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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Microsoft's CEO is full of colorful, yet insightful commentary

Interviews with Microsoft's vocal chief executive, Steve Ballmer, are always entertaining.  A recent chat with The Seattle Times' Sharon Pian Chan was no exception.

In response to a question about Google CEO Eric Schmidt saying Bing was Google's chief competitor, and "a well-run, highly competitive search engine", Mr. Ballmer enthuses, "Welcome to our world, man. It's a competitive world out there. We're competing, other guys are going to compete with them. We have good competitors. Apple is a good competitor, Google is a good competitor, Oracle is a good competitor, VMware is a good competitor. We partner with Facebook, but we also compete in some dimensions with them. Hey, it's OK, just get out there and work. ... We're his best competitor, and we're a very good competitor and we're going to do a very good job."

While he might be excited to "welcome" Google to "his" world of search/competition (two things Google seems pretty well acquainted with already), he also talked about a more sober topic -- Kin.  The Kin phone project was a massive failure, with perhaps under 10,000 handsets sold after millions in investment and engineering costs.

In the interview Mr. Ballmer admits that Kin was a mess, commenting, "The No. 1 message from Kin is a message of focus. You only get so many things you can really talk about, communicate, work on with the consumer. You've got to be bold, you've got to look forward and you've got to stay focused. Kin was neither -- with 20-20 hindsight -- bold enough relative to where the market's going, and it just defocused activity from Windows Phone."

While certainly a colorful character, Mr. Ballmer seems to have a good feel about Microsoft's most promising upcoming products at least.  He states that "Windows Phone 7 or Kinect or IE9 (Internet Explorer 9)" are some of Microsoft's most exciting upcoming offerings."

Mr. Ballmer is also eagerly awaiting the launch of Windows slates to take on the iPad.

When asked about how long he would stay with the company, he replies, "I don't know. I'm working away doing the best job I know how to do. The company continues to grow. Outside my family, this is my baby. I want to make sure that, whenever I go, the baby's in great health. It's not a baby, it must be at least a teenager by now, young adult. I want to make sure the place is in very good shape."

And apparently Mr. Ballmer has a real Facebook (though there are numerous imposter Ballmer pages -- 11 by his count).  How often does he check his Facebook?  "Every day."

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RE: Search?
By Da W on 9/30/2010 1:49:11 PM , Rating: 3
The same thing will happen with Phone 7, but probably not so rapidly. The only obvious benefits of the device are the attachments to old Microsoft monopolies - editing Office documents and X-box Live integration. Apple and Google are going to destroy them.

I'm always ammazed by all those geeks that bury WP7 without even testing it, or at leats using it's closest approximation, the Zune HD.

Apple created what the smartphone is today, google copied it, but we are still stuck with a shit load of icons spread over 10+ pages, and a shitty-boring music player. Google got features, oh wow. Microsoft is trying to go another way: usability. And i tell you, at least on my zune, the music player is top notch, you can mix playlist on the fly, like a group, you touch it's name and you get all their bios and can download related groups on the fly, their zune pass subscription is way better if you want to discover new things.

Grouping all your apps in metacategories, like "pictures+videos", "people", "office" etc gets things way more simple. Do you use Windows 7? Ain't the library things an improvement? Sure, a little akward at first, but once you know how to use them it is useful.

Pinning favorites programs on the home page is a nice feature too. And yes of course, there will be their monopolies. If you work and want to show your powerpoint presentation from your phone to an hdtv or a projector, you have to go WP7. I'm pretty confident about games on their machines. They will eventually get the damn copy and paste, tethering and so on like any others, and as far as hardware go, HTC and others will deliver their same best of the best that they deliver for android.

RE: Search?
By Smilin on 9/30/2010 2:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
Hey hey now. What's wrong with a Windows 3.1 interface on a 2010 smartphone? It's "magical".


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