Ballmer's last shareholder letter lays out Microsoft's devices and services future

Sure, Steve Ballmer still has a few months left as Microsoft's CEO, but the last shareholder letter he'll pen while holding that title has just been posted online. The missive catches Redmond's head honcho in a reflective, yet forward-looking mood, highlighting the firm's future in devices and services, and what's been done to put it on that trajectory. Naturally, he calls out the outfit's restructuring, Windows 8, consistent UX across gadgets and its purchase of Nokia's own hardware and services division. Ballmer also reiterated that Microsoft will concentrate on building a "family of devices and services for individuals and businesses" that lean on "high-value activities," such as gaming and communicating with customers, family and friends.

When it comes to turning a buck, the technology giant will lead the charge with hardware and enterprise services, using its consumer experiences such as Skype as an "on-ramp" to their business-grade products. Ballmer is set to give up his post within a year, but he thinks the future is bright for the company he'll leave behind, saying, "I'm optimistic not only as the CEO but as an investor who treasures his Microsoft stock."