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Ballmer isn't too concerned with Dropbox's 100 million user installbase

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has never been afraid to say what he thinks, even if what he thinks happens to be more than a little condescending towards competing companies. The last six months has been significant for Microsoft in that it has launched its latest Windows 8 operating system and more recently launched its Office 365 productivity suite. So far, sales for Windows 8 in the new computer market have been less than impressive and Microsoft is struggling with its Surface RT tablet.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently conducted an interview with Bloomberg where he talked about Dropbox, the cloud storage service, and other competing services. When Ballmer was asked about Dropbox and how Microsoft's own cloud-storage service SkyDrive would compete, Ballmer became condescending.
Bloomberg asked how Microsoft planned to compete when it was late to the cloud-storage market and Dropbox already has 100 million users. Ballmer said, "Well, you’ve got to remember, 100 million sounds like a pretty small number to me, actually. We’ve got a lot more Office users. And actually if you even want to go to the cloud, we have a lot of Hotmail and SkyDrive users. I’m not beating on Dropbox. They’re a fine little startup and that’s great."

Ballmer famously mocked the iPhone upon its introduction

Moving to Office, despite the fact that Microsoft already has 1 billion users of the productivity suite, Ballmer still believes that number will grow. Microsoft is betting big that its subscription component of Office 365 will further drive adoption.

And with regards to offering an Office app on the iPad, Ballmer simply said that he has "Nothing to say on that topic." Ballmer did point out that Microsoft has ways for people to get to Office through a browser, which is how iPad users are able to use Office.

Source: Bloomberg

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By theapparition on 1/30/2013 9:44:58 AM , Rating: 5
We all like to hate on Ballmer. But in this instance, I think it's much ado about nothing.

What was he supposed to say? Yeah, Dropbox kicked our tails and we can't catch up. When discussing your competition, you take the high road and turn the discussion around into positives with your offering. That's what he did.

I saw nothing condescending in his conversation. Sometimes we want more to be there than is.

RE: Seriously?
By othercents on 1/30/2013 10:01:43 AM , Rating: 2
It is nothing except people just like rooting for the little guys and bashing on the big ones.

I don't see Skydrive having much to offer Android and iPhone users. Dropbox works well for Android and iPhone and has the Automated uploads unlike the Skydrive apps. If you already using Dropbox I don't see a reason to switch, however the Windows Phone has the integrated Skydrive which works well for that phone. If Microsoft wants to break into the iPhone and Android market they will need to find a better reason for someone to switch.

NOTE: Most people probably use the iCloud services when using iPhone and there is also Google Drive for Android, so cloud services are a dime a dozen. Except iCloud the rest play well with all OSes.


RE: Seriously?
By TakinYourPoints on 1/30/2013 11:21:34 AM , Rating: 1
I use Google Drive on my iPhone and iPad, excellent app, replaced Dropbox for me.

RE: Seriously?
By Jeffk464 on 1/30/2013 1:32:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yup google drive is the way to go, once you give in and join the google universe. All of your documents are on every device you own and open seamlessly into google docs. MS seems to be doing their normal innovation(copying) and providing equivalent services now. I'm not sure how the business model works for MS providing free online office. By the way it works even better if you give up on your iOS devices and just go all google.

RE: Seriously?
By Jeffk464 on 1/30/2013 1:39:06 PM , Rating: 2
PS the more I get tied into google services the more chrome OS becomes appealing. I'm realizing I really don't need to install a bunch of individual programs on my laptop anymore. Of course for my gaming machine and HTPC I can't see moving from windows in the foreseeable future.

RE: Seriously?
By TakinYourPoints on 1/30/2013 2:31:08 PM , Rating: 2
I enjoy playing games on my laptop too much to go with a Chromebook. I wish I could make it work though, I think its a great idea for most people.

If you want to run Windows then IMO do it on a proper laptop, not some $250 thing that'll barely run it well. ChromeOS can get away with slow hardware and still be smooth since it has such low overhead, so it being on cheap hardware is really no big deal.

RE: Seriously?
By TakinYourPoints on 1/30/2013 2:18:24 PM , Rating: 2
Google's iOS applications are all really great. Skydrive and OneNote for iOS are really good as well. I have no need for Skydrive though, I'm a Chrome/GMail user and Drive slots in way more conveniently for me. Obviously it'd be different if I was a WP8 user, especially since Google has no intention of supporting WP8 or Windows RT/Metro.

By the way it works even better if you give up on your iOS devices and just go all google.

Automatic centralized integration is obviously something Android has nailed and its really great, but entering your credentials individually into Chrome/GMail/Drive isn't the worst tradeoff given that they're still really good apps. The best versions of Google Maps, Chrome, and Voice Search are actually all on iOS at the moment (updates will bring the Android versions up to parity at some point).

So yeah, no real need for Skydrive, not when Google is doing a much better job supporting multiple mobile and desktop platforms. It'd obviously be a different story if I was hardcore into Windows 8 and WP8, Skydrive/Outlook/IE all the way then.

RE: Seriously?
By nikon133 on 1/30/2013 3:54:25 PM , Rating: 2
Um... what platform is Google supporting that SkyDrive isn't? I have SkyDrive app on iPhone and Android tablet, and of course everything Windows is supported. Google will not support WP8 and RT, to my knowledge.

Anyway, I'm using Windows at home and at work, so it made sense to me to stay with the platform... so I'm using for my personal email/calendar/contacts. So far Outlook has been syncing everything well between my laptop, desktops, iPhone and Android tablet. I'm also finding web portal much nicer to look at than Gmail; that is probably my personal taste only, but it works for me... so SkyDrive came naturally.

I don't know if this is true, but a few months back I came across article comparing various email providers (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoomail...) and MS offering came out first in terms of security, by a small margin only, but still. MS also claims they will never-ever litim the size of mailbox - again, something that only trial of time will confirm... or not. Last time I've checked, Gmail was sitting at 10GB. That is plenty, but "unlimited" is "plentier".

Finally - and this is completely personal opinion, not a fact - I trust MS more than Google. Probably because Google is in advertising, while MS is in enterprise, where loosing customers' trust is not an option.

RE: Seriously?
By DT_Reader on 1/31/2013 3:18:33 PM , Rating: 2
Google will not support WP8 and RT, to my knowledge.

Big deal. Google won't support Amiga, either. Nobody bothers to support platforms with no market share except promoters of that platform.

RE: Seriously?
By InsGadget on 1/31/2013 10:14:53 PM , Rating: 2
Great points all around. I'm with you on the last point, even though I know some Googlers personally and they are great people and have nothing but good things to say about Google's ethos, I still prefer MS's business model over Google's. Customer support is one big difference, for instance.

RE: Seriously?
By eagle470 on 2/4/2013 1:27:26 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone I know HATES MS customer support.

RE: Seriously?
By ArcsinZ on 1/30/2013 3:21:31 PM , Rating: 2
Live mesh (the precursor to Sky Drive) came out before Google Drive. Who's copying whom?

RE: Seriously?
By DT_Reader on 1/31/2013 3:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
google drive is the way to go, once you give in and join the google universe. All of your documents are on every device you own and open seamlessly into google docs.

But what if you don't want to join the Google universe? What if privacy and security matter to you?
What's needed is a service with open-source apps (so the security can be independently verified) that encrypts and decrypts your files on the device, not on their servers. If your files are ever on their servers "in the clear", then you have no control, no privacy, and no security. Even the new Mega has your files "in the clear" at some point in the encryption process.

RE: Seriously?
By EnzoFX on 1/30/2013 3:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
Except for MS offerings, for all software besides their few staples really.

RE: Seriously?
By bodar on 1/31/2013 2:36:20 AM , Rating: 2
The main advantage with SkyDrive is the free space. Dropbox gives 2GB free (yeah, they let you do grunt work for more space) but SkyDrive is 7GB. The app works great on my PCs and Android tablet/phone. I mostly use for syncing schoolwork and sharing files, so it does everything I need and is the most generous with space, so SkyDrive wins for me. The integrated Office Web Apps and Outlook webmail are bonuses too.

RE: Seriously?
By steven975 on 1/31/2013 11:11:31 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, that and the additional space is half the price of Dropbox, and is more robust. Dropbox has the same limitations of AWS.

Dropbox does have a Linux client, though. I can still get to skydrive through the browser, though.

Also, if you used Live Mesh, you basically have 32GB free.

RE: Seriously?
By johnsmith9875 on 2/5/2013 3:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft needs to stop forcing people to do things. There's no way to turn off the Skydrive button at the top of Sharepoint 2013 without a system hack.

RE: Seriously?
By Jeffk464 on 1/30/2013 1:10:18 PM , Rating: 2
They should have sold out, now they are being copied and improved upon by more integrated versions(google drive and skydrive).

365 boosting adoption? lol
By blueaurora on 1/30/2013 10:42:44 AM , Rating: 2
Fatal flaw right there. After launch day I lost two sales of 2013 or 365 due to them not allowing the three user option of 149.99. They have forced users into either double paying or triple paying 139.99 just to get office on a home desktop and their laptop that they travel with when two days ago they got it for 149.99. Who wants to pay 99.99 dollars a year... very few.

Windows 8 is okay... Office 2013's model just planted the white flag over Redmond. The bell tolls for thee.

RE: 365 boosting adoption? lol
By Jeffk464 on 1/30/2013 1:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
Personally I don't get why any casual user still uses MS office. I moved myself and others first of Open Office, and now to google docs a long time ago. MS Office is only needed for people that need 100% compatibility with their workplace.

RE: 365 boosting adoption? lol
By bodar on 1/31/2013 2:37:52 AM , Rating: 2
The latest LibreOffice is quite good as well.

RE: 365 boosting adoption? lol
By nikon133 on 1/30/2013 4:00:23 PM , Rating: 3
5 devices for $100 a year ($20 per device a year) is not bad offer for Office 365, I think. Yes you pay per year, but how many years do you have to pay to reach price of retail Office Pro? You would replace your retail copy before that anyway.

By johnsmith9875 on 2/5/2013 3:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I didn't think Office could get any uglier until I saw Office 2013.

Doing well...
By txDrum on 1/30/2013 12:53:45 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see anything wrong with this. And I think all of the cloud based storage solutions are decent. Skydrive is actually a bit better than Dropbox - you get more storage right out of the box. I like it. But I use both personally, I think it's a bit easier to share links with others on Dropbox. The only one I feel like is lacking is iCloud or whatever it is; I've never had an iPhone, but most of my friends with iPhones actually use Google Drive instead, and I hear that it's better.

RE: Doing well...
By TakinYourPoints on 1/30/2013 2:23:22 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, it sucks. Using Google Drive between the desktop application or web browser and iPhone/iPad is way better.

Give Drive a shot if you haven't already, its really good. Its web interface alone makes it a great option IMHO.

Can someone please get rid of that picture
By crazyirish on 1/30/2013 6:23:07 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing worse than seeing Ballmer with his f'ing tongue sticking out.

By roykahn on 1/30/2013 7:48:37 PM , Rating: 2
The Dailytech writers must salivate any time they write about Microsoft. It means they get a chance to post another ridiculous picture of Balmer - and it's not like they're short of options.

Tablets... Why?
By croc on 1/31/2013 6:19:32 AM , Rating: 2
I have some issues with tablets. 1st, they can't run apps... I mean REAL apps. Photoshop, ACAD, Crysis... 2nd, once I have to carry something not in my pocket, I need some kind of bag. My laptop has such a bag already. Most tablets, you have to buy one separate. 3rd, most tablets either expect you to use a touch screen, or you have to buy some kind of flaky keyboard thingy that feels like a flimsy toy. Not to mention yucky mouse options...

RE: Tablets... Why?
By InsGadget on 1/31/2013 10:18:44 PM , Rating: 2
Little bit off-topic, but sounds like you need a good Win8 hybrid device. The Surface Pro perhaps.

By HelenaSmithe22 on 1/30/2013 7:50:22 PM , Rating: 1
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iPad and Microsoft
By Argon18 on 1/30/13, Rating: -1
RE: iPad and Microsoft
By ritualm on 1/30/2013 11:28:04 AM , Rating: 2
I'd rather Microsoft never releases a bona fide Office suite for the iPad so we can keep giving Tony Swash hell for their "industry leading" tablet being wholly unsuitable for enterprise and institutional use.

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By Jeffk464 on 1/30/2013 1:40:11 PM , Rating: 2
Can't you use web based office suites?

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By nikon133 on 1/30/2013 4:03:08 PM , Rating: 2
Office 365 should work fine, to my knowledge.

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By TakinYourPoints on 1/30/2013 11:29:49 AM , Rating: 2
There's been a lot of flipping and flopping regarding Office for iPad. Last month it was "Office is coming in 2013", now its "no comment".

Microsoft wants to sell the Surface, they want to sell operating systems. The thing is that MS is a multi-headed hydra with divisions in competition with one another.

The Office division trades with Windows as the most profitable for Microsoft, so the question is which side wins: getting Office on the iPad (guaranteed sale on a significant percentage of over 100 million iPads) or holding it back in hopes of boosting the sales of Surface?

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By Pirks on 1/30/2013 12:20:56 PM , Rating: 2
Imagine workers that could have their Outlook, Word, Excel, etc. all on a sleek portable tablet with 10+ hour battery. Perfect for conference rooms, airplanes, etc. Traveling sales and account managers would love it.
That's why they buy Surface RT, idiot.

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By Jeffk464 on 1/30/2013 1:45:21 PM , Rating: 2
I don't get that, if I was using a productivity device for those situations I would rather have an ultrabook/macbook air. They are just as portable and a hell of a lot easier to actually do work on. Tablets seem like fun toys to me, stuff I basically use my phablet for.

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By Pirks on 1/30/2013 1:57:25 PM , Rating: 2
Tablets seem like fun toys to me
Not so fun when you snap touch cover onto it and start typing in your Excel 2013. Only work there, and no fun.
They are just as portable
Lies, they are thicker and heavier than Surface RT and with worse battery life to boot.

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By jeffkro on 1/30/2013 2:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
Mostly because of Intel, if you made an rt ultra book it would be the same battery life and lower weight.

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By Pirks on 1/30/2013 3:33:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yah it's called Asus Vivo Tab, better battery life than iPad, priced low at $500, runs Intel with full Windows 8, can take any BT kbd and mouse you throw at it, so its two devices in one. If you don't like separate BT kbd/mouse then take something like ATIV Smart PC 500 with snap-in kbd/touchpad. It is still Intel and still thinner/lighter than ultrabook, and with full Windows 8 with no restrictions like in RT. No need for your heavy/thick ultrabooks with dismal battery life.

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By Pirks on 1/30/2013 2:14:23 PM , Rating: 2
And if they need Outlook they'll buy a $500 Clover Trail device instead of Surface RT, like Asus Vivo Tab for example, a tablet and desktop OS with full Office 2013 or Office 365 suite in one small light device with a day or two of battery life.

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By Argon18 on 1/30/13, Rating: 0
RE: iPad and Microsoft
By Pirks on 1/30/2013 3:38:31 PM , Rating: 2
100 Million iPads sold to date
Wow, the product that sells for like 3 years sold much more than product that's sold for like 2 months in a few MS stores in the US mostly. Wow, what a big news! Got anything less obvious to tell us, idiot?

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By nikon133 on 1/30/2013 4:07:36 PM , Rating: 2
Just let him go and feast on healthy Burger King, they sell hundreds of millions too.

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By Argon18 on 1/30/2013 5:25:33 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I'll bet you said the same thing 2 months after Kin was released. Oh wait, Kin didn't even make it to two months before getting shelved. Lol. Enjoy your shiny Redmond toy while it lasts, as it'll end up in the rubbish bin of forgotten tech from yesteryear before you know it.

How does it feel being one of the retards who got suckered into this Surface trash? "Buyers Remorse" doesn't even begin to describe it, I'll bet. Is that why you're so angry? Lol, you mad? Although fanboy's like yourself are likely too stupid to realize how badly you've been ripped off. LMAO!

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By Pirks on 1/30/2013 8:05:15 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I'll bet you said the same thing 2 months after Xbox was released. Is that why you're so angry? Or you just forgot about your pills again?

RE: iPad and Microsoft
By InsGadget on 1/31/2013 10:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
It's posts like this that make me wish I could hit "Not worth reading" just one more time ...

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