Steve Ballmer Gets Candid at MIX08
March 7, 2008 12:24 PM
comment(s) - last by
Microsoft CEO -- IE 8 delays, Vista "painful" to customers, MacBook Air not up to snuff
At Microsoft's MIX08 conference in Las Vegas, an annual Microsoft conference for web developers and designers, many people were waiting in anticipation for Steve Ballmer to let loose. Ballmer's keynote was co-hosted by a surprising guest -- early Apple employee and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki.
Kawasaki, instrumental in developing the original Mac computer, played the role of interviewing Ballmer and prodding him with tough questions. The audience also did its best to get Ballmer going and get him to open up. Ballmer did not fail to entertain, as well as inform.
Among the first questions fielded by Kawasaki were about the
possible Yahoo-Microsoft merger
. Ballmer emphasized that he sees the
hostile takeover as critical to online advertising
, a key field in Ballmer's mind. He said, "We have worked
hard to make it clear that we have real commitment, real aspiration and real tenacity about being a very serious player in the world of search and advertising. Advertising on the Internet
a big thing and will be the next super big thing. We've got a long way
! And Yahoo seems to be a way to accelerate that because of the critical mass that's required to really compete."
Ballmer said that search was the "killer app" of the advertising industry. When Kawasaki questioned Ballmer
about rival Google
, Ballmer at first refused to say the rival's name, almost repeating a previous answer. After some ribbing from Kawasaki, Ballmer relented. "I can say 'Google'" he repeated.
On Apple Ballmer was less than praise-filled. At one point, when asked questions about Windows Vista, Ballmer distracted Kawasaki by grabbing
his MacBook Air
. He then held up the computer and pronounced, "You got Vista on that thing? This is heavier than my PC. It's
! That thing is heavier than the Toshiba that I carry. Where's your DVD drive? We'll get rid of this. We'll get you a real machine, and
you can e-mail me your feedback."
Kawasaki inquired about
Ballmer's dislike for Apple
, stating, "When you wake up in the morning, what do you think about Apple? Is it this little Chihuahua that you kick away every time?"
A very energetic Ballmer proceeded to bark and howl like a dog, before responding in a concilliatory tone, "Apple does a pretty good job, I'm not going to take away from anything that Apple does. We also do a pretty good job, and we're going to drive hard. Apple's
taken away a little share
, Ballmer tried at first to avoid Kawasaki's question "What's the deal with Vista? Seriously", but eventually was compelled to respond. Ballmer replied, first
praising Vistas adoption
, but then acknowledging, "we did make the choice to kind of hurt compatibility, and our customers have let us know that has been very painful."
Ballmer also talked a bit about
, which is one of the major attractions at the show. Regarding the
slow progress coming out with IE8
, Ballmer stated, "Obviously, we can ship browsers separate from the operating system, but we were really thinking through that next-generation design." Ballmer then acknowledged that the delay had been "painfully long for customers".
A tidbit about possible XBox 360
Blu-Ray was dropped
when Ballmer answered an audience question on the topic. He replied, "We've already been working on, for example, in Windows, device driver support for Blu-ray drives and the like, and I think the world moves on. Toshiba has moved on. We've moved on, and we'll support Blu-ray in ways that make sense."
Despite the interesting somewhat more serious opinions of Ballmer, the highlight for many occurred during the Q&A session. An audience member asked Ballmer to do a "web developers" dance to which Ballmer, obliged,
as seen here
. After screaming like a madman, Ballmer returned to his seat, pumped up, quipping to the audience member, "If you just gave the guy behind you a dollar, I want fifty cents."
One issue decidely absent in Ballmer's interview -- any sort of progress update on Windows Home Server, which after heavy marketing remains dead in the water,
crippled by growing data loss problems
A full video of the keynote is
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: The compatibility issue is troubleing...
3/7/2008 3:48:37 PM
Microsoft has already shipped a milestone release of Windows 7 to partners, which included both an x86 and x64 version, so it seems pretty clear they are going to continue to support x86.
"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken
Sony CEO: Blu-ray Disc Players to Drop $100 Yearly Through 2009
March 6, 2008, 5:19 PM
Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 8 Beta
March 5, 2008, 5:58 PM
Apple's MacBook Air Proves Popular With Buyers Despite Limitations
March 3, 2008, 3:38 PM
Class Action Suit Airs Intel and Microsoft's Vista Dirty Laundry
February 29, 2008, 1:07 PM
More Corruption Bugs Plague Windows Home Server
February 28, 2008, 12:35 PM
LinkNYC Terminals to Blanket New York City With Free WiFi, Free Calls, and Ads
November 17, 2014, 6:50 PM
Microsoft is Open-Sourcing Most of .NET, Adding OS X and Linux Support
November 12, 2014, 8:27 PM
Home Depot Lost 53 Million Emails, Blames Windows, Buys Execs New Macs
November 9, 2014, 5:00 PM
Former NSA Lawyer: If Google, Apple Encrypt User Data, They’ll Wither on the Vine Like Blackberry
November 6, 2014, 12:15 PM
Report: AT&T Eyeing $40B DirecTV Purchase
May 1, 2014, 8:00 AM
WebOS Class Action Settlement Costs HP $57 Million
April 1, 2014, 10:22 AM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft Shows Off Latest Windows 10 Build, Preps it for Next Week Release
January 21, 2015, 2:57 PM
IDC: 2014 Sales Show PC Isn't Dead, But Desktop May be Dying
January 19, 2015, 1:50 PM
Police are Using New Handheld Radar Sensors to Peer Into Houses w/out Warrant
January 20, 2015, 1:35 PM
Great Expectations: The Rise and Fall of Google Glass Explorer Edition
January 16, 2015, 1:14 AM
Report: HTC One M9 (2015) is Tied to Under Armour-Powered HTC Smartwatch
January 19, 2015, 11:10 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information