Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Businesses Handhelds Microsoft Apple Technology

Steve Ballmer: We Won't Be Out-Innovated By Apple Anymore 610

An anonymous reader tips an article about comments from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer regarding Microsoft's attitude toward Apple. It seems Microsoft is tired of being behind the curve in most areas of the tech market, and will be trying very hard to prevent Apple and other companies from beating them to the punch in the future. From the article: "In a recent interview, Ballmer explained that the company had ceded innovations in hardware and software to Apple, but that the-times-they-are-a-'changin. 'We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple,' Ballmer explained. 'Not the consumer cloud. Not hardware software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen. Not on our watch.' ... An admirable goal, but it's fair to argue that attempting to innovate everywhere results in innovation nowhere. A big part of the reason Apple has been so successful is that they devote the bulk of their attention to only a few select market areas. By trying to innovate everywhere, so to speak, Microsoft runs the continued risk of spreading itself too thin and not really having a fundamental impact in any one market."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Steve Ballmer: We Won't Be Out-Innovated By Apple Anymore

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Hmmm ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @04:03PM (#40606491) Homepage

    They've been innovating and not creating products. Microsoft has been very conservative. Go to [] and you'll be shocked how many cool ideas aren't seeing the light of day because they've been strategically focused and conservative. If Microsoft is willing to start taking risks again, and Windows 8 so far surely qualifies, I think it might get fun in tech again.

  • by aix tom ( 902140 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @04:13PM (#40606633)

    When you go back a while, when die Microsoft ever really "Invent" something?

    DOS bought from Seattle Computer Products, idea for Windows in general nicked from Xerox, Browser taken over from NCSA Mosaic, PSTools acquired from Sysinternals, etc....

    The only difference now seems to be that Apple isn't willing to be bought up and/or hoodwinked into giving up their innovation to MS.

  • Re:cool story bro (Score:5, Informative)

    by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @04:50PM (#40607125) Homepage

    Walk into any office. Count the number of Apple and Linux desktops. Blush and admit you're an idiot.

  • by alchemist68 ( 550641 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @05:04PM (#40607317)
    being named "Steve" too, doesn't quite get you there. You, Steve Ballmer, must understand that YOU and Steve Jobs are very different people with completely different goals and objectives, and your company's [Micorsoft] performance reflects these differences. Accept your path for what it is: Microsoft is not a company hell-bent on enabling the individual person exploring and enhancing creative endeavors, Microsoft is a very corporate-business-driven entity best suited for large scale business operations, such as Office and networking. MS has a track record for failure in the consumer segment [who the hell owns a Zune? - a clunky brown piece of shit - if it was worth having, the market would have selected for it] except for the X-box platform. Stop wasting investors' money and stick with what you're [MS] is good at: business software and integrating it together. Face it Steve, Jr., you're not even close to Jobs and you're getting yourself into an area where you're going to fail again. No one is ever going to put an MS logo on their car, college office door, laptop, etc... MS doesn't have the "coolness factor" and never will, YOU'RE ALL MISSING THE POINT, YOU NEVER HAVE 'GOTTEN IT', AND NEVER WILL! Apple doesn't compete in your market, why do you think you can accelerate past some of the brightest minds in the tech industry? Being a pharmaceutical scientist, I can liken Apple as the Discovery Research aspect of the high-tech world, Microsoft is more the Development segment of something that is passed through the pipeline, something more established. Microsoft would have to completely disassemble its way of thinking and come around to opening truly creative thinking and implementing it without being diluted and combobulated with the current MS corporate culture. What you seek you do not possess - it's like an average student wanting very badly to enroll in honors courses, yes, you want it, but you don't have what it takes to succeed or get there, you are pursuing an area completely out of your league. And "developers, developers, developers, developers" isn't going to cut it, MS is certainly not on the cutting edge of creativity or technological [both software and hardware] innovation. No college graduate is beating down the doors of Microsoft screaming "I want to beat down Apple! Just give me enough money an I'll do it." Rather, those graduates are employed by Apple, until they burn out, then the next crop comes in. You're going to continue to get second-hand A-players who are either burnt-out from working at Apple, or who never made there to begin with. Stick with what you're good at: MAKING BUSINESS SOFTWARE. Pursue market areas where MS is going to have dominance and continued success - FOCUS, DON'T DILUTE. I can always make a ruckus at the next shareholders meeting, and believe me Steve, I'll step up to the microphone and give you a piece of my mind.
  • by tobiasly ( 524456 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @05:28PM (#40607595) Homepage

    "then they laugh at you"
    "then they fight you"
    "and then you win."

    And of course the "then they laugh at you" is very well documented [].

    I love the part where he says (of the Motorola Q), "it'll do music, it'll do... uh, internet...". Ah, Steve, you slay me.

  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @06:39PM (#40608351)

    you could say that the "me too" stuff was acquisition too - .NET was created by the same guy who did Delphi at Borland which prompter Microsoft to "buy" him and get him to work on J++. So its not surprising that he then went on to make J++++.

    Silverlight is pretty much the same stable, and dead too BTW. If you mean the XMl-based programming model of WPF, then I think they'd do well not to admit they created that mess.

    HyperV was a purchased product from Connectix in 2003/.

  • Re:Hmmm ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @08:14PM (#40609169) Journal

    X# has nothing to do with F#. F# originated from the attempt to port OCaml to .NET, which itself was preceded by an attempt to port Haskell to .NET (Google for "Mondrian programming language").

    X# was rather an attempt to take C# and combine it with XML, and specifically XDM (which was all the rage in enterprise circles back in 2002-2004, when the project ran) - sorta like imperative XQuery with more C#-like syntax. So you had XDM complex types as first class entities, the ability to reference XML Schema as a type library etc. The only part of X# is survived in some way were query comprehensions, which shed their XML origin and became LINQ.

    Also, F# is not an implementation of Objective Caml: it supports none of the "objective" part - i.e. none of the original awesome structurally-typed object model with multiple inheritance and pervasive type inference; instead, it uses its own object model that maps closely to .NET. It also doesn't support functors, which is another particularly strong point of OCaml. In "legacy syntax" mode, F# implements the only base Caml language (more or less the same as Caml Light). In regular mode, it is a wholly separate dialect of ML with some minor OCaml heritage, but unique syntax and idioms.

    As for why F# was sat on for so long... I dare say it doesn't have much to do with Scala, but more with FP itself becoming more mainstream in general, and in MS developer ecosystem in particular. C# and VB programmers were essentially forcibly exposed to some important parts of FP when LINQ was introduced - and LINQ, if you set the AST-preserving portion of it aside, is just lazy sequence comprehensions, the usual map/filter/fold that is the staple of idiomatic FP code. So by now even many C# developers are not unfamiliar with the programming style that you showcase.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2012 @09:02PM (#40609589) Homepage Journal

    Apple hasn't ploughed 24 Billion of shareholder money into dead-end R&D with no discernible return over the past 11 years.

    One could argue that the competitive advantage of Microsoft labs comes from keeping good researchers funded, away from useful work elsewhere - the advancement of which would only make Micosoft look even worse in comparison!

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!