Steve Ballmer Praises Apple, AirPort, Adobe

Steve Ballmer, Microsoftis CEO, is an interesting person. From his antics at Windows developer rallies (see TMOis coverage on the music created from that event, too), to his reaction to a made up Mac-to-PC Switcher story, Steve Ballmer is both a driving force within Microsoft, and the object of ridicule for many in the outside world. Yesterday, however, he had time to spare some words of praise for none other than Apple Computer, as well as Adobe.

The comments came during a speech to Silicon Valleyis Churchill Club about Microsoft trying to "meet the challenges" of the many security issues besetting the companyis flagship Windows offerings. In that speech, Mr. Ballmer complimented Apple, calling the Cupertino, CA based company "innovative." He also heaped praise on Adobe for that companyis work in development typefaces. From a C|Net article:

In his speech, Ballmer addressed a range of other topics, including several Asian countries i efforts to develop a Windows competitor. "I donit think itis likely to prove useful," Ballmer said. "I donit think itis going to wind up being the big competitor we see--even in those markets."

He also touched on Apple Computeris position in the marketplace. "Apple is doing some good, innovative work," he said.

In particular, Ballmer cited the work that Apple and Lucent Technologies did in 1999 to make wireless networking broadly available with Appleis Airport. "Itis easy to forget how truly groundbreaking this technology was." At the same time, Ballmer noted that Apple doesnit appear to be stealing much of the computer market from Windows-based rivals. "I donit see their basic position in the market changing."

Ballmer took the opportunity to praise other Silicon Valley tech companies, including search king Google and graphics software maker Adobe Systems. "Its work on typefaces was one of the most significant advances in printing," he said of Adobe.

Thereis a lot more in the full article about Microsoftis security efforts. In addition, you can watch the speech in Real or WMP format at C|Netis Web site (look for the image of Steve Ballmer, with the "Roll Video" button). Note that the video ends before the mentions of Apple, Adobe, or the Linux project.