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Ballmer sees Mac as a main competitor, iPhone as just buzz

post #1 of 72
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As software giant Microsoft is warning of continued economic hardship after its first round of layoffs ever, the company's chief executive is eyeing competition from Apple, Linux, and Google on the desktop while downplaying the market strength of the iPhone and other opponents of its Windows Mobile operating system.

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer spoke to analysts during a midyear update in New York, where he said he believes the economic downturn will continue into the second half of this year. He held up RCA as a model for Microsoft to follow.

Following the RCA Model?

Ballmer told participants that Microsoft, like RCA during the Great Depression, will look to spend money on research and development so it can dominate the market once the economy rebounds.

The software giant's co-founder didn't make any mention of RCA's eventual buyout at the hands of General Electric and subsequent sale of the electronics brand to the French, becoming part of the then state-run Thomson SA.

Windows 7, Office 14, Advertising, Windows Mobile

The Redmond, Wash.-based company is targeting a January 2010 release for Windows 7, which will arrive with a heavy blitz of advertising spending to promote both the new operating system and Office 14. Microsoft announced a public beta of Windows 7 last month. It also intends to open its own retail stores in an attempt to better control its public image.

Meanwhile, Ballmer addressed its competitors on the OS scene, both acknowledging Apple's one percent gain in market share over the last year and the rising open-source alternatives.

"We're very focused on both Apple as a competitor and Linux as a competitor," Ballmer said, according to CNET. "I think the dynamics with Linux is changing somewhat. I assume we'll see Android-based, Linux-based laptops, in addition to phones, and we'll see Google more and more as a competitor in the desktop operating system business than we ever have before... the seams between what is a phone operating system and a PC operating system will change, so we have ramped our investment in the client operating system."

Ballmer down on integrated smartphones

Ballmer also said he was not impressed with the integrated model of Apple's iPhone, which has captured 51% of mobile web traffic, or Research In Motion's BlackBerry platform, which dominates the corporate messaging market in the US.

"The truth of the matter is all the consumer market mojo is with Apple and to a lesser extent BlackBerry," he said. "And yet, the real market momentum with operators and the real market momentum with device manufacturers seems to primarily be with Windows Mobile and Android." Ballmer's company made similar comments as it worked to promote PlaysForSure as an industry coalition in competition with Apple's iPod.

Last week Microsoft previewed Windows Mobile 6.5, which won't ship until the end of the year. The company plans to launch Windows Mobile 7, which was originally intended to have already shipped by now, sometime next year.

Despite dismissing the iPhone as hype, Ballmer said he sees growing competition in mobile software sales, such as Apple's iPhone App Store. He also has noticed the growth of ecosystems with software, hardware, and services bundled together. Both the Cupertino-based company's iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry fit that description, while Microsoft itself does not manufacture handsets. To date, it has favored partnerships with existing device makers instead.

Windows 7 on Netbooks

Ballmer indicated plans are underway to make Windows 7 work well on the small laptops known as netbooks, which would correct Vista's requirement for more robust system resources than the more modestly-powered netbooks can provide. Microsoft doesn't make as much money from sales of Windows XP as it could charge for Vista, were Vista capable of running on the low cost, simpler devices.

Microsoft will offer a Windows 7 Starter Edition optimized for netbooks while at the same time making efforts to convince netbook customers to pay more for full-featured versions of Windows 7. How the company intends to go about that goal was not elaborated on. The Starter Edition is defined by Microsoft as running just three apps at a time and lacking the Aero Glass user interface that defines both Vista and Windows 7.

Grappling with Google

Finally, Microsoft plans to keep on in its fight against Google for web search and advertising market revenues, even though efforts to bolster Windows Live Search and a Yahoo takeover bid both failed.

"You give up, you can't get back in the game," Ballmer explained. "I don't want to wind up being known as the Jerry Yang of this market," referring to the Yahoo co-founder who was ousted from his CEO position just months after rejecting Microsoft's $47.5 billion takeover offer.

The meeting comes after Microsoft announced five thousand job cuts late last month and was embarrassed in recent days by an accounting glitch that short-changed some fired employees of their full severance pay and inadvertently overpaid others.

The Redmond-based software maker then suffered a PR nightmare when letters asking that the extra funds be returned were publicized, pressing the company to reverse its stance and issue an apology that let laid-off workers keep the extra pay.
post #2 of 72
Crazy Ballmer talks crazy. Time to sell your MSFT stock.
post #3 of 72
Is Steve Ballmer a good manager or something and we just don't see it? I really question how this guy got to sit in the seat to drive MS.

What are his qualifications and does the MS team on board with this guy?
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #4 of 72
All I hear is hot air. Someone throw an egg at him.
post #5 of 72
And where is RCA now?
DEAD!
post #6 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrosmash View Post

Crazy Ballmer talks crazy. Time to sell your MSFT stock.

If Ballmer isn't careful he'll be replaced. The Microsoft board of directors and stock holders won't stand a few more quarters of losses.

Interesting how he doesn't see the iPhone as a competitor and does with Android. Android isn't in as many countries as the iPhone. Apple has just begun in the phone market and really hasn't shown the world it's next update which will be major.
post #7 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Ballmer told participants that Microsoft, like RCA during the Great Depression, will look to spend money on research and development so it can dominate the market once the economy rebounds.

Like they don't already own the desktop / notebook markets?

They have technology and they have smart people, the problem is that they have been misdirecting or squandering it.

Quote:
Ballmer down on integrated smartphones

Ballmer also said he was not impressed with the integrated model of Apple's iPhone, which has captured 51% of mobile web traffic, or Research In Motion's BlackBerry platform, which dominates the corporate messaging market in the US.

"The truth of the matter is all the consumer market mojo is with Apple and to a lesser extent BlackBerry," he said. "And yet, the real market momentum with operators and the real market momentum with device manufacturers seems to primarily be with Windows Mobile and Android." Ballmer's company made similar comments as it worked to promote PlaysForSure as an industry coalition in competition with Apple's iPod.

Yeah, Windows Mobile and Android have yet to make a marked dent. How Microsoft wins is often by convincing other companies to give up - and that's not happening here, and the Microsoft-spread FUD isn't working in these markets.

Quote:
Grappling with Google

Finally, Microsoft plans to keep on in its fight against Google for web search and advertising market revenues, even though efforts to bolster Windows Live Search and a Yahoo takeover bid both failed.

How about a plan? I realize that most people failed to learn this, but throwing money at a problem is not a good way to spend money or to solve a problem. There usually needs to be a strategy, and there needs to be a disruptive innovation to topple entrenched rivals and take their place.
post #8 of 72
I love how Ballmer separates the "consumer market" from the "real market". At first I thought it was weird how he puts Android in the "real market", but then I realized how consistent it was for him to do that. Any competitor they can't beat isn't real, only those they can beat are real. See their explanation on how the XBox 360 doesn't really compete against the Wii.

I guess in Ballmer's World, Windows still holds over 98% of the "real" desktop market.
post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockDJ View Post

All I hear is hot air. Someone throw an egg at him.

Hey dude, get with it we don't throw eggs any more were into shoes...... throw your size 10 at um!
post #10 of 72
Sigh.

Much as I do not particularly care for the company's products, I genuinely do want them to do (reasonably) well because of all the tens of billions in good works that MSFT's equity value is making possible via the Gates Foundation.

At the rate this guy is going, he is simply going to vaporize that value. That would be truly sad.

I wonder if B&M Gates are paying attention, and should take some serious action soon.
post #11 of 72
Balmer is a fricking idiot. Since he has been in charge MS innovation has been zilch. Steve, take your beloved Zune and shove it.

Your envy of Apple is unparaled.


Par
post #12 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Is Steve Ballmer a good manager or something and we just don't see it? I really question how this guy got to sit in the seat to drive MS.

It looks like nepotism, more or less. He's been with the company from very early on.
post #13 of 72
Ballmer: "And yet, the real market momentum with operators and the real market momentum with device manufacturers seems to primarily be with Windows Mobile and Android."

Should we be surprised the device manufacturers don't have momentum with Apple's mobile OS?

He should be a politician. Say what you want while the cameras are rolling, don't let facts bog you down, throw enough BS and some will stick.

Next he'll be saying he sold tons of WinMo 6.5 while under sniper fire.
Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
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Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
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post #14 of 72
I think Apple is probably happy with its 'fake' market momentum, which captured that amazing and extremely profitable 51%, rather than this 'real market momentum' which clearly favors Android and Windows Mobile.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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post #15 of 72
Why does anyone care what Ballmer thinks or says? Has he ever been right about anything?
post #16 of 72
I'm always amazed at the bravado. MS is down to one great product: Excel.

And maybe 'great' is too strong an adjective.
post #17 of 72
Isn't Ballmer that town where "Hairspray" takes place?
post #18 of 72
It is hard to see Ballmer as anything more than a big, dumb guy with a bad temper who just doesn't get it--as to what works, what the public wants, you name it. He is having trouble making anything more out of Microsoft than it was when he took it over, even with billions in cash as a cushion. Ballmer can only manage, not lead or innovate.

Does anyone think we would see a lean and powerful OS like Snow Leopard, DRM free music, or a mobile device capable of the full internet if it weren't for someone like Steve Jobs? The contrast between a real technology leader like Jobs and Ballmer is startling. The best thing Ballmer could do for Microsoft is fire himself.
post #19 of 72
Ballmer is a complete moron... His choice of RCA as a model for Microsoft to replicate today in the face of a debilitating recession is unheard of in modern business management. No wonder he dropped out from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. They probably invited him to leave that institution.... This guy has more hot air than a Zeppelin balloon. I am sooo happy he is running Microsoft and not Apple, or the US government. Apple has nothing to fear from this giant melba toast masquerading as a leader of the free-world's so-called operating system of choice.
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post #20 of 72
Balmer cracks me up. He's the only person I love to hate. The only people I've ever met in person that were as nuts as him were locked up in padded rooms...
post #21 of 72
Good old fashioned Microsoft F.U.D.

I don't understand how they can say OS X is a competitor (i.e. threat) when it has such a small share of the OS market and then on the flip side say the iPhone isn't a real competitor even though Apple has a much larger slice of that market and is potentially an even bigger threat in the near future!?

With the advent of Android and the potential loss of Palm as a licensee, they are obviously worried about the release schedules of Windows Mobile and are trying to spread F.U.D. in the hopes of saving what little Windows Mobile licensees they have left in their pockets.

So on one hand we'll have RIM, Apple and Palm creating their own complete devices that don't necessarily eat directly into Microsoft's business, but do affect the sales numbers of Windows Mobile devices. And on the other hand you'll have Android, LiMo, and Symbian all as open mobile operating systems directly taking away business from Microsoft by cutting into Microsoft's slice of the licensee pie. I'd say unless Microsoft does something drastic soon, they'll be out of the mobile business shortly.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #22 of 72
Just hunker down and wait for that whole iPhone thing to blow over.

By the way, how'd that MS encyclopedia project work out?
post #23 of 72
i'm always wondering how seriously people like ballmer are taking the kool aid they are spewing. he has to be convinced that he is right, i don't think he's that good an actor...

the sad thing is that hundreds of millions of microsoft's users are suffering from his inept decisions. i couldn't care less about the stockholders, but despite the schadenfreude some of us might be experiencing - the people who have to use their products deserve better!

microsoft is not going away any time soon, they laid the foundation for a long and prosperous future by their ruthless behaviour in the past. when it comes to new markets however, they don't have the luxury of mindshare lock-in.

if i were a shareholder, i would be worried to hear him dismiss the iphone (and others that will surely follow) as hype, when the numbers are clearly not supporting that. to recklessly throw money at every market, particularly when your products don't compare favourably to the competition, seems a risky strategy. there is going to be a time when that could seriously hurt the company. the planned yahoo purchase could have been the beginning of a serious problem, and it sounds like 'the other other steve' is so consumed by apple and google envy that he's likely going to try a similar move again... like buying research in motion.

i seriously don't understand it. i'm sure microsoft has some very smart people and some very talented engineers working there, but it seems to me that the decisions about the company's future that are being made by top management are based on emotional baggage.

microsoft will not be apple or google. having a bully be the top dog just doesn't encourage creativity...
post #24 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

If Ballmer isn't careful he'll be replaced. The Microsoft board of directors and stock holders won't stand a few more quarters of losses.

I keep trying to vote him out, but I don't own enough MSFT to make a difference.

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 #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Good old fashioned Microsoft F.U.D.

SNIP

And on the other hand you'll have Android, LiMo, and Symbian all as open mobile operating systems directly taking away business from Microsoft by cutting into Microsoft's slice of the licensee pie. I'd say unless Microsoft does something drastic soon, they'll be out of the mobile business shortly.

i've been wondering what it means that microsoft wants to get into the retail business. what would stop microsoft from building their own computers and phones? maybe the zune was just a way to dip your toe in the water. yes - the outrage of hp and dell would be horrendous, but so what? the manufacturers in china don't care what logo they slap on the boxes they build...

i bet if the zune had not been such a spectacular failure as an 'ipod killer', the zunephone would have been pre-announced already and desktops and laptops would have been next. they would carve out their slice of the hardware market and make sure that the os (mobile first) would run reasonably well on it. microsoft has shown in the past that they don't care about their 'valued partners'. they really want to be apple and control the whole eco-system.

so far they haven't shown that they could pull it off... but if you're looking for something drastic - that would be it!
post #26 of 72
Does Ballmer even know that the entire online world laughs at him every tome he opens his mouth? Even the Windows centric forums and blogs are tired of his pontificating and stupidity.

The guy is an embarrassment to the company.
post #27 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"You give up, you can't get back in the game," Ballmer explained. "I don't want to wind up being known as the Jerry Yang of this market," referring to the Yahoo co-founder who was ousted from his CEO position just months after rejecting Microsoft's $47.5 billion takeover offer.

Is there anyone who would like to be known as the Steve Ballmer of this market?
post #28 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I keep trying to vote him out, but I don't own enough MSFT to make a difference.

Don't vote him out! I want Ballmer there for as long as possible. It's like watching a train wreck stretching over years.

You don't want somebody running Microsoft who actually knows what they're doing do you?
post #29 of 72
Apple has gone, from not having a product in the market, to producing THE product to have in the market, in a year and a half of actual sales.

Again, from ZERO units to MORE units than Microsoft licenses their WinMobile OS to third parties.

And if all the iPhone is is buzz, and not what people really want/need, then why is Microsoft working so hard to throw Zune features into it, making an WinMAppStore and slapping a new UI that works and looks remarkably similar to the iPhone (only made crappy, like whats up with that stupid hexagonal grid?).
post #30 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Like they don't already own the desktop / notebook markets?

They have technology and they have smart people, the problem is that they have been misdirecting or squandering it.



Yeah, Windows Mobile and Android have yet to make a marked dent. How Microsoft wins is often by convincing other companies to give up - and that's not happening here, and the Microsoft-spread FUD isn't working in these markets.



How about a plan? I realize that most people failed to learn this, but throwing money at a problem is not a good way to spend money or to solve a problem. There usually needs to be a strategy, and there needs to be a disruptive innovation to topple entrenched rivals and take their place.

What you don't mention is that Safari is less than 1% Market Share and IE still has 74.59% Market Share as of January 2009.

Safari threw everything out and COPIED the best of Opera, Chrome and IE (Yes IE with the Favorites bar).

Apple didn't innovate anything with the new BETA but COPYING every other browser on the Market.

Safari is 85% Google Chrome and 5% Opera, 5% IE and 5% Apple with cover flow.

Didn't you even fricking notice that when you go to cover flow for the pages it looks exactly like iTunes?

The entire interface changes. It's fricking shameful.

Think Different but copy what is succesful. This should be Apple's new slogan.
post #31 of 72
As much as this statement is a total misrepresentation of reality:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balmer

The truth of the matter is all the consumer market mojo is with Apple and to a lesser extent BlackBerry," he said. "And yet, the real market momentum with operators and the real market momentum with device manufacturers seems to primarily be with Windows Mobile and Android.

I don't blame him for talking up his platform.

If you read it carefully it's even (technically) true.
These statements (for Balmer), are actually quite sober and sensible. Most of the time he just babbles nonsense phrases full of marketing jargon and "business speak" like this meaningless tripe:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balmer

... the seams between what is a phone operating system and a PC operating system will change, so we have ramped our investment in the client operating system.

Is the kind of babble that he normally indulges in.

I'd say the Emperor has no clothes, but it's so hard to think of Balmer as Emperor of anything. If he hadn't been in Bill Gate's dorm he would be just another sweaty salesman boinking hookers in seedy motels as he travelled around the country selling his wares.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #32 of 72
I would say Ballmer is a dildo, but that would assume he is battery powered... (maybe that accounts for the buzz)
At least a sex toy is good for something!!
OMG here we go again...
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OMG here we go again...
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post #33 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer spoke to analysts during a midyear update in New York, where he said he believes the economic downturn will continue into the second half of this year.

Hi, My name is Steve Ballmer and I am the end of M$! This guy is going to run his company into the ground. He WILL be the death of the company. It might take 15 years, but he will kill Microsoft. He is so full of himself he can't even see the BS in his own business models. Glad he is there. Buy Apple stock now while it's cheap!!!
post #34 of 72
i dunno if ole monkey boy has been updating his own wikipedia page but he was NOT a co-founder of m$!
post #35 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Does Ballmer even know that the entire online world laughs at him every tome he opens his mouth? Even the Windows centric forums and blogs are tired of his pontificating and stupidity.

Two prime examples, both of which quit blogging out of despair:

http://msftextrememakeover.blogspot.com/

http://minimsft.blogspot.com/


These are two ex-Microsoft-promoters (one still works at the company) who have basically given up because of Ballmer.
post #36 of 72
I find it remarkable that one of the largest company in America is run by such a total, complete buffoon. While I hate to see people lose their jobs, it gives me incredible satisfaction to see the company slowly but surely wither away as people realize how rudderless it is and how crappy their products are. I laugh every time I hear them speak about "innovation" when all they do is ape Apple and others (and do a poor job of it at that). For all they R&D they supposedly do, I see nothing innovative whatsoever coming out of the company. Innovation? I think not. More like imitation and litigation. Pathetic.
post #37 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Is Steve Ballmer a good manager or something and we just don't see it? I really question how this guy got to sit in the seat to drive MS.

What are his qualifications and does the MS team on board with this guy?

Ballmer is eminently qualified. He was Bill Gates' college buddy. Very, very few people can boast that credential.
post #38 of 72
Quote:
Following the RCA Model?

Ballmer told participants that Microsoft, like RCA during the Great Depression, will look to spend money on research and development so it can dominate the market once the economy rebounds.

Meanwhile, Apple innovates whether they are in a recession or a boom. Classic Microsoft. We'll pitch in by being the ugly interior decorator and wait for the entire infrastructure and system stability is figured out by OS X, Linux and other platforms, then call it Innovation.
post #39 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post

Why does anyone care what Ballmer thinks or says? Has he ever been right about anything?

It's entertaining.
post #40 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Sigh.

Much as I do not particularly care for the company's products, I genuinely do want them to do (reasonably) well because of all the tens of billions in good works that MSFT's equity value is making possible via the Gates Foundation.

At the rate this guy is going, he is simply going to vaporize that value. That would be truly sad.

I wonder if B&M Gates are paying attention, and should take some serious action soon.

The Gates Foundation does some good for sure. They deserve all the praise in the world for that. They also push Microsoft's software, whenever possible, onto third world countries and disaster areas like New Orleans and not usually for free.
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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