and would place a priority on delivering good-looking financial results to shareholders. It would be difficult to argue that he did not deliver on this important responsibility.
Microsoft Strategic Execution and Innovation: Neither Strategic Nor Innovative
From an innovation and strategic execution standpoint, however, the results are decidedly more negative. Take just a few examples: