Print 63 comment(s) - last by erikstarcher.. on Oct 11 at 5:25 PM

Meanwhile Ballmer looks to pump shareholders up with a letter emphasizing Microsoft's success

When a more mature Steve Jobs came back to Apple, Inc. (AAPL), he revitalized the company he co-founded as a rebellious youth.  Millions of iPods, iPhones, and iPhones later, Apple is the world's most valuable company in terms of market cap.  Meanwhile, Apple's perennial rival Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is struggle not for want of user, but for a faltering brand image.  Some say that Bill Gates -- the man who founded Microsoft and drove it to its initial success -- should return.

I. Bill Gates: No Comeback for me

But at his keynote at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2012 -- a leadership conference -- Bill Gates all but ruled out a return, saying his focus was on his philanthropic work, and it would remain that way.  He said:

Steve Jobs did a phenomenal piece of work. Apple, most people would have expected, were on their way going out of business. He had run Apple since it was a tiny company and then he came back in and made incredibly valuable. It’s a phenomenal business story and I thought Walter Isaacson did a good job catching that in the book. Steve and I were friends, competitors – we were a lot of different things. It was amazing what he did.

I’m now committed full time to my foundation work and I give about 15% of my time as Chairman of Microsoft. Microsoft is moving ahead with Windows 8 that combines the best of tablet with PC. This month the very first hardware based on that idea including Microsoft’s own Surface will ship. So there’s a lot of exciting stuff ahead in software and I didn’t retire from Microsoft because I thought things were getting boring. In fact a lot of best ideas- the vision of artificial intelligence and robots are still ahead but i did decide the philanthropic world was where my contribution would be more unique and so thats what I’ll work on full time for the rest of my life.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates says "no" to a Microsoft comeback. [Image Source: Flickr/Bill Gates]

Some people will be disappointed that Mr. Gates is resisting a comeback.

II. Steve Ballmer: Microsoft is Strong

But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is convinced no comeback is necessary.  He insists that the image that Microsoft lacks creativity is badly out of date.  In a letter to shareholders, he brags that 1.3 billion people worldwide use Windows and that there are 8 million active Windows app developers.

The boisterous chief executive is bullish on Windows 8 tablets and Windows Phone 8, bringing a unified Windows experience across mobile and traditional computing devices.  

Microsoft has skeptics aplenty, particularly when it comes to Windows 8.  But as Mr. Ballmer puts it:

For fiscal year 2012, revenue grew to a record $73.7 billion. We also maintained strong cost discipline resulting in cash flow from operations of $31.6 billion, an increase of 17 percent from the prior year. In addition, we returned $10.7 billion to shareholders through stock buybacks and dividends.

In other words financially Microsoft shows little sign of being a "dying" brand as some opinion pieces have claims.

Windows 8 is a huge risk.  But Steve Ballmer is convinced it will pay off, even as Bill Gates watches -- permanently -- from the sidelines.

Sources: T-Break, Microsoft

Comments     Threshold

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

RE: I admit it...
By SlyNine on 10/10/2012 2:08:20 PM , Rating: 2
I don't agree. By taking the choice from the users they are hurting themselves. All they have to do is include a start (which is basically mini metro), and allow us to boot straight to explorer.Why oh why is that so out of reach.

The big issue I see is, how will the standard user approach not having standard close buttons? Getting stuck in apps and not knowing how to get back. I've let people try out Windows 8, its generally not pretty. Of the few I seen, most seem to prefer windows. Interested to see how the general public handles this.

I really hope they handle this fine, I love building and playing with PC's and PC gaming, and another badly perceived windows launch won't help PCs any.

RE: I admit it...
By Mitch101 on 10/10/2012 4:24:21 PM , Rating: 2
I have some great news you can have START again for $5.00

Stardock will sell you a Windows 8 Start Menu for $5

RE: I admit it...
By Pessimism on 10/11/2012 1:14:33 PM , Rating: 2
Classic Shell is 0$.

RE: I admit it...
By erikstarcher on 10/11/2012 5:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
Classic Shell is no where near as good as Start8. The $5.00 is well worth it.

RE: I admit it...
By Maiyr on 10/10/2012 5:05:31 PM , Rating: 2
I have Win8 on my laptop and it boots straight to the desktop, not metro. I did not do anything to make this happen it is just the way it works.

BTW, this is free....


RE: I admit it...
By Mitch101 on 10/10/2012 10:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
Ill have to check this out Id rate you up for this tip tks.

RE: I admit it...
By SoCalBoomer on 10/11/2012 12:24:56 PM , Rating: 2
Here's another - vistart ( - I've been using it on various Win8 betas and it works great. I get my little orb back!

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki