The 25 Most Influential Executives of 2009

Microsoft's Steve Ballmer has performed admirably in what, in our opinion, is by a long shot the toughest job in the technology business. Ballmer has walked a management tight rope driving Microsoft's healthy Windows and Office revenue, while at the same time pushing Microsoft into the cloud with products like Windows Azure and Microsoft's Office Web Apps. At the same time, he is has kept the pressure on in the exploding virtualization business with Hyper-V and upped the ante in the search engine war against Google with Bing. Anyway, what we love about Ballmer is he's still crazy after all these years. What we're waiting for from Microsoft: the Steve Ballmer Energy Bar. Give us a year's supply.

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