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  He insists that the image that Microsoft lacks creativity is badly out of date.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

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By Bubbacub on 10/10/2012 3:23:05 PM , Rating: 3
i really hope winrt (and the associated walled garden that is mashed into win8) dies quickly.

microsofts simulation of the apple business model takes us back to a proprietary dark age.

tight integration of hardware and software with tyranical central control along with a bit of customer assrape works well for macolytes.

i dont want to see that happen to the win/x86 space.

I want MS to do two things:

1: get rid of the locked bootloader - this is f%^&ing outrageous, overly restritive and anticompetitive

2: allow sideloading of metro apps via competing app stores and direct downloads of installation files.

p.s. and i didnt once mention wanting a start menu (i deserve recognition for self restraint on that front)

RE: ms
By PsychoPif on 10/11/2012 8:21:24 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure I've read somewhere that the top Linux distro would get the certification needed to allow the dual boot under W8.

You have to take into account the added security it provide. For most ppl, it's a free bonus.

To those that do the dual boot, it's just a little more complicated, but surely not the end of the world.

RE: ms
By Bubbacub on 10/11/2012 4:28:41 PM , Rating: 2
not everyone is using ubuntu or fedora.

im using #! (crunchbang linux - very light and quick, debian base with openbox) - i dont think that this will install off a live cd on a new windows 8 laptop - if im worng please correct me.

overall i feel that the added security bonus can suck my balls

RE: ms
By erikstarcher on 10/11/2012 5:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
Then all you need to do is turn off the lock. Why complain about such trivial things? That's like saying MS can suck my balls because I don't want a blue back round, I like green ones. Or were you just complaining because you needed something to complain about?

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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