Home > Microsoft > Ballmer’s bullish outlook Ballmer’s bullish outlook Eugenia Loli 2005-06-07 Microsoft 26 Comments For more than 20 years, Steve Ballmer has been Microsoft’s chief salesman, promoting his company’s products with a mixture of over-the-top enthusiasm, street-fighter brashness and market savvy. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 26 Comments 2005-06-07 6:20 pm “Ballmer: I think Longhorn is going to be the biggest release we have done since Windows 95. It’s going to be a big thing, but I don’t think we should have expectations that we will have people lined up at midnight to buy a copy, necessarily, despite the fact that Longhorn is a huge deal. I think it’s bigger than anything else we’ve ever done–except Win95.” I think Longhorn is going to be the biggest clue (to them) of their decline–and will have poor sales compared to previous versions. 2005-06-07 6:28 pm Never underestimate the power of shinier icons and a longer features list. Consumers (especially businesses) are going to be climbing all over this thing when it comes out – unless it’s priced too high. Considering the amount of time it has taken them to build this, they will undoubtedly be riding it for years to come (much as Windows ME was based on 95′ and still being used and sold up until 2001 (?)). I say go for it…I hope them the best. Competition can only be good. For Linux or Mac users – it just means your respective developers will have to step up to any challenges that may arise. 2005-06-07 6:34 pm Erm, at first I read the title as “Ballmer’s bullshit outlook”. 2005-06-07 6:35 pm I think Longhorn is going to be the biggest clue (to them) of their decline–and will have poor sales compared to previous versions. I don’t know if people are getting as excited about operating systems as they used to. Apple is making their splash with Tiger, but that doesn’t equate to that much of the market. Linux is slowing down, and Windows isn’t as sexy as it used to be when bigger improvements were being made. We went from 16-bit to 32-bit, more people were buying computers for the first time… Now a lot more people just kind of use what they use. The zealots and column writers are the one’s making a holy war out of it. They don’t represent the masses. Company’s try to save money and stay in a stable operating environment, most people could care less, and the zealots make every tiny little fact about their OS of choice known to the point of shoving down people’s throats. Some technology enthusiasts try out the latest Linux, Mac Mini, etc., but there’s a lot more people that don’t want a new Windows even every 2 or 3 years. There’s no way to keep up with the Linux versions and distros unless you have no other life, and Apple is changing their stuff a lot to try to position themselves. I think Windows strength right now is in it’s stability – people don’t feel they need to upgrade all the time, and companies can’t afford to (in money or time and resources). Linux will learn the same lesson, that’s why Red Hat updates their software only every 18 months, and even at that, I’m sure not every customer is looking forward to it and upgrading. 2005-06-07 6:43 pm Ballmer is very impressive on stage. One time, he mentioned “that certain type of OS” (Linux, but he didn’t say the word) and from relaxed he went to a screaming red-faced upset fast-pacing executive (realistic though, he acknowledged the competetion). It was a sudden change, and he went back to normal just as fast. But I wouldn’t want to have that guy at the table when he’s upset at a meeting. He’s pretty big (tall as well as ‘fat’) and can speak with thunder. I wonder how he deals with other CEO’s (Dell for instance) and if his looks help with establishing deals? A good guy for representing your company I guess (though it says nothing about personality and intelligence of course). 2005-06-07 6:45 pm Bullsh*..err bullish balmer said: >You guys like to write articles about how budgets are >down…blah, blah, blah. Somebody’s got to stand up and say, >the future’s so bright you gotta wear shades! Give me a barf bag someone…I think I’m gunna puke! 2005-06-07 6:49 pm Hehe… that’s the first thing I thought, too. And, we all know that you could take Ballmer out of the title and capitalize “Outlook”. 2005-06-07 6:53 pm The monopoly will continue. The product shipments will slow down further. Maybe one new OS every 10 years vs. every 5 years. What Ballmer says to the public is irrelevant. Who Ballmer delivers money to on Capitol Hill is all that matters. 2005-06-07 7:02 pm Ballmer is very impressive on stage. I’ve never heard someone say that before. Whenever I’ve seen excerpts from his stage performances I CANNOT BELIEVE he is the head of a major corporation. I find him embarrassing. He comes across like some sort of bad motivational speaker. He might just as well be selling Amway products as software. 2005-06-07 7:31 pm Developers…Developers…Developers…Developers…Developers… http://www.ntk.net/media/developers.mpg http://www.ntk.net/ballmer/mirrors.html 2005-06-07 7:42 pm I think that title would have been appropriate. There were a few gems in this article: Ballmer: “Every day we are competing, competing, competing, competing, competing.” Ha! Not according to the Department of Justice or the European Union, you’re not. If Ballmer were really interested in competing, he would rescind those flagrantly anti-competitive OEM license deals with PC makers. Ballmer: “It’s silly to not engage in dialogues to pursue co-opetition as well as competition.” “Co-opetition?” You’ve got to be kidding me. Why are management-types so obsessed with spewing these kinds of meaningless neologisms? Let’s interface on a paradigm shift to produce some strategolutions. Ballmer: “You guys like to write articles about how budgets are down, and outsourcing is going on, and blah, blah, blah. Somebody’s got to stand up and say, the future’s so bright you gotta wear shades!” Yeah, like it’s the media’s fault that so many IT people have lost their jobs. It’s lot easier to be optimistic when you’re already a billionaire. CNET: “What about for business buyers? What’s your elevator pitch to those customers? Why should they buy Longhorn?” Ballmer: “The dynamic is that the end user gets excited about it because they use it at home. And all business decision makers and IT people are end users. The end users are excited by the new shell… The new user interface–kind of sexy, kind of cool.” The most honest moment in the article… I sure hope my bank isn’t deciding what server platform to use based on how “sexy” it looks on some executive’s eMachines home computer! My favorite: Ballmer: “…I’m a realist.” A “realist?” How about “shill?” 2005-06-07 7:45 pm Never underestimate the power of near-universal preloads, a PC user base which is largely ignorant and apathetic, and a US Department of Justice that doesn’t have the guts to effectively enforce the law. 2005-06-07 8:13 pm Ballmer: If you look at Windows XP or any major Windows phenomenon, the first major step is to get all consumer PCs to come with that version of Windows, and I don’t think Longhorn will be any different. In order to sell the product, they rely on inertia – ie if they sell it with as many computers as possible, people will a. Have no choice, when they go to their local department store – all computers will be sold with windows; and b. Once it’s on there, it will be “good enough” so no-one will change. Hardly an inspiring strategy, but likely to work. Until the masses grow in awareness about alternatives, MS will dominate the market place. One interesting thing in the article is the neither confirm nor deny stance on the Red Hat dialog. What’s that about? Why so secret? It’s out there in the market place, so both sides would be better to front, and explain it rather than have rumour flying about – unless that’s MS’s strategy – more FUD. Any speculation about what’s going on is more likely to harm Red Hat than MS. Another interesting point is the comment that you can’t compete against a “movement”. You can only compete against a product. I wonder where this is going to take them. Given the “alleged” discussions with Red Hat, this has some interesting aspects. 2005-06-07 9:24 pm i think he’s cute as a monkey, as chief of sales i find i a little bit too childish – but that’s the POV of a non-windows user.. i guess if you’re a win.user you feel differently (or don’t have the guts/time/(it can’t be money) to switch) 2005-06-07 9:59 pm I like this one: news.com: So what is the buzz in the industry now? Is there something that Longhorn can ride? Ballmer: I think it’s still around the Internet and intelligence at the edge of the Internet. We’ll certainly ride that–and search and visualization and finding things. Digital entertainment, finding things you are interested in, and processing at the edge of the Internet. Longhorn is squarely in the middle of those trends. What kind of a dodgy answer is that? “Finding things”, “Digital entertainment” … how about “stability”, “security” ? I also like “Oracle? Cheaper and better.” … I BEG your pardon? *cough, retch* @dukes: Thanks, I almost forgot those golden nuggets 2005-06-07 10:06 pm uuumm, it’s not like people usually go out to a retailer and shed the cash to upgrade windows. The bulk of Windows sales are from OEM, and people usually just use the OS that came with their machine until it dies. So as long as the OEM’s continue to ship every new machine with Windows you can be sure that longhorn will eventually get widespread use. 2005-06-07 10:06 pm How could any intelligent human being listen to or believe this guy? Great Ballmer reading material… http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1680772,00.asp http://radsoft.net/news/20041110,00.html Great Ballmer quotes… I think we’ve learned a lot more about security basically than anyone else in the world. – Steve Ballmer We need to focus in on a few things. We need to engineer in fewer vulnerabilities going forward. We have new development tools to spot security vulnerabilities. We will release those to users. These tools have made a difference in Server 2003 and XPSP2. – Steve Ballmer It’s not like five or six years ago viruses didn’t exist. More damage has been done in other periods of time. The last 12 months was a better 12 months by a margin. I do believe in the next two to three years we’ll get good enough and customers’ practice of implementation will get good enough. – Steve Ballmer We’re doing a little bit of rethinking but the technology and the way we’ve done it, we still think, is spot on. – Steve Ballmer 2005-06-07 10:06 pm I also like “Oracle? Cheaper and better.” … I BEG your pardon? *cough, retch* Everybody’s cheaper, and probably better, than Oracle. 2005-06-07 10:16 pm Everybody’s cheaper, and probably better, than Oracle. Cheaper, maybe … but better ? SQLServer ? hardly 2005-06-07 10:49 pm Pal, stop being holier-than-thou, just look up: http://www.internetnews.com/security/article.php/3510571 Hey, MS is a lot of things but they do make some pretty cool stuff – like the upcoming Xbox360. Gotta give props where its due. 2005-06-07 11:48 pm I always thought of used car sales person. 2005-06-08 1:23 am it really doesn’t matter in the end. The thing to look at is what MS can do to make longhorn good. In the past they only looked at features, now they are looking finally at security as the key. Sure longhorn is delayed but I think that’s a good thing, work on it more and get it right the first time. And the people who say it won’t have anything in it at release really don’t know much, hell no one outside of MS knows what’s going to be in the final version. Only WinFS was taken out, everything else they’ve talked about is still in there. Competition is good and you can bet when the heat is on, MS can make good software. It’s different when you just sit on your monopoly, but now linux is pushing, and Apple is coming to x86, though you won’t be able to run their software on generic PC hardware. You gotta love the Apple lock in. And talking about SQL Server, there is a new CTP out for SQL Server 2005 for people to download and try out, and it’s already been TCP benchmarked. Comparing it to SAL Server 2000 and Oracle you get very good numbers…. In three TPC-H benchmarks, SQL Server 2005 had up to 162 percent higher performance than SQL Server 2000 and 38 percent higher performance than Oracle’s best result on a 16-processor Intel® Itanium® 2 server at a cost that is 20 percent less per query. In addition, HP also posted a TPC-C result on SQL Server 2005 that is the highest TPC-C result ever for Windows, beating the one million transaction-per-minute mark. The result had 7 percent better performance and cost 37 percent less per transaction than Oracle’s best result on a 64-processor Intel® Itanium® 2 server. Look at the http://www.tpc.org/ for more details. Saying MS can’t make anything good isn’t true, if the competition and the pressure is there, they can get off their hands and really do great work. 2005-06-08 5:24 am 1.) Learn to type a name, Anonymous is specifically not a name. 2.) Performance scores don’t demonstrate that Microsoft has learned its lesson. Remember Windows95? It was a performance work of art; unbelievable what you could do on a crappy 486 with that OS. However, it was a hardware nightmare, memory management nightmare, included backwards compatibility hacks (see: Sim City), it suffered several fixes, and well mostly provided a lot of reasons to upgrade as soon as they got something else out the door. Let’s move onto XP. It performs pretty well considering what all it’s doing (look at the default services list). But it was a security nightmare for 2 years! And IIS, well at 20% of the market share it still suffers the worst worms; yes at 20% compared to 80% it suffers the most problems (Netcraft results, so +-10% is probably fair). Now, competition is great for Microsoft. They’ve made serious improvements since when they first gained their monopoly (not when they were sitting on it). They rooted their monopoly with MS-DOS; and frankly it was a joke of an OS. No multitasking, no protected memory (course, at that time x86 lacked that ability to reasonably implement it), etc. etc. etc. Of course, a better system involved buying a real computer and not the $2K 80286 from Best Buy. Not that other companies are much better. Apple never had an OS with memory protection in the 20th century. Unix GUI development was in shabbles until around 1997; feuds between vendors plagued it early on. Now there are a large number of groups developing different ideals for an environment (unfortunately I have yet to see a fully beautiful copy/paste system happen like Windows has (when the apps support it)). Anyway, Ballmer’s a loudmouth; Gates would do well to keep him on a proverbial leash. The guy has always struck me as needlessly adversarial and as a bit of a “super salesman.” 2005-06-08 7:26 am Don’t forget the Ballmer music video! http://achurch.org/media/ballmer.avi Man I almost pissed my pants when they mixed his screams musically. Also I swear the title of this article was “bullshit view”. 2005-06-08 1:56 pm I’m not a MS user, nor a MS hater, but Ballmer? This guy is what I imagine Pro Wrestlers to be like in their adolesence. Less coordination, but still the armpit-stains, the whoopin’ and the hollering, All claims, no scientific evidence, just a pant-load of crap-talk. Apple should hire the Hulkster and maybe a linux distro could hire Randy “MachoMan” and they could settle this, once and for all… IN THE RING! I think Chris Farley modeled his famous motivational speaker skits on “The Ballmer.” 2005-06-08 4:19 pm “The thing to look at is what MS can do to make longhorn good. In the past they only looked at features, now they are looking finally at security as the key.” Whatever, dude. Looking at, and implementing, are two completely different things. MS has always been a lot of talk with little action. They’ve been promoting security for years without actually implementing it. And, XPSP2’s baby steps ain’t gonna cut it, either. Honestly, they should put Windows, in all its current flavors, out of it’s misery and do a complete OS rewrite. But, they won’t, because they know the suckers out there will lay down the dough for whatever piece of crap they dish up.