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back to article Top 10 Steve Ballmer quotes: '%#&@!!' and so much more

When it comes to quotable CEOs, Steve Ballmer may not be the best in the business, but he has managed come up with some zingers. As he prepares to make his transition from top dog at Microsoft, we thought it would be a good time to survey some of the most memorable Ballmerisms of past years, and see how they worked out in …

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Kids rebel

" Ballmer is, however, missing a trick with this one. It's natural and normal for kids to rebel against their parents. With his luck, and this upbringing, Ballmer's brood will end up working for Cupertino or Mountain View. "

More like they'll shy away from business and tech altogether. Expect to see his brood go into anything else; Show biz, art major, writer (Oo! Tell all books!), maybe even move to some backwater country and basket weave for a living.

(OK, that last one's a bit much!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Kids rebel

They certainly do. Someone with whom I attended university had wealthy parents, and spent one of his vacations fighting with Communist rebels in some South American country (I forget which).

Once when I stayed overnight at his parent's home, he asked me to pretend to be a Vet Science student, and tell his mother that her dog had a terminal illness. I declined.

Sorry, not relevant. Maybe.

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Linux

Re: Kids rebel

Users do too.

All this talk of Blamer ruining microsoft because of the rise of Google, Apple etc on his watch might be missing the point. Before then, users *had no choice*. So if they detested the beast, there's nothing they could do about it. As soon as they do get a realistic choice, such as with phones, tablets, cloud ... well, basically anything apart from the desktop OS, they take it gladly no matter who's running the shop - today and tomorrow.

Which is why the self inflicted Windows hate disaster is so telling of the misplaced arrogance within.

"Users hate Windows 8" :-)

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Headmaster

Re: Kids rebel

"Ballmer's brood will end up working for Cupertino or Mountain View or worse, amateur dramatics."

Wait, the monkey dance was professional dramatics ? Or did you mean amateur dramatics done worse is possible?

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I realise this is totally childish, but ....

.... would it be possible to modify the GPL, etc, so that Microsoft was not allowed to use the code?

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Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

would it be possible to modify the GPL, etc, so that Microsoft was not allowed to use the code?

In theory, given enough lawyers & someone killing off Richard Stallman, I suppose it might be possible. The problem as I see it, though, is that the GPL and other software licenses are about giving you freedom to the code. By denying a specific entity the right to the code, you're driving a horse and cart through that core tenant of free/open source software.

Assuming all software license switch to anti-Microsoft versions, you then start to get some interesting questions:

- What about products that MS buys in that have GPL/BSD/whatever code in them? Cisco are big users of open source software, and I'd be surprised if there's no Cisco kit at Microsoft. Even my TV came with a copy of the GPL! Would Microsoft be allowed to own or use those products?

- This would certainly kill Microsoft doing any work on Android or Apple devices.

- What about the work Microsoft put in working with open source developers (e.g. SAMBA) ?

- What about a Microsoft employee at home? With modern working practises, the line between "at work" and "not at work" is very blurred.

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Boffin

Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

Nope… that in itself would be a violation of the GPL's copyright which clearly states that such modifications are not permitted.

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies

of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

That is, unless you agree to that, you're not allowed to use the GPL for your project. At the very least, you would not be permitted to call the license the "GNU GPL"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

Plenty of projects have a non-commercial use community edition.

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Linux

Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

GPL prophet RMS already has an article on this:

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/programs-must-not-limit-freedom.html

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

You are right, it is.

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Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

Isn't a part of the GPL that you can frequently choose the version?

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Linux

Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....

No. Not really.

You can choose whatever version you want when you release the code. You may even choose more than one (GPL and LGPL or for example).

But when the code is already released under a GPL version, only the copyright owners (the original authors0 may re-license it. This is why Linux is still under GPL v2. Linus refused to re-license it to GPL v3.

http://www.infoworld.com/t/platforms/linus-torvalds-still-sticking-gpl-2-361

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I'm going to fucking bury that guy

I presume he meant under a pile of money??

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Whatever.

Not a single one of those quotes has any bearing on my day-to-day computer use.

Which is probably why MS is pitching the idiot.

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FAIL

Re: Whatever.

The idiot who tripled revenue, doubled profits and turned cloud, CRM, Sharepoint and gaming into billion dollar businesses? I mention those because they're not dependant on windows+office and did not exist in Gates' era.

Yeah, what an idiot. You're so much smarter than him, Jake. We know because you keep telling us.

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Re: Whatever.

Re-read mine, dogged.

Absolutely nothing he has done since taking the helm has convinced me that MS is a viable option. The GreatUnwashed have started noticing what was obvious to the cognizant over ten years ago.

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Facepalm

Re: Whatever.

He doesn't need to convince you, Jake.

I'd go so far as to venture that he doesn't need the reassurance of anyone who has enough time to waste it on dismissive comments about the multi-billion dollar company he was a partner in building and running. Has Steve Ballmer done better for himself and his family than any one of us?

Yes. Indisputably so. But you just bitch away, Jake. You with your secret special knowledge what's good that either nobody else has or nobody else gives a shit about. Bitch away, old son. Make yourself feel better. As for the idiot with the Harvard maths degree (those don't come free with your cornflakes either), I expect he feels pretty good anyway,

And has never heard of any of us and wouldn't care if he did.

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Re: Whatever.

The difference between you and I, dogged, is that I view the reality of what works in my day to day life as more important than marketing. Yourself, maybe not so much.

I don't think of myself as a "tiny speck". I feel sorry for you, if you really feel that way.

I'll happily match his Harvard Maths degree with my MBA from Stanford.

You edited your post in a BIG way. Why so angry?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whatever.

And only an MBA could make that match without pissing themselves laughing!

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Re: Whatever.

You edited your post in a BIG way.

Yeah, it was incoherent. I hadn't been awake long.

I'm not angry. Just disappointed, I guess. The sheer amount of no-life wasters on here with no skills and no ability and a huge hard-on for a company that exists to sell them as product getting all tribal about allegiances makes me sad.

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@AC 12:25 (was: Re: Whatever.)

My last degree was the MBA. The others are engineering related.

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Pint

@dogged 16:14 (was: Re: Whatever.)

I grok. You and I are pretty much on the same page (I think) ... but I'm up walking the dawgs for their late-night pee when you're getting your first cuppa.

It's all good. Somehow we'll all muddle thru' if we communicate.

Beer?

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Re: @AC 12:25 (was: Whatever.)

But not anything in English I'll be bound

"The difference between you and I, dogged, is that I view the reality of what works in my day to day life as more i.."

"between you and me - ", between is a preposition and pronouns after a prepostion take the accusative.

2/10 stay behind after class.

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@Getriebe (was:Re: @AC 12:25 (was: Whatever.))

It's the vernacular. Language mutates. Don't like it? Move somewhere else.

Good luck with that.

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Developers Developers...

That was and is true.

Making Windows easy to develop for is what made Windows in the first place. Without that it'd be a mere footnote in history.

Failing to do that is part of what killed Windows Mobile (the other being it was awful) and what's killing Windows 8, damaging 8.1 before launch and is the main reason Windows Phone 7 tanked utterly and why Windows Phone 8 is not doing well.

A lack of applications will always damage a consumer computing platform, a lack of support for developers kills it stone dead.

In the last few years MS has been pissing off developers by doing practically everything wrong.

The new guy had better dance!

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Re: Developers Developers...

It's kind of true, for both developers and users, they've been taking some extraordinarily arbitrary decisions over the past few years (according to what I've heard):

- They discontinued the Help for VBA in Office 2010, making some people fear that they'd discontinued the VBA system itself, though I think that wasn't the case, but it put me off from ever upgrading from Office 2003

- They introduced the famous ribbon, which of course put me and millions of others off. It's almost impossible to find your way through it

- They introduced the 'metro' interface, which millions of people didn't want

- They kept introducing software with less and less user-customisable options (for instance the e-mail client in Windows 7 versus Outlook Express)

- They introduced a mobile OS which is (supposedly) as closed as the one of Apple, whereas one of the big bugbears for many professional users of mobile phones is the inability to access the file system of the machine

All this seems to be emphasis on style and packaging versus emphasis on content and flexibility. Which of course isn't good for a lot of people.

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Re: Developers Developers...

And throw in the Xbox1, and its another major MS product that has pissed off their own customers.

My home, it'll be a PS4 period. A friend of mine has ALL consoles - but there is no future in his home for the xBoxOne. I think the only (or most) PRO-xBOX1 folks on line are paid employees.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Developers Developers...

Trolling presumably. The only console EVER with the ability to buy a chip that was easy enough to solder in place and allow whatever you wanted to be played? Not to mention XBMC (illegal or not to use the SDK to compile it, I don't care, I didn't see any prosecutions) being one of the best pieces of software to come out of that period, and still being ported and improved today?

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MJI
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Re: Developers Developers...

Windows 7 email clients

Mine waas OK, I downloaded Thunderbird as I could not make head nor tale of the Win7 one.

If I had time I would have, but I wanted it running now, so used something easier to understand for a long term computer user.

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Media are unfair on old Stevie.

Why do the media always pick clips that make the man seem like an aggressive overbearing disconnected delusional psychotic bully who has spent so long shouting he no longer listens to the words himself.

I'm sure there are other clips out there where his softer more agreeable meditative and thoughtful aspects come to the fore, no?

No?

Nothing?

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Thumb Up

Re: Powernumpty Re: Media are unfair on old Stevie.

The Balmer-bashing articles are inevitable. But every now and again you do get a quote about Balmer that actually acknowledges some of Microsoft's success, like this one from the BBC: "The company has more than tripled revenues and doubled profits under Mr Ballmer's leadership."

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Re: Powernumpty Media are unfair on old Stevie.

"The company has more than tripled revenues and doubled profits under Mr Ballmer's leadership."

But a more insightful quote would've been..

"The company has more than tripled revenues and doubled profits despite Mr Ballmer's leadership."

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Re: Powernumpty Media are unfair on old Stevie.

That's because MS is a Zombie Cash Cow[tm], with plenty of legacy income streams that continue to work with little or no oversight.

All Ballmer had to do was not touch anything important, leave the smart people to do their jobs, and even more cash would have rolled in.

Instead he broke two of the biggest streams - Windows and Office - and blew literal truck loads of cash on stupid dead-end me-too projects, because leadership.

Without his genius, MS profits would have been far higher.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Powernumpty Media are unfair on old Stevie.

"The company has more than tripled revenues and doubled profits under Mr Ballmer's leadership."

Aaand yet the stock markit seems to value Mr Ballmer at -20 Billion USD. Stock went up 8% on the news.

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FAIL

Re: Powernumpty Media are unfair on old Stevie.

"....Instead he broke two of the biggest streams - Windows and Office...." Oh puh-lease! Yeah, 'cos we've all ditched Woffice for Linux and OpenOffice, right? Even with the problems of Vista and Metro and the horrendous ribbon, most businesses are looking to upgrade their WinXP installs to Win7 or 8.1, not iOS or Linux. Try to think before frothing mindless hatred.

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FAIL

Re: Powernumpty Media are unfair on old Stevie.

I really can't see anyone looking to upgrade a WinXP install to iOS - unless they're intent of replacing their Dell/HP/Whatever desktops/laptops with iPads and/or iPhones...

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F*ck you attitude.

Is evident in many of the quotes and it well reflects the Microsoft attitude to other businesses, consumers and government.

I didn't realise how well it also reflected the company's attitude to its staff, but the responses from them to the Vanity Fair article on MS and Ballmer suggests that the place is a snake pit where individuals are fighting the system and each other rather than working as a team "....focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most." (to quote the clearest humbug in Ballmer's farewell announcement).

This is an unpleasant bullying company run by unpleasant bullying creatures intent on dis-empowering each other and everyone else (just read their EULAs) -- unsurprisingly this has not always produced the desired results. The recent flops suggest that with this arrogance to the outside world and fractures within, chickens are coming home to roost.

Hopefully, in time we will be entirely rid of this ugly behemoth (and I don't just mean Ballmer).

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Re: F*ck you attitude.

@Fihart: you clearly haven't looked at how Apple does business, have you.

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Re: F*ck you attitude. @Chris Bedford

Experienced the deliberately introduced annoyances when using an iPod with iTunes, so aside from cost, avoid Apple products.

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"I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google."

What a quote. Apple have taken their dinner and Google have taken their lunch money. Kids growing up these days don't care about old fashioned IT companies like Microsoft, HP and Dell. They grow up and all they know is Apple, Google and Samsung

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Facepalm

Re: Larry Crapbeans Re: "I have done it before, and I will do it again....."

"....Kids growing up these days don't care about old fashioned IT companies like Microsoft...." Which ignores the fact we never did when we were kids either, we thought about Atari and Commodore. Today's kids will go to school, where they will get introduced to the Microsoft power base of Windows and Office. Then they'll go to work and carry on using the Woffice combo, and probably Win Server if they work in tech. Do not make the mistake of assuming the consumer segment is the whole market. The fanbois and baristas forget that both Apple and Linux have failed to displace the Woffice combo, and are still a minor player compared to MS in the server software market. And that is coming from someone that has spent over a decade trying to use Linux in business as much as possible.

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Alert

Re: Larry Crapbeans "I have done it before, and I will do it again....."

What the...?? Matt, I find it unsettling that I agree with something you've said. Please don't do it again! ;)

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Meh

Re: Larry Crapbeans "I have done it before, and I will do it again....."

Whilst I agree on the Woffice/Linux(Ooo/Aoo/Loo) statement, I'm not so sure that linux is a "Minor Player" in the server market.

Certainly not "minor" on my accounts.

Certainly I've not heard or seen any references to windows running any supercomputing environments either, but then, that might be just me.

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One Smart Thing

MS did just one thing right - making a contract with early desktop manufacturers to receive a royalty on every box sold whether or not MS-DOS was installed. So simple. Not just an incentive to install MS-DOS but a disincentive to install anything else.

The rest, as they say, being sufficiently ensconced to install one "shockingly inferior" product after another on to an ignorant and gullible world, is history. All they had to do after that was stamp on anything which could conceivably represent a threat, an attitude ably represented by the Neanderthal-like qualities of .... of ... What was that guy's name?

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Re: One Smart Thing

How tiring to hear this pish again. "one "shockingly inferior" product after another on to an ignorant and gullible world". Is that that the world you come from?

The world, and their businesses, real ones running the real world, use Microsofts products solely because, in most instances, there was and is no alternative or the alternatives were 'shockingly inferior'. Why else would business people pay or pay more? MS have and still run the business world. The toy market is dominated by Google and Apple own the vanity over productivity realm.

If you're in business you run windows because it's the best and most productive and compatible platform - from days of DOS to 8 and everything between. Backwards compatible to windows 95 if you need it. Their methods aside, MS deliver so that you can type this ignorant hatred on your (probably windows http://bit.ly/17ccYwJ ) device and have it carried by and passed through MS powered servers around the internet to be viewed on the 91.53% (by OS market share) windows run desktops or downvoted on the toys or mirrors of the deluded 'elite'.

The world is indeed changing; consumption drives the rise of the consumer device and MS under Balmer underestimated it, woefully. Now though they have joined up services and products which stand shoulder to shoulder with anything from the fairy kingdom and integrate with enterprise like no other. If you want to see or show what dinner was like to or for your 'followers' then a tablet or phone is great. If you want to do some actual work then you go to a windows pc (or fire up windows 7 in bootcamp).

My fervent hope is that the departure of '@rse#0le Step Dad Steve' will allow the naive to see the true scale of the singularly magnificent job done by the worlds largest software company and we see less of this guff and more recognition for three decades of the only effective choice and still the best.

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Re: One Smart Thing

"MS have and still run the business world. The toy market is dominated by Google and Apple own the vanity over productivity realm. ... If you're in business you run windows because it's the best and most productive and compatible platform - from days of DOS to 8 and everything between."

Meh. Being in technology, I actually don't know of that many businesses that use Microsoft.

If you run any sort of server/compute farm, you obviously want to use Linux or maybe BSD on it. Ignoring debates about OS robustness and so forth, there's simply no reason to pay for Microsoft licenses when all you need is something that can run C++ code or serve PHP pages. And if you're running a *nix on your servers, then you're probably giving your employees Macs, since OS X interacts nicely with *nix (being BSD itself). Microsoft doesn't figure into the picture.

At least that's how Google does it, and at least parts of Amazon, and a few startups that I've worked at and a few more that I've interacted with, plus some academic groups/departments that I'm aware of, plus a few Wall Street firms that I'm aware of (they're pretty focused on Java, not sure how that happened).

I'm sure there are businesses that use a Microsoft stack out there. Well, there obviously are. But it's certainly frowned upon by some of the biggest players.

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Re: One Smart Thing

"Meh. Being in technology, I actually don't know of that many businesses that use Microsoft."

There may be appetite for non-MS stuff in tech companies, but move into the wider world of non-tech business and you'll find MS most everywhere.

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Happy

Re: One Smart Thing

'in most instances, there was and is no alternative or the alternatives were 'shockingly inferior'. Why else would business people pay or pay more? '

Ahahaahahahaha! You are implying that business people buy the best or the most cost-effective solution! Ahahahahahahahahahaa! Comedy gold!

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Mushroom

Re: One Smart Thing

"...The toy market is dominated by Google and Apple own the vanity over productivity realm..."

I've used MacOS almost exclusively since 1985 in graphics/design and video work. My productivity -- and the ease of testing and exploring design ideas for projects -- jumped through the roof overnight when I started using a Mac in my work after five years of hot wax, press-type, cold galleys, border tape and razor blades.

I hate to think how my productivity would've suffered if I'd been stuck spending most of my working day re-installing and re-re-installing software and drivers because they didn't work right the first time, dealing with security holes, scraping out fistfuls of malware and crapware, and otherwise wasting time banging my head on Windows.

Thanks for playing. Here's a copy of our home game.

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Re: One Smart Thing

There may be appetite for non-MS stuff in tech companies, but move into the wider world of non-tech business and you'll find MS most everywhere.

Move into the financial business world and you'll find the absence of MS on the core systems everywhere. Most of 'em use either Linux, BSD or the remaining commercial UNIX variants. Mainframes still do most of the core stuff as well.

MS is only the main option for backends for companies with lesser experienced IT departments, or those holding a stake on the MS ecosystem (say, MCSE or .NET devs)

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