Steve Ballmer Takes On Everyone (Microsoft Included)

Steve Ballmer took his turn in the hot seat today at D8, and anybody hoping for a few candid spitballs from Microsoft’s quotable CEO wasn’t disappointed. Ballmer had plenty to say about everyone’s faults – starting with his own company’s:

It’s no secret that Windows Mobile 6.5 – you know, the one before Microsoft gutted everything in favour of Windows Phone 7 – was an out and out disaster. But it can’t be easy for the CEO of one of the most powerful companies in the world to declare his product in last place. Even more so to say they missed a cycle entirely. But maybe by being so honest about Microsoft, Ballmer earned a little more cred when he went after his competitors.

Ballmer on the iPad (caveat, quoted from a tweet):

“A guy tried to take notes on an iPad with me in a meeting yesterday and wasn’t going very fast. That was fun.”

That is fun, although one could point out that it’s not like Microsoft has a better tablet keyboard solution. At least not that they’re sharing.

Ballmer on Facebook:

“We had controversies, but we don’t have a business model dependent on it! We have competitors out there that, for better or worse, that’s their business model.”

Which is, by and large, true, although it’s not clear that Microsoft wants it to be. If Ballmer could make as much money off of Bing as he does Windows or Office, I suspect he’d jump at the chance.

Ballmer on Google:

“We’re going against a very large behemoth… it takes one to know one!”

No arguments here whatsover. And in fact, this is my favourite quote of the bunch. Because Google’s not the only behemoth on this list. Apple and Facebook are right up there as well. And when you’re Microsoft’s CEO, and your company is playing in the backyards of the baddest kids on the block, you’re darn right you’re going to throw punches when you can. [CNET and Engadget]

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