Home > Microsoft > Ballmer Confident, But Admits Failings Ballmer Confident, But Admits Failings Thom Holwerda 2005-06-28 Microsoft 35 Comments Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has confessed the software giant’s .Net strategy has come to a standstill, says he’s accepted SQL Server’s shortcomings and vowed to keep fighting search giant Google. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 35 Comments 2005-06-28 1:34 pm Why does everything have to be a fight with these guys? Can they not accept that other companies can do something better than MS can? Focus on your core strengths, make them better, and let others do what they are good at. You don’t need to obliterate every company that has a good idea for software. Jeez… 2005-06-28 1:53 pm Exactly, if Ballmer was smart he would focus on improving Windows and pushing developers to use .Net instead of trying to fight Google. MS should focus on what it’s (arguably) good at and let Google focus on what it’s good at. They could even *gasp* work together! 2005-06-28 2:01 pm Microsoft has become too big for its own good and thus is loosing focus … mapping software, office software, windows desktop and server, searching … c’mon, produce a secure reliable OS before you go off into all these other areas. Anyway they are playing catch up with Linux and OSX now … desktop search and search over the network, welcome to beagle 2005-06-28 2:02 pm >You don’t need to obliterate every company that has a good idea for software. But if youre like Microsoft, and compete poorly on even ground, obliterating the competition is the better option. I imagine there are some new Microsoft “Get The Fiction” compaigns targeted at google already in the works. 2005-06-28 2:31 pm s/Google/Oracle/ ? Am I alone in being confused? 2005-06-28 2:34 pm Exactly, if Ballmer was smart he would focus on improving Windows and pushing developers to use .Net instead of trying to fight Google. MS should focus on what it’s (arguably) good at and let Google focus on what it’s good at. They could even *gasp* work together! IBM has figured this out. It was very painful for them in the early 90s, but they have come around. If it makes money, good. If it doesn’t, bad. If you can sell to anyone…do so, even if they are ‘competitors’. 2005-06-28 2:41 pm Why doesn’t MS set up an ebay competitor. There are few companies with worse ethics, more atrocious customer service or more outrageous charges than ebay – MS appears positively angelic and supremely competent in comparison. 2005-06-28 3:29 pm The reason why Microsoft has trouble working with anyone is that for Bill, every single technology out there is the technology that’s going to overthrow Microsoft. Server Operating System, ERP, Databases, Search Engines, Interpreted Languages, Web Browsers, Word Processors, SpreadSheet, XML translation software, Backup Software, multimedia, and anything else you can think of is going to overthrow Microsoft. That’s why it’s so hard to work with them. Sooner or later, Bill gets paranoid and starts competing against you. I actually kind of feel sorry for the guy, he has billions and he is miserable. 2005-06-28 3:35 pm “In the next six months, we’ll catch Google in terms of relevancy,” he said. Is it /that/ easy? Wow. He really underestimates Google’s reach. 2005-06-28 3:44 pm I may agree that MS tries to hard to embrace all the technologies in the planet, but from that to conclude that Bill Gates is a miserable guy, I think it requires a lot of speculation. Just people close to him could tell. 2005-06-28 3:48 pm …wait a few years, and then buy them. Think it’ll never happen? That’s what they used to say about hotmail. Google’s currentlt market valuation is about $85B. I bet MS could have them for a $20B. 2005-06-28 3:52 pm Microsoft should back off of Google… Think it’ll never happen? That’s what they used to say about hotmail. And how exactly is Google similar to Hotmail? It’s hundreds of times bigger, and in a different market, in a different time. Sorry but your reasoning is like saying “if ducks fly, so can dogs”. 2005-06-28 3:57 pm Sorry but your reasoning is like saying “if ducks fly, so can dogs”. Isn’t that the case? Both are mammals you know. 2005-06-28 4:09 pm Because, if you follow what MS has been doing the past 20 years, “If ya can’t beat em, buy em.” Oh, and anything can fly with enough speed. 2005-06-28 4:19 pm “Asked about the future of its .Net strategy, Ballmer admitted the platform “had stalled in the last 12 months” but that there would be a renewed push” It’s taken him this long to notice? I heard word 18 months ago that .NET was grinding to a halt… 2005-06-28 4:28 pm “if ducks fly, so can dogs” Both are mammals you know am ducks mammals? no them isn’t! 2005-06-28 4:29 pm It’s taken him this long to notice? I heard word 18 months ago that .NET was grinding to a halt… Just out of curiosity (no troll intended), but which other technology has been beating .Net in the meantime? .Net may be sluggish lately (I am a .net dev and agree on that) but I haven’t seen any other technology making great advance either 2005-06-28 4:31 pm and while I’m on it, maybe it’s worthy mentioning that .Net 2 is very promising, from the betas I’ve tried…at least on the asp.net front. 2005-06-28 4:56 pm This company will be dead in five years. Longhorn is gonna flop hugely. Why is anybody gonna bother buying Dells when you can just buy an Intel-based Mac next year and be able to run Linux, OS X, and Windows XP all on the same beautifully-designed and stable system? Kudos to Steve Jobs for resurrecting Apple from the grave and actually putting the heat on Microsoft, beating them to the punch in several key areas like hardware-accelerated desktop and integrated search, among other things. Not to mention the whole massive iPod thing that has stolen the thunder from “WMA.” H.264 is now stealing the thunder from “WMV.” 2005-06-28 4:57 pm “Just out of curiosity (no troll intended), but which other technology has been beating .Net in the meantime? .Net may be sluggish lately (I am a .net dev and agree on that) but I haven’t seen any other technology making great advance either” Well, I haven’t seen Java going anywhere. In fact, usage is going up. Also, a lot of people I know are jumping ship and developing for Mac using the latest Cocoa in Tiger. CoreData is better than anything out there. 2005-06-28 5:26 pm Ballmer makes a good point. One thing on his search “fight” is that Microsoft’s search will be smart. Using semantics rather than just “1st word” queries. This will extend accross the desktop and internal business knowledge databases. So when Ballmer said something about search being different in 10 years he was right. He better start chanting “developers” again if he want’s it done better than everyone else. I am sure they will pull through. As to the comments about Microsoft getting to big. That’s true, it’s no more startup for those guys. 2005-06-28 5:46 pm Good let it grind to a bloody halt. Who cares anyway? “Exactly, if Ballmer was smart he would focus on improving Windows”, how old is Windows now? And so full of holes. Why don’t they ditch it instead would be much cheaper and less time consuming that patching the spaghetti. 2005-06-28 6:05 pm J2EE is beating .NET because it’s more open. .NET has some advantages in a single set of developer tools but of course Microsoft has tied it to closely to the Windows OS which was completely predictable. It also falls apart in very large, transaction oriented applications. Thats why financial institutions among others refuse to use it. Also as someone else has said the OS still sucks. 2005-06-28 6:14 pm hear me Ballmer! if you play catch up all the time, you’re never a leader. The only reason MS has big market share is becuase of them breaking the law and their illegal business practices. once MS catches up with Google, google will introduce a new innovation that makes MS technology behind again. There’re so many areas which are not of a big importance now, but they will be in the future, and MS will not notice until someone else becomes successfull exploiting those areas like google did in the search area. and MS will play the catch up game again and again. 2005-06-28 6:42 pm This all seems familiar. A big technology slipping under their noses so they start trying hard to play catch up. And they do it, and in the mean time they make a mess we’re still cleaning up today *cough* DOM *cough*. Now, I hope they won’t obliterate search in the same way; and to be honest I don’t think they can: This stuff requires actual, intelligent, free-thinking people. Microsoft has a lot of them, but I think it stifles a lot of them as well (this does tend to happen in big companies). It tries really hard to avoid stifling them, but I think Google is sitting with the upper hand here. They’ve made a great search (sort) technology that we can all take advantage of. And now they’re expanding: maps email Desktop search And I probably missed a ton: I find most of googles work to be .. boring. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out. Hopefully Microsoft gets its nose slapped and sent back to the OS and Office drudgery where it belongs . 2005-06-28 7:25 pm J2EE is beating .NET because it’s more open. Java is not an open standard. Admitedly you can’t trust Microsoft, though they did go through the standards process for part of what they call .Net. Sun, on the other hand, fears Java being co-opted as Microsoft tried to do before this whole .Net copycat came along. .NET has some advantages in a single set of developer tools but of course Microsoft has tied it to closely to the Windows OS which was completely predictable. It also falls apart in very large, transaction oriented applications. Thats why financial institutions among others refuse to use it. Also as someone else has said the OS still sucks. .Net suffers from being green. I wouldn’t use it on some tasks just because it’s a new tech. OTOH, having worked in the banking industry as a consultant, I seriously doubt that financial institutions are staying away from it. Banks do some cutting edge tech if they see it as an advantage. I can’t speak of stock exchanges and and associated firms. That said … I would love to see Java kick .Net all over the place. I’d also like to see Java truely open. So far, it’s not. 2005-06-28 7:27 pm And I probably missed a ton: I find most of googles work to be .. boring. That’s OK. I’ll be twice as facinated for the both of us. 2005-06-28 8:14 pm Also, a lot of people I know are jumping ship and developing for Mac using the latest Cocoa in Tiger. CoreData is better than anything out there. Maybe we have different usage in mind, I was refering most to enterprise development, where the big bucks roll. There I don’t see either .Net or Java stealing the show, at least at the companies I work at, it’s pretty much 50-50; java closer to the infra-structure and integration systems, and .Net closer to the business-decision systems. I suppose the “lot of people” you’re mentioning is mostly lone developers/small teams? I never met any big company (except some specific ones such as multimedia etc) using Mac, Cocoa etc in a big scale. 2005-06-28 8:20 pm Well, I haven’t seen Java going anywhere. In fact, usage is going up. And if you read carefully what I wrote, I didn’t say if they were or weren’t going anywhere, I was talking about innovation. .Net has not innovated much in the last 4 years, but so has not Java either. OTOH there’s .Net 2 coming out soon (which is not only empty promises as Longhorn; the beta is out there and it works), I wonder if there’s anything to match in Java-land? Maybe some Java guy around here could say (and let’s keep the flames down, please; Iæm genuinely curious, not looking for trolling) 2005-06-28 11:50 pm “Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has confessed” Yeah, if only. Boy would I like to be a fly on the wall in that confessional. 2005-06-28 11:53 pm Firstly, Microsoft did some very intelligent things – submitting some basic parts of the DotNET to standardization, and accepting that others were going to want to do their own version. Lately it’s been making noises that are designed to scare off anyone intelligent enough to understand the nightmare that Intellectual Property so-called, constitutes. One step forward and two steps back? That’s a strategy? Put a dress on it and call it a waltz, rather. Or put a weasel on it and call it a tale! 2005-06-29 7:14 am I find it interesting that Ballmer said .Net has stalled. My impression is never really got started. Sure, a bunch of tools were created. New API’s. etc. But MS has been trying to explain what it is and changing what .Net is since it’s birth. I think .Net was a stillborn birth and MS has just noticed. 2005-06-29 7:48 am “Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has confessed the software giant’s .Net strategy has come to a standstill, says he’s accepted SQL Server’s shortcomings and vowed to keep fighting search giant Google.” I think .Net is dead, like a lot of other Microsoft projects. And what is this about fighting Google? If they’re such innovators, why don’t they innovate?! A company can choose how to spend its time, energy and money. Why don’t they put it all into innovation, instead of fighting others? Doing so kind of kills two birds with one stone. But no, they seem to want to split themselves–split that time and energy, and double the cost to themselves. The way to compete? Produce something better, more innovative, more desirable–and simply market it. It doesn’t have to involve dirty tactics, and going out to destroy, etc. So, I would suggest Microsoft forget .Net, or remold it into something a bit different: Software infrastructure that will allow businesses/companies to offer their services across the net via subscription. I know, sounds rather vague, general. An example: George Lucas or his Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), offering access to the power of render farms for the average joe on the street (via a subscription of access), who could not otherwise afford the luxury of such power himself. Guy buys subscription or pays fee (much lower than cost of actually buying the equipment, see), logs in, utilizes the computers/software and saves stuff to his own harddrive. That’s the kind of ‘facilitation’ that I think Microsoft could provide with its behemoth wallet: go for creating the software infrastructure/package that businesses can get to allow the coordination of that. And if the applications a user utilizes across the net are small enough, such cases could have the user’s own computer taking up the load. The emphasis and advantage, of course, is someone using equipment and software–across the net–for a price much less than he could afford that which is used. Businesses, like Adobe (another example), with Photoshop, could offer the paint package to subscribers who would not ordinarily buy the package, because it was cost-prohibitive for them. Their subscription/fee would just be a percentage of the package’s cost. How nice for some who have internet, to pay…say $24/year…to use Photoshop (like it was on their own computer, but of course isn’t) rather than pay what it normally costs (what is it? $400-$800?). Microsoft, get busy and quit ‘going after’ and bothering everyone else. 2005-06-29 10:16 am It’s nice that Ballmer admits what we have known for years but thats small potatoes. Seems like they have their hands in too many cookie jars. I do believe that M$ could have a decent product if the focused more on quality that market share quantity. -nX 2005-06-29 11:17 am “But no, they seem to want to split themselves–split that time and energy, and double the cost to themselves. ” Great let them carry on as is.