back to article Ballmer gets tough with girly Microsoft partners

Microsoft's chief executive has served up some tough love to software partners concerned they'll lose business to rival web services offered by their software benefactor. Steve Ballmer told partners Tuesday that the rise of online services was inexorable and that Microsoft would be one of many providers, along with Google and …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Gordon Jahn

    Where to start?!?

    Right, so Steve takes a shot at Google over multiple OS - doesn't Windows Mobile have a different codebase to the mainstream desktop crippleware they peddle? Surely only Apple have a common base between mobile and desktop products. Next, "don't worry when we steal your business" to partners? Well, he has a point. Microsoft has done it for ever and partners and other Windows ecosystem providers must be used to it by now (CD writing, firewalls, the TCP/IP stack he mentioned himself). And Microsoft has tenacity? Well, for some products perhaps, but what about their "scatter-gun" approach to technologies where they pretty much throw as much out as possible and see what sticks. If you're a partner and build your business on the wrong one, tough - you'll need to adapt. I'll agree on one thing though - they should evolve Internet Explorer. Preferably in the same way that the mammoth and the dodo evolved. In short: same story as ever at Redmond - screw everyone you can get away with. Default search provider stays as Google after that....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    TCP/IP for Windows in 1991?

    I'm pretty sure that Microsoft didn't make Winsock available to developers until 1993, and then it was only available on Windows for Workgroups 3.11. I *know* that Microsoft only implemented their own TCP/IP stack in 1994. Steve B must be getting confused with the TCP/IP enabled Macintosh System 7 which *was* released in 1991. It's OK, Microsoft are obviously allowed to alter reality to suit their own marketing/bullying ends. Heavens forbid anyone else doing it though...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    You don't need 2 client operating systems...

    You need at least half a dozen!

  4. TeeCee Gold badge

    Wow, insanity roolz!

    Apart from the rant nature of the whole thing, I just loved the bit where what MS are actually doing contradicted the World According to Ballmer.

    Google may well have Android now, but if it's a fact that you don't need two client O/S's*, is there an EOL plan for Windows** Mobile that you're not telling us about Mr Ballmer?

    A quality Ballsup moment! Come back Bill, your successor's just publicly demonstrated an inability to find his own arse without using both hands and a map.

    *Although I remember the '95 / NT split working rather well at the time. The client desktop O/S maintained back-compatibilty, keeping the end-lusers happy, without loading the "real" O/S with a load of unreliable*** cruft to accomplish this.

    **Yes I *know* they're both *called* Windows, so were, er, '95 and NT which was the perceived FAIL according to him.

    ***There were more than enough unreliable bits in NT without this.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "you don't need two client operating systems"

    That's right: you need 20!

    Each one needs to be slightly different with different names, charges and levels of crippling.

  6. ThomH

    Two client operating systems

    "Last time I checked, you don't need two client operating systems. We tried it before with Windows 95 and Windows NT. I don't know what's really up."

    So they'll be pushing the desktop Windows 7 codebase onto our mobile phones, will they?

  7. Mark C 1

    How many client-side OS versions?

    "I don't know if they can't make up their mind or what the problem is over there. Last time I checked, you don't need two client operating systems. We tried it before with Windows 95 and Windows NT. I don't know what's really up."

    So Windows 7 will be sold in how many different versions?

    Will Android and GoogleOS be different code bases or different versions of the same code base? If the latter than Ball should just STFU!

  8. Charles Manning

    More than 50% where the money is

    Well it depends who you're talking about.

    Most people could do most of their stuff through a browser: writing docs, email, etc., even if they don't yet.

    Gamers will spend more time outside their browsers, as will software developers.

    But most of MSs money does not come from selling to software developers or home users/gamers. They make their money from office workers - and almost all office related computing can be done through a browser even if it isn't yet.

    In fact, most offices would work better through a browser-only interface since that can be locked down tighter. That would make BOFHing simpler too: better security, no viruses, easier backups.

  9. Tom 35
    Gates Horns

    Same old crap.

    Steve Ballmer told partners...

    All your profits are belong to us.

    "I don't know if they can't make up their mind or what the problem is over there. Last time I checked, you don't need two client operating systems."

    So what about windows mobile?

  10. Bryce Prewitt

    Logic from Ballmer?

    Wha... what?

  11. Mikel
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft will compete agressively

    Microsoft wants to provide web services and virtual machine hosting. They're willing to be as aggressive with that competition as they've always been. They're a $200Bn corporation who doesn't have to pay for the software.

    If I was an online web services or cloud services provider, I think I would rethink my business plan a little so that it didn't depend on software from a competitor for success. And if I was invested in one, I think I'd have some questions about long term investments in a company that's competing against Microsoft in this field using Microsoft's own software.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @Steve Balmer

    "Last time I checked, you don't need two client operating systems."

    No, we apparently need 4. Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate........

    Why don't people heckle at these presentations and just shout out when contradictions and plain untruths are made.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh and I missed....

    Starter and Enterprise!

    N Anyone?

  14. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Become a Linux partner!

    "If you wanted things that never change you probably shouldn't be in the IT business. The one thing you can count on in our industry is that things change. And yet for every opportunity that looks like it gets smaller there's at least three or four opportunities that look like they get bigger."

    There sure are! If Microsoft starts squeezing you out, develop for Linux! Microsoft has a history of anticompetitive behavior; they also have the advantage of having access to the source of the platforms and software they are developing for/with while you do not.. So if they start putting the squeeze on you, you're squeezed out! Redhat, Canonical, etc., could try to squeeze out a developer too but a) they don't behave like that. b) You're at equal footing, you have access to the full source and documentation that they do. c) You have multiple vendors (even at the enterprise level), and despite complaints from anti-Linux types the distros are pretty compatible; if you have a full "solution" that involves, for instance, Redhat Enterprise Linux, and Redhat started dicking with you, you could just switch to another distro for new installations.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    "Are there any Linux boys in the audience tonight? Get 'em up against the wall!"


    "There's one running GNU! And another with Firefox! If I had my way, I'd have all of you shot!"

    Dear Steve, he does love a rally, sorry, ISV PR meeting!

  16. Gabor Laszlo


    does not mean "doing the wrong thing repeatedly until you run out of options".

  17. Humph


    "... while Microsoft looks 10 years ahead"

    Like they were doing when that Internet thing caught them wrong-footed a few years ago?

  18. Bob Gulien

    2 OS'ses

    "Last time I checked, you don't need two client operating systems"

    How about Win and WinMob then, Mr. B.

    And te last time he ridiculed something, it went and bit him in the arse!

    Iphone, remember!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Wow - honest Ballmer statement?

    "Ballmer thanked the partners for making Microsoft successful". Yup, that's it, right there. YOU, as partner, are there about making MICROSOFT successful. This is about as honest as it gets, it appears there was no suggestion of any interest in Microsoft making YOU successful.

    Now you have realised this, you can start doing business with Microsoft (if you still want to - just remember the limited lifespan of businesses having done so). You're an idiot if you have any other illusions - the concept of mutually beneficial partnerships exists and works in many places, just not in Microsoft land.

    That doesn't exclude making good money, just watch your back.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    General Motors= Microsoft

    Wake me up when they produce a winner instead of talking about winning. Otherwise it's just more bluster from a company that hasn't had a winning product since the last millenium.

  21. Goat Jam
    Jobs Horns

    Cluebat for Uncle Fester

    "Last time I checked, you don't need two client operating systems"

    Hmmm. So I guess that means WinCE, WinMob and XP Embedded are all just figments of my imagination?

    That doesn't even take into consideration the umpteen different versions of Windows.

    Does Ballmer have even the slightest clue what he is talking about?


    That is all

    Evil Jobs, because he sort of looks like Evil Ballmer

  22. Sceptical Bastard


    "The one thing you can count on in our industry is that things change," says Redmond's ranting sweat-monster.

    Too true - Microsoft seems wedded to the "if it aint broke, fix it anyway" school of software architecture - pile on the bells and whistles that nobody has asked for or wants - anything that adds bloat to over-featured products, MS Office and Vista being the most obvious examples.

  23. Hugh_Pym

    TCP/IP stack!!

    Perfect example of the way Microsoft 'innovates'...

    ... By letting 'partners' do all the innovating and when the model proved and the wrinkles ironed out they buy some stuff or copy it and drop it into the OS killing the 'partners' in the process.

    Microsoft partner == Crocodiles teeth cleaner

  24. Geoff Mackenzie

    He promised the "same old Microsoft approach"

    Says it all.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Come on Reg Readers, get a clue..

    Android is making the transition into the netbook segment with manufacturers lined up to bring it to market at some point later on this year. Google then announces to the world they are going to move in on the same market with Chrome OS meaning they'll have two operating systems in it.

    Since Neither Windows Mobile and Windows Embedded are Microsoft's operating system for that market, what Steve Ballmer has said is true, just perhaps not the best way it could have been said.

    Once again the lack of ability that Reg readers have to comprehend something, aka not having a clue, shines through..

  26. Anonymous Coward

    50% - he's right there

    "About 50 per cent of the time somebody is on their PC, they are not doing something in the web browser."

    Yea, they are either rebooting, looking at a BSOD or removing a virus or two....

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    The fanboys are back!!

    Ah, I see the Linux fanbois are back attacking Ballmer for speaking the truth.

    First, Windows 95 and NT were two different breeds: windows 95 ran from ye olde MS-DOS 7.0 (remember typing "WIN" to start it up?) whereas NT was a true 32 bit operating system.

    Secondly, Vista and all its editions share the same codebase, it is just the extra applications that separate the editions. You can't run a Windows NT app on a 95 machine, but you can run a Vista Home app on Vista Ultimate. Clear?

    Face it Linux lovers, no-one wants to use your OS. How many years has it been available? FAIL

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Windows Mobile?

    "you don't need two client operating systems." Does that mean Microsoft doesn't consider Windows mobile to be an operating system? It would explain a lot...

  29. Anonymous Coward

    What BSOD is this you speak of?

    I've been running XP64 for 2 years, my work PC has been on for 3 months continuously (just checked) and I've never had this so-called "Blue Screen Of Death".... time for you to move on from that attack isn't it?

    Can't wait to hear "OH WELL, MY LINUX BOX HAS BEEN ON FOR 10 YEARS STRAIGHT!!!!!11111" from the usual nerds. Who cares? Windows works, find something else to attack.

    Yet another FAIL.

    @Geoff Mackenzie: you are on every Windows thread digging Microsoft out. Is there something you want to tell us?

  30. Toastan Buttar

    @Mark C 1

    "Will Android and GoogleOS be different code bases or different versions of the same code base? If the latter than Ball should just STFU!"

    Android = A complete OS.

    Chrome OS = Linux kernel with custom desktop and browser.

    So yeah, different code bases.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    What BSOD is this you speak of?

    Erm, I've seen it on Windows 7 RTM a couple of times - Intellipoint drivers for Bluetooth. It's not blue anymore - its black.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes admin will not be liking this one little bit

    With less work to do, and IT moved outside the company, the jig will soon be up.

    To clam fishing, every last man, woman, and child of you.

    Didn't Microsoft just <del>pinch</del> <ins>acquire</ins> TCP/IP from FreeBSD, or is he going on about network applications?

    You know how it is all going to pan out, hybrid applications, there are reasons not to go to the cloud, and there are ways to open up LANs. You may have your cake and eat it with gusto.

  33. Maliciously Crafted Packet

    @ Mikel... Well said.

    Lets take Nokia, Amazon, Adobe, RIM and even Google. I bet their office's are all full of Windows PC's. Microsoft must be laughing their arse's off seeing this lot place massive orders for Windows every 3 years or so.

    Feeding the mouth that will devour you, is a turn of phrase that come to mind.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    BSOD crap

    Yeah I second that about the BSOD - I've had an XP machine at work for the past 5 years, and I have not once seen a BSOD. My Mac at home, on the other hand, regularly fails to boot or freezes completely. That BSOD spiel is old, it rarely happens. Nor have I had a virus for that matter.

    If Windows really was all that unreliable as people say (comments like the above "50% of your time is spent rebooting or deleting viruses") then Linux would have more than 0.1% of the desktop market share, wouldn't it?

    Linux servers may well stay up for years, but it's total nonsense to say that desktop versions like Ubuntu are rock solid - it just isn't true. In fact, what version of Ubuntu was available 5 years ago? I'd bet there aren't many of those versions running today.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    2 Client OSes

    Well there's all the Win32/x86 ones. Obviously every couple of years we get a new generation of user-incompatible ones, and obviously the number of price points increases as time goes by; the entry level barely goes down but the high end retail price (does anyone ever buy them?) goes up and up.

    And then there's the WinCE-derived ones, which have a habit of coming and then disappearing again after a couple of years. Just ask any WinCE/HPC2000 system owner; the HP Jornada 720 with Handheld PC OS is effectively the godfather of the Netbook (tm Psion) but MS decided that they weren't interested in a handheld computer without the bloat of an x86 and thus with decent battery life, with a small but usable qwerty keyboard and a small but usable display. Odd.

    Anyway, as far as I can tell, that's more than two client OSes but maybe Steveworld is different.

    HP Jornada 720:

  36. Anonymous Coward

    And I Quote...

    "you don't need two client operating systems"


    Windows vista what version again?

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Windows 7 RTM

    I googled for RTM - Windows 7 hasn't been released yet, it appears to have been leaked onto warez sites - hmm, so how did you acquire it? One wonders...

    Anyway, it's not the final build:

    ""Over the past week, there have been many rumors surrounding RTM," wrote Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft's in-house Windows blogger, in a post late Monday. "We are close, but have not yet signed off on Windows 7," said LeBlanc. - information week, 20 hours ago.

    So, because an unreleased, unfinished warez product with a possibly beta driver produces a BSOD, you tar all of Windows with the same brush?


  38. Peter Mc Aulay

    Fascinating argumentation

    Quote: [...] why Microsoft's new search engine is important to their world. "It's got two things to do with you," Ballmer barked. "Number one: it's as good a demonstration of our tenacity and commitment as you've ever seen, including Windows 1.0 - I'll put it on the list - and number two: it's my chance to tell you, you should set your default search provider to"

    Nice to see such compellingly reasoned technical arguments coming from the Microsoft camp, here.

  39. Alex Rose

    @AC - What BSOD is this you speak of?

    Windows works? I thank god that you're wrong, otherwise I'd be out of a job.

  40. andy gibson

    @AC - Windows 95

    Windows 95 started by "WIN"? Not on my PC.

    And as for Ballmer saying "If you wanted things that never change you probably shouldn't be in the IT business. ". Funny how he won't listen to his customers who *don't* want things to change on the computers in their workplaces.

  41. Richard 102

    RE: General Motors= Microsoft ???

    Hey, at least GM has (or had) The Cadillac CTS, the new Corvette, OnStar (not perfectly implemented but a great idea), the Pontiac Solstice, Buick getting Consumer Reports' award for customer satisfaction (tied with Lexus), ...

    GM has actually done some good things lately; their union, management drones, and the credit crunch screwed them over. Has MS come up with something on their own on par with any of the above GM achievements?

    Mine's the one with the autographed picture of Jeremy Clarkson in the pocket.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Win - yes, I win and you FAIL

    @Andy Gibson:

    Windows 95 was based on DOS. If you booted into DOS, which IIRC you could with F8, you simply typed WIN to start '95 up.

    @Alex Rose:

    I meant the basic configuration, durr - of course bad drivers and dodgy group policies are going to skew things, but for me, once I've installed my drivers and set up my AV, Windows has worked just dandy for me since forever. We can't accommodate for n00bs who install Windows 2000 drivers or get viruses from Firefox can we?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What have they done?

    "having thanked partners for their hard work making Microsoft successful"

    I wonder if that thought keeps any of them awake at night.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My Mistake...

    I ment RC...

  45. Tommy Pock

    Discussing Bullmer's presentation relevant. Yet another completely boring and pointless Windows Vs Linux Vs Apple Vs My Arse retardfest is not. Shut up, all of you.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    Win9x != DOS

    I do wish some of you would read your wikis (or tech docs?!) more thoroughly before posting opinions...

    Win9x was NOT based on MS-DOS, it just used it during the initial boot-loader phases, then pushed it aside once it was up and running - keeping a few bits around for dealing with the 16-bit stuff. Of course this gave you the ability to drop (back) down to a proper DOS environment if you needed to (real command-line DOS that is, *not* just a box running within Windows), but at that point you then weren't running any of the Windows 9x code... just MS-DOS.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like