ballmer - News, Features, and Slideshows


  • Ballmer: Yahoo acquisition won't happen

    A change at the helm of Yahoo won't revive a Microsoft takeover offer, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said during the company's annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday.

  • Microsoft to release Cloud OS: Ballmer

    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer revealed a few details last week of an upcoming operating system that will help developers write internet-based applications.

  • Is Ballmer right man for Microsoft - for 10 more years?

    As the dynamic duo steering Microsoft together for the past 28 years, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer have been a near-unstoppable team, combining Gates's technical vision and will to power with Ballmer's salesmanship and rousing, if polarising, personality.

  • Software makers face challenges: Ballmer

    Improvements in processing speeds, storage space and wireless broadband will drive a new revolution in IT, but software makers face several challenges in their efforts to keep up, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says.

  • Ballmer disses MacBook Air, bemoans Google behemoth

    Not surprisingly, Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer is short on praises for the MacBook Air. Joking that the laptop is heavier than his PC, he pretended to stumble from his chair from the weight of the device in his hands during a speech in Las Vegas last week.
    "That thing's missing half the things on my PC. Where's the DVD drive?" Ballmer took centre stage at a MIX '08 keynote for a humorously unconventional one-on-one during which the Microsoft leader bore a barrage of questions from Guy Kawasaki, managing director of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Garage Technology Ventures, on issues like Microsoft's bid to buy Yahoo and the state of Vista.
    The Redmond, Wash.-based software mogul is not "where we'd like to be" and still has a long way to go to become a serious player in the world of search and online advertising, said Ballmer in support of its bid for Yahoo in February. Buying the search giant, he said, will accelerate the company's journey towards that position by giving it the scale it needs to compete with Google.
    When asked if Google is "front and centre" in his rivalry towards competitors, in particular, whether he takes shots at pictures of Google chieftains Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Ballmer quipped: "I'm not a good dart player."
    But he did say Microsoft wins over Google in the business of desktops, server and enterprise, as well as entertainment devices. However, when it comes to the online business, "it's Google, Google, Google!" said Ballmer in a mock tone of exasperation.
    That said, Ballmer has an unfailing vision of a future with Microsoft as a dominant player in the online space. "It may be my last breath at Microsoft," he declared, "But we're gonna be there."
    Kawasaki asked Ballmer what's up with the partnership with Facebook. The decision to buy a piece of Facebook, replied Ballmer, will give Microsoft a piece of an online future that he envisions will be made up of a few big online ad platforms that serve customer and advertiser information. "We're happy to be a public owner, even more happy to be a partner," he said.
    Specifics of the agreement, said Ballmer, didn't involve him or Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but instead it was the result of collaboration between great people on both sides.
    Kawasaki then attempted a second try of his "What's the deal with Vista" question, after Ballmer had strategically avoided answering the original blunt query with his Mac Air antics. The number one issue with the operating system, Ballmer eventually explained, is that application and driver compatibility was compromised in the name of security, a decision that ultimately proved "very painful" for the consumer.
    The recently available Windows Vista Service Pack 1, which factored in many user suggestions, should result in more uptake in the business market, said Ballmer, which will supplement the operating system's existing popularity in the consumer world.
    Ballmer also commended Apple when jokingly asked by Kawasaki whether he perceived the company as "this little Chihuahua that you just kick away". After failing to resist the urge to mimic the bark of a Chihuahua, Ballmer said Microsoft has a larger footprint and that it's "trying to continue to compete with all our vigour and energy."
    And in keeping with the announcement of Microsoft's beta release of Silverlight 2.0, Ballmer said the goal of Silverlight is to eventually unify what has traditionally been two distinct areas for developers following an inevitable "fork in the road". He said that "over time, what we're really trying to do is bring those two things together" so developers no longer need to compromise on functionality.
    Ballmer acknowledged a "big competitor" in Adobe Systems in the rich internet application space, and that it's a company that will remain an important component in the industry for a long time to come. For that reason, he said, Microsoft "will continue to drive both interoperability where it makes sense with Adobe while competing with Adobe." It was a response to which Kawasaki amicably needled, "That was a PR answer."
    With respect to recent acquisitions by Microsoft, Ballmer remarked he is excited about that of Fast Search & Transfer, and that the Danger buy will help build an application and service asset atop the Windows Mobile platform.
    On the future of Microsoft post-Bill Gates, Ballmer said he wants people to realise there exists talented individuals within the corporation who contribute and who "propel the place" besides Gates.

  • IT is set for another revolution: Ballmer

    IT is about to undergo another revolution, which will see users to interact with it in more natural ways, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer predicted at the opening ceremony of the recent Cebit trade show in Germany.

  • Microsoft claims European antitrust issues in past

    Microsoft's efforts to better detail how its products work should keep it out of further legal trouble, despite a record fine levied by the European Commission last week, CEO Steve Ballmer said on Monday.

  • Gates chairs his last annual meeting as full-timer

    Bill Gates focused largely on future innovations to come out of Microsoft as he presided over his last annual shareholders meeting as full-time employee, leaving his colleagues to address questions about the threat from Google's Android, piracy in China and the affects of the European Commission's antitrust ruling.

  • Microsoft releases beta of mashup tool

    Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer announced the public beta availability of Popfly, the company's mashup creation tool for non-technical users introduced in alpha form in May.

  • Ballmer gives his take on software-plus-services plan

    Microsoft's top executive has for the first time outlined the company's plan to transition from a traditional software company to offering software plus services, giving some roadmap details for how the strategy will play out in the next year.

  • Ballmer: 'Open source is not free'

    Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer made it clearer than ever at a meeting with financial analysts that the company's recent deal with Novell is primarily about bringing the Linux threat to heel.
    "I would not anticipate that we make a huge additional revenue stream from our Novell deal, but I do think it clearly establishes that open source is not free," Ballmer said. (See a transcript here.)
    His remarks came the same week as the company announced more of the technical details of the deal. In contrast to that announcement, which focused on areas such as virtualisation, web services standards and an interoperability lab, Ballmer said the value of the deal to Microsoft lay in its potential to set a precedent that could force Linux distributors and users to pay Microsoft for its intellectual property.
    The problem, Ballmer said, continues to be that Linux costs next to nothing. "Having a competitor out there who at least nominally looks to be close to free is always a challenge," he said.
    He said the Novell deal was a "very important" step towards dealing with the price threat: namely, that Microsoft could begin to bring its patent arsenal to bear on Linux companies. "It demonstrated clearly the value of intellectual property, even in the open source world," Ballmer said.
    "Open source will have to respect intellectual property rights of others just as any other competitor will," he said.
    His remarks risk reopening the rift between Novell and Microsoft over the way the deal should be interpreted. In late November, three weeks after the deal was announced, Ballmer said that Linux companies could be infringing on Microsoft's patents.
    Novell begged to differ, and the solution was a statement from Microsoft explaining that the companies "agreed to disagree on whether certain open source offerings infringe on Microsoft patents and whether certain Microsoft offerings infringe Novell patents".