Back on topic though...sounds like Ballmer is really excited to announce those blockbuster numbers from Surface and Windows 8:
WSJ: How has the public reception been for Windows 8 and the Surface in the first few days?
Mr. Ballmer: Numerically there's not really much that's interesting to report. If you were to call the retailers, they would say, 'Hey, off to a very good start.' We're out of stock a lot of places on touch [screen] machines. I was at a dinner in San Francisco last week, and I brought out this beautiful, very thin [touch-screen] laptop, and they said, 'Wow, I never thought touch could be valuable and important in a laptop.'
WSJ: Would you prefer Apple's business model, in which it controls the hardware and the software?
Mr. Ballmer: We like our model, as we are evolving it. In every category Apple competes, it's the low-volume player, except in tablets. In the PC market, obviously the advantage of diversity has mattered since 90-something percent of PCs that get sold are Windows PCs. We'll see what winds up mattering in tablets.
Guess he hasn't heard of this iPhone thing. I hear the kids really like it.
If you find yourself a fan of what Microsoft does at all you should read this article.
If you thought it was astounding that Ballmer still has a job wait until you read this. Fun part:
SPIEGEL: Microsoft's track record at anticipating technological trends hasn't always been the best. With the Surface tablet and the new Windows 8 software you are now targeting the mobile market in particular. Is it 10 years too late once again?
Mundie: My response is that we had a music player before the iPod. We had a touch device before the iPad. And we were leading in the mobile phone space. So, it wasn't for a lack of vision or technological foresight that we lost our leadership position. The problem was that we just didn't give enough reinforcement to those products at the time that we were leading. Unfortunately, the company had some executional missteps, which occurred right at the time when Apple launched the iPhone. With that, we appeared to drop a generation behind.
SPIEGEL: What happened?
Mundie: During that time, Windows went through a difficult period where we had to shift a huge amount of our focus to security engineering. The criminal activity in cyberspace was growing dramatically ten years ago, and Microsoft was basically the only company that had enough volume for it to be a target. In part because of that, Windows Vista took a long time to be born.
Now I can understand towing the company line and all. But here's the biggest shock. Let's take as read the idea that in each instance of non-PC type computers Microsoft was there first and in each instance had their lunch eaten first by Apple with the iPod, RIM with the Blackberry and Apple with the iPad.
This is my 20th year at Microsoft. Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold hired me to develop the company's capability in non-PC computing.
How does this asshole still have a job? Scott Forstall gets canned because iOS 6 maps is sub-par while this guy totally misses the boat on what is allegedly his entire job over and over and still gets paid? WTF?