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Microsoft's Ballmer admits drive to tablets was late, but lauds new Surface - Page 2

post #41 of 63
I remember, and copy-paste this piece from the bio, seemed appropriate:

It’s easy to throw stones at Microsoft. They’ve clearly fallen from their dominance. They’ve become mostly irrelevant. And yet I appreciate what they did and how hard it was. They were very good at the business side of things. They were never as ambitious product-wise as they should have been. Bill likes to portray himself as a man of the product, but he’s really not. He’s a businessperson. Winning business was more important than making great products. He ended up the wealthiest guy around, and if that was his goal, then he achieved it. But it’s never been my goal, and I wonder, in the end, if it was his goal. I admire him for the company he built—it’s impressive—and I enjoyed working with him. He’s bright and actually has a good sense of humor. But Microsoft never had the humanities and liberal arts in its DNA. Even when they saw the Mac, they couldn’t copy it well. They totally didn’t get it.
I have my own theory about why decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important. The company starts valuing the great salesmen, because they’re the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So the salespeople end up running the company. John Akers at IBM was a smart, eloquent, fantastic salesperson, but he didn’t know anything about product. The same thing happened at Xerox. When the sales guys run the company, the product guys don’t matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off. It happened at Apple when Sculley came in, which was my fault, and it happened when Ballmer took over at Microsoft. Apple was lucky and it rebounded, but I don’t think anything will change at Microsoft as long as Ballmer is running it.
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post #42 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

I remember, and copy-paste this piece from the bio, seemed appropriate:

It’s easy to throw stones at Microsoft. They’ve clearly fallen from their dominance. They’ve become mostly irrelevant. And yet I appreciate what they did and how hard it was. They were very good at the business side of things. They were never as ambitious product-wise as they should have been. Bill likes to portray himself as a man of the product, but he’s really not. He’s a businessperson. Winning business was more important than making great products. He ended up the wealthiest guy around, and if that was his goal, then he achieved it. But it’s never been my goal, and I wonder, in the end, if it was his goal. I admire him for the company he built—it’s impressive—and I enjoyed working with him. He’s bright and actually has a good sense of humor. But Microsoft never had the humanities and liberal arts in its DNA. Even when they saw the Mac, they couldn’t copy it well. They totally didn’t get it.
I have my own theory about why decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important. The company starts valuing the great salesmen, because they’re the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So the salespeople end up running the company. John Akers at IBM was a smart, eloquent, fantastic salesperson, but he didn’t know anything about product. The same thing happened at Xerox. When the sales guys run the company, the product guys don’t matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off. It happened at Apple when Sculley came in, which was my fault, and it happened when Ballmer took over at Microsoft. Apple was lucky and it rebounded, but I don’t think anything will change at Microsoft as long as Ballmer is running it.

I think Jobs was accurate about Microsoft… But IBM, not so much!

Thomas Watson became president of what became IBM in 1915 -- he was a totally marketing guy! He served as president until 1952, when. His son, Thomas Watson, Jr. (Young Tom) became president -- also a marketing guy! In the years since 1915, IBM was run. by marketing guys (with a few exceptions).

However, this was [mostly] high-class marketing -- not the sleaze typified by Ballmer.

To illustrate how far away from the product side they were -- It is said that IBM was late to the computer business because Tom Watson Sr. thought that there were only customers for five computers.

How is that for product vision?
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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post #43 of 63
The difference between Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer? Jobs' RDF actually worked. Ballmer's not so much. The trouble with all these Jobs wannabes is that they mouth the words and expect people to believe them just because. Jobs got into your brain and changed things to his liking.
post #44 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

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?  

Same could be said of the Apple maps app.
post #45 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

How is that for product vision?

Ah sir, please keep on posting. I just love to read your vision on these topics! And yes, Jobs was indeed off on IBM. MS? We'll see once Ballmer is ousted, or resigns. With the former being more likely than the latter because they have a BoD.

“A PC is no bargain when it doesn’t do what you want.” - Apple 2009
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“A PC is no bargain when it doesn’t do what you want.” - Apple 2009
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post #46 of 63
Quote:
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.

But they did. And they were really cool. Remember that scene in Quantum of Solace.

Oh wait you mean the Surface tablet, not the table.

My bad

(I do rather wish Apple would remake that table with 'AirPlay' to a big flat Cinema Display so I could do those kinds of cool tricks. I'd pay MS's $8k for that combo from Apple)
post #47 of 63
Just to add some color (heat) to the recent personnel changes at Microsoft and Apple…

Thomas Watson Sr. was “fired” by NCR
Famously, NCR’s star sales executive Thomas Watson Sr. met a similar fate. In 1914, Watson argued that NCR’s dominant product, mechanical cash registers, would soon go obsolete. He proposed that NCR develop electric cash registers. Patterson resisted the idea. He demanded that Watson focus on nothing but sales and not worry about innovation. Following an argument at a meeting, Patterson dismissed Watson. In a fit of anger, Patterson had workers carry Watson’s desk outside and had it lit on fire. Thomas Watson Sr. was thus “fired.” Thomas Watson Sr. then joined a smaller competitor, Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R,) which soon grew into International Business Machines (IBM.) Thomas Watson Sr. led IBM for forty years and turned IBM into the world’s leading technology company.

http://www.rightattitudes.com/2010/02/03/folklore-origin-expression-you-are-fired/

Yeah... That's how it's done!
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 11/29/12 at 6:45am
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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post #48 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Quote:
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.

But they did. And they were really cool. Remember that scene in Quantum of Solace.

Oh wait you mean the Surface tablet, not the table.

My bad

(I do rather wish Apple would remake that table with 'AirPlay' to a big flat Cinema Display so I could do those kinds of cool tricks. I'd pay MS's $8k for that combo from Apple)

+++

Oh yeah…. Just think of a big-assed iPad lying on the desk in the hands of a creative like a video editor, sound editor, CAD/architect, artist, musician…

I believe that we will see FCP X video editing on a tablet like this before long.
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
post #49 of 63
TS is gonna love that!
“A PC is no bargain when it doesn’t do what you want.” - Apple 2009
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“A PC is no bargain when it doesn’t do what you want.” - Apple 2009
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post #50 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.

That is a huge insult to Clowns. I know a clown and Steve you are no clown.
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post #51 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

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.

 

YEP... remember this is the same corp that puts out the numbers for their console as shipped not sold.  So those 40 Million are prob just the disks sitting in a container on a boat in the middle of the ocean waiting to dock... not like they are going to sell that many.  

 

Most company's will stick with 7 as long as possible, just like they did with XP.  You already have company's telling MS their 8 is not good, you know small company's like Blizzard and Steam (two of the largest PC gaming company's).  Both are starting to get their games and clients to run on MAC's and when you push all the gamer's to MAC (due to bad OS) , they will then start expanding the MAC market even more, and then MS will see a major drop in their profits.  Then the snowball will really start to roll.  Then bye bye MS.  Only part that will still be running is the console side of MS.  Only reason I still have a PC desktop in the house, is to do my MMO's (no don't play WOW, I do other ones), and when they go to MAC fully supported, then the PC will become another paperweight or table base.

 

When I was reading, why do I see a frat party starting to wind down and then Ballmer walking in the door yelling "Let's start this party, I know I'm late, but let's go! Party, party, party!!!  Oh man, I could have did a better party if I wanted to."

You don't want to make me curmudgeon, you would not like me when I am curmudgeon.  I go all caps, bold, with a 72PT font and green lettering.  

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You don't want to make me curmudgeon, you would not like me when I am curmudgeon.  I go all caps, bold, with a 72PT font and green lettering.  

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post #52 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

+++
Oh yeah…. Just think of a big-assed iPad lying on the desk in the hands of a creative like a video editor, sound editor, CAD/architect, artist, musician…
I believe that we will see FCP X video editing on a tablet like this before long.

Agreed. I have posted many times that an iPad the size of a coffee table for pros doing music and video would be freaking awesome ... I can just imagine a full sized slide guitar, a five octave synth and a multi track Garageband all on screen and the ability to slide them off to the side / collapse and pull in Safari to check on some lyrics all with the flick of a few fingers ... drool ... (I'm lacking a drooling emoticon)
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Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
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Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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post #53 of 63
It reminds me of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, a character in Pride and Prejudice, who, in a speech about piano playing, states "If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient."
post #54 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post




Don't be so insulting


To Hannibal
post #55 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by marklark View Post

It reminds me of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, a character in Pride and Prejudice, who, in a speech about piano playing, states "If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient."

LOL

Or Yogi Berra: "I didn't really say all of the things I said."
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
post #56 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


 

Don't be so insulting


To Hannibal

 

Sorry... I found a better image and updated the original post:

 

 

700

 

 

I think it's the delirium in the eyes...

"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
post #57 of 63
I wonder how many times we can get Ballmer to say maybe in a single setting.
post #58 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonistic View Post

Could'a, would'a, should'a. That's the story of Ballmers life.

 

 

“All The Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin' In The Sun,
Talkin' 'Bout The Things
They Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Done...
But All Those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All Ran Away And Hid
From One Little Did.”

 

-- Shel Silverstein --

"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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post #59 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Just to add some color (heat) to the recent personnel changes at Microsoft and Apple…
Thomas Watson Sr. was “fired” by NCR
Famously, NCR’s star sales executive Thomas Watson Sr. met a similar fate. In 1914, Watson argued that NCR’s dominant product, mechanical cash registers, would soon go obsolete. He proposed that NCR develop electric cash registers. Patterson resisted the idea. He demanded that Watson focus on nothing but sales and not worry about innovation. Following an argument at a meeting, Patterson dismissed Watson. In a fit of anger, Patterson had workers carry Watson’s desk outside and had it lit on fire. Thomas Watson Sr. was thus “fired.” Thomas Watson Sr. then joined a smaller competitor, Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R,) which soon grew into International Business Machines (IBM.) Thomas Watson Sr. led IBM for forty years and turned IBM into the world’s leading technology company.
http://www.rightattitudes.com/2010/02/03/folklore-origin-expression-you-are-fired/
Yeah... That's how it's done!


There's more to the story... 

Watson renamed Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company as International Business Machines to "trump" National Cash Register in all three terms of the name.

Later, when Ma Bell was broken up, the core company was chafing to get into the computer biz (with notions of taking on IBM), and decided the way to go was to purchase NCR which had a nice line of, I believe, what were then called Mini-Computers (about 50-100 times the size of a Mac Mini for perspective for any youngins reading).  And one of their first steps was to rename their new subsidiary GBS - Global Business Systems. - continuing the name game one-upsmanship from all those decades earlier.  

Unfortunately for them for whatever reasons, e.g., ATT had no experience with being a non-monopoly business after all the decades of gov't protection from competition, or whatever else, the venture didn't go well.  And within a few years, they spun GBS off as a separate entity again, and the newly re-independent corp changed its name back to NCR.... 

 

(Footnote 1: And later still, after re-acquiring many of its original parts, ATT and AAPL went on to make cell device history together....)
 

(Footnote 2: After the retirement of Watson, Sr. and then Watson, Jr. IBM lost its way - and after being totally pwned by MS in the Windows-OS/2 hoohah - was almost broken into 4 or 5 companies to survive.  But instead, they hired a new CEO with no tech experience - from Nabisco [no time to Google his name right now, sorry]  - and while radical restructuring followed, the re-made, but intact IBM is still a potent force in computing.  And the real shape of Post-Jobs Apple history over the next 3-10 or more years will likely also involve a fair amount of drama until a new Visionary in Chief emerges.)

Anyway, I always loved that bit of biz history trivia....

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 #60 of 63
So I expect a new division created ... called Microhard.
post #61 of 63
Considering that Balmer said that there was no market for tablets, and people didn't want them, I think "late" is an understatement.
post #62 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by leighr View Post

Considering that Balmer said that there was no market for tablets, and people didn't want them, I think "late" is an understatement.

"Late" - as in defunct - might in fact be a very apt description. As an aside, whenever I see Ballmer's name JRR Tolkien's Balrog comes immediately to mind...
post #63 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xero910 View Post

I wonder how many times we can get Ballmer to say maybe in a single setting.

That's funny; someone asked that very same question! He answered:

“A PC is no bargain when it doesn’t do what you want.” - Apple 2009
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“A PC is no bargain when it doesn’t do what you want.” - Apple 2009
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