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Microsoft's Ballmer admits drive to tablets was late, but lauds new Surface

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
At Microsoft's annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, CEO Steve Ballmer conceded that the company was late to the tablet market now dominated by Apple's iPad, but suggested the software giant would have led the shift to portable devices if it entered the computer hardware business earlier.

Steve Ballmer
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. | Source: Microsoft


Ballmer said the combination of Microsoft's newest Windows 8 operating system and the company's first in-house designed and built computer, a tablet dubbed Surface, is creating a "seam" between software and hardware, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The strategy of creating both a device and the software running it is new ground for the Redmond, Wash.-based company, something that Ballmer said ?maybe [Microsoft] should have done? sooner.

?Sometimes getting the innovation right across the seam between hardware and software is difficult unless you do both of them,? he said.

Apple is well-versed in the synergy between hardware and software, as evidenced by the hugely successful iOS device lineup that includes the iPhone and iPad.

At the meeting, a shareholder asked Ballmer why Microsoft didn't capitalize on a number of concept "tablet PCs" former CEO Bill Gates lauded as the "future of computing" in 2001.

?Bill did hold up a tablet many years ago,? Ballmer replied, adding, "Maybe if we had started innovating then, which is what we really did with Surface, maybe we should have done that earlier. Maybe that tablet shift would have been sooner.?

While Gates likely envisioned a tablet powered by a full-fledged version of Windows, Microsoft's new Surface RT makes some concessions by running a stripped-down version of the operating system tailored to the ARM platform.

A "Pro" version of the Surface is expected to arrive soon and will run the full version of Windows 8, though it remains to be seen how the "all-in-one" OS will translate to a portable device. Unlike legacy versions of Windows, the new flagship is built to run on both desktops and tablets, however some reviews have found the "Modern UI" to be somewhat confusing.

Surface WiFi
Microsoft's Surface RT tablet.


Speaking to Microsoft's plans to innovate in the "seam" between hardware and software, the chief executive's position remains somewhat nebulous.

"And from a hardware-software perspective, we are really pushing forward aggressively on that boundary," Ballmer said, seemingly contradicting his earlier statement, ?What we say now is there is no boundary between hardware and software."

With a number of Windows 8 products already available ahead of the holiday season, Ballmer sees a bright future for the operating system and hinted that Microsoft's hardware initiative is also starting to take shape.

?I feel pretty good our level of innovations would stack up against anybody,? he said.
post #2 of 63

It's not *just* late, Steve. It's a dud. Though the two *are* related.

 

Because your company is run by a CLOWN.

post #3 of 63
Such a visionary, on so many levels.
post #4 of 63

Where's the "innovation" exactly?

 

Or is it the kind that nobody really gives a damn about?    

post #5 of 63
It's almost like he really believes that MS could have made the Surface before the iPad if only they had wanted to.
It's almost like he believes we will believe him.

I find this hard to believe...
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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Progress is a comfortable disease
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post #6 of 63
"Stripped down version of Windows"?? You mean buying a 32GB Win8 tablet and only having 16GB available for use? That's stripped down?
post #7 of 63
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post
It's almost like he really believes that MS could have made the Surface before the iPad if only they had wanted to.
It's almost like he believes we will believe him.
I find this hard to believe...

 

Poor Ballmer. Copied the Reality Distortion Field but forgot to turn the polarizers around, so it's still directed toward him…

post #8 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Poor Ballmer. Copied the Reality Distortion Field but forgot to turn the polarizers around, so it's still directed toward him…

::LOL::
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Progress is a comfortable disease
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post #9 of 63
So is he saying that Tablets are Computers now?
I don't think Microsoft wants to see the market share numbers if iPad is counted as a computer...
post #10 of 63
As usual very little and VERY LATE! anyone else would have been sacked by now!!!!
post #11 of 63

Bill probably did hold up a tablet like device in 2001.  And in 2007 I was using a touchscreen, convertible laptop/tablet at work made by Gateway and it was running XP if I remember correctly.  It was very HEAVY, LARGE and not very useful with its pen required touchscreen.  

Microsoft and its hardware partners already did tablets, and they were horrible.  Apple waited until the technology and size were ready for a small, handheld touchscreen device.  I find this article humorous as Microsoft, as usual, needed Apple to properly define what a device could and should be before they could determine on their own what the product space is.  It is nice that the Surface advertisements let us know that they 'CLICK' when attaching a keyboard.  Yay, it clicks.  As much as the industry changes, its players remain basically the same.  Microsoft has never been an innovator, especially in the consumer space.  And, with Balmer still the CEO, don't expect anything to change anytime soon.  I am curious if the Surface will be around in 24months or will it be another failed attempt at hardware just like the Zune.  [I heard good things about the last versions of the Zune but MS innovated too little, too late]

post #12 of 63

Surface, is creating a "seam" between software and hardware and a chasm between MS and its licensees.

Meanwhile Apple's software and hardware is seamless.

Ballmer seems as clueless as ever if not more so, chucking out buzzwords like a salesman.
 

post #13 of 63

Where would Microsoft be without Apple?

 

"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 #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Speaking to Microsoft's plans to innovate in the "seam" between hardware and software, the chief executive's position remains somewhat nebulous.
"And from a hardware-software perspective, we are really pushing forward aggressively on that boundary," Ballmer said, seemingly contradicting his earlier statement, "What we say now is there is no boundary between hardware and software."

 

Uhh... yeah...I think... Here's Steve & Steve when they were last dancing cheek to cheek and just as cock sure "this" was gonna do it fer shur, fer shur...

 

 

700

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

It's not *just* late, Steve. It's a dud. Though the two *are* related.

 

Because your company is run by a CLOWN.

But, he can dance.  What cracks me up is that they say he LAUDS the Surface tablet.  What do you think he's going to say? It sucks?

 

If Windows 8 and Surface are so great, then why did they fired Sinofsky?  

post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post

So is he saying that Tablets are Computers now?
I don't think Microsoft wants to see the market share numbers if iPad is counted as a computer...

Well, for all practical purposes tablets and smart phones, by definition, are a form of computer. They have all of the attributes of a computer if you look up the term "computer" in the dictionary.

post #17 of 63
%u201CBill did hold up a tablet many years ago,%u201D Ballmer replied, adding, "Maybe if we had started innovating then, which is what we really did with Surface, maybe we should have done that earlier. Maybe that tablet shift would have been sooner.%u201D

Makes you wonder what the F he was doing the last decade. Oh, milking Office and Windows for all its worth.
post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post

So is he saying that Tablets are Computers now?
I don't think Microsoft wants to see the market share numbers if iPad is counted as a computer...

 

if the ipad is classified as a computer, so should hte ipod touch and iphone.  Screen size is not the decider of 'a computer' or not.

Household: MacBook, iPad 16gb wifi, iPad 64gb wifi, iPad Mini 32gb, coming iPhone 5S, iPhone 4S 32gb, iPhone 32gb, iPod Touch 4th gen x1, iPod nano 16gb gen 5 x2, iPod nano gen 3 8gb, iPod classic...
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Household: MacBook, iPad 16gb wifi, iPad 64gb wifi, iPad Mini 32gb, coming iPhone 5S, iPhone 4S 32gb, iPhone 32gb, iPod Touch 4th gen x1, iPod nano 16gb gen 5 x2, iPod nano gen 3 8gb, iPod classic...
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post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

It's not *just* late, Steve. It's a dud. Though the two *are* related.

 

Because your company is run by a CLOWN.

 

You take that back.

 

"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 #20 of 63
All that "Clicking" sound that you hear in Microsoft's Surface TV commercial is a recording of Ballmer trying to think of an innovation! 'click, click, click-click, click, click-click-click, click, click-click, click...'

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazu16 View Post

Microsoft and its hardware partners already did tablets, and they were horrible.  Apple waited until the technology and size were ready for a small, handheld touchscreen device.  

 

My thoughts exactly. Touch screen windows tablets/laptops are nothing new, just have always been really bad. I think Google is doing the same thing with glass. Apple have patented a similar idea but don't seem to be working on a device as a device with the current technology will suck. Google glass will sell well to start but die off quickly and and rarely be used, just like like Android tablets hardly make a blip on internet usage stats. Funniest thing Ive seen to do with Google glass was the youtube video where all the glasses do us show ads for everything you look at :)
post #22 of 63

yup. "coulda, woulda, shoulda." great CEO leadership!

 

except, it = "Fail."

 

the ARM Surface is Zune 2. the Intel Surface Pro ... well ask me when it ACTUALLY SHIPS!

 

and all those poor sad MS stock owners today ... they should buy Cubs season tickets too.

post #23 of 63
According to Balmer, "We're creating products at the seam between hardware and software". Also according to Balmer, "What we say now is there is no boundary between hardware and software."

I keep hearing that Balmer is very bright, but apparently not bright enough to think before he speaks in public.
Edited by bsimpsen - 11/28/12 at 8:10pm
post #24 of 63
And in other news, I admit the sky is blue.

Ballmer is a douche.
post #25 of 63
%u201CBill did hold up a tablet many years ago,%u201D Ballmer replied, adding, "Maybe if we had started innovating then, which is what we really did with Surface, maybe we should have done that earlier. Maybe that tablet shift would have been sooner.%u201D

Innovating? What's really innovative about the SURFACE other than the UI being different to an iPad.
post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsimpsen View Post

According to Balmer, "We're creating products at the seam between hardware and software". Also according to Balmer, "What we say now is there is no boundary between hardware and software."
I keep hearing that Balmer is very bright, but apparently not bright enough to think before he speaks in public.

 

At least he can never claim that Microsoft operating systems are seamlessly integrated with Microsoft hardware.

"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 #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

yup. "coulda, woulda, shoulda." great CEO leadership!

 

except, it = "Fail."

 

the ARM Surface is Zune 2. the Intel Surface Pro ... well ask me when it ACTUALLY SHIPS!

 

and all those poor sad MS stock owners today ... they should buy Cubs season tickets too.

 

1. Washington Wizard tix too.  1devil.gif

 

2. Has MS announced if they're going to be building their own version of the Surface Pro?  Or conversely have they said they won't be releasing one at the intro??

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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post #28 of 63
%u201CWhat we say now is there is no boundary between hardware and software." Welcome to 30 years ago. Ass clown.
post #29 of 63

the other news from the MS meeting today is Ballmer announces 40 million W8 licenses "sold".

 

hello, media suckers, who just report this PR handout without finding out exactly what he is talking about.

 

no way 40 million end user licenses have been sold for consumer PC upgrades or delivered new PC's/laptops in a month. and for businesses, it's too soon for any at all.

 

so that number has to include the OEM contracts where company x agrees to buy y million licenses for PC/laptops over z time period to get the best price per unit. probably about one half of that total. that's really unpaid reservations, but it's still a commitment to buy, load, and pay ... someday.

 

the telling information is independent reports that new W8 PC sales are "slower" than anticipated. that can't translate into a higher initial period sales figures than W7.

 

Good ol' Ballmer, "the marketing guy," still cooking the books for hype.

 

MS' fourth quarter SEC filing will have to be a bit more honest about this shell game, but we won't see that until February.

post #30 of 63
Surface is an abject failure. You can't use it in your lap, which is where your iPad sits most of the time. It's uncomfortable to use in a vertical position, which is where you want to use it for reading and most tasks (they designed it to be used horizontally).

The selection of Apps for Surface is a bit skimpy to say the least.

It's underwhelming and over priced. Costs as much or more than an iPad but not nearly as good.
post #31 of 63
So Microsoft releases a tablet in 2001. Probably would have been like a ModBook style thing.

Apple goes with their first thought and releases the iPad in 2004-5 when Jobs first thought it up. Basically looks like the original iPad did, runs iOS 1 same as the original phone which might still get introduced a year or so later.

Ballmer thinks MS and Apple would be flipped in places in that version. But I say if Windows XP was 'touched' the way Windows 8 has been, Apple would still show them up big time

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post

So is he saying that Tablets are Computers now?
I don't think Microsoft wants to see the market share numbers if iPad is counted as a computer...

They see their Surface Pro as a computer. And I suspect that will be why it will basically fail - consumer expectations

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #33 of 63
Could'a, would'a, should'a. That's the story of Ballmers life.
post #34 of 63

700700


Edited by Dick Applebaum - 11/29/12 at 8:11am
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post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauty of Bath View Post

Surface, is creating a "seam" between software and hardware and a chasm between MS and its licensees.

Meanwhile Apple's software and hardware is seamless.

Ballmer seems as clueless as ever if not more so, chucking out buzzwords like a salesman.
 


Ballmer is a salesman, but not much else.

At least he hints that Apple in doing both HDW & SW, got it right!

 

Yes I wonder how Ballmer can hang on to his job?  Oh yes, he's a super salesman at directors meetings and AGMs!

post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post


Ballmer is a salesman, but not much else.

At least he hints that Apple in doing both HDW & SW, got it right!

 

Yes I wonder how Ballmer can hang on to his job?  Oh yes, he's a super salesman at directors meetings and AGMs!

until Gates himself puts the knife in his back.

 

"Et tu, Bill?"

post #37 of 63
Late... creating hardware to support software the idea goes back to 1961, Bob Barton and the Burroughs B5000:

http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/AFIPS.1961.4

Burroughs, Xerox PARC, and Apple have been much more into the idea of creating computers as a tool for people's creativity. This is a subversive idea because IBM and the Microsoft believe in making computers to control people, i.e. business and office machines. That is why Microsoft are failing.
post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ijoyner View Post

Late... creating hardware to support software the idea goes back to 1961, Bob Barton and the Burroughs B5000:
http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/AFIPS.1961.4
Burroughs, Xerox PARC, and Apple have been much more into the idea of creating computers as a tool for people's creativity. This is a subversive idea because IBM and the Microsoft believe in making computers to control people, i.e. business and office machines. That is why Microsoft are failing.

A very important distinction.
post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ijoyner View Post

Late... creating hardware to support software the idea goes back to 1961, Bob Barton and the Burroughs B5000:

http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/AFIPS.1961.4

Burroughs, Xerox PARC, and Apple have been much more into the idea of creating computers as a tool for people's creativity. This is a subversive idea because IBM and the Microsoft believe in making computers to control people, i.e. business and office machines. That is why Microsoft are failing.

Ha!

That brings back memories. In 1960, I attended a class on the B5000 – It was mostly about how the ALGOL programming language was integrated into the hardware. Among the class material handouts was a set of playing cards that illustrated how the computer hardware parsed and executed the ALGOL instructions.

My deck of ALGOL playing cards is long gone… I wonder what they'd be worth today?
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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post #40 of 63
Could have ... should have ...would have ... ah the ramblings of a dreamer...

On the other hand it is a belated complement, and an acknowledgment that Apple is ahead of Microsoft... in a backhanded sort of way.
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