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How’s that for a magazine cover?

Bloomberg Businessweek latest issue features Steve Ballmer, whose reign as Microsoft CEO is analyzed in an extensive story in the magazine this week.

Whether or not you agree with what Ballmer has to say, it’s a great read, in part because the introduction puts the reader across the dinner table from Ballmer as he makes his case for Microsoft, and his leadership of the company, over pork chops and a salad wedge.

The piece by Ashlee Vance also explores the question of Ballmer’s technical chops, a subject we’ve dissected extensively here in the past.

“I’m not going to pretend I’m some visionary or going to try and have central planning on the technology side for everything that goes on,” says Ballmer. So, the thinking became, “Let’s agree on what the basic set of things are that we believe in, and we’ll share those things or share those technology approaches.” Later, Ballmer adds, “The only way to get great execution with great ideas is to have guys in our leadership who can really take things to the next level—not wait to hear from me what the instruction is but take things to the next level. I had to find my role relative to the product side, which I hadn’t had to find really as much while Bill was still here.”

In the end, the article addresses many of the challenges facing the company, while also delivering a counterpoint to many of the criticisms Microsoft today. Read the full piece here.

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