“Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer was unperturbed a day after rival Apple Inc. shot past his firm as the world’s biggest tech company by market value and said his aim was to develop a good product line and earn more profits,” Devidutta Tripathy reports for Reuters.

“Microsoft stock is down 20 percent from 10 years ago, while shares of Apple are worth more than 10 times what they were 10 years ago, as it has profited from revolutionizing consumer electronics with its stylish, easy to use products such as the iPod, iPhone and MacBook laptops,” Tripathy reports. “Ballmer, on an Asian visit, told reporters in the Indian capital that Microsoft is the most profitable technology firm and a fierce competitor to anyone.”

MacDailyNews Take: For how much longer he can claim to be “most profitable,” Ballmer didn’t say, of course. Of course, anyone who can do basic math can see that it won’t be much longer at all.

Tripathy continues, “‘My focus is on … what we should be doing to our product line, where do we go, how do we make products more innovative,’ he said in response to a question on Apple racing past it in market value.”

MacDailyNews Take: How can Microsoft become more innovative when they’ve never been innovative? They take or buy other firms’ ideas, dump them into a festering, moribund, stifling bureaucracy, then shit them out scrambled onto ignorant or trapped customers. We now return to Ballmer’s Fantasyland, already in progress…

Tripathy continues, “Ballmer said. ‘We are executing very well and that is going to lead to great products and great success.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Is Steve Ballmer, a) stupid; b) delusional; c) insane; d) the recipient of the luckiest dorm assignment in history; or e) all of the above?

Tripathy continues, “‘I am optimistic,’ Ballmer said.”

MacDailyNews Take: The answer is “e.”

iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users, to watch the video, tap: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer laughs at Apple iPhone

Tripathy continues, “Robbie Bach, head of Microsoft’s video games and mobile phones unit, is retiring in a management shuffle, as Ballmer tightens his grip over a division steadily ceding ground to rivals. The departure of the 22-year veteran, credited with launching the Xbox in 2001, comes as Microsoft’s mobile efforts are being brushed aside by Apple’s iPhone…”

MacDailyNews Take: Never mind the iPhone, Xbox is a money pit that has never been profitable for Microsoft. Bach was a spectacular and consistent failure. That he lasted two decades in his job speaks volumes about Microsoft’s management or, rather, lack thereof.

Tripathy continues, “From July 1, the two senior vice presidents in charge of games and phones will report to Ballmer. ‘I won’t predict some massive change,’ Ballmer said. ‘I don’t sort of foreshadow any change in direction. We just have to accelerate plans.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Absolutely clueless.

Full article here.

Jai Krishna, Romit Guha, and Dhanya Ann Thoppil report for The Wall Street Journal, “Since Mr. Ballmer took over from Bill Gates as CEO in January 2000, Microsoft’s market value has more than halved from $556 billion to Wednesday’s close of $219 billion. Rival Apple’s market value has surged from $15.6 billion to $221 billion over the same period.”

Krishna, Guha, and Thoppil report, “Mr. Ballmer said he remains unfazed despite Apple assuming the position of the technology king. ‘I will make more profits and certainly there is no technology company in the planet which is as profitable as we are,’ he said. ‘Stock markets will take care of the rest,’ he added… Analysts attribute the value-decline at Microsoft to its inability to capitalize on new technologies such as wireless and digital music at its entertainment division. Apple’s success with its iPod and the iPhone came at the expense of Microsoft’s efforts in those areas… Despite being an early entrant into mobile devices such as smartphones, with its Windows Mobile operating system for handsets, it is now lagging behind cutting-edge technologies of Apple’s iPhone…”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Please, please, please, may Microsoft shareholders remain unconscious (chances are good as they seem to like a return on their investment that amounts to little more than a rounding error) so that Steve Ballmer can remain Microsoft CEO for as long as it takes!