Steve Ballmer has called on Microsoft investors to embrace his vision for the company’s future as he delivered his final annual meeting speech.
"We have the tools. There's economic upside here. In the long run, we are almost uniquely poised to seize the opportunity. Today I'm speaking as an investor. You all own Microsoft stock, cheer for it, for God's sake,” he stated.
Ballmer announced he would be stepping down as Microsoft chief executive back in August and it ends a 13-year period at the head of the company. The statement came just weeks after Ballmer had announced a reorganisation based around “devices and services” after losing ground to the likes of Apple and Google in the smartphone market – something that he regrets.
"If there's one thing I regret, there was a period in the early 2000s when we were so focused on what we had to do around Windows that we weren't able to redeploy talent to the new device form factor called the phone," said Ballmer.
The outgoing chief executive’s vision has been further strengthened by Microsoft’s decision to pay £3.2 billion to acquire Nokia’s phone business and license its patents earlier this month.
Ballmer’s speech was part of four hours worth of meetings that were only interrupted by a brief power cut and no one revealed anything on how close Microsoft is to appointing a new CEO to replace Ballmer.
One piece of additional news that did come from the meetings was Qi Lu, executive in charge of applications and services, intimating that Microsoft Office will soon be available on the iPad. He stated that Microsoft is working on “touch first” versions of Office that will first appear on Windows devices before other platforms that are ready and “financially sensible”.
Launching Office for iPad will open up billions of dollars of revenue with one analyst stating back in February 2013 that a $60 version of the Office suite could rake in $1.3 billion [£838 million] worth of revenue.