Ballmer: Competing with iPad has “Job One Urgency” for Microsoft

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Microsoft CEO Steve BallmerMicrosoft CEO
Steve Ballmer

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told analysts and investors that working with hardware partners to develop a tablet that is competitive with the iPad has “job one urgency” Thursday. The comments came at Microsoft’s annual Financial Analysts Meeting as he briefed analysts on hand for the event on his company’s overall business.

“Today, one of the top issues on my mind, hey there’s a category — tablets,” Mr. Ballmer said according to live coverage notes of the event published by BusinessInsider. “Apple has done an interesting job. They’ve sold more than I’d like them to sell. We think about that. So it’s our job to say, we have got to make things happen. Just like we made things happen with netbooks, we have to do that with Slates.”

He obliquely made the case that there’s opportunity in the marketplace for there to be more specialized Windows tablets on the market to address more specific needs, saying, “We think about these devices. Not one size fits all. Been to too many meetings with journalists struggling to set up iPads for notes. We’ve got to push with our hardware partners…as soon as they are ready.”

The more important message he drove home, however, is that working with third party hardware developers to gear up with products that can compete with iPad, “is job one urgency. We are working with those partners to deliver something people want to go buy.”

On the other hand, Mr. Ballmer also appeared quite proud of the work his company did with search on the iPhone. When talking about Bing having doubled the number of searches over the last 13 months since Bing was introduced, Mr. Ballmer held up the Bing iPhone app as an area where Microsoft has excelled.

“Look at Bing in iPhone,” he said. “We think we’ve done the best work anyone has done.”

Be that as it may, Mr. Ballmer made the case that Microsoft is going to get aggressive in marketing its smartphones in the future. He said that Windows 7 Mobilewhateveritscalledthisweek for smartphones will be great, and that it will integrate with the Windows desktop beautifully.

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21 Comments Leave Your Own

Khaled

Microsoft can shrink their $10,000 Surface tables and add a battery. done.

Lee Dronick

Microsoft can shrink their $10,000 Surface tables and add a battery. done.

It better be a user replaceable battery or it is a deal breaker as far as I am concerned smile

They have some Surface devices at the local MicroSoft Store, I need to try one out.

Khaled

Let’s use Apple’s Vampire batteries :D

Intruder

?Apple has done an interesting job. They?ve sold more than I?d like them to sell.”

Because we just can’t stand that somebody is successful in a market, especially Apple.

“We are working with those partners to deliver something people want to go buy.?

It’s called the iPad.

“Been to too many meetings with journalists struggling to set up iPads for notes.’

Really means : “I’ve been to too many meetings with journalists who were using iPads.”

In the words of the Krikkit galactic exploration team “It’ll have to go.”

Shane

As I recall, Microsoft did nothing to “make things happen with” netbooks. They originally shipped with versions of Linux and sold pretty well. Microsoft, acting as usually out of fear, allowed old versions of Win XP to ship with netbooks as Vista was too great a pig to run on them. So, just as with the iPad, Microsoft realizes they are in the process of being upstaged and will act belatedly to stem the bleeding.

good grief

Is it me, or does Ballmer look like a dirty old uncle saying “Pull my thumb”?

Mac Observer: there needs a way to submit quotes for your photos. smile

gslusher

1. Microsoft had a chance to help make a popular, useful tablet, but blew it by having the tablet use Windows and a stylus, not to mention the weight and short battery life. Now, they’re trying to play catch-up after wasting time and money.

2. “When talking about Bing having doubled the number of searches over the last 13 months since Bing was introduced ...”

Since it started at zero, one would have expected Bing searches to have increased infinitely. Seriously, it’s easy to double a small number.

For quite a while, Microsoft artificially inflated Bing searches through their “cash-back” program. If you searched for a product using Bing, then bought it through their search link, Microsoft would give you a rebate. They would even do this for eBay auctions.

jsk

“They’ve sold more than I’d like them to sell.”

Why?!? What’s wrong with Apple selling tablets? Stupid thing to say. Call me crazy, but M$ is a software publisher; why not right software for it and sell it. Remember your cash cow Office? Remember where Word came from? That’s right, it started on the Mac - a computer that has never run Windoze as its default OS.

What a jerk.

skinnybear

Jsk: “why not right software for it and sell it”

Microsoft does write software, just not the “right” software.

ithinqware22

Oh my God, we suck. And people are finding out! Hurry, Steal some good ideas from Apple like we always do!

Then, call it your own and the lemmings of the world will think we’re smart!

The only thing more corrupt than Microsoft is Dick Cheney.

Tiger

Steve Ballmer is channeling his inner Terry Bradshaw in that photo.

vpndev

Sorry Steve, your time has passed.

MS needs new blood and new ideas. That might or might not be enough, but what you have today is a shrinking dinosaur. Win7 and Office make lots of cash but who has the mindshare ? That is where the future is, and you’re not there

Mark Lightfoot

If I was an investor in M$ I would now be seriously worried. This guy is a PR liability - he’s practically admitting that they are going to play catchup in a device category that Apple have already well and truly staked out their territory. If you look at the iPod they played catchup with Zune… iPhone, I don’t even know. And now iPad… This guy needs to retire.

dave

Yes, Microsoft totally made the best app for enabling users to search using Bing.  They own that space.

Now, Ballmer wishes he could translate that success [writing a custom app to access Bing better than their plain web site] to other things, like say, writing a phone or desktop OS, he would have it made.

WetcoastBob

The problem with Ballmer at the helm of Microsoft is that he is a “Salesman”, not a visionary.

Costanza

Give it a few weeks, there will be some announcement that Ballmer wants to put Microsoft into debt in order to buy some tablet PC company for $46B so he can get back in the race.

steveald

“Ballmer told analysts and investors that working with hardware partners to develop a tablet that is competitive with the iPad has ?job one urgency?”

Translation: “Hello, Dell? What’s your best price for all of your tablet technology?” “Hello, Acer? What’s your best price.” Hello, India Human Resource Development Minister? About this $35 tablet…”

ithinqware22

Ultimately it comes down to this. You had a nice run. But your tech and support are no longer useful.

Take your 8-track player and your zip drives and go home.

ldrhawke

Just what MS investors need,  another XBox give away trying enter a market by copying someone else’s successful product, and never being able to catch up. Ballmer is from the Dudley Do-right School of marketing, “Lose on every sale but make it up in the volume”

Someone has got to tell him it’s a lot easier to simply allow his people to be creative and design their own new products.  But of course that would require a CEO that knows and good product from a bad one.

Roed Nielsen

Why is this man still the CEO of an important technology company that is going nowhere

jfbiii

We are working with those partners to deliver something people want to go buy.

Toilet Paper 2.0

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