“‘There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.”
— Steve “Monkeyboy” Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft
Apple is now — if only for now, we’ll see how long it lasts — bigger than Microsoft! Twenty-one years is a long time for revenge…
This is as much a tragic embarrassment for Mister Softee as it is a grand triumph for Apple. MSFT has seen its market cap get buzzsawed over the past decade — with much thanks to Steve Ballmer.
I’ve long thought Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was a blowhard, a testosterone fueled chest thumper, and an all around destroyer of shareholder value. I went into the gmail archives and pulled up this note to a friend from 2006:
From what I can see, Ballmer and Gates weren’t happy presiding over a cash rich monopoly with a sunset factor measured in decades. So they decided to take all that cash they were throwing off and plow it into dubious money-losing initiatives in an attempt to ‘beat’ young upstarts like Google. And the farther they stray from their core competence (Office & Windows), the more crazy their efforts look.
Maybe call it Don Quixote syndrome.
Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but I wonder how much this was telegraphed. Ballmer is one of the most arrogant guys I’ve ever seen, and he is on record as saying he wants to “f*ng kill Google” as chairs flew around his office.
So, now that Microsoft’s embarassment has been painfully crystallized in a glaring point of shame — the loss of market cap dominance to Apple — will the chest-thumping. chair-throwing, Google-chasing, cash-hemmorhaging, zune-funding, ipod-stomping Ballmer finally get the axe?
So much for all those developers…