Visionless Steve Ballmer jabs visionary Steve Jobs

“Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer on Thursday sought to strongly counter the idea, echoed all week at the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital technology conference, that the era of PCs is waning,” Nick Wingfield reports for The Wall Street Journal. “‘I think people are going to be using PCs in greater and greater numbers for many years to come,’ said the chief of the company with the most to lose.”

MacDailyNews Take: Ballmer’s trying to hang on until his imagined retirement date. Stay as long as possible, Steve!

“Mr. Ballmer spoke after other tech luminaries had spent two days largely declaring PCs to be passé. Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs on Tuesday made an unflattering comparison between PCs and trucks, vehicles that dominated the auto market but which gave way to smaller cars as the country grew more urban,” Wingfield reports. “Mr. Jobs said computers, including Apple’s own Macintosh, won’t go away, just as trucks didn’t disappear. But he suggested that sleeker portable products such as his company’s iPhone and iPad would be the equivalent of cars—offering touchscreen Website browsing, droves of applications and other features not found on PCs that run Microsoft Windows.”

Wingfield reports, “Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of the Hollywood animation studio DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., said he has abandoned a laptop for an iPad and smartphone. ‘The laptop is yesterday’s news,’ he said.”

“When Apple’s’s market capitalization passed Microsoft’s last week—making Apple the most valuable technology company—the change bolstered the idea of the post-PC era,” Wingfield reports. “The debate partly stems from semantics, since Mr. Ballmer and some other industry executives regards tablet devices like the iPad as simply a new form of PC. He predicted future tablets that use Microsoft’s Windows will be competitive with the iPad, though he conceded the company has a ‘lot of work to do’ to ‘optimize’ its operating system to run on those devices. ‘The race is on,’ Mr. Ballmer said.”

MacDailyNews Take: The race is on and you’re still shopping for shorts, you big dummy.

Wingfield reports, “In mobile phones, Mr. Ballmer said Microsoft has learned the “value of excellent execution” through past missteps in the business. Microsoft makes an operating system for handsets, called Windows Phone, that has fallen behind technology and market share of Apple’s iPhone.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Surely a bigger fool than Ballmer has been mistakenly charged with running a major U.S. company. We just can’t think of one.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Doug A.” for the heads up.]


  1. Steve Jobs nailed it during his interview at D8 when he said PCs (referring to desktop machines, not windows machines specifically) will become like trucks. They will serve a need, but not everyone will need one.

  2. You know that violated feeling you get when you are with a used car salesman? Well, I just felt it watching Ballmer. Ewwwwwww.

    As a AAPL shareholder though, I couldn’t be more pleased.

  3. Unless the tablet platforms and software get a whole lot better then he’s right. At this point they’re little more than a cash register for iTunes, Apple, and their developers. chaching ChaChing. I am and will be a happy truck owner for many years to come.

  4. @bildad

    Of course the iPad will get a whole lot better. Apple will probably sell 10-15 million of them in the first year, then add a front facing camera and sell another 20 million. And the OS and software running on it will just get better and better.

    But there will always be room for the “trucks”. Certain jobs (like video editing, software development, massive computational processes, and scientific/engineering/architectural applications will alway require more power than what your grandmother, daughter or Shoprite cashier need). We just won’t need as many of them as we have today.

    Don’t project today into the future. Try to imagine tomorrow as different as yesterday is from today. If you can open your mind to this, you will see that the potential for growth and change is enormous…

  5. I don’t agree with Monkey Boy, but the iPad hurts laptops much more than desktops. I think it’s strengthened my need for a desktop-a Mac desktop.

  6. @bildad…
    Remember, the iPad is at version 1 and this is an Apple product, not some derivative POS from Microsoft and their minions.

    In 2 or 3 years, we’ll barely know it.

  7. MacMan
    I agree and don’t “project today into the future”. I got an iPhone on day one and an iPad on day one. They are just part of the arsenal though. I have iMacs, MacBook Pro, Mac Pros and Xserves. I also own Apple stock so I’m in no way trying to bolster MS and their somewhat misguided CEO. I just think it’s a little premature to declare that we are in a “post PC era”. Fifty million iPads and maybe we can start talking about that, yeah?

  8. “MacDailyNews Take: Surely a bigger fool than Ballmer has been mistakenly charged with running a major U.S. company. We just can’t think of one.”

    I can think of one; the major U.S. company is actually the U.S. itself and the fool in charge has less executive experience than Ballmer!

  9. “since Mr. Ballmer and some other industry executives regards tablet devices like the iPad as simply a new form of PC”

    Hm. Is that why every other failed “tablet” out there is just a keyboard-less netbook?

  10. @kcwookie

    The thing to look at here Chewwie is that you have a viable choice. It’s the first generation of a new platform and it’s already revolutionary…

    It’s of course aimed at the simple user that doesn’t need much power. I didn’t get one because I don’t see much use for it either right now. But there are millions that don’t do what I do ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    But I bet there will be a day when I get one ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

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