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Microsoft's Steve Ballmer: 'Apple sold more iPads than I'd like them to sell'

post #1 of 187
Thread Starter 
Speaking to Wall Street analysts, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer noted that tablets are a big issue for the company and expressed concern about Apple's success with iPad.

"Today, one of the top issues on my mind, hey there's a category -- tablets," Ballmer said, according to a transcript by Business Insider.

"Apple has done an interesting job. They've sold more than I'd like them to sell. We think about that," he said. "So it's our job to say, we have got to make things happen. Just like we made things happen with netbooks, we have to do that with Slates."

Ballmer introduced his comments on tablets by saying, "Windows is everywhere. It's in gas pumps, lights controlling stadiums, etc. But for consumers...Microsoft went from no Windows in netbooks to being the guiding piece of software. Thin laptops, gaming PCs, TVs, etc. We have the widest array of form factors."

What Microsoft did to netbooks

Netbooks originally debuted with Linux, which helped the low end mini-notebooks achieve an attractive low price. However, Microsoft immediately began pressuring PC makers, including netbook leader ASUS, to switch to Windows XP, offering the software virtually for free to prevent Windows-free netbooks from gaining traction.

In the spring of 2009, Ubuntu CEO Mark Shuttleworth expressed hope of a level playing field in the netbook market, stating in an interview that "a decent edition of Windows [7] will mean Microsoft finally has to charge full price and that Redmond will finally stop allowing OEMs to use low-cost copies of Windows XP instead of paying full price for the full version of the official flagship - Windows Vista."

By the summer of 2009, Ballmer was telling financial analysts that Microsoft hoped to stop the rapidly falling prices in PCs (in part due to an influx of cheap new netbooks).

Using Windows 7, Ballmer said, "Were going to readjust those prices north." At the time, he commented that Apple's gains in PC market share were a "rounding error," and "cost us nothing." He added, "hopefully, well take share back from Apple. But they still sell only 10 million PCs a year, so its a limited opportunity."

Tablets harder to take

A year later, Apple has increased its Mac unit sales significantly while also selling nearly as many more new iPads per quarter. Ballmer referred to iPad as a PC, so from Microsoft's perspective, Apple has doubled its share of the overall computer market, while making major gains in the formerly beleaguered tablet market.

Unlike the netbook market, Microsoft can't pressure Apple to convert the iPad to a Windows device. And other PC makers have shown little enthusiasm for Windows in the tablet arena, with ASUS recently shelving its plans to use Windows Embedded Compact 7 in favor of Android.

Asked about future Microsoft tablets in the wake of HP dropping its plans for the consumer "Slate PC" it unveiled at CES just before iPad was announced (and before buying Palm, below), and the news that Microsoft was canceling its own Courier tablet concept, Ballmer said, "We've invested in touch, in ink. Mark up annotation, you'll see us try to bring it together to deliver slates and convertibles people will be excited about."



Ballmer told the audience that new Microsoft tablets, "will be shipping as soon as they are ready. It has job one urgency around here, nobody's sleeping at this point. We are working with those partners, not just to deliver something, but to deliver products that people really want to go buy."

After fretting about Apple's ominous iPad sales numbers, Baller also took the opportunity to criticize the product, saying "I don't think there is one size that fits all [] I've been to too many meetings with journalists who spent the first 10 minutes of the meeting setting up iPad to look like a laptop." Presumably, Ballmer meant pulling out a Bluetooth keyboard.
post #2 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft went from no Windows in netbooks to being the guiding piece of software

The thing with netbook is, it really is just a cheap underpowered laptop. You need very little tweaking in order to get windows to work with it. As for tablets, you cannot just add touch controls and expect it to work. You cannot just replace the mouse with your finger.
post #3 of 187
Maybe Microsloth should ask some Apple users to help his staff at their meetings set up the iPads, so his staff can work????
post #4 of 187
Ballmer is an idiot. I hope they lose their ass in the tablet PC market.

HP got it right by canceling their Windows-based slate. However, I doubt their WebOS slate will do very well.
post #5 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihxo View Post

The thing with netbook is, it really is just a cheap underpowered laptop. You need very tweaking in order to get windows to work with it. As for tablets, you cannot just add touch controls and expect it to work. You cannot just replace the mouse with your finger.

Conversely... as the rather content owner/user of an Apple iPad 64/WiFi+3g, I can honestly say that it's really just an enlarged, overpriced iPod Touch lacking the convenience of being pocketable.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #6 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

After fretting about Apple's ominous iPad sales numbers, Baller also took the opportunity to criticize the product, saying "I don't think there is one size that fits all [] I've been to too many meetings with journalists who spent the first 10 minutes of the meeting setting up iPad to look like a laptop." Presumably, Ballmer meant pulling out a Bluetooth keyboard.

Ten minutes? Give me a break Ballmer. Why must he over exaggerate everything he says when he is talking about competition? Face the facts. We won in another category.
post #7 of 187
Pfft. Monkey Boy Dance. That's all I have to say about Ballmer.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #8 of 187
Ballmer says:
Quote:
...you'll see us try to bring it together to deliver slates and convertibles people will be excited about.

Yoda says:
Do, or do not. There IS no try!
"Don't be a dick!"Wil Wheaton
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"Don't be a dick!"Wil Wheaton
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post #9 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Ballmer is an idiot. I hope they lose their ass in the tablet PC market.

HP got it right by canceling their Windows-based slate. However, I doubt their WebOS slate will do very well.

I want HP's WebOS pad to do well, mainly because it will be stealing potential customers from Microsoft. MS has no credible competitive products to push Apple to greater heights. HP may be able to corner the low end of the market, leaving the more capable iPad to dominate the mid and upper end.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply
post #10 of 187
Will someone please wake this guy up. He speaks like a typical America CEO, (except Steve of course) with no real facts about products. He is just throwing darts in sentences hoping one will stick and impress his shareholders.

Just stick with Windows, Mr Ballmer and like anyone in front of a window, you can only look without coming out. And that is exactly where Microsoft is today, looking, talking without participation.

Shut up Mr Ballmer, and admit you have no clue about anything except numbers.
post #11 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

After fretting about Apple's ominous iPad sales numbers, Baller also took the opportunity to criticize the product, saying "I don't think there is one size that fits all [] I've been to too many meetings with journalists who spent the first 10 minutes of the meeting setting up iPad to look like a laptop." Presumably, Ballmer meant pulling out a Bluetooth keyboard.

"Baller"??? Cute!

Anyhoo, with Google, HP, and Microsoft all fighting to be #2, the way is cleared for Apple to lock leadership in this arena down tight. Consequently, Microsoft would be smart, IMHO, to remember the old adage, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." They should be porting Office to the iPad ASAP.
post #12 of 187
End of story.
post #13 of 187
Here is a very thoughtful article on Balmer/MS from today's WSJ...

It's rather short as far as WSJ articles go (good news for some on this board), very informative and I would really recommend it.

Plus, the 'monkey boy' insults are somewhat sophomoric and very tiresome!


http://online.wsj.com/article_email/...TEyNDkyWj.html

This article will be available to non-subscribers of the Online Journal for up to seven days.

Would be interested in what you guys and gals think of it! It's not very complementary either. Seems to say MS should stick to Windows OS, Office and Xbox.

Best


Let me know if the link doesn't work.
post #14 of 187
What we are seeing here is the slow death of a large monolith whose inertia and lack of innovation and coherent (and might I say, literate) leadership is being exposed for all to see by a much more innovative and customer focussed company. In a way it is sad to see, but it is just another lesson that big companies find very hard to learn.
post #15 of 187
Microsoft is finally showing some respect to Apple. How about that?
post #16 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I want HP's WebOS pad to do well, mainly because it will be stealing potential customers from Microsoft. MS has no credible competitive products to push Apple to greater heights.

Absolutely. Android pushes phones and tablets further away from Windows.
post #17 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... Ballmer told the audience that new Microsoft tablets, "will be shipping as soon as they are ready. It has job one urgency around here, nobody's sleeping at this point. We are working with those partners, not just to deliver something, but to deliver products that people really want to go buy."
...

Translation:

The iPad caught us with our pants down and now everyone at Microsoft is running around pulling their hair out and desperately trying to think of what to do about it.
post #18 of 187
After more than a decade of selling Windows-based tablet PCs (I have used them going back to the mid-1990s), I want to know what Microsoft thinks is going to be better or different this time around that will suddenly make it a mass market product. The iPad sets the bar, and Microsoft dismissing it as just another tablet PC immediately reveals the problem: Microsoft doesn't get why the iPad is so successful. You can't judge it on the raw specs. You have to own and use one every day. Take it with you. Live with one. Glide your fingers over the screen.

Ballmer sounds like he has never touched an iPad, he's only chortled as he watched other people use one, and he probably thought, "yeah, looks easy, we can do that too!"

I would be easy if they were trying to take marketshare away from Palm or Sony, but when it comes to Apple, Microsoft's old tactics (copy and extend) fall short.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #19 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkalu View Post

Microsoft is finally showing some respect to Apple. How about that?

Not really respect... fear.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply
post #20 of 187
Windows tablets? Please. They should stick with gas pumps.
post #21 of 187
can I get a no shit?
post #22 of 187
Ballmer is such a putz!
post #23 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Here is a very thoughtful article on Balmer/MS from today's WSJ...

It's rather short as far as WSJ articles go (good news for some on this board), very informative and I would really recommend it.

Plus, the 'monkey boy' insults are somewhat sophomoric and very tiresome!


http://online.wsj.com/article_email/...TEyNDkyWj.html

This article will be available to non-subscribers of the Online Journal for up to seven days.

Would be interested in what you guys and gals think of it! It's not very complementary either. Seems to say MS should stick to Windows OS, Office and Xbox. ...

Seems kind of a boring regular sort of article. I've seen about a half dozen over the last month or so that say essentially the same thing.

It also doesn't seem very uncomplimentary to me. Balmer is a colossal fool and any article that doesn't paint him as such is missing the point and being too kind.

I find the criticism related to dividends kind of off also. Almost no tech company *except* for Microsoft gives dividends anymore and most serious players in the market who are on top of things realise that dividends in general are something that just makes no sense anymore. Suggesting that Microsoft (or any company) should give out dividends as some kind of solution seems silly to me. It will just bleed them dry faster and has literally nothing to do with the health or proper operation of a company.
post #24 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkalu View Post

Microsoft is finally showing some respect to Apple. How about that?

I would say Microsoft respects the heck out of Apple, but that Ballmer is scared to death of them (and Google) at the same time. No matter what he says, he knows once Windows and Office become expendable and cloud computing really takes off (not for quite a few more years, though), that this once "greatest company in the world" will no longer exist. Microsoft needs new management, and fast.
post #25 of 187
Man, I bet that stings...
post #26 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

...he knows once Windows and Office become expendable and cloud computing really takes off (not for quite a few more years, though), that this once "greatest company in the world" will no longer exist.

Yah. And once gas pumps also go the way of the dodo bird... due to peak oil... they're really screwed!!! LOL.
post #27 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

Shut up Mr Ballmer, and admit you have no clue about anything except numbers.

I think you meant Excel, cuz I don't believe he owns a Mac to run Numbers...
post #28 of 187
Maybe the DOJ should investigate MS for their anti-competitive practices when dealing with netbook OEMs. They strong-armed Linux off of the OEM netbooks. Windows 7 Starter runs awful on a netbook. I have a Dell Mini 10 from last November. I'm trying to sell that POC.
post #29 of 187
Looks to me that Microsoft is trying to do to cheap PCs what Adobe did to the Apple laserwriter; not responding to falling HW prices making the SW part of the price ridiculous.
post #30 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjm1863 View Post

Maybe Microsloth should ask some Apple users to help his staff at their meetings set up the iPads, so his staff can work????

MICROSLOTH! I have never heard/read this before. Well played, sir.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #31 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

Yah. And once gas pumps also go the way of the dodo bird... due to peak oil... they're really screwed!!! LOL.

LOL, I guess we know the oil companies aren't the only ones lobbying to get rid of electric cars.
post #32 of 187
Imagine if Ballmer/Microsoft went incommunicado and emerged 6 months later with a kickass product.

Imagine if they didn't comment on unannounced products.

Imagine if they didn't cozy up with partners on stage to show products they might or might not make within 83 years.

Imagine if they simply released stuff when it was done and ready to go, and then let the product speak for itself.

(flick your lighters on)

Imagine all the people...
post #33 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Seems kind of a boring regular sort of article. I've seen about a half dozen over the last month or so that say essentially the same thing.

It also doesn't seem very uncomplimentary to me. Balmer is a colossal fool and any article that doesn't paint him as such is missing the point and being too kind.

I find the criticism related to dividends kind of off also. Almost no tech company *except* for Microsoft gives dividends anymore and most serious players in the market who are on top of things realise that dividends in general are something that just makes no sense anymore. Suggesting that Microsoft (or any company) should give out dividends as some kind of solution seems silly to me. It will just bleed them dry faster and has literally nothing to do with the health or proper operation of a company.

What a bilious response...
post #34 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

Ballmer says:


Yoda says:
Do, or do not. There IS no try!

Best reply EVER!
post #35 of 187
One thing I have never forgiven Microsoft for is abandoning their cordless phone. When they finally got the software right and computing power had caught up to the demands of the software the mother frakkers discontinued it. Morons.

I think that Baller understands business needs and how to sell them Windows and office products.
What he does not understand is a consumer product (non nerdien) like the ipad. To him if it doesn't run my sql then it is not a worthy tool. It's one reason why Windows C.E., Win Mo Blows etc are just not very good.

Almost every other product outside of their core competency is either a rushed me too development or something that is to far ahead of current hardware e.g surface. Bloated software that has little chance of running on any real world hardware outside of Microsofts labs.

I don't think the way they develop products will ever allow them to release something as refined and user friendly as the ipad.

The only new product to successfully reach out to new customers (imho) is the x-box. Yes they have lost a ton of money but they are successfully getting major mindshare with teenagers and young adults.
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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post #36 of 187
Remarkable, just remarkable.

Ballmer has absolutely no clue how the iPad happened. Love it or hate it, iPad is the culmination of leveraged technologies dating back to NeXT. Mac OS X, iMac, iPod, Front Row, and of course iPhone all had a part in it. Ballmer IS completely lost if he thinks a "Job One" crash program will produce a serious competitor.

Anyway, a death-marched "Windows 7 Tablet" should bring some good yucks when it finally shows up.
post #37 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Conversely... as the rather content owner/user of an Apple iPad 64/WiFi+3g, I can honestly say that it's really just an enlarged, overpriced iPod Touch lacking the convenience of being pocketable.

And, as a rather content(ed) owner/user of an Apple iPad with 64/Wigi+3G, I can honestly say that you are lying, just so that you can make another anti-Apple point.

Tiresome, man. Give it up.
post #38 of 187
Gas pumps.... that is a scary thought.
post #39 of 187
Ha! Take that Steve Ballmer.
I lost interest in Netbooks when manufacturers starting using Windows. Had they stayed on the Linux path, I would have one already. Instead two years later, I have an iPad now.
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http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp

Never argue with idiots, they'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. - a bumper sticker

Never quote idiots, they just clog up...
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post #40 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Maybe the DOJ should investigate MS for their anti-competitive practices when dealing with netbook OEMs. They strong-armed Linux off of the OEM netbooks. Windows 7 Starter runs awful on a netbook. I have a Dell Mini 10 from last November. I'm trying to sell that POC.

Not to mention how "Windows is everywhere. It's in gas pumps, lights controlling stadiums, etc."
http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp

Never argue with idiots, they'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. - a bumper sticker

Never quote idiots, they just clog up...
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http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp

Never argue with idiots, they'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. - a bumper sticker

Never quote idiots, they just clog up...
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