I just watched the video of Steve Ballmer presenting the HP “slate” tablet PC [note that Ballmer is trying to get ahead of Apple on using the slate name]. I think Microsoft needs a new public face. Ballmer’s voice is grating, he looks like he’s mad and he dresses in a manner that looks uncomfortable and definitely not hip. Half the battle in all things technological is the coolness factor, and Ballmer doesn’t have it. Google has Brin and Page, Apple has Jobs and Ives, and Microsoft has old guys in suits who act like your Principal.
Perhaps the best move Microsoft could make is to put Ballmer out to pasture and hire a new, edgy guy from somewhere unexpected to run the company and shake things up. Because I guarantee that when Apple rolls out iSlate in a few weeks it will make Ballmer’s lame tablet presentation look awful, like it was.
UPDATE: he is more of a lunatic than I thought: