Ballmer: R&D is how Microsoft stays ‘ahead’

“Spearheading long-term research and development (R&D) to address disruptions caused by the changing software landscape, is Microsoft’s mantra in staying ahead, says company CEO Steve Ballmer,” Aaron Tan reports for ZDNet Asia.

MacDailyNews Take: Ahead in what? Sales, sure – in some cases, but in quality and innovation, no. Operating systems? Mac OS X is far ahead. Digital Media Devices? iPod is far ahead. Online media management and downloads? iTunes and iTunes Store are far ahead. Search? Google is far ahead. Game consoles? Wii is far ahead. There are more examples, but the bottom line is that Ballmer, as usual, is full of it.

Tan continues, “A key factor in embracing disruptions such as Internet applications, while staying ahead in the technology industry, is to engage in long-term research and development (R&D), he pointed out. Microsoft spends US$6 billion on R&D each year.”

MacDailyNews Take: Do Microsoft customers ever ask themselves why, if Microsoft spends US$6 billion on R&D, the best they seem to get is mediocrity? Just look at Windows Vista or the Zune. Microsoft shareholders sure ought to be asking what that annual US$6 billion is accomplishing.

Tan continues, “‘If you want to be an innovator, you have to take the long-term approach,’ [Ballmer] said. ‘There is a view that innovation happens overnight and that’s simply not the case. It took us eight to 10 years to get Windows popular…”

MacDailyNews Take: Ballmer really needs to look up the definition of “innovation.” Windows’ “popularity” simply does not equal “innovation.” Trying to make an upside-down and backwards copy of Mac OS X five years too late is not “innovation.”

Tan continues, “Ballmer said over the last 20 years, no other company has hired more top-notch computer talent than Microsoft. ‘And I don’t think anybody’s worked harder than us on that, which is also the result of hard work and commitment more than anything else,’ he added.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s painfully obvious to anyone who’s used Microsoft products that hiring “top-notch computer talent” doesn’t mean you’re properly utilizing them.


  1. (em)Ballmer, there’s an old saying that goes, “You can put a cat in the oven, but that don’t make it a biscuit.”

    Simply saying that you’re innovative doesn’t make it so.

    I’m guessing that most of that 6 billion in R&D is going toward inventing new products that are strictly for in-house use, like, oh, I dunno, indestructible chairs?

  2. You know what I really hate? When Gates, and Ballmer keep on repeatedly stating to the media that they are “innovating”…it should be considered as a friggin sin for Microsoft to use that word. All that comes out of Ballmer’s mouth is lies, more lies, and some more lies after that…while Gates on the other hand, does this better, because of his known status.

    Honestly, some hollywood studio should remake the movie Pirates of the Silicon Valley and I swear it would open up the eyes of millions of individuals out there who dont know the real truth about Microsoft, now that they all well know and feel the iPod halo effect…which wasen’t originally there in 1999 (when the movie was released). I’m sure this movie would be a mega-blockbuster hit as well.

  3. Game consoles? Wii is far ahead.

    The Wii is miles ahead of the 360. It has great games like the GameCube version of Zelda and…. hmmmmm that tennis game where you don’t run about… oh and probably a Pokemon title eventually.

  4. What Microsoft means by R&D is:

    Research : other competitors products clear example Tiger

    & Then

    Develop them as if it were their own.

    They innovate in areas of copy and pasting, and they may be 10years ahead in the technique of copy and pasting…

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