It doesn’t take a long look at Microsoft to realize that the former Beast from Redmond isn’t looking nearly as healthy anymore. With Bill Gates and Paul Allen departed, Steve Ballmer has inherited the big flagging empire and while it might have been Netscape which used the Captain’s Wheel, it’s Microsoft that could use the navigation because the company is drifting and slowly sinking with Ballmer at the helm. Ballmer’s lack of grounding in technology, not to mention his attitude, can’t help but be contributing to Microsoft’s problems. But right now it seems like no one at Microsoft can get anything right. Even the release of Windows XP SP3 turned out to be botched. This follows the botched release of Windows Vista SP1, which itself needed an update. Considering that all this attention centered around XP and Vista comes because of Vista’s dysfunctionality, Ballmer’s mixed messages about retaining XP and Dell’s downgrades, strongly suggest that Microsoft may need to compromise and preserve XP and then get in the game fast with Windows 7, before it’s all gone faster than you can say Atari.