Ballmer: Apple’s Mac is ‘expensive,’ Safari browser market share is a ‘rounding error’

TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington has posted his third installment of his interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Arrington reports, “When it comes to browsers, Ballmer calls Chrome and Safari rounding errors. And he certainly noticed Google’s attempts to turn IE into Chrome via a plugin.”

The most successful by far is Firefox. Chrome is a rounding error to date. Safari is a rounding error to date. But Firefox is not. The fact that there’s a lot of competitors probably is to our advantage. Yeah, we’re right now about 74 percent overall with the browser market, roughly speaking. But we’re having to compete like heck with IE 8, with great new features. The other guys are getting more and more unanticipated competitive attack factors, the thing that Google announced yesterday where they replaced IE but they don’t tell you. I mean that’s how I would say it. For all intents and purposes of what they’re doing IE is not there. It’s their operating system. Instead of now masked as browser, it’s masked as a plug in basically to IE. So, you know, we’re going to have to compete like heck and you know, see where things go. The one thing that’s unclear is what’s the economic play for anybody else competing with us at the browser level. Is this all about kind of controlling the search box or is it about something else?

MacDailyNews Take: People are turning away from Microsoft’s junk:
• Browser benchmarks: Apple’s Safari world’s fastest browser; Microsoft’s Internet Explorer dead last – May 18, 2009
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer on pace to drop below 50% share by May 2011 – May 07, 2009
CNET writer spends ‘painfully poky week with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8’ – April 01, 2009
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8’s Epic Fail: Scores 20/100 on Acid3 vs. Apple Safari’s perfect 100 – March 21, 2009
Microsoft inflicts Internet Explorer 8 today at noon; Mac users unaffected – March 19, 2009
Zero-day attack targets all versions of Internet Explorer; Mac users unaffected – December 12, 2008
Apple’s Safari browser share hits new all-time high of 7.13% as Internet Explorer drops below 70% – December 01, 2008

Ballmer on operating systems:

Here’s Windows and Windows is a very successful product. How do you attack Windows? Well, you attack with the high end, and hardware. That’s an attack. That’s – I won’t call it the Snow Leopard attack. I’ll call it the Mac attack of which Snow Leopard is a piece. You could attack from the side. That’s the Chrome – Firefox attack. You can attack from cheap, from below. You’re not from the side. You’re one on one, but that’s kind of a Linux, Android, presumably Chrome OS, who knows, attack vector. You can attack through phones that grow up. You know, mama don’t let your phones grow up to be PCs or something. I don’t know. But that’s another attack vector. So, you could say how do I feel about all these attack vectors? Strong, I feel very strong here.

I mean, we’re gaining share. Apple is expensive. And in tough economic environment, people get it. Their model is, by definition, expensive. And we’ve actually held or maybe even gained just a tiny bit of share relative to the Mac in the last 12 months. And it’s not really Snow Leopard. It’s really Windows PCs versus Mac.

MacDailyNews Take: Proof? None given by Ballmer, of course. We’ll offer these:
Gartner: Mac takes 8.7% share of U.S. market in Q2 09 – July 16, 2009
• NPD: Apple grabbed 91% share of premium computer market in June – July 23, 2009
• Gartner: Apple Mac #1 in Western Europe education market with 26.4% share; #1 in UK with 27.3% share – June 03, 2009
• Gartner: Apple debuts in UK’s top five personal computer vendors – May 08, 2009
• IDC: Apple fourth in U.S. personal computer market with 7.6% share in Q1 09 – April 15, 2009
• IDC: Apple Mac took 7.2% U.S. market share in Q408 on 7.5% year-over-year growth – January 14, 2009

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The related articles list below reads like the table of contents of Delusional Buffoonery for Dummies.

108 Comments

  1. The man is completely incoherent. I am SO glad that I don’t (and never did) own Micro$oft stock. This guy is going to single-handily take down his entire company. What a JOY that will be to watch! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. I mean, we’re gaining share. Apple is expensive. And in tough economic environment, people get it. Their model is, by definition, expensive. And we’ve actually held or maybe even gained just a tiny bit of share relative to the Mac in the last 12 months. And it’s not really Snow Leopard. It’s really Windows PCs versus Mac.

    So what happens when the economy turns around and customers have money to buy computers again?

    I don’t know.

    I can believe that.

  3. @AliceKK – I’m with you, I have no idea what he even said. For all I can decipher from this rant – that sounds more like the ramblings of a drunken lunatic (with whom I could at least feel sorry for) than the words of a man running a massive corporation – he thinks Chrome is an IE plugin and Safari is an error in my math class. Seriously, doesn’t this guy think things through or plan a little before an interview?

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