I understand the idea of being aggressive. Of going after the competition, particularly at a time when it's not crazy to call Apple vulnerable. I use that word "relative" to Tim Cook's comparatively smooth first year on the job and Steve Jobs's near flawless second tenure at the helm. Actions speak louder than words, especially when you operate from a position of weakness. If you're doing it right, others are going to start talking trash for you. Ultimately, you will have customers and stockholders defend you till the death like the current crop of loyal Apple fanboys. AIDA. ABC. Attention. Interest. Decision. Action. Always. Be. Closing. That's what Ballmer needs to be doing now, but not with the media and a public that stopped caring about Microsoft a long time ago. Shoppers -- from corporations and the enterprise -- are walking into the store. They're not doing it to get out of the rain. Close them! Focus on bringing Microsoft back to the level of respectability it enjoyed with Gates as leader. Take action by sacrificing Steve Sinofsky if you have to, getting on the phone, swallowing your pride, offering Scott Forstall whatever he wants to become CEO. then step into the background as vice chairman or something. That would take more of a shot at, start more of a war with and send a louder message to Apple than all of the babbling Ballmer has done over the last five years. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article.