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Ballmer Speaks on His Solo Act

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the but-does-he-do-the-monkey-dance dept.

196

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "In his first one-on-one interview since Bill Gates's retirement announcement, Steve Ballmer tells the Wall Street Journal he is bullish on Microsoft's investments in online services, and he dismisses as 'random malarkey' the idea that Microsoft is having trouble hiring and keeping the kind of brilliant employees that have always been the company's competitive weapon. Here's Ballmer on Gates's departure: 'As co-leaders of the business, I could allow Bill to be the full-time champion of innovation. And [now] with me really being the guy who's here every day running the place, I must be the champion of innovation.' And on competing with Google: 'We're going to compete. We're going to be in the online business. We are going to have a core around online. We're going to be excellent. That, I would tell people, to count on...'"

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196 comments

"We're going to be excellent..." (5, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798426)

Apparently this is as close to admission that they're not presently excellent as we can hope for.

Re:"We're going to be excellent..." (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798462)

I think he meant for it to be taken as "we haven't started yet".

Re:"We're going to be excellent..." (1)

denttford (579202) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798802)

Well, except in Nebraska [youtube.com] , perhaps.

Godspeed, Microsoft, godspeed.

Re:"We're going to be excellent..." (5, Insightful)

SpecTheIntro (951219) | more than 7 years ago | (#15799020)

Ugh, the stream of bullshit coming out of Ballmer's mouth just makes my head spin. I don't understand why every chief officer in a tech company thinks they have to admit absolutely no fault and use meaningless business speech? Listen to some of the crap Balmer says:

I must be the champion of innovation. That doesn't mean I must be the guy who comes up with every innovation, but I really have to carry the mantle that says we're going to innovate, we're going to do new things, we're going to get into new areas, we're going to protect and nurture all kinds of innovation. That is my role.
This is not a one-trick pony. We are multicapable, multicore.
The best thing we can do for our shareholders is to be willing to be open-minded to possibilities.

They can't be open-minded, no, they have to be willing to be open-minded. What the hell? And what the hell does being multicapable mean? It's all a bunch of fluff talk, intended to make people think Microsoft is "dynamic," and that they're "expanding into key new markets." Just call it like it is, man. Microsoft hasn't done anything really impressive, on the software front, for five years. Your stock has flat-lined. It's ok to admit that you've got serious work to do. Instead he wants to tout how amazing Microsoft is, or how cutting-edge and forward-thinking their staff is. Just give it a rest. The PR machine really makes me sick.

Re:"We're going to be excellent..." (1)

kquinn2 (991669) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798896)

It famously takes Microsoft three iterations to get a product to a state of excellence... we're currently seeing the post initial iterations of Xbox (the 360), Microsoft Search, and Windows Media Centre, which are pretty compelling products. However, I would also note that some people may feel that Internet Explorer 6 is not at a stage of excellence!

Re:"We're going to be excellent..." (2, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15799034)

That's a bit of a distortion. MS usually wins the marketshare war by version 3, that's quite a different thing from saying that they achieve excellence at that point. I strongly question whether excellence is really a part of the Microsoft vision at all sometimes. A few counter-examples for you:
  • Word wasn't all that excellent until v. 7.0 on Windows, or 5.1a on the Mac...
  • IE was decent for the time at version 3, but really didn't get better than the contemporary version of Netscape until version 5 was released.
  • Windows became actually usable... kindof at version 3.11. And still sucked donkey compared to Apple's System 6 and System 7 operating systems for Macintosh. Windows was NEVER, EVER excellent, however. Win95 sucked. Win98 sucked. Win98 SP2 was borderline acceptable, but still sucked. WinME was a relapse back into *dire* suckage.
  • Windows *NT* got close to excellent around the release of Windows 2000 SP 2, which would be version 5 for those keeping track.

Re:Brilliance? (3, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798971)

and he dismisses as 'random malarkey' the idea that Microsoft is having trouble hiring and keeping the kind of brilliant employees that have always been the company's competitive weapon.

Um, no. The company's "competitive weapon" doesn't have anything to do with the alleged "brilliance" of its employees, save for the number of inventive ways that the security of its products has been compromised. The company's "competitive weapon" quite simply, is its monopolistic, anti-competitive behavior.

How very disappointing! (5, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798428)

I thought he spoke about His Solo Monkey Dance Act!

Re:How very disappointing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798445)

Ladies & Gentlemen ... the future [google.com] of Microsoft!

Re:How very disappointing! (2, Funny)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798515)

I thought he would speak about his chairs collection...

I have four words for you... (2, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798647)

Developers Developers Developers Developers!

Re:How very disappointing! (4, Funny)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798687)

In all seriousness, Slashdot has matured. When I saw a headline about a "solo act" I was fairly sure that I would be greeted by a multitude of masturb*tion jokes.

Re:How very disappointing! (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#15799053)

Masturbation

There! I did it, and I did not burn in hell see?

Masturbation

again! woah this is cool!

Shees, I cant understand why people do those kind of "cryptic" writing like fsck, d!ck or masturb*tion. The words exist and are in a dictionary, nothing hapens you see?

Re:How very disappointing! (1)

rdoger6424 (879843) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798709)

That's why I changed my sig!

Ballmer, you suck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798436)

Ballmer, you suck and your OS sucks even more.
Vista my ass Monkey Boy! :)
 

Oh Jeez! (-1, Flamebait)

Ragnar Bocephus (323806) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798440)

That boy is delusional ... some one send him a reality check.

Re:Oh Jeez! (1)

DikSeaCup (767041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798635)

I was going to say that he lives in a funny little world all his own.

Your phrasing is just as valid.

Re:Oh Jeez! (1)

Kuxman (876286) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798653)

I don't about you, but my check book isn't that big

Spelling error (5, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798442)

I must be the champion of innovation

Isn't that spelt

I must wait for someone to do something clever and then rip it off

Re:Spelling error (2, Interesting)

venir (971650) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798592)

I liked this bit of hypocritical double speak-

And [now] with me really being the guy who's here every day running the place, I must be the champion of innovation. That doesn't mean I must be the guy who comes up with every innovation, but I really have to carry the mantle that says we're going to innovate, we're going to do new things, we're going to get into new areas, we're going to protect and nurture all kinds of innovation. That is my role.


We buy technology, and we grow organically.


Nice innovation there Steve...

Re:Spelling error (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798615)

That's just symptomatic of a company who spends more time and resources on HOW to capitalize on ideas and not enough on WHAT ideas to capitalize on.

In otherwords, they're out of steam.

If MSFTs idea of innovation is to make Windows "even bigger" then I think it's a good sign they're done for. As far as I'm concerned Vista shouldn't require anything more than WinXP or Win2K requires. These "added bonus value" features like the wasteful GUI, WGA and other random tools are further signs.

Tom

Re:Spelling error (1)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 7 years ago | (#15799006)

Microsoft's innovation is in software marketing, not technological development. Sadly, they made more money this way than anyone ever made by true innovation.

"The Lone Ballmer" - Tour 2006 (5, Funny)

sharkey (16670) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798451)

The Lone Ballmer toure plans to play 30 venues in 90 days, with 3 nights at each. It will feature such classics as "Developers, Devolpers" along with new hits such as "I'm Gonna Fucking Kill $FOO", a scale model of Stonehenge built from office chairs and Ballmer himself dressed in Andre the Giant's classic leotard.

Re:"The Lone Ballmer" - Tour 2006 (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798490)

he Lone Ballmer toure plans to play 30 venues in 90 days, with 3 nights at each. It will feature such classics as "Developers, Devolpers" along with new hits such as "I'm Gonna Fucking Kill $FOO", a scale model of Stonehenge built from office chairs and Ballmer himself dressed in Andre the Giant's classic leotard.

I think that the problem may have been, that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf. Alright?

Re:"The Lone Ballmer" - Tour 2006 (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798805)

a scale model of Stonehenge built from office chairs

Stonehenge goes modern! I like it! Although, nothing else gets me quite as excited as when he does that monkey dance and jumps around on stage, screaming. Even the "developers" chant isn't quite the same as that one.

Anyway, I'm kinda busy for the next couple of months. When's the DVD?

yeeeeaaaaaaarrrrggghhhh (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798460)

We're going to compete. We're going to be in the online business. We are going to have a core around online. We're going to be excellent.

(howard dean voice) YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHH

Like, Duhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798483)

Of course you are "going to compete" it's your job to say so. Meanwhile, we as consumers are sitting back and enjoying the benefits of a competive hardware/software environment. Now, what to do about getting to the point of a competive broadband service market.

Hey... (1)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798505)

Come on guys, don't be so rude!
He will take all his developers ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drLO_LG0W9w [youtube.com] ) and he will what he says.

Usual Ballmer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798508)

By most accounts, Mr. Ballmer is little more than a boorish yahoo who happened to be in the right place at the right time. This interview does nothing to dispel such an impression.

champion of innovation (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798510)

I could allow Bill to be the full-time champion of innovation. And [now] with me really being the guy who's here every day running the place, I must be the champion of innovation.

When Bill was being the "innovative" guy, they generally resorted to copying existing products or entering markets that others had already proven to be successful. Is Steve saying that his approach to "innovation" is a step behind even that?

Re:champion of innovation (2, Funny)

The Loverat (894076) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798523)

You could say that he's a Deity of Enterprise, so to speak. That makes him Steve BullmerDE, which is about right if you excuse my French... ;) (Actually Freudian Lips) x

Re:champion of innovation (3, Insightful)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798705)

When Bill was being the "innovative" guy
"Innovation" isn't simply the mechanics of developing something new, innovation often occurs by synthesizing concepts, methods, engineering, etc. into a new idea or technology. For example, the Boeing 777 is considered by many to be innovative, however it is by no means the first commercial jetliner.

While I find it somewhat awkward to be in the position of defending Bill Gates in the context of "innovation" --he uses that word incessantly IMO--Microsoft does manage to create some truly remarkable influences upon technology, if not the least of which is their corporate culture, which is one of the best examples of a Fortune 500 company cultivating the "small-team mindset" and (arguably) nimble despite exponential growth.

Rather scary... (5, Insightful)

jejones (115979) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798522)

Steve Ballmer, from TFA: "When did China get great? China didn't get great under Mao Zedong. China got great under -- in the recent years -- probably got great under Deng Xiaoping."

I'm skating on the edge of Godwin, but... it's kind of scary when the head of an organization such as Microsoft cites a totalitarian government as an example of greatness.

Re:Rather scary... (2, Insightful)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798589)

Scary? Considering this is Microsoft we're talking about, to me this ranks somewhere slightly below surprising, and even then only because its almost an admission. Just watch out for Windows Firewall to start filtering content and blocking non-Microsoft sites.

Re:Rather scary... (4, Interesting)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798605)

For those unfamiliar with Deng Xiaoping, [wikipedia.org] he's pretty much the guy who rolls tanks over student protesters. [wikipedia.org] But don't try learning that from MSN in China..

The tanks stopped (2, Informative)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798706)

Actually the tanks didn't roll over him. They stopped for about 30 minutes. The Unknown Rebel then disappeared into the crowd and no-one knows who he is or what happened to him.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Man [wikipedia.org]

Re:The tanks stopped (2, Informative)

rdoger6424 (879843) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798749)

Him? did you even read the WP article? The tanks rolled over student protesters the night before.

Re:Rather scary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798864)

And also responsible for the one child policy.

Now they have a surplus of 60,000,000 boys.

Re:Rather scary... (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798679)

It ain't scary it is rather sad, marketing and hype for speculative investors with out any real thought or understanding of what he is saying or what direction the company needs to go in, it's more like fingers in the ears and la la laing as the company goes nowhere. For microsoft's sake I hope he wasn't sober at the time of the interview.

Exploiting a monopoly is not innovation, people have been doing it for centuries and they always, always come to a bitter end.

Re:Rather scary... (4, Insightful)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798699)

It is hard to read what this man says without concluding that he is a fool.

China got "great" long before the dissastrous 20th century. China's history is measured in ~millenia~, Mr Bollocks.

China invented the first PDA (i.e. paper) thousands of years ago... and it's ~still~ better than Windows CE.

Outdated Icon? (4, Interesting)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798526)

Now that Gates is leaving, will we be replacing the classic "We are Microsoft, you will be assimilated" logo for Microsoft stories? Would we have a Borg Ballmer? A Chair-Throwing Ballmer? Just a M$ in large font?

Re:Outdated Icon? (3, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798559)

Or simply a picture of a dancing monkey?

Re:Outdated Icon? (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798870)

Or simply a picture of a dancing monkey?

Or the one that bangs the cymbals together!

Re:Outdated Icon? (1)

elyons (934748) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798591)

Good point! Sounds like something best left for a slashdot competition? (And let the mod points sort the winner and weiners.)

Re:Outdated Icon? (2, Funny)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798630)

Just like Ronald Reagan and George Bush (Jnr), Steve Ballmer is only a pupper. Its still Bill in charge, all the way down.

If we did replace Bill (just so they don't know that we know), maybe it would be Steve in a leotard, sitting on a chair ah la Auguste Rodin famous statue.

Re:Outdated Icon? (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798815)

I vote for a chair smashing through the Windows logo, with the caption "Who do you want to kill today?"

Bemopolis

What are the chances ? (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798832)

First a major chair throwing discussion on the PHP thread and now some serious front page Ballmer action. This is a sign from god about my million dollar idea
posted earlier this morning on the PHP developer thread. [slashdot.org] If a third sign appears,
I will seek immediate venture capital and donate half of the proceeds to revitalize the slashdot comment system.

Re:Outdated Icon? (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798967)

I think last time this was brought up someone suggested just a picture of a chair. Subtle, but effective.

Too easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798528)

Steve Ballmer tells the Wall Street Journal he is bullish
Typo?

XBox online. (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798529)

That's where they're going to get their money.

Ugh... (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798530)

What, pray tell, is the point of these interviews with people eager to sell shiH^H^H^stuff and raise stock prices?

Re:Ugh... (1)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798613)

Letting them sell stuff and raise stock prices. You thought there was some noble goals behind the interviews?

Re:Ugh... (1)

Ruie (30480) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798750)

What, pray tell, is the point of these interviews with people eager to sell shiH^H^H^stuff and raise stock prices?

If you hear them struggling to piece a coherent sentence together it is time to sell the stock.

Just 1 ? on his Solo act... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798532)

Does he shoot Greedo first?

I'm no anti-microsoftie, but... (5, Interesting)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798546)

I would be a bit worried about Microsoft now that Bill is leaving. I would be worried that a 'geek' has left the innovation chair and is now being turned over to a businessman. That's pretty dangerous, not because he *is* a businessman, but because he is no technological visonary, ie. Steve Jobs.

Re:I'm no anti-microsoftie, but... (4, Interesting)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798655)

To be fair to Bill, he was a great businessman. His innovation wasn't in the software he created, but in creating and controlling this huge market for Software - beating IBM at the same time. It will be difficult for Steve to screw up, Microsoft is in a fantastic position.

Re:I'm no anti-microsoftie, but... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798855)

It is worse than him just being a businessman. He is a businessman with a bad temper, who would probably catapult a few chairs at the next guy to pie him in the face.

That's funny. I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798553)

...The Aristocrats was a family act.

missing from article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798558)

"...And then he threw a chair, just to prove his point."

Random Malarkey (1, Funny)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798562)

he dismisses as 'random malarkey' the idea that Microsoft is having trouble hiring and keeping the kind of brilliant employees that have always been the company's competitive weapon.

"That's random malarkey! Who needs brilliant employees when we have chairs as our new competitive weapon.", Ballmer responded.

more wsj? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798563)

Am I the only one who's getting a bit tired of all of the stories from the WSJ? Most are okay, but some are rabid and nasty. Yesterday's piece about the _Long Tail_ still chaffes my shorts. The guy went out of his way to twist and distort a pretty simple book. It really was "intellectually dishonest". Why? It seems like the WSJ is just filled with obnoxious people who get annoyed when things aren't going their way. They're the last people on earth who believe that global warming is just hype dreamed up by the liberal media. I think we should ban the WSJ for being so unscientific.

Re:more wsj? (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798994)

Thank you! WSJ has a long and consistent history with not only NOT being able to predict what's best for economic survival, but an almost 100% fallibility rate at predicting what's BAD for economic thriving, i.e., their classic, "Henry Ford's new fangled idea of paying his production line workers enough money to buy his products will destroy the American economy!"

Bloated head (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798565)

He is seriously one of the most egotistical people in corporate America. Somebody needs to take him down a peg. Someone like Steve Jobs or Linus Torovalds is just the person. He has this unshaking conviction that his products are the best and can't be convinced otherwise. Once upon a time this was true, but now it hurts them because they refuse to learn from their users, competitors (no, this does not mean steal, at least not intrinsically), and the changing times. Oh well, it simply hurts him, nobody more.

Crap. This does hurt other people. In fact, everybody. Damn. Well...

Re:Bloated head (4, Interesting)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798661)

Steve and Linus are braggarts in their own regard, but what they *do* speaks much louder than what they *say*. Especially Linus. As a person I think he's just as egotistical as Balmer, but the revolution he has created as an engineer was created not by words, but actions.

I think more than anything this is an indicator of the state of Microsoft. If you've got to send the CEO out on PR all the time, then there's some pretty shaking ground that the company is sitting on. Products and services should be able to speak for themselves without the CEO having to go on a media tour to tell how great they are. He's got to go around evangilizing MS because if people (employees as much as customers) hear it enough, they just might start to believe it.

The Microsoft icon needs replacing (1, Funny)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798570)

With a picture of a chair.

"Random malarky"? (4, Funny)

The_REAL_DZA (731082) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798575)

Yeah, I think we can all agree that orderly, predictable malarky is much preferable.

Poor place to reply at first... :) (0, Redundant)

The Loverat (894076) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798576)

You could say that he's a Deity of Enterprise, so to speak. That makes him Steve BullmerDE, which is about right if you excuse my French... ;) (Actually Freudian Lips) x

Damage Control By Gates (5, Interesting)

cbuckner (991661) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798593)

Am I the only one that thinks Bill Gates is getting out of the business before Google embarrasses them so that He can blame the company's failure on Ballmer? Think about it. Under Bill Gates Microsoft is a multi-national; multi-billion dollar business. Under Ballmer they get pummeled by Google and Mozilla. Thus, Gates preserves his image as a brilliant mind and doesn't expose himself for being nothing more than a lucky, opportunistic, proprietor hack.

Re:Damage Control By Gates (2, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798890)

No, I really honestly think that one day, Bill Gates woke up, looked into the mirror and noticed a gaping, sucking hole where his soul should have been. In the relentless pursuit of success, he destroyed competitors, crushed dreams and caused well-marketed mediocrity to become king over quieter quality. Suddenly, he couldn't ignore it.

He looked at the amazing innovations happening in the FOSS community and realized that as terrible a beast as it was, it was one of his own creation, because any company--other than Apple, which is the only reason that Microsoft avoids major Sherman Act action--which created a powerful, stable operating system like Linux and sold it--even for a dollar--would have been crushed by the mighty weight and hunger of Microsoft. He may not have actually created FOSS, but he certainly created the environment in which it is growing.

So yes, in a way, you're right; he probably does see the writing on the wall. But that's only part of it. It's not that he doesn't want to be blamed, but rather that he's realized that he's defined by something which is doomed, in the end, to fail, as all things are. As he approaches the sunset of his life, he is looking for something that can still be approaching its apex as the lights are going out, instead of watching the slow, painful death of a dinosaur.

If anyone does not believe that a single act of hubris can sink a major company, look no further than Commodore. They once had the best selling computer, worldwide, in the Commodore 64. They were smart, and while developing the Amiga, they also got into PC-compatibles, since they saw that market as likely to explode. However, they refused to license the technology for VGA displays which they had incorporated into their systems, and as such, they got locked out of the US market (for PCs) in the very early 1990s. The Amiga didn't sell well enough, and Europe wasn't a big enough market for PCs, and so the company, which had grown so much, literally imploded.

I don't think that MS will fall apart quite so quickly, but with the lack of true innovation ("Me too!" seems to be their entire vocabulary), and constant and growing court costs, penalties and fines in the millions of dollars, it's not going to be long before the slope is noticably down-hill for them, unless something major changes.

It's not about blame; it's about shame.

Re:Damage Control By Gates (1)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 7 years ago | (#15799001)

So you think he's positioning himself to pull a Jobs and make a comeback and save the company after Ballmer rides out the downward, flaming spiral?

Predictible Slashdot. (0)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798600)

I agree with all the other comments. We should continue to fawn endlessly over the blue sky projections of every linx/oss startup with a gleam in their eye, but should heap scorn, ridicule, and skepticism at the management of a company that's managed to lead the market, for better or for worse, for over two decades. Or, let's laugh at ballmer because he once jumped around like the big sweaty man he is.

And you wonder why slashdot stopped being taken seriously a long time ago.

Re:Predictible Slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798715)

Or, let's laugh at ballmer because he once jumped around like the big sweaty man he is..

Umm... "Developers, Developers, Developers" and "Monkey Boy" are two separate videos.

Re:Predictible Slashdot. (2, Interesting)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798797)

Meh. I don't dabble in blue sky. I use Linux on my desktop. And barely use the konsole.

Linux IS ready for the desktop, and now awaits only adoption.

Anyone notice a pink elephant around here? (2, Interesting)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798604)

He dismisses as 'random malarkey' the idea that Microsoft is having trouble hiring and keeping the kind of brilliant employees that have always been the company's competitive weapon.
When you're that big and popular, I don't doubt that you have an easy time finding talented developers. Sure, you will lose some to the other cool companies like google, but that's not microsoft's problem. The problem is that they are popular because all the applications are written for the current version of microsoft, and the existing code is extremely complicated. They are also the majority, if not the monopoly in many parts of the industry. The result is that you can only lead the industry by abusing your monopoly powers since drastic innovative code changes cause all those applications to start breaking. And with the complex code, any improvement is likely to be drastic. The end result is that competitors pull away parts of your customer base one bit at a time and you are constantly playing catch-up to avoid losing your majority.

Re:Anyone notice a pink elephant around here? (1)

Cromac (610264) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798649)

They probably don't have to much trouble hiring new developers from outside of Redmond, but there are a lot of very talented people in the Seattle area who have absolutely no desire to work for MS or to go back to work for MS. I suspect the further you get from Redmond the more glamerous working at Microsoft must look to many people.

Microsoft Employees Waiting For Balmer To Leave (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798616)

Having talked to and read many Microsoft's comments/feelings about the company's future, almost universally there is an impression that for Microsoft to get back to a healthy growing company Balmer needs to go - yesterday if possible.

I get the impression that most people up in Redmond have accepted the fact that Microsoft is going to shrink with the increasing tidal wave of open source/Linux/OpenOffice/OpenDocument use taking place across the computing world. They want to get it over with and move on and find Microsoft's new place in the computing world.

They want Balmer gone and everyone else that is sympathetic to him. They want a complete house cleaning at Microsoft from top to bottom clearing out the massive amount of dead wood that has accumulated over the past decade there.

They want to see fiascos like the Xbox project and all the other marketplace failures terminated.

They want to show the world they can compete on product quality and make Microsoft a respected company in the computing world.

May sound funny to people who consider Microsoft products garbage, but I can see how someone working there would have this attitude these days given the history of the company.

Re:Microsoft Employees Waiting For Balmer To Leave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798987)

"They want to see fiascos like the Xbox project and all the other marketplace failures terminated."

The axe is making its way through the corridors of Microsoft's offices. The Xbox is almost a certainty to get the axe; might even be this year if the sales continue to get worse. MSN probably not, more likely a massive revamp. Tons of other stuff is getting the axe or will be soon. There is a dramatic change going on. Microsoft has woken up and realized the booming days of the late 1990s are over for the company.

Two words come to mind, lean and competent, to describe the feeling of where Microsoft's new managers are looking to take the company.

That's Steve for you.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798620)

Trying to assume his role in the captain's chair. I hope that all the chairmen of the board can work well with him. I know Bill is busy with his chairity work, but surely he and Steve can collaborate from time to time. While some people like to stand on a soapbox, I know Steve is just standing on his chair. It takes a lot of chairisma to do something like that; and he is really chairishing the moment. I know a lot of people on Slashdot like to chairy-pick on Microsoft executives; and I think it's unfair sometimes. ... ... ...

Steve Ballmer threw a chair!

-1 offtopic

Ballmer sums up why MicroSoft is in decline... (5, Funny)

aschoeff (864154) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798637)

'And [now] with me really being the guy who's here every day running the place, I must be the champion of innovation.'

QED

Re:Ballmer sums up why MicroSoft is in decline... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798778)

I used to wish that Ballmer would die so that I might one day be free of the illegal Microsoft monopoly.

Now I rejoice every day that Ballmer lives so that I might one day be free of the illegal Microsoft monopoly.

Re:Ballmer sums up why MicroSoft is in decline... (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798819)

All Microsoft really needs is an idea guy. Some kind of eccentric with brilliant ideas and the authority to have them carried out.

Or, they can switch to Google's model and have ALL employees be the idea guy. If you've got the best and brightest working there, what so hard about letting them go all mad scientist for a day?

Interesting (4, Interesting)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798650)

I see the storyline is very interesting...
First, Microsoft itself prefers to use Google: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/06/22/029 243 [slashdot.org]
Then, Microsoft "warns google away": http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/16/204324 2 [slashdot.org]
After that, they change their mind and are going to allow competitive search: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/19/217 218 [slashdot.org]
And now, they are going to
"compete. We're going to be in the online business. We are going to have a core around online. We're going to be excellent"

What's going to be next?

pay (2, Interesting)

stormi (837687) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798656)

"we're one of the highest payers in our industry"

I heard before that MS employees almost never get a raise though, as compared to how often people with similar jobs do. So it's not necessarily how much they make that is an issue, but how much their pay continues to raise in relation to the economy.

Re:pay (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798966)

I heard before that MS employees almost never get a raise though
Yeah, there's this one secretary who's been there since the company was founded and she gets like $350 a year.

My irony meter exploded (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798671)

Bill Gates, champion of innovation? And Microsoft's competitive advantage is its brilliant employees? (Not to knock their employees, but somehow I don't think that's their real competitive, or shall we say, anti-competitive advantage.)

we're going to succeed (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798683)

Favourite quote "There are very few areas where, except for Microsoft Bob, we haven't succeeded or where we're [still] telling you we are going to succeed"
Well apart from the Xbox division, which continues to haemorrhage money, MP3 players, where you're yet to make any serious impression, search, where Google and Yahoo continue to dominate, packaged enterprise applications, where SAP and Oracle dominate, Business Intelligence, where BusinessObjects, Cognos and SAS continue to dominate, and .NET, which continues to languish behind Java as a development platform, and where most of the strategy has never been developed, I can't think of single counter example.

Why does M$ care about google? (1)

wolvesofthenight (991664) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798735)

Why does Microsoft think that they have to compete with Google? M$ makes its money off of office and windoes, while google does searches. Sure, if google gets a good office product out there then M$ should worry about it, but I don't see google competing with windows.

Re:Why does M$ care about google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15799021)

the 'nice' companies are going to start backing openoffice.org, and i can see that rivalling ms office once it becomes a viable way to save around £200 for everyone using office.

News flash! (1)

edunbar93 (141167) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798739)

Steve Ballmer tells the Wall Street Journal he is bullish on Microsoft's investments in online services, and he dismisses as 'random malarkey' the idea that Microsoft is having trouble hiring and keeping the kind of brilliant employees that have always been the company's competitive weapon.

In other words, Steve Ballmer tells his shareholders exactly what he thinks they want to hear. Or what he wants them to hear so that they keep buying stock. Kind of like how our builders told us 9 months ago that our townhouse will be ready in 3 months.

daily wtf... (1)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798779)

... dismisses as 'random malarkey' the idea that Microsoft is having trouble hiring and keeping the kind of brilliant employees that have always been the company's competitive weapon.

Am I the only one reminded of The Brillant Paula Bean [thedailywtf.com]

Innovators never talk about "innovation." (4, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798788)

They talk about some specific thing they personally want to do.

BIll Gates didn't say "I want to make innovative software," he said he wanted a computer on every desk and Microsoft software in that computer.

Edwin Land didn't say "I want to develop innovative imaging-related products for the consumer and technical markets," he said "Marketing is what you do when your product is no good" and "The bottom line is in heaven."

 

Hurmph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15798808)

And wasn't that the demise of K-Mart, trying to be too much to too many. Why don't they stick to their core business?

They Sat On The Floor (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798814)

No chairs were hurt during the taping of this interview.

God help Microsoft shareholders(And Windows users) (1)

mod-e-rate (866633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798877)

Balmy said: "And [now] with me really being the guy who's here every day running the place, I must be the champion of innovation."

He doesn't know what innovation is or what makes a person an innovator! I think he is confusing "Champion of innovation" with "Chief Executive Officer".

change and inovation? (1)

crodrigu1 (819002) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798878)

Microsoft expanded in the past because companies that developed software and services based on Microsoft technologies. Many of these companies know that Microsoft will buy them or Microsoft entered with them in a partnership. Then Microsoft decided that was less expensive to bully the same companies (so they can buy the IP very cheap) nobody will create a new company. Today no too many companies develop outside Microsoft using something Microsoft can include in its core products. The result: Microsoft has a ton of cash at hand, they do not want to hire full time employees (sorry I mean American or European Programmers), Indian or Chinese (cheap by the dozen) Yes.

Prediction (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798913)

The sheer weight of identical chair jokes in this thread will cause slashdot to implode and become a black hole.

I'm leaving now while I still can.

Aggression (1)

Unique2 (325687) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798914)

Is it just me, or does every Ballmer interview feel like it's seething with aggression? I always find them hard to read.

It's almost like he's attempting to use aggression to disguise the fact there is no real content in what he is saying.

'We're going to compete. We're going to be in the online business. We are going to have a core around online. We're going to be excellent. That, I would tell people, to count on...'

Well, that's great and all Mr Ballmer, do you care to expand on why you believe this or shall I just sheepishly agree in case you start flinging furniture?

Compare to Google, who have announced doubling profits [slashdot.org] , accessible search [slashdot.org] , live traffic maps [slashdot.org] , and an open source repository [slashdot.org] in just the last week.

9 Instances of Chairs (1)

punkrockguy318 (808639) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798916)

I didn't RTFA or RTFSummany. Or RTFD. I opened this page, did a good old ctrl-F: 9 chair instances, already.

Semi-literate Ballmer (1)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 7 years ago | (#15798945)

"...We are going to have a core around online..."

What the hell does this mean? If the core is the center, how can a core be "around" anything... jeez, never mind.
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