In defense of Steve Ballmer

Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is too loud, too bombastic, too sales-y, blah blah blah. He also built one of the world’s most profitable and efficient sales and channel organizations. So there.

New Year’s Resolutions For the Internet: Station Conversation

NTV StationAs 2008 comes to a close, Liz Shannon Miller and Jill Weinberger look forward to improving themselves and the Internet in the New Year. Find out their New Year’s resolutions and their recommendations for others in online video in today’s Station Conversation!

Liz: Happy New Year, Jill!

Jill: Happy New Year! You’re ready for all the revelry?

Liz: Yes! And I have a New Year’s resolution to kick things off: I resolve to give web series that are longer than five minutes more of a chance. I have long been a cranky lady about 10-minute episodes, but how much of that is due to my innate laziness is yet to be determined. So I’m going to learn to sit still for slightly longer. It’s a challenge, but one I’m up for. How about you?

Jill: I am going to work out and become a badass. And how is this relevant to online video, you ask? Because I am going to do so using the online videos of Ford Model Chris Comfort!

Liz: Wow, Chris Comfort got his start in 2007! Is he STILL making workout videos?

Jill: Yeah, well, everything old is new again. And why shouldn’t I have something pretty to look at while I work out? Look — abs. Read More about New Year’s Resolutions For the Internet: Station Conversation

Kevin Johnson Joins Juniper as CEO

Updated with details from the conference call after the jump: Juniper has officially announced that Kevin Johnson is going to the CEO, Scott Kirens is going to be chairman. The lack of response from their PR department shows that they are woefully out of date in this “immediate news age,” ironic for a company that makes equipment to enable this immediacy.

Johnson’s hiring indicates, according to some of my sources, that the company might be going in the direction of services, such as network management. (Of course they didn’t address any of the important stuff in the press release, which is packed with platitudes and non-information.) All that sounds good, but in theory very few companies (IBM, for example) have made a big business out of services. Many of them end up buying pure-play service companies.

So what does Johnson, a non-equipment guy, bring to the table? That’s not very clear, except for a reputation that got a severe battering in the light of failed Yahoo bid. Welcome Mr. Johnson, now all you have to do is prove yourself. There will be more details revealed on Juniper’s conference call with investors tonight, we are told

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Google Drives Microsoft’s Hostile Bid for Yahoo

This morning, Microsoft offered to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion in a cash-and-stock deal. While not entirely hostile, as Yahoo’s board is considering the deal, it’s not exactly friendly, either. Steve Ballmer said on a conference call that the two companies have been talking about this for the last 18 months, but that Yahoo management always deferred. Last night Ballmer decided the time was right, called Yahoo CEO and Co-founder Jerry Yang and made the offer.

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