A timely reality check -- read the full article for context-setting and market/product line details.
Those who sneer at Ballmer's supposed ineptitude or, as Wired puts it, "mismanagement," are simply engaging in speculation and armchair quarterbacking. They also show a poor understanding of internal dynamics at Microsoft.
The real strategist behind the Yahoo assault is Kevin Johnson, who heads the group responsible for Online Services (and who also oversees Windows). Ballmer was sufficiently confident that "KJ," as he's known, could handle this project that two weeks ago he took a trip to the Amazon which put him completely out of touch with the office for days.
Ballmer, of course, remains the chief corporate strategist and the ultimate decision-maker. But the grown-up company he now heads, soon even to be sans Bill Gates, is one far more decentralized and well-managed than any version that has come before.
It is simply false to say Microsoft is in real trouble.
BTW nobody at Microsoft said Bill Gates is going away; he's shifting from full-time Microsoft/part-time Foundation to part-time Microsoft/full-time Foundation, but it won't be Microsoft "sans Bill Gates" anytime in the near future.