Microsoft is facing a dilemma with the announcement of Steve Ballmer’s upcoming retirement. Should it adapt Ballmer’s grand plan to integrate the company around services and hardware? Should it cut back to money-making software and get out of marginal businesses?  Ballmer will not  be in control to see integration through, and it will take years.  The next CEO might have a different view of the company and its prospects.  PR has entered an unsettled period.  It is status quo for the next year, then it might tack into unknown territory.  One wouldn’t blame Microsoft’s image-makers for being nervous.  They are in suspended animation, knowing that whatever they say about the company might be contradicted in a few months.  Hence, it is better to say little or nothing at all.  Meanwhile, investors want to know what the next CEO will do.  

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