While Ballmer’s move was unexpected, it is worthwhile noting that Bill Gates’ Harvard classmate and Microsoft’s first business manager came under criticism over the years. He has often been depicted as a member of the old guard, having missed many crucial technological transitions in the past decade.
"Since he took over in 2000, it is fair to say he missed a number of transitions: mobile, tablets, cloud," said analyst Zeus Kerravala at ZK Research to Reuters.
"Microsoft continues to live off traditional PC computing. Ballmer's strength is traditional PC computing. He was a great guy for his era but times have changed and a new leadership is needed. It's hard to say his tenure has been a success," he added.
[ Related: Who will be next to lead Microsoft? ]
One thing is for sure, his eccentric public speaking appearances will long be remembered by both those who seeRead More »from Steve Ballmer’s greatest hits and most outrageous performances