Ballmer: He knows when you're using a Mac

Ballmer: He knows when you're using a Mac

Summary: So what does Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer do when he faces a room of press and financial analysts toting a bunch of Macs. He counts Apple logos.

SHARE:
175

So what does Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer do when he faces a room of press and financial analysts toting a bunch of Macs. He counts Apple logos.

The man knows when you're using a Mac. He knows when your Vista PC is awake. It's unclear if Ballmer knows if you've been bad or good, but you get the idea.

During his talk about search, netbooks, Windows 7 and the business climate, Ballmer took a detour into Apple-ville and how Microsoft tracks share versus Apple.

Also see: Wall Street analysts descend on Redmond for annual financial meeting

Ballmer on the Microsoft-Yahoo deal: 'Nobody gets it'

Roll the transcript:

We have low share, by the way, in the investor audience. I can see the Apple logos versus the PC logos. So we have more work to do, more work to do. Our share is lower in this audience than the average audience. Don't hide it. I've already counted them. I have been doing that since we started talking.

Anyway, we got a bank them right here in the middle. I know where they all are. One over here on the side. But anyway... that's okay, feel free as long as you are using Office to go right on ahead.

Ballmer acknowledged that he keeps tabs on Apple share, but notes his company takes a different approach to the market. Ballmer said:

We do not, say, like Apple, believe in low volume, very high prices, very -- Apple is a great company. Does a fine job. But their model says high margin, high quality, high price. That's kind of how they come to market.  We say we want big market share but with big market share you take a lower price.

Ballmer also noted that Apple's argument comes down to its hardware, which is just snazzier. That's a gap Microsoft intends to close.

The primary attack that comes from Apple is, hey, at the end of the day, we have the coolest hardware. When you see the hardware, the PC design that is am come out this Christmas with Windows 7, I think that conventional wisdom can begin to really change. There is some really amazing, amazing work. So it is possible to get great hardware innovation, even when hardware and software comes from separate companies.

What's really telling is that Microsoft has so many things going on inside the company yet it is focused on share vs. the much smaller Apple.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

175 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Makes me..

    Want to join an Apple meeting listening to my Zune while typing on my Vista laptop
    TylerM89
    • huh huh

      Cuz that would really show...someone..something. Does the Zune actually work with Vista yet?
      apostate
      • Funny guy

        When was the last time you put down the FOSS bible and even used Vista/7? Thought so.

        My comment simply meant that I wonder what the Apple elite would say about someone using a non-Apple device during their meeting. Because Apple is this beacon of fairness and free choice.

        I guess you saw whatever you wanted to so you could copy and paste some anti-Microsoft propaganda.

        And yes, the Zune works with Vista, I don't know what planet you live on, but here on Earth, it doesn't BSOD everytime you start your Windows computer, the Zune actually works pretty well (Although I prefer my iPod), and Vista isn't a pile of sh*t like some would like to believe.
        TylerM89
        • Zune on Vista since 2007

          Just what the hell you smoking?
          CrashPad
        • The meeting probably wouldn't get started for a while

          as everyone would be too busy laughing their fannies off. ]:)
          Linux User 147560
          • Oh, Good one LU. And if they walked in with Linux Machines....

            They would be ROTFLTAO! <br>
            Picture 6 large cro magnon RMS look-alikes with 7" "netbooks" tucked under their arms.
            All armed with 4GB SSDs.
            Another thunder of laughter would go up when none of them could get their wifi to work. <br>
            ]:)
            xuniL_z
      • Do not tell my wife that

        as she has been using her Zune with Vista since December.

        Heaven forbid she finds out it is not working, she will wonder where all those songs on her Zune came from...
        GuidingLight
      • Really??

        Mine has been working with Windows 7 for about 2 months now, worked with Vista for about 2 months before that. Have you even bothered to try it, or did you just read some 12 year olds forum post about how he can't get Zune working?
        endorphine44
      • My Zune works great with Windows 7

        Not sure where you are getting this information from.
        NonZealot
        • I would imagine...

          ...it's his rear end.
          Sleeper Service
          • Now you're assuming he can find his own rear end!

            Because I assume his rear end isn't free, I guess he's chosen to ignore it! ;)
            de-void-21165590650301806002836337787023
          • Define "not free"

            [i]Because I assume his rear end isn't free, I guess he's chosen to ignore it![/i]

            Not free as in "caged" or not free as in "for sale"? ]:)
            mgp3
          • I took it as not free as in "busy". <br> ]:)

            <i></i>
            xuniL_z
      • Don't you guys have a sense of humor?

        This was a short jab back at someone else who made joke. I can't
        believe everyone was running to defend their zunes. In the immortal
        words of William Shatner "Get a life!".
        jgpeters
    • er..... ummmm, it wasn't a Windows meeting.

      It was a press conference so by all means pack up your Zune and your Vista laptop and head on down the the next Apple press conference.

      But a Zune.... Really?
      awasson1
  • True...

    Microsoft never pretended to be "high quality, high volume". You simply can't. They made that choice long ago to be "mediocre quality, high volume". They are realizing in the last few years they need to compete on quality now.
    MSFTWorshipper
  • Because..

    Apple makes devices that don't panic, don't break, don't overheat, and never need a battery change, right? If they ever decide to stop making computers they can always make high quality [b]bricks[/b]
    TylerM89
    • LMFAO

      Ok Jobs we know its you.
      CrashPad
    • Apple Makes Computers?

      Gee I thought they just took the same parts found in a PC (Processor, Ram, GPU, Hard Drive, etc..) put it together in a shiny case and slap an apple logo on it. At one point their batteries were made by sony which is why they fell victim to a recall just like any other OEM that had those recalled batteries, I think they motherboards are made by ASUS or Intel, and their LCDs are made by Samsung. Sounds just like any other OEM to me.
      bobiroc
      • Lamborghini? Sounds like just another car to me -tool n/t

        Lamborghini? Sounds like just another car to me -tool n/t
        jgpeters