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Offbeat: Steve Ballmer signs MacBook Pro - running Windows, of course

post #1 of 130
Thread Starter 
While on a visit to Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn., this week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer put his John Hancock on a MacBook Pro, and the event was captured on video.

While meeting with a group of students, one of them asked the multi-billionaire: "Mr. Ballmer, would you sign my laptop?" The inquiry earned laughs from the group, as well as as the Microsoft executive. "It's got Windows on it," the student said, "I promise."

"Oh yeah," Ballmer said sarcastically, before taking the MacBook Pro and signing it with a marker. The autograph came with a note: "Need a new one?"

"It's all yours," Ballmer said as he handed the Apple machine back to the student.

Ballmer was in town for the Nashville Technology Council's annual meeting. The one-day visit from the Microsoft executive was part of a multi-city tour intended to promote the company as one that can solve problems for specific industries, the university said.

During his trip, Ballmer met with students from local colleges and universities, which is where he encountered the MacBook Pro. The full video of the event is embedded below:



The student also uploaded a photo of the signature to his personal Web site.



Ballmer gained attention last September when a Microsoft employee at a private company meeting snapped a picture of him using an iPhone. Ballmer grabbed the phone and made lighthearted remarks while the onlooking audience booed. He then put the phone on the ground and pretended to stomp on it.

After the incident, one Microsoft employee said of the situation: "You just don't pick up the CEO of Chevy in a BMW."
post #2 of 130
at least he's got a sense of humor
post #3 of 130
Cool story
post #4 of 130
Should be seeing that on Ebay soon.
post #5 of 130
Heh, yeah, you don't see Jobs signing Dells any time soon!
post #6 of 130
I think that's great - good on Steve Ballmer.

Anyone up for linking this to the iPhone/Bing story!
post #7 of 130
to patch Apple/Microsoft relations to get Bing to be the default search tool on the iPhone instead of Google?

If MS ditches the Zune, Zune Phone and Windows Mobile, then maybe there can be a deal.
post #8 of 130
I'm sure Ballmer took the opportunity as an ideal way to mess up a Mac!
post #9 of 130
The world is a better place when we can have a laugh with and at each other..... Kudos to Ballmer.
post #10 of 130
If he had any class, he would have refused to sign it. There's no way Steve Jobs would sign a PC, and make a joke of it.
post #11 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMacMan View Post

If he had any class, he would have refused to sign it. There's no way Steve Jobs would sign a PC, and make a joke of it.

so then he can seem like a stuck up snob? i think its great he signed it and made a little joke about it.

people need to lighten up
post #12 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I think that's great - good on Steve Ballmer.

Anyone up for linking this to the iPhone/Bing story!

Seemed authentic to me so I don't see a tie to the Bing adoption. I think this was one of the more endearing gestures i've seen by a guy whose public persona usually turns me off.
post #13 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMacMan View Post

If he had any class, he would have refused to sign it. There's no way Steve Jobs would sign a PC, and make a joke of it.

But no one would ask Jobs to sign a PC, it would be pointless. Ballmer signed a Mac running Windows. Ballmer doesn't make the hardware, just the software.
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post #14 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMacMan View Post

If he had any class, he would have refused to sign it. There's no way Steve Jobs would sign a PC, and make a joke of it.

Why should he not sign it? It is a mac but if you choose to put Windows on it it is then a pc. A well built and unusually good looking pc but still a pc. I understand the dislike of the guy but Mac users are his customers as i.e. office, windows, silverlight et al and even he is not dumb enough to ignore us.

Oops MsNly beat me to it.
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post #15 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMacMan View Post

If he had any class, he would have refused to sign it. There's no way Steve Jobs would sign a PC, and make a joke of it.

Wow man, who shoved a stick up your ass?
post #16 of 130
Love it. He does have a personality. I think that's great that he can have fun with the situation.
post #17 of 130
The highlight of his entire career. He finally put his mark on an ascending product.
post #18 of 130
Why would he not sign it, it has his product on it? I could see him not signing someones iPhone or iPod unless it was running something obscene like Windows or WinMo.

Im not a fan of Ballmer but i think this is good, atleast he wasnt snobby about it.
post #19 of 130
Quote:
"It's got Windows on it," the student said, "I promise."


He's lying...

Why use "I promise", like he's going to do it, when "I swear" is more accurate as Windows is already installed or supposed to be.

He's looking to make a buck and sell the Mac on eBay, except of course he should remove the "need a new one?" first.

Ballmer figured it out right off that the student intends to sell the signed MacBook to get a new one, and threw a curve in his signature.

If the student catches it fast enough with the right solvent, the ink won't be permanent.
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post #20 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifail View Post

Why would he not sign it, it has his product on it? I could see him not signing someones iPhone or iPod unless it was running something obscene like Windows or WinMo.

Im not a fan of Ballmer but i think this is good, atleast he wasnt snobby about it.

Agreed.
post #21 of 130
Really, though, why on earth would he refuse?

Imagine the negative PR all over the web the next day. What a mess. That's the last thing Ballmer and MS needs, especially now.
post #22 of 130
Oh, it's great that he joked about it, and funny... but it doesn't look good for his company. Maybe instead of "no class", I should have said "unprofessional". Ask any business person, and they would not sign a competitors product. And they shouldn't.
post #23 of 130
Hilarious- I love it. Way to go Steve Ballmer
post #24 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMacMan View Post

Oh, it's great that he joked about it, and funny... but it doesn't look good for his company. Maybe instead of "no class", I should have said "unprofessional". Ask any business person, and they would not sign a competitors product. And they shouldn't.

Microsoft doesn't have a counterpart to a MacBook Pro; so I don't see your point. Microsoft has a counterpart to OS X, and that is Windows.

The kid was using Apple hardware, but the operating system (which he had to purchase himself) was Microsoft Windows. He's a paying customer. Why wouldn't he sign it?
post #25 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMacMan View Post

Oh, it's great that he joked about it, and funny... but it doesn't look good for his company. Maybe instead of "no class", I should have said "unprofessional". Ask any business person, and they would not sign a competitors product. And they shouldn't.


He's on camera, it's a kid at uni, and he's just making a consumer happy. At the end of the day it's what PR demands. It's putting a *human* face on Ballmer and it actually makes his company, in turn, look good.

Seriously, what's he gonna say, "no, I'm not signing that" and walk away? Yeah, right. Would be a total nightmare for him and MS the next day.
post #26 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMacMan View Post

Oh, it's great that he joked about it, and funny... but it doesn't look good for his company. Maybe instead of "no class", I should have said "unprofessional". Ask any business person, and they would not sign a competitors product. And they shouldn't.

Again, who shoved stick up your ass!! Try yoga.
I do not like Ballmer but lets not attack him for behaving with fun an wit.
post #27 of 130
Apple is still Microstiff's biggest rival, it's just unprofessional as a buniness person. As a regular dude, hell yeah it's funny.
post #28 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMacMan View Post

Oh, it's great that he joked about it, and funny... but it doesn't look good for his company. Maybe instead of "no class", I should have said "unprofessional". Ask any business person, and they would not sign a competitors product. And they shouldn't.

Apple is not a direct competitor to microsoft with their hardware, and every mac with a windows is a licence at full price for M$ (hence lots of $$$ for them).
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post #29 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

Again, who shoved stick up your ass!! Try yoga.
I do not like Ballmer but lets not attack him for behaving with fun an wit.

You've got some kind of stick-in-the-ass fetish, lighten up, Francis.
post #30 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMacMan View Post

Oh, it's great that he joked about it, and funny... but it doesn't look good for his company. Maybe instead of "no class", I should have said "unprofessional". Ask any business person, and they would not sign a competitors product. And they shouldn't.

Posters here slam Apple for using commodity PC components and then express cluelessness as to why Ballmer would sign a Macbook.

Apple is a hardware company. Microsoft is a software company. How many times has that been mentioned over the years?

Apple even advertises that their machines runs windows? Microsoft is not competing against Apple's hardware. Who the heck cares if he is signing what (in critic's words) is essentially a gussied-up PC with an Apple logo that is running windows?

Ballmer is being a good sport and for at least this one moment, I tip my hat to him.
post #31 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMacMan View Post

You've got some kind of stick-in-the-ass fetish, lighten up, Francis.

There are worse fetishes. LOL. Doc Johnson probably sells a product called "stick-in-the-ass"

There really was no way to say no to the kid and not look like a total douche. He did the right thing. And by playing along and adding to the joke himself by saying "need a new one?"... I think he played it pretty well.

I love how he chose to sign right on top of the Apple logo too!!!!!!! ARGH!!!!!! Question is... does that signature make the laptop more valuable... or less? LOL.
post #32 of 130
Lest we not forget another OS X install: MS Office
post #33 of 130
I'd rather have Charles Manson sign my MacBook with Sharon Tate's blood than let that buffoon touch it.
post #34 of 130
The guy might be a shmuck, but let's face it he's the head of a huge company that in some aspects goes head to head with apple, and he did show he has a sense of humor.

Jobs might and might not sign you never know, I think the chances are better he would get a mac, sign it and send it to the guy. That seems more like a Jobs move, hmm or he wouldn't be in a position where someone COULD ask him to sign.

Just to clarify I'm one of those people that don't want BING even as an option on my iPhone, that being said I bet Steve B is more fun to party with then Steve J.
post #35 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

What would make even bigger news is if a student went up to Steve Jobs and said " Mr Jobs would you sign my HP Envy, its running OSX, I promise.

True!
post #36 of 130
i think that's one of the awesomest things he's ever done.
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post #37 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

There are worse fetishes. LOL. Doc Johnson probably sells a product called "stick-in-the-ass"

There really was no way to say no to the kid and not look like a total douche. He did the right thing. And by playing along and adding to the joke himself by saying "need a new one?"... I think he played it pretty well.

I love how he chose to sign right on top of the Apple logo too!!!!!!! ARGH!!!!!! Question is... does that signature make the laptop more valuable... or less? LOL.

It's a lot less valuable in my eyes!
post #38 of 130
There's no way I'd have my Mac defaced like that.
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post #39 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Ballmer is being a good sport and for at least this one moment, I tip my hat to him.

Indeed. Credit where it's due.
post #40 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamIIGS View Post

The guy might be a shmuck, but let's face it he's the head of a huge company that in some aspects goes head to head with apple, and he did show he has a sense of humor.

Jobs might and might not sign you never know, I think the chances are better he would get a mac, sign it and send it to the guy. That seems more like a Jobs move, hmm or he wouldn't be in a position where someone COULD ask him to sign.

I would love to see someone take a PC to Jobs and ask him to sign it! If someone does, post that video on here, and THEN we'll have a nice discussion!
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