Ballmer says Microsoft will leave no stone unturned in battle with Apple

By on July 10, 2012, 6:30 PM

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is gearing up for a battle with Apple that he says will leave no stone unturned. The chief admits that Microsoft and select partners ceded some of the boundary between hardware and software to Apple in previous years but with Surface, that’s a thing of the past.

In an interview with CRN, Ballmer highlighted that Microsoft has advantages in productivity, enterprise management and manageability but the company isn’t prepared to let things like the consumer cloud and hardware / software innovation go uncontested to Apple. “Not going to happen. Not on our watch,” he said.

Ballmer didn’t discredit the idea of Microsoft making their own smartphone hardware either. When asked about the subject, he said that right now, they are working extremely hard on the Surface. It’s their sole focus and core right now.

“Look, we’ll see what happens. We have good partners with Nokia, HTC in the phone space. I love what we've got going on with the Surface. We are going to focus on Surface and our other Windows 8 tablet partners and see if we can go make something happen,” Ballmer noted.

Redmond’s plan is to sell the Surface through Microsoft.com and Microsoft retail stores. Ballmer said there aren’t any plans for an industrial distribution to partners, but if a partner wants to order some tablets and use them as part of a solution for their customers, he’d be happy to see that happen.

In a bit of related news, Ballmer told those in attendance at the conference that he believes Microsoft may sell “a few million” tablets over the next year as part of a broader forecast to move 375 million Windows PCs.




User Comments: 19

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Guest said:

Look at the Balmer Photo. INVISIBLE GIANT SANDWICH

Rippleman Rippleman said:

I don't think this will happen... apple is a smaller company and more "mobile" as in can charge direction realitivily quickly. I am willing to bet right now, they are working (probably alpha stage) of iGlasses just like olympia and google. The glasses will be running ios6 and has a wide range of their products showcased like apple maps, calendar, imessage, facetime etc... Microsoft is probably about 5 years away from that yet...

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Look at the Balmer Photo. INVISIBLE GIANT SANDWICH

Does that mean AMD's inferiority complex extends to invisible food items?....

...or does Rory prefer to make presentations whilst doing the robot dance?

Jibberish18 said:

Look at the Balmer Photo. INVISIBLE GIANT SANDWICH

I once caught an iPad THIS BIG.

ikesmasher said:

lol consumer cloud. Its useful, the 50 percent of the time you have internet access. I think ill stick with on site storage, where I can access my data, you know, 100 percent of the time.

Mantrhax Mantrhax said:

lol @ ms... crap company

Guest said:

"advantages in productivity, enterprise management and manageability..."

...but not in actual products which are mostly crap :)

Guest said:

he wishes his Surface was that big...

Guest said:

To say "MS is a crap company" or MS products are all rubbish is just nonsense and typical of the childishness and ridiculous ill-informed corporate-fanboyism of most posters these days. I wish they would do IQ test before allowing people to post on these sites as it would be really nice to have sensible discussions between adults rather than this drivel. Office - Windows 7 - Visual Studio are all fantastic products - and no I'm not a fanboy I use a PC at work and PC/Macs at home and they both have some great stuff and some not-so-great stuff.

Anyway, back on topic... I think it is a real shame that MS is chasing after Apple in this way and dragging its entire OS in that direction. Why on earth they dont have a specifc OS (or at least a custom UI) for tablets and leave the desktop UI as it is baffles me. (its what Apple do!) With all these very late and reactive changes they are making in Windows 8 they will end up alienating users in the one sector they are still dominant in - ie corporate PCs. Just my opinion.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"advantages in productivity, enterprise management and manageability..."

...but not in actual products which are mostly crap

Your comment makes no sense. They have an advantage in these sectors precisely because of successful products...?

I'm sorry, but my 10-year old niece trolls her Facebook friends better than you. 3/10

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

And this has been MS's problem for going a decade now. Chasing after Apple instead of being the innovator.

Guest said:

Typical M$, suck up the innovative little companies and play catch-up to the tech industry.

Guest said:

microsoft software is cr@p , I hate to see their hardware

Arris Arris said:

Look at the Balmer Photo. INVISIBLE GIANT SANDWICH

Does that mean AMD's inferiority complex extends to invisible food items?....

...or does Rory prefer to make presentations whilst doing the robot dance?

Looks more like big fish, little fish, cardboard box.

avoidz avoidz said:

And this has been MS's problem for going a decade now. Chasing after Apple instead of being the innovator.

Agreed. Microsoft has made some great products despite Apple's presence. Office and XP and 7 are good. They need to focus on making good software, not chasing the Apple crowd.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Office - Windows 7 - Visual Studio are all fantastic products - and no I'm not a fanboy I use a PC at work and PC/Macs at home and they both have some great stuff and some not-so-great stuff.

Anyway, back on topic... I think it is a real shame that MS is chasing after Apple in this way and dragging its entire OS in that direction. Why on earth they dont have a specifc OS (or at least a custom UI) for tablets and leave the desktop UI as it is baffles me. (its what Apple do!) With all these very late and reactive changes they are making in Windows 8 they will end up alienating users in the one sector they are still dominant in - ie corporate PCs. Just my opinion.

As someone who uses a lot of software from many different companies, my experience is the same. MS stuff is the most stable, useful, and easiest to learn by far. Excel is as important to business in this country as email, and some may argue it's even more important.

Regardless.... Win8 can be a tablet/social/cute UI operating system. They won't alienate the business community when they have Win 7. Win7 is so good there's no need to pay good money to upgrade to anything.

I'm also waiting to see the Surface before I put any faith in a MS harware device though. As they say in business 'stick to the pudding', which means McDonalds shouldn't sell pizza anymore than MS should try to make smartphones. The Surface success depends on Win8's usefulness more than anything else. I'm sure the hardware will be great, it's running Intel, just like everything else.

mojorisin23 mojorisin23 said:

office, windows are great products... in 1996. what have you done for me lately?

Zoltan Head said:

That's a bit off-topic, this is about food, let's hear it for the sandwiches and puddings!

Guest said:

And Apples?

Guest said:

Guest said: "To say "MS is a crap company" or MS products are all rubbish is just nonsense and typical of the childishness and ridiculous ill-informed corporate-fanboyism of most posters these days. I wish they would do IQ test before allowing people to post on these sites as it would be really nice to have sensible discussions between adults rather than this drivel. Office - Windows 7 - Visual Studio are all fantastic products - and no I'm not a fanboy I use a PC at work and PC/Macs at home and they both have some great stuff and some not-so-great stuff."

Well said, I get tired of those immature, dumb, troll like comments too.

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