In a surprise move this morning, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that he is retiring within the next 12 months. This comes at a time when the company is transforming to a “devices and services company.” As Ballmer exits and the new CEO takes the throne, some wonder what this means for Apple.
Although Microsoft has only just recently begun throwing its hat into the device market, the Surface model of Microsoft tablets have been big news as rivals to Apple’s iPad. Additionally, the company has been clear since first announcing the Surface line of tablets that it would be the only way users could obtain a full version of the popular Office productivity suite.
With the retirement of Ballmer, will it mean that the company is going to put to rest the idea of selling tablets, or will they work even harder to take the iPad out of commission? Will we finally see Microsoft Word on iOS, or will the company revoke even the partial access to its productivity applications for Apple products?
While the reason for Ballmer’s departure is unknown at this time, it can be assumed from his own retirement announcement that it has something to do with the direction Microsoft is heading. Microsoft has plans to become a stronger hardware company and need someone to be at the helm for a long time. Since the company is talking of transitioning toward a “successful devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most,” one could predict that Microsoft will continue to launch more tablets, but will finally make its Office suite available on iOS.