Ballmer: Gee, maybe should have moved quicker on tablets, but we’re innovating on a seam or something

“Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer defended his company’s record on innovation and financial performance at the annual shareholders’ meeting, but conceded that he should have moved faster to get into the booming tablet market dominated by Apple Inc’s iPad,” Bill Rigby reports for Reuters.

“Bill Gates, co-founder and now chairman of the world’s largest software company, was one of the first to champion tablet-sized devices more than 10 years ago, but Microsoft failed to come up with a product that worked as well as the iPad. Gates was silent throughout the meeting, attended by about 450 shareholders,” Rigby reports. “‘We’re innovating on the seam between software and hardware,’ said Ballmer, asked why his company had fallen behind rival Apple. ‘Maybe we should have done that earlier.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Innovating on the what?! Between the where?!

The only real seam Microsoft actually tried to make failed within a day:

Microsoft Surface Touch Cover splits open, exposing wire underneath. Photo: Matthew Baxter-Reynolds.
Microsoft Surface Touch Cover splits open, exposing wire underneath. Photo: Matthew Baxter-Reynolds.

Here’s likely what and who Ballmer was trying to mimic, but failed miserably, as usual:

Edwin Land once told me: “Those people who can stand at the intersection of the humanities and science, the liberal arts and technology, that intersection, are the people who can change the world.” – Steve Jobs

Rigby reports, “A month ago, Microsoft launched the Surface tablet – its first own-brand computer – but has not revealed sales figures. ‘I feel pretty good about our level of innovation,’ he added.”

MacDailyNews Take: Balmy needs to have someone read him the reviews (see related articles below).

Rigby reports, “Ballmer said smartphones running Microsoft’s new Windows software were selling four times as much as they did at this time last year.”

MacDailyNews Take: Okay, so let’s see: one times four equals…

Rigby reports, “Microsoft has never given sales numbers of Windows phones, primarily made by Nokia, Samsung and HTC.”

MacDailyNews Take: It’s the cornerstone of the Bezos School of Lying by Omission.

Bill Gates and Steve BallmerRigby reports, “Ballmer, flanked by Gates and Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein, was asked by several shareholders to explain Microsoft’s lackluster share price, which has been stuck for a decade, and has been outperformed by Apple and Google Inc stock in recent years. ‘I understand your comment,’ he told one shareholder. He went on to explain that Microsoft had ‘done a phenomenal job of driving product volumes” and was focusing on profiting from that growth.'”

Steve Ballmer
Microsoft CEO Ballmer

MacDailyNews Take: Did these obviously recently-comatose shareholders give him the finger, laugh in his face or both?

Rigby reports, “Several shareholders at the meeting in Bellevue, an upscale suburb of Seattle, complimented the executives on how they had grown and managed the company.”

MacDailyNews Take: And then they each sat down carefully, removed their helmets and drool cups, and downed yet another plateful of psilocybin mushrooms.

Rigby reports, “Microsoft’s shares stand around the same level they did 10 years ago.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Only morbid idiots would take an iPad, something that’s used on the lap, while lounging in a chair, or reclining on a sofa most of the time, and then build something that requires a desk (with a friggin’ kickstand no less, and a keyboard) to operate.

Apple’s truly “fighting” the black knight. In Cupertino, they must laugh their asses off at Microsoft each and every day.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ellis D.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Catastrophe Theory: Microsoft on the verge of a sudden collapse? – November 26, 2012
Beleaguered Microsoft has failed – November 14, 2012
Slate reviews Microsoft’s Surface tablet: Too slow, mercilessly buggy; why is it so bad? – November 6, 2012
Microsoft’s bloated Windows RT eats 16GB of Surface tablet – November 5, 2012
InfoWorld reviews Microsoft Surface RT: A disappointment; you’re better off with Apple’s iPad – October 31, 2012
Acer delays Windows RT tablets; adopts ‘wait and see’ approach after poor Surface RT reviews – October 30, 2012
Gizmodo reviews Microsoft Surface RT: Do not buy; inferior to Apple’s iPad; the worst of both worlds – October 25, 2012
The Verge reviews Microsoft Surface RT tablet: ‘The whole thing is honestly perplexing; who is this for?’ – October 24, 2012
Analyst: Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet priced too high, could be the next Zune – October 18, 2012
Dvorak: ‘Microsoft’s Surface tablet isn’t the Apple iPad, so it shouldn’t be priced like one’ – October 18, 2012
Microsoft inexplicably claims Surface RT tablet lower resolution screen beats iPad with Retina display – October 17, 2012
Microsoft Surface RT tablet Wi-Fi-only; 32GB for $599 with, $499 without keyboard, $699 for 64GB – October 16, 2012
Microsoft airs first TV ad for Surface tablet (with video) – October 15, 2012
Apple’s ‘iPad mini’ to obliterate Microsoft’s Windows 8, Surface RT tablet launches – October 13, 2012
Acer CEO to Microsoft: ‘Think twice’ about Surface tablets – August 7, 2012
Microsoft Surface tablet pricing leaked; US$1,000 for ‘cheapest’ Windows RT model – July 26, 2012
Ballmer: Uh, yeah, ‘Surface is just a design point,’ you know – July 10, 2012
Microsoft’s Buffoon, er… Ballmer throws down gauntlet against Apple – July 10, 2012
Microsoft reportedly dumps ‘VaporMg’ chassis, will use ‘VaporMg’ only as ‘surface treatment’ – July 9, 2012
Microsoft’s downfall: Inside the executive e-mails and cannibalistic culture that fueled Microsoft’s lost decade – July 7, 2012
HP said to dump Microsoft over Surface; to cozy up to Google Android for tablet efforts – July 2, 2012
Bad news for Microsoft’s iPad killer? – July 2, 2012
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Jason Schwarz: Top 10 reasons why Microsoft’s Surface is DOA – June 22, 2012
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ZDNet’s Kingsley-Hughes: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is an awful, horrible, painful design disaster – June 8, 2012
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Dvorak: Windows 8 an unmitigated disaster; unusable and annoying; it makes your teeth itch – June 3, 2012
The Guardian: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is confusing as hell; an appalling user experience – March 5, 2012
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011


    1. Running out of comprehensible words to use when you have a shareholders meeting is a sign of DEMENTIA.

      Ballmer is toast. Won’t be long until he babbles in front of the Board of Directors and there will be an announcement…

      1. …I wonder if Bullyboy used an iPad (a la’ Oprah) to demonstrate M$ stationary growth figures ‘cos he couldn’t find a Surface that wasn’t frozen solid?…

        On the other hand, a flat line could always just be painted on the screen and the Surface could’ve just been switched off (safer that way).

  1. Microsoft was already in the tablet market for about a decade before Apple showed them how to do it right. Looking at their latest offerings, it’s clear that MS still hasn’t learned the lesson. Shoehorning windows into the tablet form factor will continue to fail, just as it did before.


    1. Apple already showed the world how a tablet should be done right… it was the Newton and was way ahead of its time.

      In typical Microsoft fashion, they tried to shoehorn desktop Windows into mobile devices – tablets, umpc – they all failed miserably. Why they believe a third time is a charm I have no idea? Oh wait, I do… Monopoly. Since they lack true innovation, if they can’t get Windows on a mobile device into users’ hands, they stand a chance of watching that monopoly go right down the toilet.

    2. How soon they forget…? More likely, how badly they produced. Anyone here ever try to operate a win doze tablet pre-iPad? Gruesome is not even close to the experience, and yet we had Gates all a’smilin’ and toting one around like it was the new sliced bread. We can possibly give him the benefit of the doubt for recognizing that a highly portable touch activated device might be the ubiquitous answer to personal computing, but, seriously, saddling it with windoze and not bothering to apologize…? Fail.

  2. Surface 2 will have a 3.5″ floppy, DVD burner, serial port and they are bringing back the parallel printer port too, all with a 750w power supply and an AGP slot for a video card, oh and a sata connection

    1. …and a SCSI port, a VGA port, a PCI slot, a docking station, plus assorted dongles and dangles, as well as an all-in-one “control-alt-delete” button. The coup de grâce will be “Clippy” dancing all around the screen daring you to make him go away by tapping him.

  3. What Microsoft calls “innovation” during the last ten years is reacting (more like panicking) to Apple’s actions.

    iPod -> Zune
    Mac OS X -> Windows Vista
    iPhone -> Windows Phone
    iPad -> Windows 8/RT/Surface

    Each one has been a failure, because the TRUE innovator gets the big prize.

  4. Ballmer is a real gutsy guy or very clueless after drinking the Kool-Aid. I would really like to be able to see that meeting. The level of BS has to be huge. 450 people with a lot of dead money and knowing that they are asking themselves, why have I not sold these shares years ago and is it safe to use one of these Windows devices to sell them now.

  5. There is a simple reason why Windows Phone 8 will work: there are a lot of Microsoft fanboys out there. Also a lot who still love Nokia, no idea why. And some who hate Apple. No matter that I would call all of them stupid, they will buy the Lumia series and it will sell better than expected. I had it in hand and found it heavy as a brick and unpolished. Will never be as elegant as my iPhone 5, but people are different.

    1. There are not very many Microsoft “fanboys” out there, compared to the number of Microsoft “customers” who are forced (or are “defaulted”) into using Microsoft and have zero loyalty. That’s the (still very large) pool for future Apple customers, and a key reason for Apple’s continued growth; Apple is not just selling to its own fanboys. Just ignore those morons who are actual Microsoft fanboys (aka Apple haters).

      And Lumia has already had plenty of time to succeed, if it had any potential for success.

      1. I’ve lost count of the forced users I know. They all go home to their Macs. If Apple could get hospitals, Dr.’s, and banks weaned off Winduz that would make a statement. Some business is buying a clue but not all yet.

    2. @I love Apple: I had it [the Lumia] in hand and found it heavy as a brick… Perhaps it should be tossed in the sauna once or twice a day to slim down.

      Hey, maybe Ball should go visit Elop and so spend a few minutes in a 230° F sauna (yes, they do get nice and toasty – been there, done that).

  6. With Windows 8, the “seam” of innovation was sewing body parts together for the Frankenstein monster in a secret lab in Bellevue.

    The doctor types in the lab couldn’t animate the thing, however because corporate didn’t want to license Lightning from Apple.

    DBA = Dead Before Arrival

  7. Ballmer is such a liar, he was laughing at the iphone and ipad saying they will be flops as they have no key boards, so how come he is saying that ms should have started the tablet innovation earlier. Microsoft is so clueless and backwards that they did not have the future outlook of tablet computing when the ipad 1 came out. Any why is he still there as CEO? Scott forstall got the sack when he screwed up with maps, yet ballmer screws the whole company yet he still have a job, just like the weTherman, no matter how wrong their weather reporting is, they still get to keep their jobs, for years

  8. Microsoft just announced a price increase of 15% for some of its licences starting January.

    This is to encourage companies to ‘buy’ Windows licences in December, before the increase. Even if they only sit on the licences or install them as Win 7, MS will count them as Windows 8.

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