backtop


Print 35 comment(s) - last by monkeyman1140.. on Jun 10 at 7:55 AM


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took issue with many of Apple CEO Steve Jobs' comments from the night before.  (Source: Engadget/All Things Digital)

Ballmer was a bit more sedate than usual -- but he did manage to compare Macs to trucks and insult Google's Chrome OS efforts.  (Source: All Things Digital)

Ray Ozzie, Microsoft Chief Software Architect didn't agree with Ballmer about Chrome OS. Ozzie is widely expected to replace Ballmer when her retires in 8 or 9 years.  (Source: All Things Digital)
Microsoft CEO also says he wishes Apple and Google good luck in dealing with antitrust investigations

Apple CEO Steve Jobs kicked off All Things Digital's eighth annual conference, delivering colorful comments on the Foxconn suicides, Flash blocking, the ongoing criminal investigation into Gizmodo's iPhone prototype purchase, and even his sex life.  That left Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in unfamiliar territory yesterday when he delivered his own keynote -- he found himself perhaps not the most colorful speaker of the conference for once.

Fortunately Ballmer was joined by Microsoft's Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie and the result was a talk that mostly stuck to the company's technical vision, but didn't avoid taking some colorful jabs at competitors.  Ballmer and Ozzie's resulting talk may not be Steve Jobs wild and weird.  But it is certainly interesting.

Ballmer starts the talk discussing how problematic Chinese piracy is.  He blames this problem partly on a poor economy.  When asked about Microsoft competitors, Ballmer plugs the open source community, commenting, "The main ones are folks that people would guess: Google, Apple, Oracle (ORCL), VMware (VMW). And of course, we still always have the things that come out of Open Source–Linux, etc."

After a long discussion on cloud computing (which Ray Ozzie is extremely enthusiastic about), talk then turns to Steve Jobs' suggestion that tablets were becoming like cars -- good for the average user -- while PCs increasingly were being used like trucks -- only occasionally to be called upon when extra utility was needed.  Ballmer doesn't exactly agree with this assessment.  

First he says the iPad is a PC.  He states, "Of course it is [a PC]. What do you do on it? Answer email. A guy tried to take notes on it at a meeting I was at yesterday–that was interesting."

And he says if anybody is a "truck" it's Macs not PCs.  He states, "Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks!  Windows machines will not be trucks."

Continuing onwards, Ballmer admits that the Windows Phone 7 project's development has been a rocky road.  He states, "We had a good longtime employee who wanted to retire and he’s going to do so. And it doesn’t make sense to replace him. On the phone side of the business, we learned the value of excellent execution. We were ahead of this game and now we find ourselves No. 5 in the market. We missed a whole cycle. I’ve been quite public about the fact that I’ve made some changes in leadership around our Windows Phone software. We had to do a little clean-up."

Ballmer says he's very impressed with Android, which recently leapt ahead of the iPhone in sales; but he says he's not impressed with Google's upcoming Linux distribution, Chrome OS.  He states, "On the phone, Android’s a real competitor. On the larger screen devices, who knows? I don’t know that these Android-based things will matter. But I don’t know that they won’t either. I don’t really understand why Google has to have two different operating systems. Chrome? It’s like two, two, two operating systems–but they’re not in one! You want to know about Chrome, talk to them."

Ray Ozzie, who's widely regarded as a future candidate for CEO when Ballmer retires, showed he isn't afraid to speak up to Ballmer (don't worry, no chairs were thrown).  He comments, "On the Android-versus-Chrome issue, Android is a bet on the past; Chrome is a bet on the future. When you install an app, you’re targeting a device. When you use Chrome, you’re looking at a cloud-based future."

A particularly humorous question came during the question and answer segment at the end of the talk.  Ballmer was asked what advice he would give Google and Apple, which are currently the subject of separate U.S. government antitrust probes.  He chuckled and stated, "No advice. I just wish them the best in getting lots of good experience."

Videos of the talk are available here.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Definition of PC = Answer Email?
By ltcommanderdata on 6/4/2010 8:15:05 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
First he says the iPad is a PC. He states, "Of course it is [a PC]. What do you do on it? Answer email. A guy tried to take notes on it at a meeting I was at yesterday–that was interesting."

Despite all the things that a full computer can do, which is in itself a feature of computers, Ballmer singles out the primary distinction of a PC over other devices as being capable of answering emails? In such a case, many dumber more limited devices than the iPad or smartphones could be considered PCs. It looks like he's dismissing a possible paradigm shift in computing as not a change, but a continuation of the status quo PC computer as the primary gateway to tech.

quote:
And he says if anybody is a "truck" it's Macs not PCs. He states, "Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks."

Will that be made into one of those DailyTech quotes at the bottom of pages? I'm not even sure what Ballmer is referring to. I'm guessing there is more content or context to it.




RE: Definition of PC = Answer Email?
By amanojaku on 6/4/2010 8:37:39 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Despite all the things that a full computer can do, which is in itself a feature of computers, Ballmer singles out the primary distinction of a PC over other devices as being capable of answering emails?
That was one example of a typical PC task. He followed that up with another typical task:
quote:
A guy tried to take notes on it at a meeting I was at yesterday–that was interesting.
A significant amount of text input without a keyboard, or even a stylus, is slow. For those of you noting that a stylus has identical input as a finger, that's true. But fingers are sticky and slower than dry plastic or metal.

Anyway, the iPad is a PC, if a limited-functionality one. Smartphones are PCs, too. The fact is any device with SDKs that can create general purpose software is a PC. Smartphones and the iPad can play games, take pictures, surf the web, play video and mp3s, etc... Sounds like a PC to me.
quote:
Will that be made into one of those DailyTech quotes at the bottom of pages? I'm not even sure what Ballmer is referring to. I'm guessing there is more content or context to it.
quote:
talk then turns to Steve Jobs' suggestion that tablets were becoming like cars -- good for the average user -- while PCs increasingly were being used like trucks -- only occasionally to be called upon when extra utility was needed.
That's the context you were looking for. Steve Jobs created the car/truck analogy; Ballmer did a pretty good job re-spinning it.


RE: Definition of PC = Answer Email?
By Shadowself on 6/4/2010 9:23:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
A significant amount of text input without a keyboard, or even a stylus, is slow.

So maybe anything without a full function keyboard (keyboards like on Blackberry's don't count) is not a "PC"?

quote:
The fact is any device with SDKs that can create general purpose software is a PC.

So an iPod touch is a PC? By your definition it is. (I assume you mean "with SDKs [for which you] can create general purpose software" since as far as I know there is no software development environment ON the iPad or iPhone or any Android phone.)

Anyone who does not see that Ballmer is reaching here is just delusional.

Jobs was lumping all netbooks, laptops and desktops into the generic term "PC". Including netbooks might be a bit of a stretch, but much, much less of one than including true "slate" devices and smart phones. Jobs was including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and other OS based systems as "PCs". It was a useless and self defeating comment for Ballmer to say that Macs might be like trucks but Windows based systems are not.


RE: Definition of PC = Answer Email?
By JamieS on 6/4/2010 9:35:33 AM , Rating: 3
The point Ballmer was making, and I think it's self-evident so it's a little odd that I have to emphasize it, is that the iPad is not particularly good at taking notes, and is therefore it is a particularly stylish PC rather than a paradigm-shifting device that goes beyond what generations of Tablet PCs have always been able to do.

Put more simply, Ballmer is saying the iPad is more sizzle than steak.


RE: Definition of PC = Answer Email?
By MeesterNid on 6/4/10, Rating: 0
By omnicronx on 6/4/2010 2:36:20 PM , Rating: 2
Why are you comparing tablets to tablets? This has nothing to do with Balmer's statements. He's saying as the iPad is a PC, it is actually limited in what it can do compared to say a desktop. He's using writing notes as an example to justify the claim that the iPad is nothing more than a casual toy, in which a 'real' PC will be needed to do real work.

I tend to agree, while I was quite surprised at the accuracy of the keyboard, productivity will never be even close to a real keyboard, and thus to make the claim that people will be using tablets for every day use seems to fall a little short.


By brshoemak on 6/4/2010 2:41:04 PM , Rating: 3
You know that the Pet Rock sold over 5 million in 6 months, right?

Success is not a factor of units moved. How many people would criticize the pet rock today? History isn't written after months, it's written after years (even in the tech community). The iPad is accelerating changes in how people interact with technology but it's too early to call it an overwhelming success.


By slashbinslashbash on 6/4/2010 5:58:49 PM , Rating: 3
But the obvious point that you're missing here is that Steve Jobs did not claim that the iPad was a PC, nor that it was as capable as a PC, nor that it could replace a PC; in fact, quite the converse. He claims that it is in a new product category, one which sits BELOW the PC in terms of functionality, but which nevertheless will be found useful by many people in lieu of many of the tasks that they usually do on a PC, primarily because of its more user-friendly form factor.

It's funny, this is almost like the PC vs. Console Gaming wars all over again. Yes, your options are limited with consoles. Yes, your input is limited compared with a keyboard and mouse. Compared with a PC, a console is a poor substitute. However, many people still buy consoles because of their ease-of-use and the fact that they can now offload some tasks (games) from their PC to their console.


By flatrock on 6/9/2010 5:00:10 PM , Rating: 2
Actually Apple has itself made the Mac a "Truck" by having the functionality of the iOS limited to what applications Apple wants you to run. It is good for a lot of everyday tasks for a lot of people, but it you want to do something like go to a web page with flash, or do a lot of data entry, you need to look elsewhere in Apple's product line.

Microsoft on the other hand has made Windows far more scalable to the point where you can have a great deal of functionality on very portable devices.

MacOS might be able to be scaled down to portable devices, but Apple has chosen not to do so.

Jobs is trying to redefine the market and tell people that something like the iPad is what they need for everyday use, and that everyone should be happy with the functionality Apple chooses to offer them in those devices.

Microsoft chooses to produce a far more scalable product where you can have far greater functionality in a portable every day device and not be tied to the whims of Apple.

Where Microsoft failed is that they didn't scale it down far enough and didn't improve the uner interface for extremely portable devices like smart phones. They just seemed to be waiting around for mobile processors to become powerful enough to run Windows, and simply dropped the ball on UI improvements for mobile devices.

Microsoft's surface demonstrates user interface ideas not so different from the iPhone's, but they concentrated on large scale devices and didn't carry over any of those efforts to their mobile department. Microsoft has been doing UI research for Windows, and even appears to have carried some of that over to the Xbox360. However, in the mobile arena which had the most growth potential they were stagnant.


RE: Definition of PC = Answer Email?
By rcc on 6/4/2010 10:20:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's the context you were looking for. Steve Jobs created the car/truck analogy; Ballmer did a pretty good job re-spinning it.


Really? It sounded more like a grade school "I am not, you are" response to me.


By Steve W on 6/4/2010 12:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The fact is any device with SDKs that can create general purpose software is a PC.

The iPad does NOT have an SDK! The Mac has an SDK for the iPad. You can not create general purpose software using an iPad. You need a Mac for that.


By nafhan on 6/4/2010 10:03:44 AM , Rating: 3
PC stands for Personal Computer. Take that abreviation at face value, and the iPad, iPod Touch, Macbook, smartphones, and anything running Windows, etc. are all PC's. Thanks to the term PC being used to generically refer to IBM compatible Personal Computers and - more recently - Apple ads refering to any personal computer that's not a Mac as a PC, the definition is more muddled and ambiguous than it could be, and tends to reference Windows software running on x86 hardware.
I'm guessing by referring to the iPad as a PC, even though it's not "IBM compatible" or a "Mac", Ballmer was shooting for the literal definition of personal computer, and pointing out that typical "PC" tasks are often what people will/do use slate type devices for.


By symbiosys on 6/4/2010 7:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Will that be made into one of those DailyTech quotes at the bottom of pages? I'm not even sure what Ballmer is referring to. I'm guessing there is more content or context to it.


Mack trucks, have you never heard of them?

http://www.macktrucks.com/


RE: Definition of PC = Answer Email?
By SJBMusic on 6/4/2010 10:21:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And he says if anybody is a "truck" it's Macs not PCs. He states, "Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks."

quote:
Will that be made into one of those DailyTech quotes at the bottom of pages? I'm not even sure what Ballmer is referring to. I'm guessing there is more content or context to it.

quote:
talk then turns to Steve Jobs' suggestion that tablets were becoming like cars -- good for the average user -- while PCs increasingly were being used like trucks -- only occasionally to be called upon when extra utility was needed.

quote:
That's the context you were looking for. Steve Jobs created the car/truck analogy; Ballmer did a pretty good job re-spinning it.


So the Mac (truck) is the right utility vehicle to use, and the iPad is the shmexy new sports car to have. Where does that leave a Windoze machine? Not very good spin if you ask me.




RE: Definition of PC = Answer Email?
By Zuul on 6/4/2010 11:06:50 AM , Rating: 3
Not everyone has a truck and not everyone has a flashy sports car.

I would say it leaves "Windoze" in the "The vehicle that the rest of us drive". It's practical, you use it everyday and it gets the job done without making a fuss.


By zmatt on 6/7/2010 4:52:34 PM , Rating: 2
So a Honda Accord?


By wallijonn on 6/7/2010 2:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
That would make the Win machine a Winnebago, of course.


By Targon on 6/8/2010 6:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't even classify the iPad as sexy...it is an overpriced and overly controlled(by Apple) POS Tablet that can't do many things a laptop costing $200 less could do.


Ballmer is a nutbar...
By retrospooty on 6/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Ballmer is a nutbar...
By xler8r on 6/4/2010 8:21:14 AM , Rating: 1
Your a nutbar... :D


RE: Ballmer is a nutbar...
By 3minence on 6/4/2010 8:41:10 AM , Rating: 2
The only reason I listen to Ballmer is for the entertainment value. I give him absolutely zero credibility as far as believing him. But damn, he is funny.


RE: Ballmer is a nutbar...
By JamieS on 6/4/2010 9:36:45 AM , Rating: 1
Presumably, you prefer to believe Steve Jobs when he casually mentions that he didn't know iPads were built in sweatshops where beatings and suicide were common... before, of course, he moves on to talking up how awesome he is, Apple is, and the iPad is.

Genuine guy, that one.


RE: Ballmer is a nutbar...
By rcc on 6/4/2010 10:26:00 AM , Rating: 2
I believe in the critical thinking world that's called a false dilemma. He was talking about Ballmer, and therefore he must agree with Jobs.

Nice job.


RE: Ballmer is a nutbar...
By 3minence on 6/4/2010 10:59:03 AM , Rating: 2
I don't believe Steve Jobs either. The difference is Steve Jobs is not nearly as funny as Balmer. He's actually a bit scary.

Yea, false dilemma.


Typical
By awer26 on 6/4/2010 6:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
"Ballmer says he's very impressed with Android, which recently leapt ahead of the iPhone in sales; but he says he's not impressed with Google's upcoming Linux distribution, Chrome OS."

Gotta love this snippet. Ballmer is impressed with a device that is Apple's competition, but then discussing a new OS that will be a direct competitor to Windows, he's decidedly "not impressed".




RE: Typical
By indignation on 6/6/2010 12:25:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, he saw no potential in ChromeOS; but if one day it takes off, expect to see Microsoft's copycat version


Keep on Truckin'
By TallCoolOne on 6/4/2010 10:14:05 AM , Rating: 3
What's wrong with trucks anyway? They talk like it's a bad thing for a computer to be like a truck.

If anything is like a truck it's a gaming PC. They're big, loud, consume lots of power, and carry a heavy load. They're also a lot of fun! So Ballmer, no need to be defensive of the truck analogy. PCs have all the trucks that Macs wish they had.




Steve v Steve
By xler8r on 6/4/2010 8:20:54 AM , Rating: 2
Lol, love that pic.




Hippocrit..
By nyte3k on 6/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Hippocrit..
By Taft12 on 6/4/2010 12:48:28 PM , Rating: 2
Not only that, the difference between Android and Chrome is THE SAME as the difference between Win7 and WinMo: One is for a phone, the other for a PC with an x86 CPU.


The Irony...
By adiposity on 6/7/2010 1:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ballmer starts the talk discussing how problematic Chinese piracy is. He blames this problem partly on a poor economy.


Doesn't he realize the answer is staring him in the face? It's not a problem that people pirate your software if they can't afford it in the first place! At least you build mindshare that way.




Understandable....
By monkeyman1140 on 6/10/2010 7:55:15 AM , Rating: 2
Apple's iPad is nowhere near as nice as Microsoft's version.

oh wait....Microsoft doesn't have one!




MAC Truck
By johne37179 on 6/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: MAC Truck
By CyborgTMT on 6/5/10, Rating: 0
RE: MAC Truck
By Chocobollz on 6/5/10, Rating: 0
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki