Mar 16 2010

Many Microsoft Employees Use iPhones

Microsoft's entertaining CEO Steve Ballmer

Leave it to Microsoft: their products are so bad that many of their employees use the iPhone, which is of course made by Apple, Microsoft’s mortal enemy. There are more than ten thousand iPhone users at Microsoft, judging by statistics of those who accessed the Microsoft employee email system, which is ten percent of the global Microsoft workforce. And apparently if you visit Microsoft’s headquarters in Seattle, you can see tons of Microsoft employees happily using their iPhones.

iPhone use may be a sort of open secret at Microsoft, but employees usually know better than to let Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, know. An employee said in an interview, “Maybe once a year I’m in a meeting with Steve Ballmer. It doesn’t matter who’s calling — I’m not answering my phone.”

Those foolish enough to be seen with a phone in Ballmer’s presence encounter a dramatic but not unsurprising reaction, considering what Steve Ballmer has done in the past. At a recent company meeting, Ballmer grabbed an iPhone from an employee, put it on the ground, and pretended to stomp on it. A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to comment on the story.

Via NYDailyNews, image via NYDailyNews.

Mar 8 2010

Ballmer Gets A Pair Of Wings, Flies Into The Cloud

It has oft been said that Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, is the antithesis of Steve Jobs.  While Jobs is viewed commonly as the artistic designer and creative genius of the computing world, Ballmer is the brick and mortar business man, known for constantly playing catch-up on new ideas.  However, it appears Ballmer wants to dispel the belief that Microsoft can’t be creative.

To prove it, Ballmer explained Microsoft’s deep interest in the cloud to a crowd at University of Washington. Stevie is planning to get heavily invested in what he is valuing as a $3.3 trillion industry. That’s absolutely massive, and there is no wonder why he and the rest of Redmond are taking it seriously.  He broke up his talk into five major points:

  1. “The Cloud Creates Opportunities and Responsibilities”
  2. “The Cloud Learns and Helps You Learn, Decide and Take Action”
  3. “Cloud Enhances Social and Professional Interactions”
  4. “The Cloud Wants Smarter Devices”
  5. “The Cloud Drives Servers Advances  That Drive the Cloud”

One surprising aspect of Ballmer’s approach was his emphasis on the quality of consumer devices and hardware.  Much of cloud theory has been based on the idea processing should happen server-side and minimize the amount of work the client needs to do.  In layman’s terms: complicated stuff happens in the cloud, and you just get the product.  Ballmer appears to be arguing instead that if processing on the client end delivers better content at a lower cost than bandwidth enhancement, then we should be making better products to work with the cloud.  His example of choice was the Windows Phone 7 Series.

Still, the most important things to take away from this are twofold.  Firstly, the cloud is here to stay.  Learn to love it.  Secondly, all members of the computing triumvirate have now tossed their hats into the next great war of the information age: Apple with the iPhone/iPad App Store and MobileMe, Google with Google Apps, and Microsoft with Windows/Xbox Live.  Let’s see who has what it will take to become this decade’s premier content provider.

Via Gizmodo.

Jan 23 2010

Microsoft CEO Signs a Mac

Steve Ballmer may annoy Apple users sometimes–he said that the iPhone was prohibitively expensive–but I really cannot deny that he can be pretty amusing. He certainly does not fit the stereotype of the staid, laid-back CEO. Ballmer is quite the opposite, always very enthusiastic. I first found out about him when I saw a YouTube video of him at an event during which he ran on stage yelling, “I love this company!” Even though I don’t really care for the products his company sells, I do find his enthusiasm refreshing.

The latest amusing thing Ballmer has done involves Apple–specifically, a MacBook Pro computer. At a technology council meeting at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee, a student boldly approached Ballmer and asked him to sign his computer. The student then presented Ballmer with a MacBook Pro and promised that it had Windows on it. Ballmer laughed and signed the computer, adding a note with his signature that read, “Need a new one?” Somebody recorded a video of this amusing encounter and posted it to YouTube.

You have to wonder: what would Steve Jobs have done if he had been asked to sign a Windows computer? I would like to think that he would have been as good-natured about the whole thing as Ballmer was.

Via Geek.com, image via Useless Universe.

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