Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer ... and Tony Stark? Welcome to Microsoft's CEO search

Can Iron Man save Microsoft? But doesn't he have an HTC gig? And what does 'HTC' stand for? Cringely has your answers

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Other nominees include Donald Trump, Forrest Gump, Stephen Elop, and Dr. Fronkensteen. "Curmudgeon in training" M. V. suggests our old pal Darl McBride, ex-CEO of SCO. Why?

He'd refocus all their resources into suing companies for infringing on Microsoft and Unix patents. What? Microsoft doesn't have any Unix patents? Neither did SCO. That didn't stop the crazy.

Meanwhile, U.K.-based developer M. R. has a capital suggestion:

It's got to be Tony Stark!

Iron Man never suffered a "Black Tuesday"-style patching incident, and I would love to have some sort of Windows-Jarvis hybrid greeting me with mildly veiled contempt every time my project fails to build!

I dunno, I always thought Ballmer was much more like the Incredible Hulk. Maybe it's just the green complexion.

In a follow-up post ("Ballmer 2.0: We can rebuild him"), I sought suggestions for what the Steve You Can't Believe should do for a second career. Longtime resident of Cringeville W. S. A-A. (yes, those really are his initials) had this to say:

I figure Ballmer would do best as an adviser to up-and-coming organic dog food startups, where he could advise them to eat their own dog food and ignore the wishes of the customers.

Arf! And, inevitably, barf!

In "Hint to HTC: Iron Man alone won't save your company," I wrote about HTC's attempt to stave off the inevitable by hiring Robert J. Downey as pitchman, then launching the "Here's to Change" campaign around creating a new meaning for the acronym "HTC." I also used this as an excuse to complain bitterly about what a lemon my HTC Windows 8X phone was. (Now since replaced by a Nokia Lumia 920 -- wish me luck.)

I asked: What does HTC mean to you?

Yet another M. W. suggested "Holy Toledo Catwoman," though unlike the rest of the Internet, he declined to share his thoughts about Ben Affleck as the new Batman. Other nominees include How to Crash, Hail the Clowns, Hopelessly Throwing Cash (at the problem), and Heck That's Crap.

G. D. writes, in nearly NSFW fashion:

Your HTC device sounds like Having the Clap is a decent analogy. Every time it goes, it hurts.

So that burning sensation in my pocket was just my phone endlessly rebooting. Whew -- what a relief.

What would you like me to bring you back from Berlin? Post your Teutonic desires below (keep it clean, please) or email me:

This article, "Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer ... and Tony Stark? Welcome to Microsoft's CEO search," was originally published at 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.

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