At age 57, Ballmer is a relatively young man, full of vim, vigor, and perspiration. He doesn't seem anywhere close to putting on fuzzy slippers and a bathrobe and watching "Judge Judy" all day. The obvious question: What's next for Big Steve? What should he pursue as a second career?
Not surprisingly, I have a few silly ideas.
Infomercial pitchman. We've already seen how a young Ballmer would pitch Windows 1.0. Imagine what he'd do hawking Snuggies, ThighMasters, or spray-on hair. Late-night TV would never be the same.
Reality TV star. Eight terrified young software developers are trapped inside a conference room with Ballmer; only one will survive. Think "The Apprentice" meets "Survivor," with maybe a hint of "Jersey Shore."
Information minister for a tin-horn dictator. Few could match the performance of former Iraqi info minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (aka Baghdad Bob), but Ballmer is a contender. After all, there isn't that much of a gulf -- sorry, gap between "There are no American infidels in Baghdad -- never!" and "Microsoft is winning winning winning."
Judge on "American Idol." Or "America's Got Talent" or any of those stupid talent shows. Ballmer is the perfect mix of Howie Mandel, Howard Stern, and Scary Spice. Let's just hope he doesn't throw a chair at any of the contestants.
Featured entertainer at MTV's Video Music Awards. Having just watched Miley Cyrus twerking to the tune of "Blurred Lines" (I had to see what all the fuss was about, and now I'm sorry I did), I could totally see Ballmer doing that. Hopefully, he'll leave the rubber bikini at home.
What should Ballmer do for Act II? Post your suggestions below or email me: email@example.com.
This article, "Ballmer 2.0: We can rebuild him," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, follow Cringely on Twitter, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.