Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: ‘We love to be first’

“In an interview, Ballmer talks a lot about how, five years after Chairman Bill Gates made him CEO, he is redefining Microsoft for its next phase, making it more disciplined and decentralized,” Kevin Maney reports for USA Today. “While it’s clear that Microsoft is changing, old behaviors die hard. When Ballmer gets talking about how Microsoft must be first with technology innovations — which, so far in Microsoft’s history, has not often happened — the exchange is more like vintage pugilistic Microsoft.”

Ballmer: “You’ve got to be not just first in an area; you’ve got to be first with important innovations even in areas that you’ve pioneered.”

USA Today reporter: “Well, you guys have proved over and over again being first is not necessarily …”

Ballmer: “We love to be first.”

Reporter: “You love to be first but …”

Ballmer: “We love to be first.”

Reporter: “You certainly weren’t the first — you know, I mean, here looking at your …”

Ballmer: “We love to be first. Well, our big success is Windows. We were first. Windows, we were first — and then everybody faded out because there was a period during which the concept was — I mean, Apple stuck around with their concept of that, but everybody else faded out, basically.”

Maney writes, “Tech people must be scratching their heads. Windows wasn’t the first graphical user interface — that was invented by Xerox and was first made popular by Apple Computer. Microsoft didn’t have the first browser or video player or cell phone operating system. Time and again, the company has come in late and, in many cases, won the day with tenacity. It is a strength Microsoft could boast about but doesn’t. The yin and yang — past and future — in Ballmer’s remarks echo around Microsoft. In interviews with nearly a dozen Microsoft executives, the company sometimes seems to be grappling with which parts of itself to leave behind and which parts it can’t live without. Change is happening. But it apparently isn’t easy, and it’s not yet evident what kind of company Microsoft is becoming. ‘The problem isn’t that Microsoft can’t change,’ says Jeffrey Tarter, editor of influential newsletter Softletter. ‘The real problem is it’s not at all clear how the company should change.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The only thing Steve Ballmer does first is order seconds. Dance, Monkey Boy, dance. It’s clear that Monkey Boy’s idea of chronological order is as backwards as clicking “Start” to stop your computer. Sweat much? Developers, developers, developers…. The famous Microsoft first? MS Bob. Stick to copying Apple, Monkey Boy, it’s taken you guys this far.

Now we know why Longhorn is taking so long, Ballmer’s desperately trying to build a time machine that’ll be able to transport him and a copy of Apple’s Mac OS X back in time so he can be “first” for once.


  1. “It’s clear that Monkey Boy’s idea of chronological order is as backwards as clicking “Start” to stop your computer.”

    Ouch! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cheese” style=”border:0;” />

  2. I’m not sure what is the funniest bit:

    1. Ballmer described as “charming”

    2. “We love to be first…we were first…Windows, we were first”

    3. Microsoft’s new mission: “Enabling people and businesses around the world to realize their full potential”.

  3. The reporter wasn’t even allowed to finish his questions before Ballmer would keep farting “We love to be first”? How belligerant. Yes Ballmer, we know you like to be first, but this isn’t Sizzler, and you’re not at the Sundae bar.

    Rest easy Ballmer, you can be the first at totally screwing millions of customers into buying your crappy excuse for an OS. They say Apple has the Kool-aid, but I just don’t think normal people would “choose” windows, if Microsoft wasn’t putting something in the water. I mean come on, it’s a no brainer.

  4. “Predictably delivering the amazing.” Is Microsoft’s goal according to Ballmer. Looks like they weren’t first to arrive there either (see OSX, see iPod, see iMac, see Mac Mini). They’ve never had a successful idea that they didn’t steal. It’s hard to be first when you have to copy someone else.

    No wait!!! How about first to have an OS totally disabled world-wide by hackers?

  5. Hmm…Microsoft…”circling the bowl”…somehow that’s an appealing image to me. Lets keep this one in play for awhile. Who knows, it might come true. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  6. This is quite possibly the funniest quote I’ve ever read from that FAT BA$TARD Steve “Monkey Boy” Ballmer:

    “…We know our core competence is software, and we can think broadly about where software can have this sort of big and broad and important impact.”

    WTF? This guy needs a drug test ASAP.

  7. Come to think of it, when I consider the “circling the bowl” image I have to say the last time I heard corporate execs who sounded like Ballmer it was Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, of Enron fame, soon to be featured in a federal penitentiary near you.

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