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Microsoft CEO Claims iPhone Will Be Bust

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the biased-source-just-maybe dept.

Microsoft 463

Theaetetus writes "In an interview with USA Today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed there is no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. The article also deals with Microsoft's friction with the Justice Department, friction with Google, and the profitability of MSN. 'No chance. It's a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get. In the case of music, Apple got out early. They were the first to really recognize that you couldn't just think about the device and all the pieces separately. Bravo. Credit that to Steve (Jobs) and Apple. They did a nice job. But it's not like we're at the end of the line of innovation that's going to come in the way people listen to music, watch videos, etc. I'll bet our ads will be less edgy. But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune.'"

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Spoken Like a True Self-Deluded CEO (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942003)

I want to address the market share statement by citing Apple's PC Market share [appleinsider.com] :

According to research firm Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totaled 57 million units in the first quarter of 2006, representing a 13.1 percent increase over the same period last year. But in that time, Apple's share of the worldwide market slipped from 2.2 percent to a mere 2.0 percent, the firm's data shows.
Now, that's a pretty low figure. Yet, curiously enough, I know plenty of people who own a mac. But they only own one Mac that does everything and they aren't allowed to use them at work. So, I would posit that it's simply because enterprise businesses aren't used to Macs so they don't use them. That's a large part of the market share. Yet Apple is still very much in the ball game of the personal computer because of the loyalists and their avid love for Macs.

Not to mention that special "something" that Apple has and Microsoft clearly does not have [slashdot.org] . I don't claim to know what it is--I don't own a Mac--I'm bicurious about OSX and I don't know why ... is it the bash kernel? I'm also curious about the iPhone. Outrageously expensive but it has that special something to it that will intrigue the masses and we will be informed about it despite the fact that maybe only 2% of us actually purchased the device.

'No chance. It's a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get. In the case of music, Apple got out early. They were the first to really recognize that you couldn't just think about the device and all the pieces separately. Bravo. Credit that to Steve (Jobs) and Apple. They did a nice job. But it's not like we're at the end of the line of innovation that's going to come in the way people listen to music, watch videos, etc. I'll bet our ads will be less edgy. But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune.'
Translation:

It's obviously expensive, that's bad. They will make more money than us ... someway I don't understand. We have a mobile operating system and are fairly successful in pushing it into mobile devices. I'll leave out how much just our software raises the price of a mobile device ... because it's probably pretty significant $50-$100. We dropped the ball on music and we're currently dropping the ball on a billion phone sales by making them more expensive without providing the customer with the strange benefits I don't understand but Steve Jobs thinks is obvious. I'm sure Microsoft will come out ahead here. Oh, and I can't wait until my uncle squirts Tom Dooley by The Kingston Trio all over me. We're smart, we chose to target the old people who buy and return a single piece of fruit and are electronically hip and are retiring as opposed to the foolish spending youths of today--why do you think we colored it brown?!
The question left out of this interview was whether Ballmer has to lie to himself that he's working for the greatest company on earth every morning when he wakes up or if that lie persists full strength throughout the week.

If you underestimate your enemies--no matter how big or small--you're going to get burned.

Re:Spoken Like a True Self-Deluded CEO (3, Informative)

PinkPanther (42194) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942087)

I don't know why ... is it the bash kernel?

No it is not. BSD kernel, bash shell, but not the bash kernel.

;-)

Re:Spoken Like a True Self-Deluded CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942259)

And I'm afraid he'll never understand, seeing how it's not the first time he has called it that.
Oh my. [slashdot.org]

Maybe I'm biased, because I don't like karma whores.

Re:Spoken Like a True Self-Deluded CEO (5, Informative)

flydpnkrtn (114575) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942545)

Actually, if you really want to get technical, no it is not.
Darwin is the BSD-based OS, XNU is the kernel, not the BSD kernel. :)

Re:Spoken Like a True Self-Deluded CEO (1)

wish bot (265150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942219)

I can't wait until my uncle squirts Tom Dooley by The Kingston Trio all over me
That is a very unfortunate image.

Re:Spoken Like a True Self-Deluded CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942255)

Oh, and I can't wait until my uncle squirts Tom Dooley by The Kingston Trio all over me.
That just made my morning. You owe me a keyboard that doesn't have coffee sprayed all over it!

Re:Spoken Like a True Self-Deluded CEO (5, Interesting)

MrBugSentry (963105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942263)

Ballmer just defines ball game differently than you do. Lots of love, low sales is success for some. He would (obviously) prefer little love, high sales.

I suspect that what Mac has is the notion that by buying the 2% solution, you are smarter than us dolts in the 98%. If you can convince your customers that they are a member of an elite, you can sell them anything.

Well, maybe not an iproduct [gizmodo.com] , but close.

I speak as a former member of the cult who got seduced by the fact that the Windows market is thirty times the size of the Mac market.

Re:Spoken Like a True Self-Deluded CEO (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942281)

Not to mention that special "something" that Apple has and Microsoft clearly does not have. I don't claim to know what it is--I don't own a Mac--I'm bicurious about OSX and I don't know why ... is it the bash kernel?

From the horse's mouth... [youtube.com]

Re:Spoken Like a True Self-Deluded CEO (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942297)

While I don't disagree with most of your assesment (someone already pointed out your kernel naming error), the beginning of the second "translation" is a bit off.

He's saying that at $500, and that's partially subsidized (payed for by someone other than the consumer), the iPhone costs too much.

Honestly, I don't think he's wrong on that count.

Re:Spoken Like a True Self-Deluded CEO (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942301)

Mate, if a company I worked for made me a millionaire or a billionaire I'd love it too. I find it amusing these people have all that money but still have to suffer Windows at home.

As a side note, my Uncle squirted 'Milk and Alcohol' all over me and it wasn't a pretty sight.

Re:Spoken Like a True Self-Deluded CEO (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942383)

Believe it or not, some people don't find use of Windows to be 'suffering'.

I've used plenty of OSes, and prior to FreeBSD, for me and my uses, Windows was the best OS. Everybody has different oppinions, thought processes and tastes, and that's why they make different choices, and why some people don't suffer when using things you don't like.

Re:Spoken Like a True Self-Deluded CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942303)

I am bicurious about your bash kernel too. How did you manage to make a SHELL a KERNEL? Quite a feat.

Fucking newbies karam whoring...

Re:Spoken Like a True Self-Deluded CEO (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942433)

I don't know about all of that, but he sure sounds like this guy [welovethei...nister.com] :
"There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!"

Dang... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942005)

Even Balmer's family isn't buying Zunes? I knew they weren't exactly a hit, but that's just sad.

Re:Dang... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942239)

The Ballmers fucking killed Zune!

Re:Dang... (1, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942419)

Even Balmer's family isn't buying Zunes? I knew they weren't exactly a hit, but that's just sad.

Doesn't it just bug you, a guy can be CEO, so stupid and yet worth billions?

Here I am with my multiple degrees, driving around in a 1986 Volvo.

It's not what you know, it's who you know. If Steve was suddenly working my job, could be get his current job? I don't think so.

He may be able to toss a mean chair, but I don't accredit him any extrordinary wisdom or business insight. He's just a ruthless business man who ensures Dell will not be offering customers a choice between XP and Vista. With the leverage Microsoft have, they don't have to be smart and have shown how bloody minded stupid they can be on many occasions. Zune being just one of the latest. If they made a phone it would be a dud, just like the Zune.

Good job Microsoft. (2, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942011)

You just absolutely guaranteed that the iPhone will be a huge success.

Nice going.

Re:Good job Microsoft. (2, Interesting)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942245)

Are you sure? I mean, it's not like people hate Ballmer enough to sign up for Cingular and put down $500 for iPhones just to spite him, is it?

marketing genius (5, Insightful)

sir 8ed (207862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942033)

yeah, go for the 85 year old demographic, lots of money in music downloads to be had there.

The Zune: It's not your grandmother's music pla... (3, Funny)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942275)

...oh, wait.

I wonder, will they come preloaded with Lawrence Welk?

Re:marketing genius (1)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942307)

Yeah, those people are totally obsolete, according to how the music industry works these days. I mean, after all, there's a chance that an 85 year old may actually remember songs from his or her youth that have entered the public domain! Scandalous! I much prefer the world us younger folk live in, where we have the security of knowing that nothing composed in our lifetimes will enter the public domain while we yet breathe.

I mean, seriously. Where would those oh-so-original Tin Pan Alley composers be without multi-generational copyright terms???

Re:marketing genius (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942443)

It's an untapped market.

Uh oh. (1)

MrLeap (1014911) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942047)

I wonder how receptive Balmer's uncle is going to be to his "Squirting" analogy.

Target market (4, Funny)

phasm42 (588479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942053)

But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune.
What Ballmer is saying is that the Zune's target market is old people.

Re:Target market (1)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942123)

No, the Zune's target market is people who blindly buy whatever the salesguy recommends.

Re:Target market (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942127)

What Ballmer is saying is that the Zune's target market is old people.


So it'll be huge in South Korea?

Re:Target market (3, Funny)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942161)

What Ballmer is saying is that the Zune's target market is old people.

No, old people related to Microsoft executives.



Re:Target market (5, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942177)

No, what Ballmer said is that he's hoping he can get his own uncle to buy a Zune before he dies.

Think about that for a second.

Re:Target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942211)

That's why the Zune is brown.

Give it away (1)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942059)

...

But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune.


What? You couldn't just give him one?

Re:Give it away (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942409)

It always seems like (high up) MS employees rather sell a product to their family. Rather interesting I think.

Subsidized by what? (5, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942061)

There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It's a $500 subsidized item.

Excuse me, Mr. Balmer? Subsidized by who or what?

Maybe Balmer knows something I don't (always possible), but methinks that he needs to go back to CEO school* for lessons on how to pay attention to your competition. In specific, the reason why the iPhone is going to cost $500 is because it's not being subsidized by cell phone contracts. Jobs is trying to change the rules in that respect. Like Nintendo, Apple wants to make a profit off of every hardware unit sold. Any money that comes in through the surplus channels of additional content or features will simply be creme.

My 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune.

I can see how that went: "Here uncle, take this Zune player. It's FREE! That way I can tell everyone that my 85 year old uncle has a Zune, but doesn't want an iPod."

Uncle: "Have you lost your marbles, sonny-boy!?! What in tarnashun' does your old uncle here need with this Dune player?"

Balmer: "Zune..."

Uncle: "Don't interrupt me when I'm talking boy! You think you're so sh'mart with yer fancy electronics company!"

Balmer: "Technically soft-"

Uncle: "I said DON'T INTERRUPT ME!"

Blamer: "Um. Sorry."

Uncle: "That's better. Now get rid of this piece of junk. Did I ever tell you about the time I was flying over Iwo Jima and ended up in a blazing dogfight? I think it was 1942..."

Balmer: *sigh*

Two months later...

Blamer: "My 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune."

Reporter: "Oooooo..."

* I hear that he didn't finish his Dark Lord training with Jeff Skilling... :P

Just what I was thinking (1)

palladiate (1018086) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942153)

He's Steve Ballmer ferchristsakes! Couldn't he just GIVE his uncle a Zune, shouldn't he have the money? Steve, are you telling me that your own uncle dislikes your product so bad you can't even GIVE him one?

Granted, I'm in the same boat, and the first thing I'd do with one would be to either regift it, or see if someone's hacked it to be useful, then get it painted a better color.

Re:Subsidized by what? (1, Informative)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942483)

In specific, the reason why the iPhone is going to cost $500 is because it's not being subsidized by cell phone contracts. Jobs is trying to change the rules in that respect.

Except, you seem to be wrong [consumerist.com] (unless something has changed since then). I'm sorry that Steve Jobs isn't the revolutionary that you want him to be.

Re:Subsidized by what? (3, Insightful)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942571)

Oh, that's not a subsidy. That's just Cingular/AT&T wanting to give it to you in the pooper. In other words, business as usual.

Blamer! That's rich (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942505)

Blamer: "My 85-year-old uncle...

Just a typo, or something more? Here's a fun game: What other anagrams can you come up for "Ballmer"?

Re:Subsidized by what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942595)

Excuse me, Mr. Balmer? Subsidized by who or what?

By the cellular carrier and your contract with them, just like all high tech cell-phones.

The iPhone? (4, Funny)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942065)

"No squirting. Less weight than a Zune. Lame."

Shocking news Apple CEOo claims Zune will bust! (4, Insightful)

F34nor (321515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942077)

In a shocking news story Apple CEO Steve Jobs told the media that the Zune will be a totaly bust.
http://www.engadget.com/2006/10/16/steve-jobs-worr ied-about-the-zune-in-a-word-no/ [engadget.com]

Bad Ballmer Bellicosity (4, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942081)

If you are #1 in your field with a monopoly, you should not be talking about (read advertising) your small competitors.

Re:Bad Ballmer Bellicosity (2, Funny)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942155)

Well, usually he just throws chairs at them.

Methinks the Ballmer doth protest too much (5, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942093)

This is a product that hasn't launched yet, hasn't been seen in the wild, and only demo'd under controlled circumstances. Yet we've had his illustrious personage repeatedly [valleywag.com] tell us [youtube.com] that this phone is going to be a bust.

If it's such a dead-certain bust, why is he constantly mentioning it in the media ? Surely shome mishtake ? The fact is that he's terrified Apple are going to repeat their success with the iPod, and it shows.

Simon.

Re:Methinks the Ballmer doth protest too much (1)

john82 (68332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942359)

Hundreds of drones sit in front of a view screen. Fearless Leader tells them "our enemies shall talk themselves to death ... yadda yadda ... We shall prevail".

Meanwhile, some athletic chick carrying a hammer is running full tilt boogie towards the screen. She lets fly with her hammer and smashes the screen whilst Dear Leader is in mid-doublespeak.

Yeah, I think I've seen this one somewhere before.

Re:Methinks the Ballmer doth protest too much (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942445)

Ballmer is just trying Karl Roves trick of saying something enough times so that it becomes true.

EndlessLies, er sorry Enderle also says the iPhone will suck.

Of course neither of these men have actually held one in their hands, used it. While I will never own an iPhone that is not because I don't think it's cool, but because I like my tiny phone, with simple menu's that is only good for making phone calls.

But that's me, the iPhone though does look good though.

Re:Methinks the Ballmer doth protest too much (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942491)

Yeah, because microsoft really has the street cred on which products that are new and innovative will flop and which will succeed... aren't they basically saying here that they don't have a product to compete with the iPhone, so basically they hope it fails? If it succeeds, thats just one more foot-mouth 3-pointer for Ballmer.

Re:Methinks the Ballmer doth protest too much (4, Insightful)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942603)

If it's such a dead-certain bust, why is he constantly mentioning it in the media ? Surely shome mishtake ? The fact is that he's terrified Apple are going to repeat their success with the iPod, and it shows.

He was specifically asked about the iPhone - I tend to talk about things too when I'm asked about them. Read the rest of the interview - he speaks fairly candidly (if obviously from a biased position) with respect to Office competitors from Google and Open Office.

In any case, I tend to agree with his analysis, which is that the iPhone wont get a significant marketshare. Most people will not shell out $500 for a phone. He does say that Apple may find the iPhone very profitable (i.e. it will be a high-margin item, for sure, like most Apple products), just that they wont get a huge marketshare.

Poor uncle (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942095)

But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune.

Heh, in the same way Jack Bauer "hopes" that his daughter would never marry a Bin Laden.

Re:Poor uncle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942197)

But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune.

or more to the point

and I hope we'll get a Zune to own him.

What did you expect? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942107)

A CEO claims his competitor's big product will fail? Incredible!

Bizarro Steve Ballmer may actually speculate based on logic, and say the iPhone will break sales records, and admits the Zune is a piece of shit that no one will even accept as a free gift. However, back here in the real world, CEOs lie to try and steal the thunder from their competitors' announcements, and to keep their own stock price from sliding.

Re:What did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942541)

"A CEO claims his competitor's big product will fail? Incredible!"

I think the word you're looking for is "Inconceivable!" :-)

Why the media blitz recently (1)

xzvf (924443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942117)

I've noticed Balmer appearing/interview on a number of media outlets recently. USA Today is just the most recent. Two page spread in the middle of Money section. There is normally barly enough content to cover a bathroom trip. First question: is Microsoft buying articles (under the table, big advertiser offers an interview with CEO, business journalist bites)? Second question: Why do they feel the need for publicity now?

Re:Why the media blitz recently (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942221)

Ballmer is in the media so much lately because he's doing a press tour in support of Mel Brooks' new Broadway play based on the movie Young Frankenstein.

Re:Why the media blitz recently (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942269)

Seems like a good idea. He has a lot in common with Young Frankenstein's monster.

Re:Why the media blitz recently (1)

khendron (225184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942591)

"Seems like a good idea. He has a lot in common with Young Frankenstein's monster."

Ladies and gentlemen, watch and wonder as the monster demonstrates his coordination with the "Putting on the Developers Developers Developers Developers" monkey dance!

Name rec after one year (4, Insightful)

hirschma (187820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942119)

Want to bet which brand is more recognizable to consumers after one year - iPhone or Windows Mobile 5/6/7? The figures will be even more skewed on the desirability factor. Let's see - do I want something cool, or do I want something that reminds me of the operating system that I _have to use_ at work/home? I mean, the name is just stupid marketing - Windows (a brand that's as old as dirt, with more than a few dings), 5/6/7 (reinforces the whole "oldness").

Balmer shouldn't be afraid of the first iPhone. He should be afraid of the first "iPhone NanoMini". He'll be singing a new tune after that.

Re:Name rec after one year (1)

w.p.richardson (218394) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942485)

I dont know, but my 13 y.o. daughter thinks the iPhone is called "Hello" after seeing the commercials for it.

Re:Name rec after one year (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942597)

Want to bet which brand is more recognizable to consumers after one year

He did make a good point- who cares if it is recognizable if it only has 3% of the market?

I'm sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942131)

the ZunePhone is going to be popular...

Ballmer is in damage control mode (3, Interesting)

boxlight (928484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942173)

Ballmer is in total damage control mode.

He knows the iPhone is going to be big and that it will put pressure on Microsoft's hand-held OS to match it feature for feature; but since MS doesn't not design the hardware, they'll be in tough to compete.

The hand-held market is the dominant computing platform and Jobs is going after it with a vigor not seen since the first Macintosh came out. Apple has yet to ship a single unit, but already iPhone (and mini OS X) is a top-ranked contender for that market.

Ballmer is either scared or stupid, plain and simple.

boxlight

Um.. what market share is he talking about. (5, Insightful)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942205)

I hope he's not saying that windows has 50%, 60% or 70% of the mobile handset market share, because microsoft is not even close.

Symbian - 72.5%
Linux - 16.9%
PalmSource - 2.0%
Microsoft - 4.6%
RIM - 3.8%
Others - 0.2%

So if he's saying Apple will get 5% of the market share, well they will then have a larger share of the market than MS.

Silly Ballmer-speak

Re:Um.. what market share is he talking about. (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942449)

Well, he never said they did specifically (ok, in the summary). He would *prefer* it that way, but you don't always get what you want

Re:Um.. what market share is he talking about. (1)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942457)

Hmm someone please send me a link where I can trade in my Smartphone with 2003 SE for a Linux based one. (That's blessed by Cingular of course). I would do so in a heartbeat.

Customers soon to be dead... (1)

hirschma (187820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942225)

Yeah, let's sell our stuff to 85 year olds, who are statistically already dead, as opposed to the youngin's who have, um, 40-60 buying years ahead of them. Now that's some good CEO-ing there.

Ballmer, check out how well the "sell to the dead" strategy worked for Cadillac, and who they've been targeting for the last 10 years.

85-year old Uncle (2, Insightful)

necro81 (917438) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942231)

But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune.

If his uncle isn't in the market for an iPod, what makes him think that he'll be in the market for a Zune, or any other portable media player? Is his uncle such a discerning consumer that he would notice the differences among the devices? Would he merely own and use a Zune to make his nephew happy? (Note that I don't say "buy" a Zune.)

I could understand members of the /. crowd being in the market for a portable media player, and strongly ruling out owning an iPod. I doubt, however, that his 85-year old Uncle is that kind of consumer. For him, there's essentially no difference between the two. If he isn't in the market for one, he probably isn't in the market for any.

Re:85-year old Uncle (1)

Lysol (11150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942423)

Yah, wtf? That is one of the stupidest Ballmer quotes I've ever heard. I'm sure the last thing his 85 year old uncle is thinking about is buying an mp3 player. Moron. He's probably more worried about funeral arrangements.

As for everyone whining about the $500 price, I dunno, people will pay for it and it will eventually drop. When the RAZR first came out, it was $499. Moto is obviously a different company than Apple and Apple usually tends to keep their prices 'high', so there will probably have to be some subsidy on the Cingular side.

Oh yah, and another thing I've heard Ballmer bitch about is no physical keypad on the iPhone. This guy never quits. Yah, like I'd rather have a smaller screen so I can have some keypad that a gnome could only type on.

The iPhone will raise the bar and M$ is just pissed that they didn't get to it first. The Zune and its DRM (which is horrendous) is garbage. M$ builds third rate products and they're successful because most people are fine with that. So sure, they'll keep making loads of cash, but their 'innovative' days are long gone (if they were ever there in the first place)..

Somebody should send him an iPod (5, Funny)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942447)

I think Slashdot should start a fund to purchase a iPod for Ballmer's Uncle.

Too Funny!! (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942243)

"But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune."

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Way to target the right demographic with your music player. I think that deserves to be on the list of best quotes EVAR!

Hey, this sounds familiar... (1)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942249)

Didn't he also say that Google was a house made of cards?

And yet, he knows what Apple's business is going to do, but he doesn't know what a monopoly is (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/s/steve _ballmer.html).

I think Steve just needs a hug. :(

iPod 2.0 (1, Funny)

naden (206984) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942273)

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

Missing Bill Gates lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942285)

They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get. In the case of music, Apple got out early.

Or the 75% market share they have with iPods. Totally lame. Our Zune has only 10% market share and it's totally kicking their ass. Oh, did we drop below 10% again? Darn.

But read my lips, the iPhone will never be a commercial success. It costs $500! What other product could cost $500 when first unveiled and become a huge commercial success? Oh, the iPod, you say? Well, besides them!

I claim that Ballmer sucks ass (-1, Flamebait)

sokoban (142301) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942289)

Hey Ball-boy.

You know jack shit about making a decent product, and you'll never have your software in 60%, 70% or, 80% of the mobile phones sold. You see, there are several vendors of cell phone OS software, and they're almost all better than you.

Of course, new product are not profitable (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942305)

In the MS philosophy, success of a new product is not that it generates a profit, but that it has market share. Just take a look at xbox. Even MSN is more concerned with market share than profit. This is the old we will make in volume what we lose in profit. This business plan is not unreasonable. it is often the case that some product are primarily sold to cover fixed costs. Such products, however, are often the low end or old models, not the high end marquee products. The advisability of such plan also has fallen from grace due to the bankruptcy of some many companies that ascribed to such magical thinking. Apple, fortunately, has generally put forth a more naturalistic bussinees model of selling good products at a a reasonable sustainable profit.

In any case, given the MS philosophy of socializing the computer market through direct private investment, it is no wonder that radical idea of selling a competative product at a profit does not seem viable. How can Apple possibly imagine that it can survive if it sells a mere hundred thousand phones at a $100 profit, when in fact it should try to ship one million units at little or no profit, or even a $126 loss. Such a loss will be made up in volume.

Pirating (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942317)

But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune

Well, in all fairness, I don't think the number of 85 year olds using pirated software is all that high.
Then again, I guess the number of 85 year olds who know what software actually is, isn't very high either.

Why do we care what he says? (1)

jfb3 (25523) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942325)

Can someone explain why we care what CEO of Company B says about the products of Company A?

If they are partners they say "Greatest thing since sliced bread.".

If they are competitors they say "It'll be a bust, terrible.....".

Baller investing in new tech: The Chair Gun (TM) (1)

The Media Mechanic (1084283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942331)

REDMOND, Washington, May 1 -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today announced a new offensive weapon in his company's arsenal: The Chair Gun (TM). This device, when fully loaded, is capable of launching up to 6 chairs per minute at Microsoft enemies. Ballmer planned a press conference to demonstrate the unique gun, which he said came to him in a fit of apoplexy. "I was at work one day, thinking about those little twerps over at Apple / Google and my blood pressure started to spike. The anger and rage started to build up inside my brain. I needed to throw something, anything, and the first thing available was a chair in my office. After throwing it clear across the room, I felt much better. Then I realized there is a market for such a mechanism to vent frustration. I worked for many months with Microsoft engineers, and we've come up with a great solution to this business problem."

Powered by two thousand industrial strength rubber bands, The Chair Gun is a formidable and impressive machine.

Still drinking the koolaid (1)

jimmy_dean (463322) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942335)

Wow, I can believe how much of his own koolaid Steve has drank. Could anyone get it any less? Does he actually do any good for Microsoft or is he just a figure-head these days?

"...is he just a figure-head these days?" (1)

Dude McDude (938516) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942473)

Are you sure you meant to type "figure"....?

Comparing Apples To Lemons (5, Insightful)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942367)

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed there is no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share... 'No chance. It's a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.
In other news, Ford's CEO mocked Ferarri: It's a $200,000 item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually look at the 1.3 billion cars that get sold, I'd prefer 60% or 70% or 80% of them to be Fords, than I would to have 2% or 3% which is what Ferarri might get.

In both cases, a company is completely happy building a niche product, that does its job exceptionally well, that they can be truly proud of, and that they can turn a profit on every single one.

Apple themselves said they were only going after 1% of the market. 1% of 1.3 billion is still 13 million. If they can turn $50 profit on each and every one of those, they walk away with an extra $650m on their bottom line next year. Not a bad kick in the teeth for the indignity of having to be exactly the market you went for.

Microsoft has a totally different model. They want global dominance in cell phones because it'll help prop up their model of making the entire world have to use your stuff if they want compatibility and then you can extort money on things like office suites. They'll happily give away their mobile O.S. if it means propping up that model.

Neither one is particularly wrong per se. They're just two totally different models that, evidently, are successful for both companies. Microsoft turns a profit, Apple turns a profit, yay for both of them.

But knocking one model for failing to succeed based on the metrics of your model... while totally succeeding on their own model's metrics and turning a profit... that's a little cheap.

What is interesting is that Apple's own figures were they were aiming for 1% market saturation but Balmer's already referencing 2-3% before it comes out. I'm curious as to whether that's a case of his not getting numbers straight, of Microsoft expecting more success for Apple than Apple's actually banking on, or whether they're just trying to raise the bar now so they can say Apple failed to meet numbers Apple never went for later.

And it begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942401)

Let's start the apple love circle jerk here on Slashdot...

Of course apple is going to destroy MS... they've done it sooooo many times...

Can we start a pool how many times we see MS as M$ in this thread?

It's going to get messy (1)

Dude McDude (938516) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942575)

Time to don our plastic.......macs.

Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942405)

I swear I've heard Microsoft talk about the iPhone more than they ever did about any of their own products.

Oh Microsoft... Always the Technology Visonary... (3, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942411)

Quote from Microsoft:

1989: The GUI will never gain significant market share (And the end user will only ever need 640K of RAM!)
1994: The Internet is a passing fad and will never gain any significant market share!
1995: MS BOB Will be a huge market success!
1997: The DOJ will never convict us of being a monopoly!
1998: The end user doesn't care about security!
1999: What's this Linux thing you're talking about?
2001: What's this Apple thing you're talking about?
2002: iPod: Less storage than a Nomad and no wireless. Lame.
2006: iPod: Less storage than a Zune and no wireless. Lame.
2007: The iPhone will never gain significant market share!

It would seem that if you want to accurately predict popular technology trends all you have to do is listen to what Microsoft is saying and then predict exactly the opposite!

Ballmer is more optimistic than Jobs re: iPhone (3, Insightful)

Edward Kmett (123105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942425)

Even if apple grabs 2-3% of the market share, they will be drawing the revenue from both the hardware and software side of the sale. After all, Jobs' state GOAL was only 1% of the market in 2008. So Ballmer is really saying that he thinks Apple will do better than they will publicly admit to thinking.

Microsoft still doesn't get that Apple operates in a fundamentally different space than they do. Microsoft sells software; Apple sells hardware AND software.

Its like comparing Mac and PC sales. By controlling the hardware channel, Apple makes a hell of a lot more money per unit sale than Microsoft. Yet because they control both sides of the equation it is very difficult to compare them to pure software companies like Microsoft or to pure hardware companies like Dell. Apple's balance sheet shows net income in the ballpark of HP and Dell, based on revenues a half to a third the size. http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM.Tech.Q1.07/9E F16A95-278E-40ED-9E00-FBEBD75207FB.html [roughlydrafted.com]

So, yes, Microsoft would rather have software on 60% or 70% or 80% of the phones out there, just like they would like to have software on 60% or 70% or 80% or 90% of the desktops out there. Apple has a fundamentally different business model.

lol He must be scared. (1)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942437)

Balmer knows about as much about the iPhone as I do.. that's pratically nothing.

Windows Mobile STINKS.. its awfal software. I personaly think Symbian is the best mobile software out there right now.

He made a comment afew weeks ago that it won't support office documents however.. both Symbian and Garnet Palm's actually *do* support it. If they do.. I can't see why Apple's iPhone couldn't also.

I think they are scared.

Regardless (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942439)

Regardless of the need for them in the workplace, people will buy them for the same reason a lot are buying High-end ipod's nowadays. It's not that other phones or players haven't got all the bells and whistles... people will buy it because of who made it.

It will be a status symbol, regardless of how well it will do in the business area. People don't buy $1000 pairs of shoes because they can do more in them.. buy them because they think it makes them look better.

This from the people... (1)

Illbay (700081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942451)

...who brought you Windows Me and "Bob."

Talk is ever so cheap. (3, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942471)

I happen to agree with one point he makes, Apple is late to the party. With the iPod they arrived "fashionably late", well before the party was going, but not until they knew it was going to be a good party. With the iPhone what we have is a big party and another glam-chick pining for attention. She'll attract eyes when she comes through the door but when people realize how shallow of an offering she is they will wait for her younger sister to arrive.

Talk is cheap, many people love to chime in they will buy one, but I bet they won't. It is a feel good response, makes them feel like part of the "in crowd" while never being obligated to do anything.

Apple's way late to the big show and their offering is seriously lacking. Wait for the second or THIRD revision of this iphone before jumping

From the desk of Bill Gates (2)

simong (32944) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942487)

Steve -

Dude, shut up.

Bill

Ballmer's job seems to be to cast aspersions on any IT company that might be encroaching on Microsoft's world in the hope that people will pay attention, whereas it just looks like fear and loathing. Cool dance moves though.

Huh? What? speak up Ballmer... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18942515)

I cant hear you over the sound of the zune sucking.

85-year-old uncle (1)

c (8461) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942523)

> But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod,
> and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune.

Not if his uncle has heard about this whole "squirting" thing Steve's got happening.

He might already own an iPod (1, Offtopic)

linuxtelephony (141049) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942531)

It seems I recall reading about medical devices that were looking to store data on the iPod. Things like heart and other monitors that people wear for extended periods of time, with details of their condition recorded. The iPod becomes a bit of a 'flight data recorder'. They can store and listen to music, and at the same time they are able to have their medical data recorded for the doctor to review.

Depends on how you define success. (1)

Qwavel (733416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942537)


It is true that we could end up with a situation where WinCE has 30% of the market, Symbian has 50%, and Apple has only 4%, but Apple makes more money then the others combined. But isn't this what we call success?

Heh (1)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942553)

'll bet our ads will be less edgy. But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune
Mr Ballmer, WHAT are you talking about?!

Zune... (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942557)

Zero Used, Never Experienced

Microsoft predicts failure for Apple! Film at 11. (1, Insightful)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942561)

I thought Apple only expected about 1%. They don't feel this grade-schoolish desire to completely dominate everything, they just want to make a profit and they will do so with only 1% of the market. Apple will only "fail" if they use Microsoft's definition of success (complete monopoly). Apple's definition of success is to walk into a market and immediately make a profit, and they will do that.

What Apple won't get is the mass market of crappy phones that carriers give away for free. I wish I only had rich customers with money to burn!

Meanwhile, Balmer would *like* to have Windows on "60% or 70% or 80%" of the market, but he doesn't even have that (or a strategy to get there). Plus, whatever Apple does get will come DIRECTLY from people who would otherwise have bought a phone with Palm or Windows.

As for the "end of the line of innovation," does Balmer really think Apple is going to plop out the iPhone and be done with it? And if he's so down on subsidies, I'd like to hear his opinion on Xbox subsidies.

The bottom line is that if Ballmer really thought Apple was making a mistake, he would shut up and let them make it. The reality is that he just looks scared.

Why? (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942569)

Why does Microsoft have to pontificate about every other company's offerings to prop themselves up? Okay, this is a rhetorical question.

I wonder if it's just me... (1)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942577)

Or does anyone else get the impression of "pompous windbag" when reading anything that Ballmer has to say about anything?

Microsoft has a problem... (1)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 7 years ago | (#18942601)

Balmer doesn't give a damn about the iPhone as a product. However a cellphone is a cellphone is a cellphone; there is little difference between them at the hardware level. Apple are developing an operating system for the iPhone, but with a few changes the same OS will work on a number of cellphones. That is what Microsoft cares about.

Microsoft still doesn't have a strangle hold on cellphone software and Apple is entering the market -- that scares Balmer

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