Sometimes the comments are better than the video – Balmer not too impressive

balmer by whatcounts
Microsoft CEO hopes to reenter phone market, disputes PC shift
[Via AppleInsider]

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.


You know that your position as a leader of industry is in trouble when a bunch of commenters online provide pithier and more enlightening words than you do. Watch the videos and then read some of the comments.

So, Balmer quotes the proverb, “When you have a hammer everything looks like a nail. Ironic since really all Microsoft has is hammers (Windows and Office), explaining why everything is a PC, even the iPad.

An online riposte by SpamSandwich:

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?

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

Not bad. This one, by BitWrangler, takes it further:

Actually I think this really points to the crux of why Apple has been successful where Microsoft has not. Ballmer is all caught up in the semantics of things, of course an ipad is a computer, of course an iphone is a computer. Steve’s point was that thing sitting on your desk is becoming less and less relevant every day. Plus Ballmer is focused on the tool, vs what the tool can accomplish. He sees tablet form factor PC’s vs devices that solve some set of problems, which is why while Microsoft has been slogging away at tablets for years, they haven’t done squat in that market.

Not only does Microsoft have no taste, they have no vision. Which pretty much explains why they’ve missed the boat on two of the biggest paradigm shifts in technology, the internet and mobile computing. Apple might not be the first to arrive at the ball, but they seem to find a way to become the belle. Microsoft is that rich girl fuming in the corner because they bought all the fashionable clothes and had all the right finishing classes but all the guys are still oogling the girl who is simply genuinely fun to be around and believes in details vs qty.

Sounds like MS pretty much.

The problem MS has is that Apple may now be the prettiest belle of the ball, and Google may be the low rent gal from the other side of the tracks but who cleans up real well (think Cinderella). So where does that place them?

The previous OS wars were between Apple, with an expensive but well-organized system vs. MS, with a cheap, it’ll do approach. Cheap won out. But Apple still survived and made money.

But now, in the mobile realm it is between Apple, with an inexpensive but well-organized system vs. Google, which is s free, it’ll do approach. Free may win out here but Apple will make a lot of money. How will cheap deal with this? Cheap does not beat free. Where will MS fit in here? Particularly when they are behind.

If I want cheap, I have free. If I want well-organized, I have APple. WHy would I pay for a cheap – which costs more than free – unorganized system?

Apple can make money quite well by charging for the OS and getting a fraction of the market. Google can make money by giving away the OS and getting a high fraction of the market. Microsoft can only survive by both charging for their OS AND getting a high fraction of the market. It has to excel at both of the things Apple and Google are trying to do.

I do not think they can do it. Especially after ceding the market to both of them for a year or so. I think MS will be trying to gather the crumbs where Blackberry and HP will be.