back to article Top 10 Steve Ballmer quotes: '%#&@!!' and so much more

When it comes to quotable CEOs, Steve Ballmer may not be the best in the business, but he has managed come up with some zingers. As he prepares to make his transition from top dog at Microsoft, we thought it would be a good time to survey some of the most memorable Ballmerisms of past years, and see how they worked out in …

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  1. Captain DaFt

    Kids rebel

    " Ballmer is, however, missing a trick with this one. It's natural and normal for kids to rebel against their parents. With his luck, and this upbringing, Ballmer's brood will end up working for Cupertino or Mountain View. "

    More like they'll shy away from business and tech altogether. Expect to see his brood go into anything else; Show biz, art major, writer (Oo! Tell all books!), maybe even move to some backwater country and basket weave for a living.

    (OK, that last one's a bit much!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kids rebel

      They certainly do. Someone with whom I attended university had wealthy parents, and spent one of his vacations fighting with Communist rebels in some South American country (I forget which).

      Once when I stayed overnight at his parent's home, he asked me to pretend to be a Vet Science student, and tell his mother that her dog had a terminal illness. I declined.

      Sorry, not relevant. Maybe.

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Linux

      Re: Kids rebel

      Users do too.

      All this talk of Blamer ruining microsoft because of the rise of Google, Apple etc on his watch might be missing the point. Before then, users *had no choice*. So if they detested the beast, there's nothing they could do about it. As soon as they do get a realistic choice, such as with phones, tablets, cloud ... well, basically anything apart from the desktop OS, they take it gladly no matter who's running the shop - today and tomorrow.

      Which is why the self inflicted Windows hate disaster is so telling of the misplaced arrogance within.

      "Users hate Windows 8" :-)

    3. Gannon (J.) Dick
      Headmaster

      Re: Kids rebel

      "Ballmer's brood will end up working for Cupertino or Mountain View or worse, amateur dramatics."

      Wait, the monkey dance was professional dramatics ? Or did you mean amateur dramatics done worse is possible?

  2. frank ly

    I realise this is totally childish, but ....

    .... would it be possible to modify the GPL, etc, so that Microsoft was not allowed to use the code?

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

      would it be possible to modify the GPL, etc, so that Microsoft was not allowed to use the code?

      In theory, given enough lawyers & someone killing off Richard Stallman, I suppose it might be possible. The problem as I see it, though, is that the GPL and other software licenses are about giving you freedom to the code. By denying a specific entity the right to the code, you're driving a horse and cart through that core tenant of free/open source software.

      Assuming all software license switch to anti-Microsoft versions, you then start to get some interesting questions:

      - What about products that MS buys in that have GPL/BSD/whatever code in them? Cisco are big users of open source software, and I'd be surprised if there's no Cisco kit at Microsoft. Even my TV came with a copy of the GPL! Would Microsoft be allowed to own or use those products?

      - This would certainly kill Microsoft doing any work on Android or Apple devices.

      - What about the work Microsoft put in working with open source developers (e.g. SAMBA) ?

      - What about a Microsoft employee at home? With modern working practises, the line between "at work" and "not at work" is very blurred.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

      Nope… that in itself would be a violation of the GPL's copyright which clearly states that such modifications are not permitted.

      Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies

      of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

      That is, unless you agree to that, you're not allowed to use the GPL for your project. At the very least, you would not be permitted to call the license the "GNU GPL"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

      Plenty of projects have a non-commercial use community edition.

    4. andrew3
      Linux

      Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

      GPL prophet RMS already has an article on this:

      https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/programs-must-not-limit-freedom.html

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

      You are right, it is.

      1. Cliff

        Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

        Isn't a part of the GPL that you can frequently choose the version?

        1. arctic_haze
          Linux

          Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

          No. Not really.

          You can choose whatever version you want when you release the code. You may even choose more than one (GPL and LGPL or for example).

          But when the code is already released under a GPL version, only the copyright owners (the original authors0 may re-license it. This is why Linux is still under GPL v2. Linus refused to re-license it to GPL v3.

          http://www.infoworld.com/t/platforms/linus-torvalds-still-sticking-gpl-2-361

  3. Rampant Spaniel

    I'm going to fucking bury that guy

    I presume he meant under a pile of money??

  4. jake Silver badge

    Whatever.

    Not a single one of those quotes has any bearing on my day-to-day computer use.

    Which is probably why MS is pitching the idiot.

    1. dogged
      FAIL

      Re: Whatever.

      The idiot who tripled revenue, doubled profits and turned cloud, CRM, Sharepoint and gaming into billion dollar businesses? I mention those because they're not dependant on windows+office and did not exist in Gates' era.

      Yeah, what an idiot. You're so much smarter than him, Jake. We know because you keep telling us.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Whatever.

        Re-read mine, dogged.

        Absolutely nothing he has done since taking the helm has convinced me that MS is a viable option. The GreatUnwashed have started noticing what was obvious to the cognizant over ten years ago.

        1. dogged
          Facepalm

          Re: Whatever.

          He doesn't need to convince you, Jake.

          I'd go so far as to venture that he doesn't need the reassurance of anyone who has enough time to waste it on dismissive comments about the multi-billion dollar company he was a partner in building and running. Has Steve Ballmer done better for himself and his family than any one of us?

          Yes. Indisputably so. But you just bitch away, Jake. You with your secret special knowledge what's good that either nobody else has or nobody else gives a shit about. Bitch away, old son. Make yourself feel better. As for the idiot with the Harvard maths degree (those don't come free with your cornflakes either), I expect he feels pretty good anyway,

          And has never heard of any of us and wouldn't care if he did.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Whatever.

            The difference between you and I, dogged, is that I view the reality of what works in my day to day life as more important than marketing. Yourself, maybe not so much.

            I don't think of myself as a "tiny speck". I feel sorry for you, if you really feel that way.

            I'll happily match his Harvard Maths degree with my MBA from Stanford.

            You edited your post in a BIG way. Why so angry?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Whatever.

              And only an MBA could make that match without pissing themselves laughing!

              1. jake Silver badge

                @AC 12:25 (was: Re: Whatever.)

                My last degree was the MBA. The others are engineering related.

                1. Getriebe

                  Re: @AC 12:25 (was: Whatever.)

                  But not anything in English I'll be bound

                  "The difference between you and I, dogged, is that I view the reality of what works in my day to day life as more i.."

                  "between you and me - ", between is a preposition and pronouns after a prepostion take the accusative.

                  2/10 stay behind after class.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    @Getriebe (was:Re: @AC 12:25 (was: Whatever.))

                    It's the vernacular. Language mutates. Don't like it? Move somewhere else.

                    Good luck with that.

            2. dogged

              Re: Whatever.

              You edited your post in a BIG way.

              Yeah, it was incoherent. I hadn't been awake long.

              I'm not angry. Just disappointed, I guess. The sheer amount of no-life wasters on here with no skills and no ability and a huge hard-on for a company that exists to sell them as product getting all tribal about allegiances makes me sad.

              1. jake Silver badge
                Pint

                @dogged 16:14 (was: Re: Whatever.)

                I grok. You and I are pretty much on the same page (I think) ... but I'm up walking the dawgs for their late-night pee when you're getting your first cuppa.

                It's all good. Somehow we'll all muddle thru' if we communicate.

                Beer?

  5. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Developers Developers...

    That was and is true.

    Making Windows easy to develop for is what made Windows in the first place. Without that it'd be a mere footnote in history.

    Failing to do that is part of what killed Windows Mobile (the other being it was awful) and what's killing Windows 8, damaging 8.1 before launch and is the main reason Windows Phone 7 tanked utterly and why Windows Phone 8 is not doing well.

    A lack of applications will always damage a consumer computing platform, a lack of support for developers kills it stone dead.

    In the last few years MS has been pissing off developers by doing practically everything wrong.

    The new guy had better dance!

    1. Anomalous Cowshed

      Re: Developers Developers...

      It's kind of true, for both developers and users, they've been taking some extraordinarily arbitrary decisions over the past few years (according to what I've heard):

      - They discontinued the Help for VBA in Office 2010, making some people fear that they'd discontinued the VBA system itself, though I think that wasn't the case, but it put me off from ever upgrading from Office 2003

      - They introduced the famous ribbon, which of course put me and millions of others off. It's almost impossible to find your way through it

      - They introduced the 'metro' interface, which millions of people didn't want

      - They kept introducing software with less and less user-customisable options (for instance the e-mail client in Windows 7 versus Outlook Express)

      - They introduced a mobile OS which is (supposedly) as closed as the one of Apple, whereas one of the big bugbears for many professional users of mobile phones is the inability to access the file system of the machine

      All this seems to be emphasis on style and packaging versus emphasis on content and flexibility. Which of course isn't good for a lot of people.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Developers Developers...

        Windows 7 email clients

        Mine waas OK, I downloaded Thunderbird as I could not make head nor tale of the Win7 one.

        If I had time I would have, but I wanted it running now, so used something easier to understand for a long term computer user.

    2. Belardi

      Re: Developers Developers...

      And throw in the Xbox1, and its another major MS product that has pissed off their own customers.

      My home, it'll be a PS4 period. A friend of mine has ALL consoles - but there is no future in his home for the xBoxOne. I think the only (or most) PRO-xBOX1 folks on line are paid employees.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Developers Developers...

        Trolling presumably. The only console EVER with the ability to buy a chip that was easy enough to solder in place and allow whatever you wanted to be played? Not to mention XBMC (illegal or not to use the SDK to compile it, I don't care, I didn't see any prosecutions) being one of the best pieces of software to come out of that period, and still being ported and improved today?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Media are unfair on old Stevie.

    Why do the media always pick clips that make the man seem like an aggressive overbearing disconnected delusional psychotic bully who has spent so long shouting he no longer listens to the words himself.

    I'm sure there are other clips out there where his softer more agreeable meditative and thoughtful aspects come to the fore, no?

    No?

    Nothing?

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Powernumpty Re: Media are unfair on old Stevie.

      The Balmer-bashing articles are inevitable. But every now and again you do get a quote about Balmer that actually acknowledges some of Microsoft's success, like this one from the BBC: "The company has more than tripled revenues and doubled profits under Mr Ballmer's leadership."

      1. DaLo

        Re: Powernumpty Media are unfair on old Stevie.

        "The company has more than tripled revenues and doubled profits under Mr Ballmer's leadership."

        But a more insightful quote would've been..

        "The company has more than tripled revenues and doubled profits despite Mr Ballmer's leadership."

      2. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: Powernumpty Media are unfair on old Stevie.

        That's because MS is a Zombie Cash Cow[tm], with plenty of legacy income streams that continue to work with little or no oversight.

        All Ballmer had to do was not touch anything important, leave the smart people to do their jobs, and even more cash would have rolled in.

        Instead he broke two of the biggest streams - Windows and Office - and blew literal truck loads of cash on stupid dead-end me-too projects, because leadership.

        Without his genius, MS profits would have been far higher.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Powernumpty Media are unfair on old Stevie.

          "....Instead he broke two of the biggest streams - Windows and Office...." Oh puh-lease! Yeah, 'cos we've all ditched Woffice for Linux and OpenOffice, right? Even with the problems of Vista and Metro and the horrendous ribbon, most businesses are looking to upgrade their WinXP installs to Win7 or 8.1, not iOS or Linux. Try to think before frothing mindless hatred.

          1. Ted Treen
            FAIL

            Re: Powernumpty Media are unfair on old Stevie.

            I really can't see anyone looking to upgrade a WinXP install to iOS - unless they're intent of replacing their Dell/HP/Whatever desktops/laptops with iPads and/or iPhones...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Powernumpty Media are unfair on old Stevie.

        "The company has more than tripled revenues and doubled profits under Mr Ballmer's leadership."

        Aaand yet the stock markit seems to value Mr Ballmer at -20 Billion USD. Stock went up 8% on the news.

  7. Fihart

    F*ck you attitude.

    Is evident in many of the quotes and it well reflects the Microsoft attitude to other businesses, consumers and government.

    I didn't realise how well it also reflected the company's attitude to its staff, but the responses from them to the Vanity Fair article on MS and Ballmer suggests that the place is a snake pit where individuals are fighting the system and each other rather than working as a team "....focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most." (to quote the clearest humbug in Ballmer's farewell announcement).

    This is an unpleasant bullying company run by unpleasant bullying creatures intent on dis-empowering each other and everyone else (just read their EULAs) -- unsurprisingly this has not always produced the desired results. The recent flops suggest that with this arrogance to the outside world and fractures within, chickens are coming home to roost.

    Hopefully, in time we will be entirely rid of this ugly behemoth (and I don't just mean Ballmer).

    1. ChrisBedford

      Re: F*ck you attitude.

      @Fihart: you clearly haven't looked at how Apple does business, have you.

      1. Fihart

        Re: F*ck you attitude. @Chris Bedford

        Experienced the deliberately introduced annoyances when using an iPod with iTunes, so aside from cost, avoid Apple products.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google."

    What a quote. Apple have taken their dinner and Google have taken their lunch money. Kids growing up these days don't care about old fashioned IT companies like Microsoft, HP and Dell. They grow up and all they know is Apple, Google and Samsung

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Larry Crapbeans Re: "I have done it before, and I will do it again....."

      "....Kids growing up these days don't care about old fashioned IT companies like Microsoft...." Which ignores the fact we never did when we were kids either, we thought about Atari and Commodore. Today's kids will go to school, where they will get introduced to the Microsoft power base of Windows and Office. Then they'll go to work and carry on using the Woffice combo, and probably Win Server if they work in tech. Do not make the mistake of assuming the consumer segment is the whole market. The fanbois and baristas forget that both Apple and Linux have failed to displace the Woffice combo, and are still a minor player compared to MS in the server software market. And that is coming from someone that has spent over a decade trying to use Linux in business as much as possible.

      1. Shades
        Alert

        Re: Larry Crapbeans "I have done it before, and I will do it again....."

        What the...?? Matt, I find it unsettling that I agree with something you've said. Please don't do it again! ;)

      2. Alistair
        Meh

        Re: Larry Crapbeans "I have done it before, and I will do it again....."

        Whilst I agree on the Woffice/Linux(Ooo/Aoo/Loo) statement, I'm not so sure that linux is a "Minor Player" in the server market.

        Certainly not "minor" on my accounts.

        Certainly I've not heard or seen any references to windows running any supercomputing environments either, but then, that might be just me.

  9. PhilipN Silver badge

    One Smart Thing

    MS did just one thing right - making a contract with early desktop manufacturers to receive a royalty on every box sold whether or not MS-DOS was installed. So simple. Not just an incentive to install MS-DOS but a disincentive to install anything else.

    The rest, as they say, being sufficiently ensconced to install one "shockingly inferior" product after another on to an ignorant and gullible world, is history. All they had to do after that was stamp on anything which could conceivably represent a threat, an attitude ably represented by the Neanderthal-like qualities of .... of ... What was that guy's name?

    1. ClanMcKinnon

      Re: One Smart Thing

      How tiring to hear this pish again. "one "shockingly inferior" product after another on to an ignorant and gullible world". Is that that the world you come from?

      The world, and their businesses, real ones running the real world, use Microsofts products solely because, in most instances, there was and is no alternative or the alternatives were 'shockingly inferior'. Why else would business people pay or pay more? MS have and still run the business world. The toy market is dominated by Google and Apple own the vanity over productivity realm.

      If you're in business you run windows because it's the best and most productive and compatible platform - from days of DOS to 8 and everything between. Backwards compatible to windows 95 if you need it. Their methods aside, MS deliver so that you can type this ignorant hatred on your (probably windows http://bit.ly/17ccYwJ ) device and have it carried by and passed through MS powered servers around the internet to be viewed on the 91.53% (by OS market share) windows run desktops or downvoted on the toys or mirrors of the deluded 'elite'.

      The world is indeed changing; consumption drives the rise of the consumer device and MS under Balmer underestimated it, woefully. Now though they have joined up services and products which stand shoulder to shoulder with anything from the fairy kingdom and integrate with enterprise like no other. If you want to see or show what dinner was like to or for your 'followers' then a tablet or phone is great. If you want to do some actual work then you go to a windows pc (or fire up windows 7 in bootcamp).

      My fervent hope is that the departure of '@rse#0le Step Dad Steve' will allow the naive to see the true scale of the singularly magnificent job done by the worlds largest software company and we see less of this guff and more recognition for three decades of the only effective choice and still the best.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One Smart Thing

        "MS have and still run the business world. The toy market is dominated by Google and Apple own the vanity over productivity realm. ... If you're in business you run windows because it's the best and most productive and compatible platform - from days of DOS to 8 and everything between."

        Meh. Being in technology, I actually don't know of that many businesses that use Microsoft.

        If you run any sort of server/compute farm, you obviously want to use Linux or maybe BSD on it. Ignoring debates about OS robustness and so forth, there's simply no reason to pay for Microsoft licenses when all you need is something that can run C++ code or serve PHP pages. And if you're running a *nix on your servers, then you're probably giving your employees Macs, since OS X interacts nicely with *nix (being BSD itself). Microsoft doesn't figure into the picture.

        At least that's how Google does it, and at least parts of Amazon, and a few startups that I've worked at and a few more that I've interacted with, plus some academic groups/departments that I'm aware of, plus a few Wall Street firms that I'm aware of (they're pretty focused on Java, not sure how that happened).

        I'm sure there are businesses that use a Microsoft stack out there. Well, there obviously are. But it's certainly frowned upon by some of the biggest players.

        1. swissrobin

          Re: One Smart Thing

          "Meh. Being in technology, I actually don't know of that many businesses that use Microsoft."

          There may be appetite for non-MS stuff in tech companies, but move into the wider world of non-tech business and you'll find MS most everywhere.

          1. Daniel B.

            Re: One Smart Thing

            There may be appetite for non-MS stuff in tech companies, but move into the wider world of non-tech business and you'll find MS most everywhere.

            Move into the financial business world and you'll find the absence of MS on the core systems everywhere. Most of 'em use either Linux, BSD or the remaining commercial UNIX variants. Mainframes still do most of the core stuff as well.

            MS is only the main option for backends for companies with lesser experienced IT departments, or those holding a stake on the MS ecosystem (say, MCSE or .NET devs)

        2. C 18
          FAIL

          Re: One Smart Thing

          >Being in technology, I...

          >...something that can run C++ code...

          Given this remarkable insight into technology, I presume when you say 'being IN technology, I...' implies that you're IN the computer...

          1. alann2
            Thumb Up

            Re: One Smart Thing

            Comdey Gold, love it.

      2. Zack Mollusc
        Happy

        Re: One Smart Thing

        'in most instances, there was and is no alternative or the alternatives were 'shockingly inferior'. Why else would business people pay or pay more? '

        Ahahaahahahaha! You are implying that business people buy the best or the most cost-effective solution! Ahahahahahahahahahaa! Comedy gold!

      3. Mike Flugennock
        Mushroom

        Re: One Smart Thing

        "...The toy market is dominated by Google and Apple own the vanity over productivity realm..."

        I've used MacOS almost exclusively since 1985 in graphics/design and video work. My productivity -- and the ease of testing and exploring design ideas for projects -- jumped through the roof overnight when I started using a Mac in my work after five years of hot wax, press-type, cold galleys, border tape and razor blades.

        I hate to think how my productivity would've suffered if I'd been stuck spending most of my working day re-installing and re-re-installing software and drivers because they didn't work right the first time, dealing with security holes, scraping out fistfuls of malware and crapware, and otherwise wasting time banging my head on Windows.

        Thanks for playing. Here's a copy of our home game.

        1. ChrisBedford

          Re: One Smart Thing

          "I hate to think how my productivity would've suffered if I'd been stuck spending most of my working day re-installing and re-re-installing software and drivers because they didn't work right the first time, dealing with security holes, scraping out fistfuls of malware and crapware, and otherwise wasting time banging my head on Windows."

          Oh yes, because that's *exactly* what we Windows weenies do *all day*, right.

          If you have used Mac exclusively for 17 years how the hell can you know how much maintenance is involved in keeping a Windows box running? Listening to your friends and family whingeing, I suppose - like that is a representative sample.

        2. ClanMcKinnon

          Re: One Smart Thing

          Good. So we've got one man who, with his hippy friends, knits his own infrastructure from bits found in skips and charity shops, a clown who agrees with the 'ignorant and gullible world' delusion and a man who has always liked macs as his one buttoned mouse works well with his $2K sketch book and he can draw better with it and without fear of viruses.

          You see how the 91.53% is significant here people. Stop the hating. It's OK now. The nasty man's gone and we'll all be happy, if you just learn to let the prejudices go.

      4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: "have it carried by and passed through MS powered servers around the internet"

        That'll be a small part of the Internet then.

        As of August 2013, MS has a 22% share of the internet server OS market. More than I thought, I admit.

        So one in five, which is already not bad, but hardly enough to justify your sentence. You would have had to be talking about Apache to say that.

  10. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Linux

    I dont want to work for m$

    5. "I don't really know that anybody's proven that a random collection of people doing their own thing actually creates value."

    If the company I work for did'nt allow us programmers/setters the flexibilty to do stuff at random, then we would'nt be able to make a shed load of money on some of our work.

    Of course there are some jobs set in stone, they must be done in a particular way using particular tooling on a particular machine, but if you can justify change to the management, maybe new tools, maybe a different setup and it will be faster/cheaper than before, then you'll more than likely to get approval for a change.

    Does'nt sound like any of that would happen at m$ for fear of upsetting your manager, or department head

    And thats why hopefully m$ will crash

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    WTF?

    Holy s**t 6' 5" I never realized he was Clarkson sized, without his good nature.

    You would not want to find yourself in a closed room with "The Beast" without a cameraphone on record I think.

    Of course now he has a bit more time on his hands perhaps it's time for a spin round the TG track?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >"winning, winning, winning, winning"

    Yeah, they're "winning" in the Charlie Sheen sense of the word.

    1. Some Call Me Tim
      Coat

      Fairwell Steve

      Steve announces he's leaving and share price instantly jumps 9% ,says it all.

      I feel sorry for the next guy/girl as they have a hell of a mess to sort out. There again it'd be really difficult to do any worse than Steve B!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fairwell Steve

        > Fairwell Steve

        > Steve announces he's leaving and share price instantly jumps 9% ,says it all.

        and the Ballmer cashes in his chips for his own profit ?!?!?!?!

        i.e. the system rewards him for having been an asshole .... and any high-level asshole - bankster or whatever could do the same thing ?!?!?!?!

        FFS - there's something wrong somewhere !

  13. jonfr

    Steve Ballmer still does not get the phone market

    Steve Ballmer still does not get the mobile phone market. Just look at Windws 8 mobile. It horrible.

    Disclaimer: I have not used Windows 8 mobile (I do not own a Windows 8 Nokia phone). But I have seen it and worked with it a little, but not a lot.

  14. tehl

    "Microsoft Media Center"? I had to check my programs list. I've been using Windows 7 for years and hadn't even noticed that program was there! I use iTunes for that stuff anyway...

    1. Quantum Leaper

      iTunes slow and crappy, but you're right MMCenter isn't that much better, there are others that are better. I thought iTunes was the worst media player I have ever used at least on Windows.

  15. William Donelson

    Not tongue-in-cheek for a change. Well done!

    I very much enjoyed this article - perhaps the best I have read in the last year from vulture-thinks-tongue-in-cheek-is-reporting.

    The article effectively and clearly uses Ballmer's own words and actions, and places them in historical context succinctly.

    Well done.

  16. Sil

    Homework

    Is this a joke? Do you really think a kid can't make his homework without google? Please do your homework and really test / use other search services such as Bing for a week and see whether there is life outside of Google. You may be surprised.

    1. Mr. Peterson

      Re: Homework

      Most memorable Ballmerism I can recall: "Why do you care about clean code?" IIRC, from SB to a MS code zombie not working fast enough to satisfy SB. Unfortunately, I did not save the doc and so cannot properly attribute the source. If anyone here can help me out in that regard, it would be much appreciated. TIA.

      1. green_giant

        Re: Homework

        Wasn't that one of the articles about IBM from someone who worked there but dealt with MS because of OS2?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's right on about Linux, or rather the GPL.

    It's as viral as it gets, one only has to look at all the companies are do all they can to avoid GPLv3.

    Pox on Stallman.

  18. Serge 2

    The guy's an idiot, just like most of CEOs of big players. I wonder what keeps them alive, what is that group of heroes in the shadows? Who are they?

  19. Malagabay
    Facepalm

    2005: The Kodak Moment

    QUOTE

    "Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google."

    UNQUOTE

    The "writing was on the wall" a long time ago as Windows was re-branded from 95 thru 98 thru 98SE... you can change the name but as some point the customer will realise you are just recycling the same old crap with a new logo... you can only treat your customers like "hostages" for so long before they start to rebel.

    The "new leader" has a few options:

    1) The Kodak Option

    Continue burning the cash [like the gorilla] fighting reality until the coffers are empty.

    2) The Practical Option

    Stabilise the product range and start cleaning up the technical mess.

    Vista, W7 and W8 get binned and XP becomes THE “Windows for Workstations”.

    No more biannual re-brandings… just solid technical evolution, code cleaning and support.

    3) The Heroic Option

    Throw out the trash…

    Revive the Windows NT Workstation code base [NT 3.51 circa 1994] and then technically update and secure as THE ongoing “Windows for Workstations”.

    My guess: Option 1 followed by Chapter 11

    My action: No more money for Microsoft... just old versions running as virtual machines.

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: 2005: The Kodak Moment

      Upvote for daring and out-of-the-box thinking.

      That said, these suggestions are not particularly good for the current day. NT kernel does have some serious limitations - TCP/IP stack, driver model, memory and storage handling.

      Somewhat better way would be to put W7 kernel on a diet, unbolt GUI from it, make all bells and whistles optional. Something like W2008 server. Although they did not go far enough, there is still too much cruft in the minimal install.

      "Back to basics" approach is always hard, but sometimes it should be seriously considered. Especially when you're stuck in a cobweb of half-assed solutions to the problems which should not have existed in the first place.

      A long-forgotten article about that

      http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000319.html

      1. Malagabay
        IT Angle

        Re: 2005: The Kodak Moment

        The older builds need a lot of modernising…

        The newer builds need a lot of cleansing…

        Where to draw the line?

        Not an easy call.

        Personally, I wouldn’t risk trying to unravel 20 years of bloat, wrappers, kludges, fudges, bolt-ons, rip-outs, bright ideas, fads, fancies and technical incompetence.

        The practical choice is between XP and W7.

        The pragmatic choice depends upon the size of the user base that will pay for support.

        Personally, I work in Classic Mode and have just watched the basic product degenerate with each new release… Office has exactly the same problems… and just about every other product… it’s a tragic list of epic proportions!

        Pass the popcorn…

        1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

          Re: 2005: The Kodak Moment

          Yes, a lot of compromises to make, and a lot of lines to draw.

          Make it very modular - and it brings along a dependency hell. Which MS clearly was trying to avoid, by throwing in everything and a kitchen sink ^W^W chair.

          Eh, choices, choices.

    2. arctic_haze
      FAIL

      Re: 2005: The Kodak Moment

      If Microsoft was not so ideology driven they would dump the NT kernel after the Vista debacle and put the Windows GUI on a BSD or even Linux kernel. Just like Apple did. They would have a leaner and easier to maintain OS and still be able to milk the PC users for the "Windows experience".

      Another thing they should have avoided is to innovate the OS to the degree of pulling the rug from under software makers and even end users. They forgot an OS is only a platform to run software. They could have milked the industry taking the Windows tax for every PC produced for years to come if only they kept Windows "innovation" to covering new technologies and making cosmetic changes to the GUI every few years. By Jove, why change the GUI that every competitor more or less copied?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iPhone, iRight

    He was right about the iPhone being too expensive. That's why Apple knocked hundreds of dollars off the price not long after it was launched.

    1. Malagabay
      Happy

      Re: iPhone, iRight

      He might have been right BUT he didn’t learn any lessons.

      Apple had a new product with latent demand and a good margin so they could afford “price discovery” in the market place. Good product and good marketing – a winning combination.

      Microsoft had a new product with the Surface RT… with no latent demand… and with no margin… so no “price discovery”… just lots of “land fill” stacked up in warehouses around the world. Bad product and bad marketing – a deadly combination.

      In other words: All mouth and no trousers… a simple case of Apple Envy.

      PS: Eric Schmidt must be chuckling as we watches “Ballmer Buries Ballmer”.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Ballmer quits, sending shares up by 9%

    "Steve Ballmer .. announced he would retire within 12 months after 13 years at the helm of the world’s largest software firm. His decision sent shares up 9%." link

  22. Mike Flugennock
    Coffee/keyboard

    One quick question...

    Just how many times can you yell "developers" before it starts to not sound like a word?

  23. Charles Manning

    "Some things are too big to ignore – Apache springs to mind"

    You need an example of open source dominance and you choose Apache?

    Sure Apache has huge market penetration, and surely cuts a huge slice out of Microsoft's ability to bite into the server pie, but that's not where the numbers lie.

    For every machine running Apache, there are likely well over a hundred phones, ipods and similar running either Linux or BSD. That is what really cut Microsoft out of the future.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I totally agree with you. The usage of computing has changed.

      Once we all used PCs because that is all there was. MS dominated there, no discussion.

      Today, people have discoverd that they do not need a PC to do their mail, their monthly spreadsheet and the occasional letter. They have discovered that smartphones can fill their computing gaming/toy needs quite nicely without having to pay for a PC and learn all that boring technical stuff like creating a folder.

      Computing has actually left the PC world for the consumer, and MS is not present on that market in any significant manner.

      Of course, PCs will still be used for a long time - by developers, "serious" gamers and people who just like tinkering with them. Banks and large organisations will need them for decades to come as well - you won't see a bank teller with a tablet any time soon.

      But as far as the consumer market is concerned, the PC is indeed dead, and with it, Microsoft's future.

      The next CEO had better have that in mind. Microsoft has an uphill battle to stay relevant, and all its billions will not be enough in its current state.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        PCs have left the consumer market

        In a way I'm glad, it'll be like the early 90s again, where only the dedicated had a PC.

        Back before everyone got one, started to load malware into it, then tortured me to come round and 'fix' it.

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Uwe Dippel

    And 0: Monkeying!

    4 words for you!

  26. darklordsid

    The absolutely best one is "I'm going to bet the company on Windows 8".

    Nuff said.

  27. ChrisBedford

    Getting too old? No.

    Ballmer said at a 2011 conference that "at his age it was just getting too tiring" [to do the monkey boy rants].

    Correction, Mr B: it's getting too tiring because you're totally out of condition. He's pear-shaped and after the "Wooooooooohoooo I love this company" performance he was panting harder than someone who's just completed a marathon. Maybe once he retires he can find some time to go to the gym.

  28. Herby

    The next question to ask...

    What is Mr. Balder going to do AFTER he exits from Microsoft?

    Admittedly he really doesn't NEED to work with the $$$ he has, but it would be interesting to speculate. I don't believe that he will be as altruistic as Bill is with the foundation stuff.

    Maybe he will buy up a media (or animation company) and be a Movie Mogul? Like Howard Hughes or some other guy we knew.

  29. Get the puck outa here

    The larger the dinosaur, the longer it takes for the signal to travel up to the brain.

    And the signal is: "Oh shit, I'm dead!"

    Microsoft has never figured out that the user experience is the key. Even if other people think that "ease of use" = "toy", I will use a toy if it lets me get things done.

    The sad thing about Windows 8 was that, within ten minutes of installing the beta, I could tell it was horrible. Everybody except shills in the press said that it was horrible and kept saying it for a year before it was released, and yet MS (ie Ballmer) kept telling the world "you just don't get it".

    A CEO with half a brain should have been listening, but it took ages (in computer time) for MS to respond, grudgingly, with Win 8.1. Meanwhile everybody who just didn't get it either stayed with WinXP or Win7, or switched to something else. And the Surface fiasco reiterated that MS had no clue how to appeal to end users.

    Blackberry/RIM has pretty much admitted it will give up on hardware/OS and become BBM for other, more successful wireless devices, after dumping CEOs that really didn't get it. In a longer time frame, Microsoft will end up as Office apps for Android/iOS.

  30. codejunky Silver badge

    Stage performance

    Its it just me or when he is jumping about on stage and screaming does he look like the penguin from batman? Watching his arms flap and the looks he gives I cant help but see it.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Entrenched views

    A lot of polarised opinion here. here's mine:

    Apple is popular and business is being forced to adapt to using it because of that. Form over function.

    Microsoft is widelly used in business and anyone who thinks otherwise is living in cloud cuckoo land.

    Microsoft are arrogant and high handed as are Google, Oracle, Apple etc etc

    Microsoft buy in their best solutions and then manage to mess them up in subsequent releases.

    Ballmer is overated and appears to be a bully who got lucky joining Microsoft and not the other way round.

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