Steve Ballmer Approval On the Rise, What Does This Mean For Microsoft’s Future?

Windows Phone 8 is on the rise, and even though Windows 8 hasn’t exactly been selling like hotcakes, it is at least off to a reasonable start. The future of Windows and Microsoft has yet to be determined for sure, but one thing is for certain: Microsoft’s employees are much happier now than they were back in 2011.

Steve Ballmer has often come under fire from both investors and even employees who feel that he isn’t leading the company forward in a positive direction. In 2011, Ballmer’s approval rating via site “GlassDoor” indicated that employees that favored his leadership were a minority at 35 percent.

Fast forward to 2012, when Windows 8 was just starting to come together? Ballmer’s approval has jumped significantly to 52 percent. Still, there has been a lot of change in the last part of 2012. Sinofsky is gone, Windows 8 isn’t selling that well yet, and other internal changes.

Have things gone south for Ballmer once more? Actually, no they haven’t. Ballmer’s employee approval rating might have gone down a little at the end of 2012, but only by a little bit. Instead of 3.7 out of 5 employees approving, it is now looking like 3.5 out of 5 approve.

What does this all mean? It means that hype from Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 won Ballmer back some support, and even won Microsoft back some public approval. It also means that 2013 is more significant than ever.

Will 2013 Make or Break Microsoft’s Future?

This is it. Microsoft has drawn the line in the sand. They are pushing forward with the NT-based Windows Phone 8 and they have made massive changes with Windows 8 and Windows RT. The year 2013 will also see major multimedia changes for Microsoft, as they unveil what the next Xbox might mean for the future of living room entertainment.
2013 is probably a turning point for Microsoft. A positive one or a negative one though? That’s a good question. I honestly don’t think we will fully know the answer until after this year is over, though.
I will confidently say that 2013 is a big year for the company. The decisions they make, the fans they win or lose– these changes in 2013 will set the stage for the next several years. If Microsoft doesn’t start to make its intentions clear with Windows RT, 2013 will be the year RT dies.

What about Windows 8? Microsoft doesn’t need success for Windows 8 in 2013, but they need to lay the groundwork hard. They have already started on this, but continued advertising and pushing forward will be key.

As for the Xbox, how it changes connectivity with Windows devices and how it changes the way we get content in the living room will also push Microsoft’s direction forward, for better or worse.
I am very excited by 2013. I can’t yet tell whether 2013 will be a good or bad year for Microsoft, but it it will be an interesting one.

What do you think? Will 2013 be a year of “wins” for the company and for Steve Ballmer? Or is 2013 the beginning of the “end” for Microsoft’s dwindling tech empire?

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