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back to article Ballmer leaves investors speechless in Seattle

The pressure must be getting to Microsoft's very own bald eagle Steve Ballmer as he issued a stinging public rebuke - for the first time - to dissenting investors calling for his head, and used the soon-to-be released fiscal 2011 results to back up his reputation. According to reports in the Seattle Times, Microsoft's CEO …

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Devil

So he missed the street forecast and is proud of it

Well... The hedge fund manager has a point - someone more connected to reality may be needed here.

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Gimp

He's probably...

...using the Jobs' "distortion reality phenomena" as a new business model.

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Childcatcher

Dance, monkey boy, dance

Lest we forget:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvsboPUjrGc

Would you trust this man with your $200bn business? Icon cos her monkeys had wings.

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Facepalm

Eh?

Is that not the child-catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ?

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Villain

The character who's icon you used is (a) male and (b) had no winged monkey slaves. The icon represents the "Child Catcher" character from the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", played by Robert Helpmann.

Other than that, though ... the Ballmer freak out you linked to remains indelible.

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Anonymous Coward

Child catcher

The child catcher from Chitty turned out to be female with winged monkeys? I must slept through that bit of the story, about 12 times... but yes, Steve B is a tw*t.

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Happy

Mixing up a male Chitty character with a female (and green) witch from Oz...

...Epic Win!

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Anonymous Coward

Colour the icon green

and the child catcher will look like the wicked witch from Wizard of Oz.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Bronze badge
Pint

Empty vessels make the most noise!

' Microsoft's CEO shouted at a captive audience attending a civic bash in the city's Rotary Club yesterday. "You tell me if I lack energy, conviction or we're not driving change we need to drive," he bellowed. '

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Loud Mouth Baffoon!

The man is prehistoric! Both he and Microsoft are increasingly "irrelevant".

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No Worries Stevey

I'm actually OK if he stays on at the helm.

The world will be a better place with a MUCH smaller and less influential Microsoft.

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Pirate

Aye

He'd be a good skipper to pilot the MS ship off into the fog of irrelevance. He's done a great job at it so far.

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Anonymous Coward

Strange

I feel that way about some of the possible presidential candidates like Palin, I like the USA but it could sometimes use a little humility, I would expect Palin to deliver.

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Humility? Palin?

Ignorance and hilarity more like.

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MIc
Mushroom

new boss same as the old boss

The last 6 presidents have done plenty to give us humility, including Barry.

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Please no

I'm already having nightmares about the possibility of President Palin. A Dominionist is about the LAST thing we need in the oval office. Especially one with such a large following of lunatics convinced she can do no wrong.

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Gerald Ford

was that the last one you're proud of?

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Paris Hilton

Heh.

Nothing says weak like someone loudly shouting "I am in a strong position!".

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Silver badge

You mean ...

that he is like the drunk in the pub who loudly declares himself to be sober.

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Pint

Or

I am not as think as you drunk I am

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Or

Like George W. Bush saying "I'm the Decider" when everyone figured Cheney wore the big-boy pants.

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Headmaster

Hmm

Not really good form to release the numbers pre-audit there Steve - a billion either way can move the market if it's outside the expected range. Also not know that the number is isn't a good sign for a CEO either.

Generally I think MS gets a bit too much stick but this was a very un-CEO-like thing to do and may even be a sacking offence (bit strong but the rules on price sensitive information and public pronouncements for CEOs are strict).

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Mushroom

Must not have been any empty chairs...

Buh-bye!!!

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Joke

Develo...

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Windows

@dssf

Haven't you followed the news lately? It's more like;

"Patent troll, patent troll, patent troll!"

(Icon selected because he looks like he lives under a bridge)

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Bronze badge

Hehehehe....

Thanks!

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Go

If you life gives you lemons

...throw them at the captive audience!

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Anonymous Coward

Steve must have been in a good mood ...

... if he hurled verbals instead of meubles.

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Thumb Up

Well done, Steve...

Yeah, MS is a big company and is meeting analyst's & shareholder expectations. Yeah, MS's forays into new markets is bank-rolled by Windows & Office, but they have done a good job of improving security and trust.

As mentioned in the hedge fund thread comments from the other week (from a hedge fund manager), hedge funds thrive on volatility not steady-state. So I take it this hedge fund manager made the wrong call and is now "stuck" with a crap-load of MS shares...and is doing his best to unsettle Joe-investor to sell and get the MS stock to fall from his outburst. But it ain't happening.

So good job, Steve. If you've got the backing of the board and Joe-investor and the hedge fund manager's comments didn't smack the MS share price around, then you have nothing (much) to worry about.

The bad-boys on the block has now been relayed to Google. Anti-trust cases all over the place, flops of platforms/apps, all bank-rolled by search and ads.

Saying all that, it ain't good to flip your wig in public. And I do hope that Win8 doesn't look like the previews I have seen. Call it msPad O/S or something 'cos it don't look like a serious O/S that companies or productive people would use (unless you're in a multimedia industry).

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WTF?

Don't know what you've been smoking..

.. but I sure don't want any of it.

Let's recap:

MS goes together with Nokia. Nokia shares nose dive.

MS buys Skype. Almost everyone I talk to is seeking for a replacement as there is an accepted certainty that MS will mess it up (plus it was bought far too expensive, but I digress).

MS devalues everything it touches, and that comes directly from its leadership - it has lost the trust of staff and customers, and IMHO deservedly so.

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Only in this market

would that profit to turnover ratio be rated as a failure.

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Anonymous Coward

"For those of you who doubt my leadership

here's an early announcement of weaker-than-expected financials so you can get on with selling the crap out of stock sooner rather than later."

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Windows

It may have its compensations...

But surely being Steve Ballmer is no piece of cake. Who else has to confront disappointed looks after showing up US$ 26 Billion in profits?

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Well, right

But in this system what people want is market cap. (i.e. share price), not profit. Profit is good only if it drives the share price up (and it often doesn't). What DOES drive the share price up is delocalization and a wave of pink slips. Or a black turtleneck and theatrical media masses. Like it or not, the US economy is built entirely on smoke, mirrors and glitter. As long as you can keep the shareholders entertained, profits or financial soundness do not come into play. Until the bubble bursts, of course. Let me take a simple example: MS has had a relatively robust "cloud" offering for a while. All Apple had until very recently was MobileMe. And yet Ballmer is seen to fail at cloudiness while Jobs is seen as a cloud visionary. One managed to slip a disgraceful failure under the carpet while the other is crucified over comparatively minor flaws. It's all about how you sell it to the shareholders and "market analysts".

Of course dismissing the iPhone was an enormous mistake from a strategy point of view, the guy lost what little credibility he had left with the market trick-cyclists. But to be honest I've played with a few different models, and although they are pleasant pieces of design, feel solid, etc, none of them is a terribly good smartphone. iOS feel is that of a toy and functionality is limited. Flexibility, inexistant unless you jailbreak it; call me a hopeless geek if you must, but I did get that claustrophobia feeling, everytime. From a piece of hardware that packs the same grunt as my netbook -more grunt even, for version 4-, I was expecting much better. Certainly not "parading-shifting" pieces of hardware. What shifted the proverbial paradigm was the PR work built around them. And that's even before you take into account the "grip of death" issue -another embarrassment that Jobs managed to slip under the carpet, quite masterfully I must say.

And now I find myself defending MS somehow. I feel soooo dirty. Curse you Jobs, curse you to hell!

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Alert

I'm suprised he didn't...

throw the podium furniture into the audience...

then again those who were criticising him weren't in the audience at the time ;)

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FAIL

steve the baffoon

>There's a reason why we'll do almost $70bn in revenue this year and we'll make over $20, whatever, $26, $27bn in profits

Yes and that reason was mostly due to your predecessor. What have you done lately Steve? He's like just be patient I have a mole in Nokia who is destroying its value as we speak. Soon we will embrace it, extend it (force our stagnant infighting culture on it - wait they already have that) and extinguish it (because King Midas Balmer turns everything he touches to cow manure).

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FAIL

Missing the point

It's not about lacking energy, focus or conviction, it's about getting the future right. Or even vaguely right. Or maybe just in the right ball park. Hell, within the city boundaries.

Remember the iPad? Or the iPhone? Mr Ballmer should be embarrassed to step foot in front of shareholders after those two products have bitten him on the arse.

I have always said from the start that the iPhone should have been a wake up call from the moment it was released. It should have scared Nokia, Microsoft and RIM to their core. But they ignored it. The average consumer saw an amazing new UI, whilst the CEOs of the three above couldn't see past it's lack of features.

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Thumb Down

To be fair...

Windows based tablets were tried and flopped into a niche market years before Jobs ever considered the iPad. It's only the Amazing Apple Marketting Machine (tm) that made tablets market viable. Blaming Balmer for getting beat by the iPad is a bit unfair considering that.

The iPhone likewise should have flopped, but again the Amazing Apple Marketting Machine saved a product that offered nothing of significance to the consumer (be honest: the UI really wasn't all THAT different from what was already around).

Anon because the fanbois will be rabid over this little dose of reality.

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Windows

@Idiot AC

Tha amazing apple marketing machine?

Are you *seriously* saying that the user experience and ecosystem of Windows tablets is the same as the ipad?

And it was only fancy marketing that got apple over the line?

Could Microsoft not afford to do the same fancy marketing?

Why don't you put the crack pipe down for a while, it's messing with your brain.

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WTF?

Good point!

Crazy goat :)

You're right, a Windows tablet is a full blown computer that you can use as a full blown computer.

A stripped down low res surfing machine is what's needed.

If you think this would have worked had anyone but Apple come up with it then I want what you are smoking. Apple is a religion - they say this is cool and millions of Apple fans immediately being the 'We need one' mantra. It is a success and then others copy the stripped down format to be like Apple...

If MS had said here is a tablet that's so locked down you can't do everything with it that you can do with a computer; you can't even plug it into an external monitor without an overpriced cable do you think it would have been met with 'Wow!!!!! This is the future!!!!' No, it would have been met with 'What crap is this from MS!'

MS Sucks. Apple sucks more - but has a better PR machine than any company on the planet.

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Paris Hilton

Full blown tablet computer

Complete with crap battery life, multi kilo weight and an OS that, let's be honest, is less than ideal for a touch interface.

FACT: Windows tablets failed in the market place.

You cretins can blame it on "fancy marketing" all you like but the the truth is that it doesn't matter how well you market a turd, people will not buy it once they realise that it is, in fact, a turd.

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Pint

completely correct, Mr Jam

as usual

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FAIL

@AC 23:34

If it's just down to the "Apple Marketing Machine" then why didn't AppleTV sell like hotcakes? People buy things that they like, and ignore those they don't. No amount of marketing has made AppleTV successful, and no amount of marketing made the crap Win tablets fly off the shelves.

Hate Apple all you like but to pretend that their success is all down to marketing is totally naive.

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to be fair...

any tablet or tablet OS released by microsoft would have to be a full windows OS with all of the x86 architecture and battery sucking that goes along with it.

Apple had always been seen as separate software being needed so they could get away with a completely new OS and all new software being needed

if microsoft had tried the same approach as apple did to IOS for the iphone and ipad then everone would be complaining that it wasnt compatible with all their windows software.

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Anonymous Coward

I disagree

"You cretins can blame it on "fancy marketing" all you like but the the truth is that it doesn't matter how well you market a turd, people will not buy it once they realise that it is, in fact, a turd."

Steve Jobs could crap in a white box and call it iPoo and Apple's marketing department would convince people to buy it. After all, they convinced how many millions of people to buy a phone that dropped calls if you held it wrong? No other company could have pulled that off and remained a significant player in the market.

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Angel

Apple

http://www.tuaw.com/2011/05/01/south-park-makes-fun-of-all-things-apple-in-season-opening/

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FAIL

wow, good argument

Calling someone a cretin when they say something you don't agree with. Well done.

I never said MS tablets were a success, I said MS could never have got away selling an iPad, yet you ignored that and went for the personal attack.

Fanboi much?

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@AC

iPad is nothing to do with marketing, it is genuinely a good user experience.

Same with the iPhone. It has an excellent UI and far better than anything else that was on the market at the time.

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