back to article Steve Ballmer defaces fanboi MacBook

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has defaced the MacBook Pro of a young fanboi, and his sarcastic scrawling was caught on video. No, this wasn't another "developers, developers" rant or a chair-chucking loss of control. The fanboi asked him to. Thanks to AppleInsider, we learned today that during a visit to Tennessee's Trevecca …


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  1. Satan P Coolsborough


    does steve b write like a retarded elephant?

  2. Lance 3

    The first budget Mac

    It will be the cheapest Mac on eBay. I see "reserve not met" in the near future.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo


    itproberbly lost value......

    but on the other hand if ti had been signed by saint jobs..... the fanbois would go into orgasmic fits and pay (read as waste) more money on it than a brand new one would set you back....

  4. h 6
    Thumb Up


    Wow! He has a sense of humor AND a good chair-throwing ability! Nice to see him have a laugh with a fan.

  5. Gene

    Showed a bit of class...

    ...for a change.

  6. Andy 22
    Thumb Up

    The guy's a dick...

    ...but that was smoooooth.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Satan P

    If it writes like a retarded elephant, walks like a retarded elephant, dances like a retarded elephant and looks like a retarded elephant...

    What is it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      is it...

      a duck?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward it?

      Steve Jobs?

      Just to annoy the Mactards - only joking.... you can put your flaming torches, Macbooks and pitchforks down now.....

  8. danny_0x98


    It's running Windows.

    1. Steven Knox

      I'd pay more....

      for a Steve Jobs-signed PC running OSX...

  9. Gaines

    Mac sheeple or just children?


    Is this where the sheeple herd congregates to throw mud or is The Register just targeting a less mature audience? It seems all the mac zealots posting comments forgot a few key points of the story. First, the student is running Windows on his mac. He's not one of you who cling so desperately to the hip identity that comes with an apple logo. He uses Microsoft's products and appreciated the CEO of the world's largest company giving an autograph. The fact that a man worth billions of dollars took a moment to humor this student and sign a competitor's product speaks volumes. While you're busy attempting to think up insults, the rest of us recognize the ironic humor.


    By the way, you spelled Ballmer's name wrong in the URL.

    1. Dan Herd


      Because we should always remember to bow, scrape and tug our collective forelocks at people who are worth billions of dollars shouldn't we?

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      At least Steve knows how to scrawl on bathroon doors....

      >>speaks volumes

      ....but which ones?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mac sheeple or just children?

      Hi Steve!

    4. Ted 3

      "...the world's largest company..."?

      Microsoft is not "the world's largest company", not by a long shot.

      From Fortune magazine, as of 2009 the world's biggest companies are...

      1. Royal Dutch Shell

      2. Exxon Mobil

      3. Wal-Mart Stores

      4. BP

      5. Chevron

      6. Total

      7. ConocoPhillips

      8. ING Group

      9. Sinopec

      10. Toyota Motor

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      letters and/or digits

      "The fact that a man worth billions of dollars took a moment to humor this student and sign a competitor's product speaks volumes."

      no it doesn't

    6. Ascylto


      It seems to me you are confusing the word "worth" with the word "paid".

  10. Steven Ballmer


    LOVE IT!

  11. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Dear Ballmer

    Ballmer always reminds me of one of those quack travelling salesmen you see in old westerns, flogging potions and such like, claiming "It's good for what ails yer!". Ballmer always ready to grab any photo-op and try to turn it to his advantage, sadly he doesn't quite have the loveable rogue image he would love, he simply comes over as a sweaty, creepy sort of person.

    1. LinkOfHyrule
      Paris Hilton

      Windows Snake Oil

      Snake oil salesman you mean? Hmm yes I agree! I think 'Snake Oil' would make a good code name for the next version of Windows as it will be of course another useless overpriced piece of crap that doesn't work!

      Paris, cos if she signed my computer, I wouldn't touch it again without the use of rubber gloves and a hazmat suit!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He should make a point...

      ...of always standing next to Gordon Brown.

  12. Mat
    Thumb Up

    Surely if the Mac was running windows

    It would have been detected by the cult of Jobs and the 'heavies' sent round to remind him that he had breached the terms of the Apple religion!

    (I'm not a Ballmer fan, but that was kind of cool! - I wonder what Steve Jobs would have done if the roles were reversed?)

    1. Jeremy Chappell
      Thumb Down

      Taken the student to court...

      The EULA of Mac OS X specifically prohibits it running on competitors' products!

      I thought Steve B was caught completely off guard with this, but actually recovered pretty well. The student's "stunt" was designed to provoke hilarity and Steve B recognised this and played his part well.

      I actually think the other Steve would have politely declined, then when the cameras had gone thrown a fit. But still, Apple make some great product.

      1. Raspy32

        Re:Taken the student to court...

        "The EULA of Mac OS X specifically prohibits it running on competitors' products!"

        Yeah but he's not running OS X on a competitors product is he? He's running Windows on a Macbook. Of course you have to question the intelligence of the student if he basically paid twice as much for the macbook as he would have done for a Windows laptop, only to put Windows on it anyway......

        For the people suggesting that Ballmer should have just signed a corner or came across in a negative light for having a little joke - I think you're being a bit presumptuous. Without seeing the manner and atmosphere in which the request was made how can you draw a proper opinion as to whether it was appropriate or not?

        Personally I think people should lighten up a bit. I have no particular liking for Ballmer but if it had been my macbook then I still would have had to chuckle.

        1. Justin
          Thumb Up

          Re:Taken the student to court...

          "Of course you have to question the intelligence of the student if he basically paid twice as much for the macbook as he would have done for a Windows laptop, only to put Windows on it anyway......"

          I checked the prices of macBook, Vaio, Dell, Toshiba, Acer and a bunch of others. For the same top-of-the-range spec (identical processor, memory, disk, screen size) they all worked out at about GBP 1800. Maybe plus or minus 100. So you start looking at other things like build quality, number of USB ports, tray-less (=nothing to break) DVD drive, and the nifty magnetic power connector that means you can't trash your laptop by tripping over the cable.

          I think the student made a very smart decision, even if he only ever runs Windows on it. Now his Macbook is unique too, and will help to pay his college fees.

    2. Samuel Walker
      Jobs Horns


      If Jobs had been asked to sign a laptop running mac os?


      He'd have signed it first, then written a court filing above it. After all Hackintoshes are against the Mac philosophy.

      1. Ascylto


        It's not a Hackintosh. You can legally run Windows on an Apple computer, using Apple's Bootcamp if you wish.

        Stupid Boy!

    3. J 3

      @retards above (e.g. Raspy32, Ascylto)

      "roles reversed", duh!

      Like, you know, the other way... duh! Steve Jobs signing a (non-Apple) PC -- maybe running OS X, maybe not... either way.

  13. Tony Paulazzo

    tx2 quick launch buttons

    >Maybe... It's running Windows.<

    Don't they all? Runs, ducks and hides.

  14. Peter Clarke 1

    To quote the Annointed One ....

    ... It's no big deal

  15. barth

    it's funny, actually

    and ... can you imagine His Steviness doing something like that ?

  16. windywoo
    Jobs Horns

    Mac fanbois will never give Ballmer a break.

    Because he isn't good looking. They will project every negative they can think of on to him because he is bald and overweight, therefore not deserving of any positives at all. I've seen the video of him prancing around and yeah he was a dick then, and maybe he did throw a chair I dunno. I've heard far more stories about Jobs though, and how he belittles people to the point where they cry, or how he refused treatment for his cancer until he had tried his own "methods".

    But Jobs will get a by from Mactards because he wears those polo necks and makes Mac fans feel good about themselves because they spent so much money on his goods.

    1. Wallyb132


      I couldn't agree with you more...

      but dont take my word for it, one can discover this for themselves, take a trip to the Temple of Jobs and see for yourself how wonderful the holy saint steve really is.

      When you arrive at the divine palace, the first thing you'll notice is the royal jobsian chariot parked in a handicapped spot with its license plates removed so he doesnt get a ticket. way to look out for the less fortunate there saint steve... take their f*cking parking spot!

      the next thing you'll notice, as you approach the royal hoist we call an elevator, is that saint steve rides alone, why you ask? because no jobsian mac-o-lite in their mind who cherishes their tenure at the divine institution of jobs will dare ride the elevator with him, thanks to his (not so) charming demeanor and love for ripping out the hearts of his devout followers, leaving them broken down, demoralized and unemployed souls when the doors open...

      there is so much more....

      Why people follow this jackass i haven't the first clue...

      at least the bald overweight and aging chair chucker has a sense of humor...

    2. Euchrid


      Oh please.... you would do better in making your point if you didn't lump all Mac users together and resort to cheap abuse whilst doing it.

      Personally, although I do use a fair bit of Apple kit (as well as kit and OS by other companies) and enjoy doing so, I've never had illusions that Apple is a company... and as a company, the only interest it has in me, is how much it can extract from my wallet.

      As for Jobs making people cry, you really don't know much about what a bastard the guy can be. Look up the story of how he shafted Woz out of money for his 'help' in designing the electronic side of Breakout.... best of all, Woz only found out when he read a book about Apple years later and started crying. An Apple suit - and this is the bit I really like - put a comforting hand on his shoulder and said "Woz, we're all so sorry.... we all thought you knew." Makes someone who throws chairs a rank amateur!

      As much as a bastard Jobs is/was, the comment about how Jobs refused treatment is a low blow. Sure there are stories, but there's been no evidence to support them - and there seems to be a tendency in spreading such tittle-tattle to attack Jobs... rather like the ones about Gates being autistic. If you want to criticise people like Ellison, Jobs et al, there's so much live ammo one can fire, so why pick something like that?

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
        Thumb Up

        Well said Euchrid!

        Not all us Apple "fanbois" worship the church, some of us just like the architecture of the places of worship and the artistic nature of the iconography, the religion is BS like most religion is!

        I am a Mac user, and I know Jobs is as corporate as they get. He's a Bastard-Businessman, just like every CEO. You don't $1bn+ in the bank without being a bastard! There's the clever bit, building a "religion" around the public persona, while hiding the devil inside.

        Woz was the brains in early Apple and he got shafted, but Woz lives for tech and learning, hence why after making millions, he sold his Apple stock to his subordinates, kept a big chunk and became a junior school teacher. Jobs teaches, but more in a David Koresh/Jim Jones kind of way!

        Still love using Apple kit over standard x86 off-the-shelf stuff, I just know the reality, I know that Jobs and MS' answer to Laurel and Hardy, Ballmer and Gates, are all money-grabbing, corp scumbags.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Love the David Koresh reference..

          That made me smile, and I agree whole heartedly. Mr. Jobs would be foolish not to nourish this fanatical following, so long as the money spills forth from their wallets. Microsoft's products don't inspire that much passion, but they do get the job done, on a much wider array of hardware - which is how Bill G. managed to make his coin - playing the manufacturers off against each other.

          They all only want the cash or kudos, it's up to the user to choose their poison.

          I agree to some extent that Mac tin is well designed, though this doesn't necessarily mean it's ideal for all users every time. Everyone's need vary - for example, a Linux netbook for £200 will browse porn just as nicely as a Mac (depends whether you're picky about the image quality, of course), and that's all some folk need.

  17. RichyS
    Jobs Halo

    Need a new one?

    You do now that Monkey-boy has ruined it.

    Still, the MacBook Pro is due an upgrade bump soon...

  18. DrXym Silver badge

    A bit dickish really

    He could have signed the thing neatly in the corner or politely refused. Scrawling right over the logo and adding a comment like that just comes off as being a cock.

  19. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Thumbs up

    I think the guy is a buffoon put in charge of a china shop, but I must give him that - that was brilliant.

    Thumbs up from me.

  20. Adam T

    Amusing, but

    I can't stand Ballmer; the guy's an idiot, but that was quite amusing.

    He could afford some handwriting lessons though on his salary. He'll never get along with handwriting recognition software with that scrawl...

  21. mr_chris
    Thumb Up

    I like it

    I like it a lot. Seriously - well done Steve - that was fantastic :)

  22. Anonymous Coward

    World's largest company?

    Gaines: He uses Microsoft's products and appreciated the CEO of the world's largest company giving an autograph.

    World's largest company? Not even close - MS is 6th by mar-cap, and a whopping 119th by revenues:

  23. David Glasgow

    The truth is....

    ... it wasn't his MacBook. He'd borrowed it from his room mate for a couple of hours....

  24. Richard Cartledge
    Gates Horns


    Must be one of the reptilians that David Icke goes on about.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quid pro quo

    Can I just point out that Microsoft are more than happy for you to run Windows alongside OS-X on a Mac.

    The same can't really be said of Apple now can it..?

    1. Pandy06269
      Thumb Up


      Of course they are... Microsoft are a software company - it's their main form of revenue.

      Apple are a hardware company, they don't sell the OS separately so don't make any revenue from OS sales (only upgrades.) The only way you can buy OSX is to buy an Apple computer, so if you're using OSX on a non-Apple product you've obtained it illegally.

    2. Ascylto

      Get it right.

      So why do Apple supply (free of charge) Bootcamp which allows the use of Windows on a Apple machine?


      1. PirateSlayer
        Jobs Horns



        What about Microsoft Surface? Numerous Microsoft gaming peripherals...?

        As I recall, Apple is just a software company that shells up Intel technology in hideously 80s/90s cream plastic and charges far more than its worth.

        It's a bit like an X-Box really...another piece of Microsoft Hardware!

        1. Anonymous Coward

          A little hypocracy goes a long way....

          Yes, a software vendor with a hideous anti-competitive streak:

          iPod MUST use iTunes.

          OSX MUST use Mac.

          PC MUST NOT use OSX

          iTunes MUST NOT use generic MP3 players.

          No technical reason any more (after all, a Mac is just a fancy Intel box - Hackintoshers prove that all the time), just pure 'hiding behind the lawyers'.

          I haven't seen a new PC in beige for sometime (though there are a few bad examples that look like something from a 50's scifi flick - Alienware, I'm looking at you!). I haven't seen a Mac in white and green/orange/pink for some time either. Both Mac and PC have moved on - Admittedly, Apple got there first, but that was largely down to it's re-emphasis into the design and home market sectors in the early 90's.

  26. N2

    Steve Ballmer

    Is a tosser of the very highest order, quite how he became a CEO of one of the worlds leading software companies is beyond me. Bill Gates always had respect for Apple but this stunt just spells out what a looser the man is.

    Board members of Microsoft, the sooner you get rid of this idiot, the better for you, your company & your shareholders.

  27. N2


    You wouldnt think thet M$ & Apple were closing in on a deal to displace Google as the default search engine, one would think that the condom stuffed full of heroin shoved up his arse burst?

    Whatever the reason, it just beggars belief.

  28. Daniel Bennett


    Wait, what?


  29. Haku

    Turn tables

    Will Steve Jobs now sign a Windows laptop in retaliation?

    BTW, hating the new auto-headline changing thing on the front page of El Reg - why the flip did you do that?! can we turn the damn thing off?

  30. Brian Witham

    I'd have asked him to do something else

    I may just be me but I'd have asked if he could've brought back Flight Simulator...

  31. lukewarmdog

    Thing is

    Microsoft don't sell a device. If you took him a toaster running Windows he's made some money off you. So this kid bought an Apple laptop, who cares? He paid for a copy of Windows.

    Amusing story to start the week.

  32. Bo Pedersen

    @Brian Witham

    Yes but if you asked him to bring back flight simulator, he would probably just demonstrate the aerodynamics of that macbook :)

    right now back to installing osx on my C64

  33. Anonymous Coward

    obligatory line of spam.

    student puts laptop bag on table and says can you sign my windows?

    he then pulls out the double glazeing salesmans sample window....

  34. JeffShortland

    ... I don't get it

    .. Why would you want a sweaty, middle-aged man to sign your computer.. regardless of what it was running?

    .. I thought they signed your tits or something.. maybe I'm just getting old.

  35. gimbal

    Wow, that's clever

    Those smart Microsoft guys just keep on coming up with the winning ideas.


  36. Charles Manning

    Hey Microsoft!

    Need a new one? CEO that is...

    But perhaps he is being "edgy " and helping to build a brand. The media seem to think he has an enormous fan base in the tech sector.

    The big question however is how much longer the board will put up with him stagnating a once-growing company.

  37. Paul 131
    Paris Hilton


    It never ceases to amaze me reading the immature comments posted my monkey boys on this site. The guy autographs a laptop & (for once) actually reveals on the moment with a joke. So on with the monkeytard jokes (cheapest mac on eBay blah blah blah). Children please get ya head out of johnny boy next doors arsehole!

    Even Paris saw the funny side...

  38. Sceptical Bastard

    Missing the point...

    I think that, by and large, Ballmer is an obnoxious belligerent knobhead.

    But not on this occasion - he signed his autograph for a (possibly star-struck) student and added an inoffensive humorous aside. He did it with good grace.

    So why the vitriol? Save the vituperation for when he acts like a bullying ranting sweatmonster (or dances).

  39. Wallyb132

    Like him or hate him

    Whether you like the man or hate him, he has a claim to fame that no other person on this planet can claim...

    He is the only person to have ever become a billionaire from a company that he neither founded nor was related to the founders.

    He has done that 11 times over.

    So all the childish banter from the peanut gallery is exactly that, childish banter, from broke ass people who go to work day in and day out hoping the earn enough to pay the rent and maybe have enough coin left over to buy a can or two of beer...

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