Steve Ballmer calls Apple's Mac growth a "rounding error"

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  • Reply 121 of 272
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by danielchow View Post


    are these quotes for real? they're so vague. i'm thinking, "beating around the bushes" or running in circles.



    Good point.



    Ballmer, for some reason, isn't making sense these days when he has to answer for MS, and this happening a lot. It looks as if the sales guy is getting tongue-tied. Perhaps because it's getting increasingly difficult to avoid the real issues. He has to say *something*, but there's not a whole lot to say that will turn the tables or increase confidece. He's been operating under the assumption that all MS has to do is just "show up", not to answer for lousy performance and concerns over a decline!



    He's visibly uncomfortable talking about these things, and you can often tell that he's about to explode. I wouldn't be surprised if he trows a fit after each of these uncomfortable PR appearances.
  • Reply 122 of 272
    cdyatescdyates Posts: 202member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lazy-i.com View Post


    The fact is that most people commenting on this thread from a Fortune 500 office are doing it on a PC because their Fortune 500 company -- along with most Fortune 500 companies -- is locked into MS, and it doesn't look like that will ever change... or does it?



    I would be interested to see how many Fortune 500s are still on XP these days. If a large company is going to have to make a seismic adjustment to get Windows 7 (assuming they never even bothered with Vista), which will involve replacing tens of thousands of PCs, they might as well consider Macs.



    Could Apple market a sensible alternative to Windows 7 for the business environment? Would the long-term cost be lower considering the amount of time/cost/manpower it takes to support MS in the enterprise?



    ----



    Essentially, the cost of ownership is much lower for windows (in enterprise, not home), and cost of change is very high.



    Most Fortune 500 companies are still on XP - it takes years even to upgrade from one version of windows in a large enterprise on the desktop - let alone App/Web servers etc... Hell we still have a couple OS2 servers where I work, and IE 6 is the supported browser - and we are talking about a fortune 100 company.



    As much as I would like to see Apple break into this market - there are just so many barriers, not the least of which is perception. IT organizations still don't take MacOS seriously. There's cost - these companies spend 500 bucks or less on the average employee laptop they buy in bulk from Dell or HP - apple doesn't have anything like that. There's familiarity - people are used to Windows and changing would cause a certain amount of disruption. There's software investments too numerous to mention. There's an army of knuckleheads out there that you can pay less than a retail clerk to support Windows on the desktop - I don't think that workforce exists and, if it does, you'd have to pay them significantly more at least for a while until they were marginalized. There is an army of developers out their you can also get cheap to build apps for windows. Apple doesn't even have much of the creative/media/content creation market like it used to anymore. Why run the Adobe suite on a Mac when you can run it just as effectively on hardware that costs 1/3 as much.



    Are Macs better? Hell yeah! Can they do what needs to be done? Hell yeah! Would I rather use one at work? Oh yeah! Does any fortune 500 company really care? Nope. To them computing is a commodity - line items on balance sheets. Apple makes a boutique product. Companies don't buy lexus or porsche for their sales fleets - why would they buy Apple computers for their desktops? At the end of the day a Windows box gets what I need done at work, then I go home and ENJOY using my Mac / Apple TV / iPhone. I don't think Apple even WANTS to be in this market - at least not right now. If they did they would be building commodity products and advertising to the enterprise market.



    Maybe Apple can sneak in in niches and then catch on, but I don't think that's really their plan.
  • Reply 123 of 272
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    The day the Mac reaches 25% market share, Windows will be history in three years. Windows is maintained by inertia and ignorance.



    Not sure about the first sentence. Perhaps. But your second sentence should be made into a sticky. Very well said - a simple sentence encapsulates the situation perfectly.
  • Reply 124 of 272
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cdyates View Post


    ----



    As much as I would like to see Apple break into this market - there are just so many barriers, not the least of which is perception. IT organizations still don't take MacOS seriously. There's cost - these companies spend 500 bucks or less on the average employee laptop they buy in bulk from Dell or HP - apple doesn't have anything like that. There's familiarity - people are used to Windows and changing would cause a certain amount of disruption. There's software investments too numerous to mention. There's an army of knuckleheads out there that you can pay less than a retail clerk to support Windows on the desktop - I don't think that workforce exists and, if it does, you'd have to pay them significantly more at least for a while until they were marginalized. There is an army of developers out their you can also get cheap to build apps for windows. Apple doesn't even have much of the creative/media/content creation market like it used to anymore. Why run the Adobe suite on a Mac when you can run it just as effectively on hardware that costs 1/3 as much.



    Are Macs better? Hell yeah! Can they do what needs to be done? Hell yeah! Would I rather use one at work? Oh yeah! Does any fortune 500 company really care? Nope. To them computing is a commodity - line items on balance sheets. Apple makes a boutique product. Companies don't buy lexus or porsche for their sales fleets - why would they buy Apple computers for their desktops? At the end of the day a Windows box gets what I need done at work, then I go home and ENJOY using my Mac / Apple TV / iPhone. I don't think Apple even WANTS to be in this market - at least not right now. If they did they would be building commodity products and advertising to the enterprise market.



    Maybe Apple can sneak in in niches and then catch on, but I don't think that's really their plan.



    I'm in full agreement here. Apple specializes in the consumer experience and in catering to niche enterprise areas. I have absolutely no problem (nor should anyone) about Macs lagging in the corporate sector. In fact, I'd have my suspicions if Apple planned on making a big push in this area. Might not be a good idea long-term.



    Good post.
  • Reply 125 of 272
    mariomario Posts: 348member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post


    lets swap market share and see what happens. You come off sounding like its impossible to write software to infiltrate Apple computers. You're wrong, it's just not a concentrated effort.



    That myth has been debunked time and time again. Some architectures were created with security in mind and not as a bolted on after thought. Writing a virus for Linux or Solaris is a lot harder, and as a matter of fact there are none.



    Yes it's possible to write malware that relies on social engineering (basically trick the user into running it for you), but that's not what a virus is.



    Microsoft's Active X is a fiasco that they still have not dealt with properly. Basically, Active X is a component that can run in a browser and that has full access to every operating system lever API, and full access to disk, with no security of any kind in place. Sandboxing security was bolted on only after thousands of exploits happened, and lots of embarrassment for Microsoft, but it is still possible to trick users and escape from the sandbox.
  • Reply 126 of 272
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,848member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Well, there are around 50-70 million Mac users. Apple claims the figure is 70 million or so, if I recall the comments from WWDC.



    I think that figure from WWDC was 70 million OS X users. That included Mac OS X, iPod Touch OS, and iPhone OS users. I don't recall Apple ever saying how many Mac users there were. iPhone and iPod users aren't not considered Mac users. However...I could be wrong.
  • Reply 127 of 272
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    I think that figure from WWDC was 70 million OS X users. That included Mac OS X, iPod Touch OS, and iPhone OS users. I don't recall Apple ever saying how many Mac users there were. iPhone and iPod users aren't not considered Mac users. However...I could be wrong.



    I think you're right, actually. I think there were an estimated 30 million OS X users around 2007, before the release of the iPhone.
  • Reply 128 of 272
    tt92618tt92618 Posts: 444member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    Ballmer IS a rounding error!



    For someone who critiques their competitor's product and then reproduces a shoddy version of it for their own resale, Ballmer has a hell of a nerve!



    "...you know, we think we may have ticked up a little tick," Ballmer said"



    Too bad your stock hasn't ticked up...



    "Ballmer laughed off the threat of Google's open source Chrome OS."



    Just like he laughed at the iPhone... who's laughing now?!



    Balmer is a significant asset... for Apple.
  • Reply 129 of 272
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tt92618 View Post


    Balmer is a significant asset... for Apple.



    A significant what?



    Sorry, I read that too quickly.
  • Reply 130 of 272
    steviet02steviet02 Posts: 594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mario View Post


    That myth has been debunked time and time again. Some architectures were created with security in mind and not as a bolted on after thought. Writing a virus for Linux or Solaris is a lot harder, and as a matter of fact there are none.



    Yes it's possible to write malware that relies on social engineering (basically trick the user into running it for you), but that's not what a virus is.



    Microsoft's Active X is a fiasco that they still have not dealt with properly. Basically, Active X is a component that can run in a browser and that has full access to every operating system lever API, and full access to disk, with no security of any kind in place. Sandboxing security was bolted on only after thousands of exploits happened, and lots of embarrassment for Microsoft, but it is still possible to trick users and escape from the sandbox.



    My point was, and still is, that it can be done. I never said there are x number of viruses on the Mac. Only that it can be done if the effort was put forward to do it. There is not a piece of software on this planet that is so secure that it can't be hacked from the outside.
  • Reply 131 of 272
    taurontauron Posts: 911member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Excellent point.



    Here's Ballmer from long ago. At around 1:20 into the vid you'll see something all too familiar.



    "just you wait and see what's coming out soon on our side."



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR8SAFRBmcU



    Steve Jobs is absolutely right in saying Microsoft has no taste and that they always come up with third rate products. That is, in fact, the chief reason I don't touch Windows or any MS software with a 10 foot pole. They put no care into software design, no vision, no passion. Therefore they come up over and over again with products that have zero innovation. If you look from Windows 95 to Windows 7, almost 20 years of history and almost nothing has changed. I would even argue that anything that did change from Windows 95 to 7 was due to Microsoft doing a very bad imitation of apple technology.
  • Reply 132 of 272
    ddubres79ddubres79 Posts: 101member
    While I can't deny that I hold disdain for Mr. Ballmer (Does any other CEO come across like a schizophrenic without meds?) he does have a point to some degree about market share. Until Apple or anyone else can make a dent in their corporate and enterprise level stranglehold they have nothing to worry about.



    Of course they worry about seeing an ocean of Apple laptops but if only the top 10% of consumers can afford them, again not a big threat. (90% of us are too cheap or flat out broke sadly)
  • Reply 133 of 272
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    Ballmer actually admits the cost of Linux is less than Windows? That's amazing. Of course he admits it by positioning against OS X as being more expensive.



    What a load of BS.
  • Reply 134 of 272
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,074member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Not entirely. The continued development of Office for the Mac was part of the deal Apple made with Microsoft to avoid a long court battle, which involved that, the "investment," a technology sharing arrangement, the MSIE install agreement, and many thought at the time, probably some cash behind the scenes. We don't know if Microsoft would have continued Office development for the Mac had all the rest not occurred. It was all packaged up in one big announcement.



    There was really no danger of Microsoft discontinuing MS Office for Mac because ...



    1. It was in the best interest for Microsoft to keep Apple from going out of business. They sited many times in the DOJ hearing that Apple was a viable competitor in the OS market. Microsoft knew that without Apple, there would be greater chance of the DOJ breaking up Microsoft.



    2. Microsoft MBU (Mac Business Unit) is very profitable. Always has been.



    3. Microsoft has a near monopoly in the office suite market with MS Office. The last thing they would want is to have the DOJ come down on them for abusing that monopoly. By cutting off MS Office for Mac, it would look like the only reason they were doing it was to drive Apple out of business.



    But all of this didn't matter because the average consumers still perceived that Microsoft could potentially stop MS Office for Mac at any time. Thus they weren't going to buy a Mac. Which was why is was important for Steve Jobs to have Microsoft come out and ensure the consumers that Microsoft was going to keep making MS Office for Mac for the foreseeable future.



    The other issue was the perception that Apple was in financial trouble. Which they weren't, Apple at the time had no debt and close to 2 billion dollars in cash. Even if Microsoft "gave" Apple $150 million dollars in cash, (which they didn't) it wouldn't make much difference to Apple's financial health. But many consumers don't follow the business and financial section. They only see the headlines that Apple had lost a lot of money in the last few quarters. If the consumers feared that Apple wasn't going to be around much longer, they weren't going to buy a Mac. So it was also important for Steve Jobs to have a company like Microsoft "invest" in Apple. By buying $150 million of AAPL (non voting), Microsoft was showing the consumers that Apple was still a company worth investing in. And that they weren't worry about Apple going bankrupt any time soon. It wasn't the $150 million dollars "investment" that matter to Apple. But the gesture. (BTW- Microsoft bought AAPL at about $20.00 and later sold their shares at about $28.00. Microsoft made over $50 million dollars on their "investment" in AAPL. If they were to held on to it, it would be worth over 4 billion dollars today. After 2 splits.)



    But by no means did Microsoft do any of this out of the goodness in their heart. Microsoft got much more in return, for what little they actually had to offer, out of this deal. At least at the time.



    Edit- Actually Microsoft made over $140 million dollars on their $150 million dollars investment. They actually bought 150,000 of prefer stocks that was converted to 18,000,000 shares of common stocks of AAPL in 2000 and 2001. If they would have held on to them, they would be worth about 6 billion dollars today. (with 1 split).
  • Reply 135 of 272
    cdyatescdyates Posts: 202member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    I'm in full agreement here. Apple specializes in the consumer experience and in catering to niche enterprise areas. I have absolutely no problem (nor should anyone) about Macs lagging in the corporate sector. In fact, I'd have my suspicions if Apple planned on making a big push in this area. Might not be a good idea long-term.



    Good post.



    Yeah and in fact, Wasn't it attempts to push into the commodity market - to fight Microsoft on its strengths rather than fighting them on their weaknesses - that almost destroyed Apple in the 90s? I remember a lot of beige boxes back then, and even clones! Remember UMAX and PowerComputing?
  • Reply 136 of 272
    Cr*ppy software on a c*appy PC computer is still a c*appy choice. Blamer should stick that shiny bald head in place where sun don't shine: Douc*e Bag
  • Reply 137 of 272
    oc4theooc4theo Posts: 294member
    If his audience were using more Macs than PCs, he should have shut up his big mouth. What other evidence does this clown need to know that Apple is fast moving forward.



    What a fool?



    Game is over for Microsoft and Ballmer. No tricks left in their hat. I say again to any investors, "sell, sell, sell!" The only reason that Ballmer is talking trash is because he doesn't want his wealth to decline, and all his wealth is in Microsoft shares.
  • Reply 138 of 272
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cdyates View Post


    Yeah and in fact, Wasn't it attempts to push into the commodity market - to fight Microsoft on its strengths rather than fighting them on their weaknesses - that almost destroyed Apple in the 90s? I remember a lot of beige boxes back then, and even clones! Remember UMAX and PowerComputing?



    I almost bought a Radius back then in order to replace my PowePC 6100/60, but I ended up hanging on to it and getting lots of use out of it right up until April 2002. Those were interesting days.
  • Reply 139 of 272
    mariomario Posts: 348member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post


    My point was, and still is, that it can be done. I never said there are x number of viruses on the Mac. Only that it can be done if the effort was put forward to do it. There is not a piece of software on this planet that is so secure that it can't be hacked from the outside.



    Actually that wasn't your contention. Your thesis was that it's the popularity making windows less secure, and that if OS X installed base was as high as Windows, that it would be equally insecure. This is simply not true. You have to know your history and know where MS came from. In Windows 98 and versions before it, the login dialog presented to the user was just a way for you to choose your login profile, and not a security measure. You could click cancel and still log in, without providing a password. This is the kind of OS Microsoft had to re-engineer into secure multi user OS. Same goes for Internet. Microsoft was so pre-occupied with dominating the desktop that Internet somehow managed to pass by them un-noticed, and they still have not accounted for that lost time (and that is proving to be the beginning of their end, but that's a different story).



    The things were so bad even in 2001 with XP that unpatched machine left connected to the internet for mere 45 seconds would get infected with something. And why? Because Microsoft didn't engineer the OS initially with Internet in mind and they never intended the OS to be connected to a public network, and with all the security considerations that come from that requirement. Unlike say even the earliest UNIX OSes that were multi user, always on the network machines.



    I will not go into theoretical argument if it is possible to write software that is so secure it is unbreakable from "outside" what ever that means (you probably mean from the Internet). I would argue that yes it is, but it would not be too useful. Security often goes against usability and sometimes you have to relax it to satisfy certain usability requirements.



    Prime example is SSH, and remote administration that every UNIX admin uses. Still the most secure protocol out there, but it's not trivial to set up (again usability suffers because of security).
  • Reply 140 of 272
    phalanxphalanx Posts: 109member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Apple functions at the Premium end of the market. It isn't one big market. There are levels to it. There are consumers in particular income brackets that are locked out of Apple's demographic. This is one of the defining characteristics of any Premium product.



    This is the interesting split personality that Mac people have. On one hand they believe that they have a "Premium" product, on the other they believe that they have a better Total Cost of Ownership. Statistics, and real data prove this incorrect. Apples Devices are no more reliable then name brand PCs, In fact, their laptops are noticably worse in reliability. In addition, they definitely have just as many, or more, security holes. Many of which are not exploited because of the insignificant market share that the Macs enjoy. Another great example: The iPhone is like swiss cheese.



    If Windows is the epitomy of crap then why would a "Premium" product allow it to be loaded on their system.



    In closing: If Macs are the "Premium" product with better TCO, then why does most Mac users also have a PC and/or Windows running on their Macs. Probably because they need to do real work once in a while. I think I would rather buy a machine that needs only one O/S to get my work done.
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