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Ballmer teases iPhone-toting employee; iTunes LP comic book

post #1 of 99
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A Microsoft employee who snapped a photo of Steve Ballmer at a company meeting was given a ribbing by the company executive; and the first iTunes LP e-book is for sale in the form of a comic with multimedia extras.

Ballmer vs. a Microsoft employee's iPhone

At a private company meeting this week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was reportedly giving one of his legendary energetic entrances when an employee mistakenly snapped a photo of him with an iPhone. According to Todd Bishop at TechFlash, the company leader made a lighthearted example of him.

"Ballmer grabbed the Apple device from the employee and made some funny remarks as everyone booed," he said. "Then he put it on the ground and pretended to stomp on it, before walking away."

Ballmer reportedly teased the employee again later during his presentation. Bishop noted that one Microsoft employee remarked on Twitter: "You just don't pick up the CEO of Chevy in a BMW."

While those in attendance said the moment was all in good fun, Ballmer has made his share of inflammatory remarks about the iPhone in the past. However, since the iPhone has proven successful for Apple, Ballmer has softened his remarks.

iTunes LP digital comic

Tyrese Gibson's "Mayhem" is the first digital book for sale as an iTunes LP. The $1.99 album features a comic book co-created by Tyrese, as well as an exclusive track from the artist.

In addition, it includes a 45-minute "making of" video, two additional exclusive comics, black-and-white storyboards, alternate covers, concept art, desktop wallpapers and more. After he saw the product at Apple's event this week, Fortune's Jon Fortt asked whether the product is Apple's e-book "trojan horse."

"And its not just text and images; both audio and video come along with the package," Fortt said. "The interface is designed so that it would obviously work nearly as well on a touch-sensitive tablet or even on an iPhone as it does on a full-fledged PC."



Unveiled this week, iTunes LP was originally believed to be a product intended to spur sales of whole albums, rather than singles. While that intent may be true, the "Mayhem" comic suggests that iTunes LP could come to represent much more than music, but a unique combination of multimedia offerings combined in one package.
post #2 of 99
Hahah! Those clever Microserfs...
post #3 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...

"And its not just text and images; both audio and video come along with the package," Fortt said. "The interface is designed so that it would obviously work nearly as well on a touch-sensitive tablet or even on an iPhone as it does on a full-fledged PC."

Unveiled this week, iTunes LP was originally believed to be a product intended to spur sales of whole albums, rather than singles. While that intent may be true, the "Mayhem" comic suggests that iTunes LP could come to represent much more than music, but a unique combination of multimedia offerings combined in one package.

That simply could explain why Apple dissed the joint music label version of this concept. Their vision was too small. And Apple might have its grander plans leaked before its time.
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post #4 of 99
Ballmer can be an idiot sometimes with his antics, but the employee stupid enough to show up at a MS corporate function with a competitors product gets no sympathy from me.

He's lucky if he's able to keep his job. Especially now when times are difficult and talented people are without jobs.
post #5 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Ballmer can be an idiot sometimes with his antics, but the employee stupid enough to show up at a MS corporate function with a competitors product gets no sympathy from me.

He's lucky if he's able to keep his job. Especially now when times are difficult and talented people are without jobs.

Jeez! The fault is entirely Ballmer's - and he is thus generating a lot of unintented focus towards Apples product.
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post #6 of 99
Well at least he has a sense of humor. That goes a long way with employee respect.
post #7 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


"You just don't pick up the CEO of Chevy in a BMW."



At least the MS employee who made the analogy got it right.
post #8 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Ballmer can be an idiot sometimes with his antics, but the employee stupid enough to show up at a MS corporate function with a competitors product gets no sympathy from me.

He's lucky if he's able to keep his job. Especially now when times are difficult and talented people are without jobs.

I didn't realize Microsoft made a phone... oh wait, they don't. Would he have had the same reaction if it were a Blackberry?
post #9 of 99
I wonder if Ballmer staged it for laughs.
post #10 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Ballmer can be an idiot sometimes with his antics, but the employee stupid enough to show up at a MS corporate function with a competitors product gets no sympathy from me.

He's lucky if he's able to keep his job. Especially now when times are difficult and talented people are without jobs.

the full article said that most MS employees have iPhones and not WinMo phones which is fully understandable
post #11 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Well at least he has a sense of humor. That goes a long way with employee respect.

... only if that guy keeps his job of course. let's wait and see...
post #12 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

I didn't realize Microsoft made a phone... oh wait, they don't. Would he have had the same reaction if it were a Blackberry?

i wonder if he'd thrown a chair if it had been an android phone
post #13 of 99
Another child like outburst. This is what we have come to expect from this guy. He certainly produced some good publicity for the iPhone out of MS's headquarters.
post #14 of 99
I think that SJ should personally call this kid and offer him a job!
post #15 of 99
Why is it bad? Microsoft doesn't need money, it needs new ideas. They should use as many competitor products as they possibly can.

The same goes for General Motors. We can only hope they drive Hondas and Audis to keep up their knowledge of the industry. Criticizing your employee for being aware of what is going on in the industry is crazy.

If I were Microsoft I would be buying a lot of Macs and iPhones. What's more, I am quite sure that they do do that.
post #16 of 99
Microsoft has some good ideas. Their only drawback is the backwards compatibility they tend to maintain. Most of the defects and vulnerabilities will go away if they drop legacy junk. Surface is a nice recent technology I can think of.
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post #17 of 99
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post #18 of 99
we have Steve Ballmer to thank for Apple's renaissance almost as much as Steve Jobs.
post #19 of 99
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post #20 of 99
May Ballmer continue at MS' helm for many years. He's been wonderful for Apple. You'd almost think he's secretly working for them.

Apple envy abounds, folks. Even at MS.
post #21 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I think that SJ should personally call this kid and offer him a job!

Touched a raw nerve did he - may the force be with him!
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post #22 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

the employee stupid enough to show up at a MS corporate function with a competitors product gets no sympathy from me.

He's lucky if he's able to keep his job. Especially now when times are difficult and talented people are without jobs.

Why are people like you so harsh? You seem to WANT people to get fired for innocuous things that don't even come CLOSE to dismissable "offenses". Chill the heck out and try being nice for a change.
post #23 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Unveiled this week, iTunes LP was originally believed to be a product intended to spur sales of whole albums, rather than singles. While that intent may be true, the "Mayhem" comic suggests that iTunes LP could come to represent much more than music, but a unique combination of multimedia offerings combined in one package.

OK, so the whole point of iTunes was buying single songs at 99 cents rather than having to buy an album with a whole bunch of crap we didn't want. Now it appears there's added bonus crap. So now we want the crap? 'Cause I'm pretty sure I still don't want the crap. Maybe someone could fill me in on Apple's official position on whether I want the crap or not.
post #24 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by talksense101 View Post

Microsoft has some good ideas. Their only drawback is the backwards compatibility they tend to maintain. Most of the defects and vulnerabilities will go away if they drop legacy junk. Surface is a nice recent technology I can think of.

No, even ground-up rewrites are pretty questionable from that company. Which is why after three decades in business they still basically have only two highly profitable core products (Windows and Office) that their entire company is based around.

Surface is nifty, but it's suffering from not-invented-here. It's hard to write Java apps for it and it doesn't integrate into many non-Microsoft ecosystems well. Considering that the places with the most innovative people tend to use a variety of platforms, it's hurting the potential there. And after playing with one for awhile, it was hard to see the utility. The Surface is all about marketing right now.
post #25 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

Why are people like you so harsh? You seem to WANT people to get fired for innocuous things that don't even come CLOSE to dismissable "offenses". Chill the heck out and try being nice for a change.

I'm sorry I hurt your feelings.

After your algebra class I'll try to explain how things work in the big bad corporate world.
post #26 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I think that SJ should personally call this kid and offer him a job!

Right- but imagine if SJ saw a Zune on his premises? "GET OUT NOW!!!!!"
post #27 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guartho View Post

I wonder if Ballmer staged it for laughs.

"When" (deny as MS would, you know it is coming) when Microsoft comes out with their "iPhone" clone, what would Steve Jobs do if an Apple employee brandished one at an Apple iPhone event keynote by Steve Jobs?

One knows when Steve is displeased... Example of Steve's wrath, the pulled book from Apple stores on Jobs bio, "iCon Steve Jobs..." I should say, the pulled books, ALL OF THEM, of the same publisher of the book, "iCon Steve Jobs"...

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...biography.html

Heck, you probably could say that Jobs, instead of placing the phone on the floor and pretending to jump up and down, would probably body slam the employee and actually jump up and down on the employee.

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post #28 of 99
What is so nice about Surface? From what I can tell, it essentially is an overpriced touch screen computer that uses inferior technology to copy the innovation of others.

My girlfriend just bought a Mercury Mariner. For about two weeks I was a big fan of Microsoft's Sync installed in most new Ford vehicles. It really is the nicest audio bluetooth vehicle integration out there. I wish Apple would have taken the lead there.

She has had the vehicle for about three weeks. The vehicle is great. Ford has done some nice innovative things in the vehicle, and Americans should be looking at Ford's vehicles to support fellow Americans.

However, the Sync is already broken and it is going back to the dealer this week. Nice going Microsoft [I do hope they fix it, as it really is cool].

Quote:
Originally Posted by talksense101 View Post

Microsoft has some good ideas. Their only drawback is the backwards compatibility they tend to maintain. Most of the defects and vulnerabilities will go away if they drop legacy junk. Surface is a nice recent technology I can think of.
post #29 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Right- but imagine if SJ saw a Zune on his premises? "GET OUT NOW!!!!!"


You'd have to actually find someone with a Zune for that to happen. Maybe they'll have better luck with the Zune HD, but so far I can only imagine giant crates of the current iteration filling up some wherehouse ala Raiders of the Lost Ark.
post #30 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by talksense101 View Post

Microsoft has some good ideas. Their only drawback is the backwards compatibility they tend to maintain. Most of the defects and vulnerabilities will go away if they drop legacy junk. Surface is a nice recent technology I can think of.

Your correct. They have some good ideas and a big install base. If Windows 8 dropped backwards compatibility and moved forward with an new OS design (under the hood stuff) it would be a different day for MS. Yes, they would create a major problem but they would create a major leap forward at the same time (assuming they got it right with their new OS). They would also open up a door for Apple to make a great leap forward as well.

Down with M$
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post #31 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Ballmer can be an idiot sometimes with his antics, but the employee stupid enough to show up at a MS corporate function with a competitors product gets no sympathy from me.

Yeah sort of like GM where they preferred their corporate heads in the sand ignoring the competition. Frankly you get no support from me in your position because it represents an attitude that has done a lot of damage to corporate America and their ability to compete. Once you discount the viability of a competitors product you pretty much doom your company.
Quote:

He's lucky if he's able to keep his job. Especially now when times are difficult and talented people are without jobs.

Again this is exactly the attitude that has hurt corporate America and our ability to compete. Deny that the competition has a viable and compelling product and shoot the messager. In any event go ahead and maintain your attitude, see how it benefits you in the long term.

As a side note I don't see this as Balmer flying off the handle. On the contrary it looks like somebody that is quick thinking leveraging an opportunity that came his way in a funny way. Or as somebody else suggested the happening was staged.


Dave
post #32 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

OK, so the whole point of iTunes was buying single songs at 99 cents rather than having to buy an album with a whole bunch of crap we didn't want. Now it appears there's added bonus crap. So now we want the crap? 'Cause I'm pretty sure I still don't want the crap. Maybe someone could fill me in on Apple's official position on whether I want the crap or not.

You can still buy single songs for 99 cents.

It's simple: don't buy the "crap" if you don't want it.
post #33 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I'm sorry I hurt your feelings.

After your algebra class I'll try to explain how things work in the big bad corporate world.

Your attitude is exactly why so many companies in this country are in such bad shape. Often suffering from the competition from smaller mom and pop operations.

Dave
post #34 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

OK, so the whole point of iTunes was buying single songs at 99 cents rather than having to buy an album with a whole bunch of crap we didn't want. Now it appears there's added bonus crap. So now we want the crap? 'Cause I'm pretty sure I still don't want the crap. Maybe someone could fill me in on Apple's official position on whether I want the crap or not.

Well, the idea of iTunes was that one can also buy single tracks. And you still can do that; nobody forces you to buy an album or an album with extras. Why would Apple have an "official position" on what you want to buy? I bought the Doors and the Dylan "iTunes LPs" when they became available, and there is no crap on both of these albums for sure and the extras are gorgeous. I think this is the best thing that happened to music downloads in quite some time; unless you really need/want the higher quality CD, there is no more reason to buy and store physical media and you get much more than a pathetic booklet. Now, if they could just add WebKit to the AppleTV software in order to enable the usage of these extras on the big screen...
post #35 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

I didn't realize Microsoft made a phone... oh wait, they don't. Would he have had the same reaction if it were a Blackberry?

So since MS doesn't make computers Apple and MS aren't competitors in pcs either?

Hmm... Both companies seem to see things differently, at least with computers, as they spend a lot of time and money attacking each other. Have you seen the "I'm a Mac, And I'm a PC" and the laptop hunter ads?

I don't know what reaction Ballmer would have had if the phone was a BB. Frankly, he was stupid to draw attention to the iPhone the way he did. But remember that BB don't sell computers and internet services like Mobile Me that compete with other MS products. Apple have done a masterful job getting their customers to buy into the whole Apple ecosystem and that does hurt MS in a way that RIM does not/cannot.
post #36 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Right- but imagine if SJ saw a Zune on his premises? "GET OUT NOW!!!!!"

When/if he sees one, and then responds, we'd actually have something to talk about.
post #37 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Ballmer can be an idiot sometimes with his antics, but the employee stupid enough to show up at a MS corporate function with a competitors product gets no sympathy from me.

He's lucky if he's able to keep his job. Especially now when times are difficult and talented people are without jobs.

That's a problem, not with the individual, but with some corporate culture mindsets, which is often myopic and narrow. If they fire people for buying the "wrong" product with their own earnings, they're going to wither away their intelligence base even more, it usually results in intellectual incest and even more of a yes-man mindset. Does a company want people that are broad minded, or people that just buy the party line with their own earnings because that's who writes their checks? People buying the competitor's product should either be a clue either that something is wrong with your own product, or an indication that your workers aren't so henpecked as to blindly go along with the corporate line when maybe something else suits them better.

We have enough of this us-vs.-them, friend or foe, ally or traitor mindset, and frankly, I think this kind of attitude is poisonous.
post #38 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Right- but imagine if SJ saw a Zune on his premises? "GET OUT NOW!!!!!"

Are you kidding? Jobs would probably laugh. I know I would - seeing a Zune anywhere would crack me up.

I'm guessing Jobs would question the person's intelligence, though, and suggest he seek therapy.
post #39 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Right- but imagine if SJ saw a Zune on his premises? "GET OUT NOW!!!!!"

You may be right, but can you really imagine that an Apple employee who had the choice of using an iPod or a Zune would actually choose the latter on purpose? Steve might actually suggest a brain transplant to such an idiot.
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post #40 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

OK, so the whole point of iTunes was buying single songs at 99 cents rather than having to buy an album with a whole bunch of crap we didn't want. Now it appears there's added bonus crap. So now we want the crap? 'Cause I'm pretty sure I still don't want the crap. Maybe someone could fill me in on Apple's official position on whether I want the crap or not.

The iTunes LP offerings cost more than the albums alone (I think about $2 more). My guess is they won't even offer it for most albums - it's up to the record labels. You can still buy your single tunes, and that won't change.

What's wrong with more choice, and who is this "we" you speak for?

I don't know how many people will want the extras - I'm a CD person myself.
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