Steve Ballmer quote of the Day

Fortune elicits the quote of the day from Steve Ballmer,  CEO of Microsoft:


Do you have an iPod?

No, I do not. Nor do my children. My children–in many dimensions they’re as poorly behaved as many other children, but at least on this dimension I’ve got my kids brainwashed: You don’t use Google, and you don’t use an iPod.


A billion dollar putz!

(No Google and no iPod — that’s borderline child abuse)

Perhaps this helps to explain why the offerings from Microsoft are such shite. It sounds as if arrogance is actually precluding them from doing competitive research. Gee, I wonder why Microsoft actually LOST market share in the search  space last year, and why their blogging effort, My Spaces, is an MSN only ghetto.

One thing is good to know — its not just us that gets pained by the bloatware — at least the families of MSFT execs are suffering, also.

The sleeping giant goes on the offensive
Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft is ready to take the offensive.
Telis Demos
FORTUNE, March 28, 2006: 6:05 AM EST

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. rob commented on Mar 28

    re Balmer. its a lot worse then that over at the Lazy M Ranch Barry. The place has so many overlapping teams, endless idiotic meetings, micro manager/incompetent legacy execs., and a total lack of purpose beyond defending against “threats” that it can’t move forward.

  2. Emmanuel commented on Mar 28

    Now, now, Mr. Ritholtz. Just as Google has some subpar products (see post below), Microsoft has some pretty good ones. Microsoft XBox 360 and MSN Messenger are two of the latter that come to mind.

  3. kmr commented on Mar 28

    Barry –

    The jump you make from how Balmer manages MS to his management of his household is misplaced. Balmer did not say his children did not use an MP3 player just not an IPod. Due to cost of ownership I don’t let my kids use an IPod either. There are much cheaper alternatives out there for basically the same thing.

    The same goes for Google. The quality of search is comparable on the first result page for Ask Jeeves, Google, Yahoo and MSN.

    It doesn’t surprise me Balmer wouldn’t want his competitors thrown in his face at the dinner table. Especially now when times are tough.

  4. Robert Cote commented on Mar 28

    Ballmer; I’ve got my kids brainwashed: You don’t use Google, and you don’t use an iPod.

    LOL! He thinks his kids don’t use google. His parenting skills exceed his software managing skills.

    If Steve Ballmer were to produce children the way he makes software pregnancies would be 3 years, the baby would come out in pieces some of which would never arrive and as soon as the next child was born the first child would be killed in a long painful period of neglect.

  5. ah commented on Mar 28

    I’ve got a SB story. I lived in Boston in 1989, and one morning was running along the Charles River. Now, back then I was young and fast. Alongside me suddenly appears a somewhat bald and somewhat pudgy guy who is hell-bent on out-running me. For 6 miles he gives it everything he’s got. At the end of the run, we shake hands and he introduces himself: Steve Balmer. Competitive son-of-a-gun nearly killed himself trying to outrace me.

  6. cm commented on Mar 28

    I once had a job interview with Microsoft. In my interviewers it struck me that the individual contributor types were generally cool dudes, and I could clearly see increased levels of ideology and brainwashing in the managerial crowd. I had only a small sample of 6+ total, but still. This was back in ’99, the big enemy back then was Linux (vendors), and the rhetoric would strongly remind me of what became known of anti-Netscape tactical communication.

  7. Lord commented on Mar 28

    A strong case of Not Invented Here Syndrome.

  8. royce commented on Mar 28

    I can’t see the big deal here. Dave Chappelle had an awesome skit in which he plays himself at home with his kid, talking to his agent. He loses a part to Nick Cannon and starts freaking out.

    Chapelle’s Son: But Dad, Nick Cannon is hilarious!

    Chapelle: Man, f*ck you son!

    Balmer has probably had the same conversations with his kids.

  9. tyoung commented on Mar 28

    Shite I haven’t heard that in awile

  10. mh497 commented on Mar 28

    If you can’t beat ’em, ban ’em in your house, I guess.

    Balmer ought to check his inner control freak at the door of his house. The statement ‘in many dimensions they’re as poorly behaved..’ has a belittling ring too it also.

  11. Rajesh commented on Mar 28

    Forget the brainwashing, I am more intrigued by the “going offensive” meme.

    USA Today March 2, 2006: Microsoft goes on offensive in European antitrust case

    ITWorld July 7, 2005: As Microsoft goes on the offensive, will QuickBooks be the next to fall?

    ITSolutions July 27, 2005: Microsoft Goes on the Anti-Piracy Offensive

    Accountancy Age May 19, 2005: MICROSOFT GOES ON THE OFFENSIVE.

    Microsoft Watch January 2004: Microsoft Goes on the LinuxWorld Offensive

    InternetNews February 24, 2003:Microsoft Goes On Offensive in Sun Antitrust Case

    Infoworld April 18, 2000:Facing breakup proposal, Microsoft goes on offensive

    The Register May 29, 2001:MSN goes on the offensive to steal AOL users

    So much offense and so little game!

  12. anon commented on Mar 28

    I do not have an iPod. I am waiting until I get a new home PC. Due to delay of Vista, this probably will not happen until next year.

    iPods are cool and all, but they can be expensive and distracting.

  13. rogerd commented on Mar 29

    No Googling, eh? I wonder if the home PCs have some kind of parental controls. Talk about the forbidden fruit being the most attractive…

  14. ken commented on May 10

    That “MSN only ghetto” is the top social networking service in the world, it tops myspace in users and traffic. So stop being bitter because rich people can do whatever the hell they want. cheers.



    Wrong. Please do not post false information.

    In fact, your statement is incorrect on just about any measure. Growth, daily usage, total Users, MSN My Spaces ranks far behond My Space, Friendster, etc.

    See this for more details: Top Social Networking Sites by Market Share

    Posting false information will get you banned around here. Don’t do it.

  15. Kumar commented on Dec 30

    Microsoft Sucks

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