Microsoft CEO hopes to reenter phone market, disputes PC shift

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
At All Things Digital, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer admitted having fallen behind in the mobile business, but expressed a hope of reentering the market with its upcoming products. He also took issue with comments by Steve Jobs on the shift away from PCs.



Arguing against Jobs' analogy that the current trend from desktop PCs to mobile devices would be something like the shift from a vehicle market one dominated by farm trucks to a one centered around individual consumers driving cars, Ballmer said he thought everything would continue to be a PC in some fashion.



"I think people will are gonna be using PCs in greater and greater numbers for many years to come," Ballmer said. "I think PCs will shift in form factors, they will get smaller and lighter," noting that some will have keyboards, some will not. "The real question is what is a PC," Ballmer said.



Referencing Jobs' analogy, Ballmer said, "There may be a reason they call them Mack trucks. But Windows machines are not going be trucks," he insisted. "They will continue to be the mass popular riser of a variety of things people want to do with information."



Asked if he thought Apple's iPad was a PC, Ballmer answered "Of course it is. It's a different form factor of PC." Ballmer also suggested that he attempted to use an iPad for taking notes at a meeting and implied that it was too slow to use.



Ballmer hammered home his PC centric views by saying, "to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."







Ballmer on Windows Mobile



"We were ahead of this game," Ballmer told interviewer Walt Mossberg, "in terms of software for phones. We are not ahead of this game. We haven't fallen off the face of the planet, but we were ahead of this game and now we find ourselves number five in the market, with still tens of millions of units a year. But not anywhere near where we ought to be or should be."



Mossberg asked Ballmer what he meant when using the phrase "we learned the value of excellent execution," to which Ballmer replied, "we missed a whole cycle.



"And I think i've been quite public about the fact that I chose to make a set of leadership changes in the team of people building and executing on our Windows Phone software.



"We had to do a little cleanup, change things around," Ballmer said, noting that those efforts have targeted both "big Windows, Windows for the PC" as well as the company's mobile efforts.



"The excellence in execution, I think, is a big part of innovation," Ballmer said.







Microsoft and smartphone competitors



Ballmer noted optimistically that "market leaders [in smartphones] have shifted over twice in the last five or six years," and called the dynamic market an opportunity. Adding that at the same time, he recognizes the company's units "very consistently have to execute from an R&D perspective."



Asked about RIM, Ballmer noted "how good a job they've done on the consumer side of the business," estimating that 60-70% of the company's products are now sold to consumers rather than to the enterprise customers many people assume to be RIM's core market.



Asked what RIM's competitive vulnerability is, Ballmer said "as a general purpose technology platform, they sort of have less robustness than any of the other offers in the market," while noting that RIM is still number one in the US despite the weakness of its platform.



Asked about Nokia, Baller said he realized the company was the global leader but that the company has nearly no presence in the US. "On software side I think they're also trying to get their act together to some degree," Ballmer said. "We do have a collaboration to some degree with them in smartphones with our Office software. But you know, I think they're interesting."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 93
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:

    Ballmer hammered home his PC centric views by saying, "to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."



    What does the world look like when you're a pinhead?
  • Reply 2 of 93
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Ballmer hammered home his PC centric views by saying, "to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."



    It seems he was describing Microsoft's strategy. If all you have is Windows, then everything should run Windows.
  • Reply 3 of 93
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    It seems he was describing Microsoft's strategy. If all you have is Windows, then everything should run Windows.



    Exactly, but Ballmer needs to realize just saying it doesn't make it so. You can't transform the market with words like these, and ignoring the coming changes is a dumb mistake.
  • Reply 4 of 93
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    What does the world look like when you're a pinhead?



    LOL, I was thinking the same thing.
  • Reply 5 of 93
    igrouchoigroucho Posts: 63member
    For a bald man with a sledgehammer every head looks like a coconut...
  • Reply 6 of 93
    vatdorovatdoro Posts: 52member
    Balmer is an idiot. That's about the nicest way I can say it.
  • Reply 7 of 93
    maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    Ballmer can't lead MS.

    It is a company ran by a bunch of rich boys making sure they don't upset the apple cart and hurt their fortunes.
  • Reply 8 of 93
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,451member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vatdoro View Post


    Balmer is an idiot. That's about the nicest way I can say it.



    He's watched Field of Dreams too many times.
  • Reply 9 of 93
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 434member
    Apple trying to get their act together? Listen to Ballmer blathering on about "their global market share being close to 40% and their US market share being close to 0" @ 4:13. Not getting out the park in Europe and emerging markets? What world is he living in?
  • Reply 10 of 93
    stormjstormj Posts: 42member
    If I had spent the 2000s betting that everything Bill Kristol and Steve Ballmer said would be wrong, I would be rich.
  • Reply 11 of 93
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    It seems he was describing Microsoft's strategy. If all you have is Windows, then everything should run Windows.



    Seems like an extremely odd proverb to base your business strategy on.



    To a man with a hammer a screw looks like a nail, but the chap with a screwdriver will prevail, and the chap with a full toolbox will become King.
  • Reply 12 of 93
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGroucho View Post


    For a bald man with a sledgehammer every head looks like a coconut...



    I thought he preferred using chairs to do his dirty work?
  • Reply 13 of 93
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,276member
    If I were a Microsoft shareholder who saw this performance after watching SJ's supreme clarity, vision, and articulateness from a couple of days ago, I'd be sobbing whilst beating my chest.



    Then, I'd sell.
  • Reply 14 of 93
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    If I were a Microsoft shareholder who saw this performance after watching SJ's supreme clarity, vision, and articulateness from a couple of days ago, I'd be sobbing whilst beating my chest.



    Then, I'd sell.



    Of course, individuals wouldn't be investing in Microsoft. It'd be clueless stock analysts, who (surprise) also manage our retirement funds Fortunately, my family got rid of paying our stock manager $2000 a month for doing nothing but losing money (and actually making a profit for himself using our funds) and we've been buying Apple stock ever since. Happy ending
  • Reply 15 of 93
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    If I were a Microsoft shareholder who saw this performance after watching SJ's supreme clarity, vision, and articulateness from a couple of days ago, I'd be sobbing whilst beating my chest.



    Then, I'd sell.



    I have to admit, having watched the video, there is nothing he said there that wasn't accurate and relatively insightful.



    I still think he's a dick though!
  • Reply 16 of 93
    plovellplovell Posts: 818member
    If Microsoft is doing so well at this, why did they just cancel Courier?



    Why does Ballmer continue to draw a salary when he is unable to guide Microsoft to a bigger future?



    Legacy is nice but it eventually goes the way of the buggy whip. Steve B doesn't get that yet. In time he will
  • Reply 17 of 93
    jccjcc Posts: 301member
    The shareholders of MSFT should fire him! I think even gates would have to concede that he's been a poor CEO.
  • Reply 18 of 93
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    ease up that colombiana Balmer, it shows.



    They should have fired your sorry ass ages ago for being an absolute moron with no sense or vision, you have the anti Midas touch, as much as us apple fans like to bash ms, nothing warrants the travesty that is this company at the moment. You let google surpass you in mobile devices, with 20 years in the biz, you have all your institutional investors drawing out, everyone of them is selling out, and that's documented.



    Back to procter and gamble to sell soaps.
  • Reply 19 of 93
    quashquash Posts: 23member
    DAMMIT when is the iPhone 4g going to be released will it be june 7 or what
  • Reply 20 of 93
    nijiniji Posts: 288member
    i didnt understand anything he said.

    all his words and phrases are said in the context of:

    1/ trying to belittle apple as a competitor

    2/ trying to belittle jobs as a visionary

    3/ trying to defend the continued poor performance of microsoft

    4/ trying to sound intelligent; he really struggles to put together a logical market analysis

    5/ trying to make it appear that microsoft has any sort of forward looking strategy

    this may be the last time i ever feel i need to click to see a video of him talking. there just isnt any reason to listen to him.
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