Just another test of my original pix link, thanks of Oly's alert.
Stereo, the stories about "Ballmer making $1Billion just by announcing his resignation" are great news for everyone else, too, but your point about hiring "someone who knows" is going to be another risk for investors. Chances are that the initial bloom will see another rise in stocks, but that person's history will be discovered, and then their actual results will be the core test.
Most of my doubts over the successor are that this person will be better than Ballmer - but frankly, that's a 51% doubt vs 49%. Not MUCH of a strong feeling. It's sort of like replacing a heralded coach - the next one in line is usually a flop (ie, Ballmer succeeding Gates), but there's no certainty that #3 in line will come closer to Gatesian status.
Gates had a major advantage - he was a programmer at heart and learned business. Ballmer was never a programmer and believed his biz decisions solved everything. His first 'baby' was Vista, and he scrambled after that. He removed himself from the programming chain of command and returned to biz manager for Win7, but felt he'd made a mistake on the tablet issues so he reinserted himself for the Win7 follow-up product.
I don't think they need a programmer - a Gatesian mentality who can go to fanboi conventions and issue on-the-spot challenges of VBasic vs All Comers. But they do need someone who has some semblance of an understanding of User Productivity without an Orwellian or tyrannical force.
They need someone who recognizes that users will not be pleasd to repurchase and re-learn their productivity apps simply because they've bought a different UI.