On mobile, Ballmer says Microsoft missed the cycle

On mobile, Ballmer says Microsoft missed the cycle

Summary: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says the company missed the mobile phone software curve and is now playing catch-up. However, mobile "is a dynamic market" and Microsoft could make a comeback.

TOPICS: Microsoft, Mobility

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says the company missed the mobile phone software curve and is now playing catch-up. However, mobile "is a dynamic market" and Microsoft could make a comeback.

Then again what else is Ballmer going to say. He's not going to say "we're toast!" In fact, Microsoft could make a comeback with Windows Phone 7, but it doesn't have much time to work with.

Here's the video of Ballmer's mobile chat. CNet News and Engadget have the play-by-play, which didn't reveal much that was new.

Related: Microsoft's mobile missteps a persistent investor concern

Topics: Microsoft, Mobility

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  • Missed the cycle???

    Looks to me like Microsoft has missed the cycle, missed the bus, and missed the boat in just about EVERY category recently! Good thing they've got the ol' WinOS gravy train going for them, or they'd be deep into the gooey stuff.
    • RE: On mobile, Ballmer says Microsoft missed the cycle

      @Userama: Please explain to me how it's possible this man still has a job with Microsoft? Ballmer has shown himself to be a totally ineffective bumbling baffoon. Is the board of directors there just blind, scared or stupid. Get rid of Ballmer and replace him with a true competent visionary to resurrect what was once a great company. Reminds me of Apple just before they brought Jobs back. Though I'm not suggesting they bring Gates back.
    • RE: On mobile, Ballmer says Microsoft missed the cycle


      Yes they missed the consumer gravy train of the recent consumer market explosion. Kudos to Apple, and more recently Google, for being on top of their game in this market.

      However to say Microsoft missed every category is awfully inaccurate.
      Off the top of my head big winners for MS over the last 5+ years in

      IT: Win Server 2008/R2, Hyper-V, Sharepoint, System Center Suite, IIS 7, SQL Server 2005-2008R2, Forefront, Windows 7, Office 2007, 2010.

      Development: .net 2.0-4.0, C#, F#, LINQ, Visual Studio 2005-2010, Expression Suite, Silverlight, XNA.

      Hopefully the recent shake up in Microsoft's Consumer division will result in good things to come. And at least Ballmer is man enough to publicly admit utter failure in an under-performing part of the company he runs.
      • RE: On mobile, Ballmer says Microsoft missed the cycle

        @mikefarinha Big winners? Every single thing you mentioned is an obvious extension and upgrade over a preceding product, there is nothing absolutely new, there. How are these winners? Where is the innovation? This only proves that you don't have to be the biggest to be best and that the biggest is often not the best. Once you reach that point, if you don't keep trying to push the limits--bring out new capabilities, you're going to stagnate and die.

        The shakeup needs to hit more than the consumer division at Microsoft--they need a complete top-to-bottom shuffling. Put Balmer down in the mail room for a while; put some of those manager out there actually using some of the software they push out the door. Maybe they'll discover just what's wrong with Microsoft. Honestly, the company is still stuck in the 20th century when everyone else is a decade into the 21st. They need help--badly.
      • RE: On mobile, Ballmer says Microsoft missed the cycle

        @mikefarinha Now the ABM crowd will not like that...you didn't bash them like goof-balls that consistently albeit humorously write them off as dead. Still Its funny read them. In fact Donnieboy probably said they were dead with Vista, and Win7 would be a total flop in 2009. An comments about how Chrome will take over... Well it's a year later and they are still kicking strong and growing. But darn if that is not funny reading.
      • RE: On mobile, Ballmer says Microsoft missed the cycle

        @mikefarinha -
        The recent shakeup in the the consumer division didn't go high enough up the management chain.

        The biggest issue at Microsoft is Ballmer himself. He's really nothing more than a glorified salesman who still lives in the 1990s and he's a boat anchor tied to the legs of the people who are actually coming out with the great stuff that Microsoft accomplishes.

        Yes, Microsoft has done some exceptional work, but not because of Ballmer, they've done it in spite of Ballmer. He needs to go.
      • RE: On mobile, Ballmer says Microsoft missed the cycle


        Apple is obviously the biggest winner in the consumer market over the last 5+ years. Tell me what new piece of technology did they innovate on?

        The iPod is just an MP3 player that had been around years before. The iPhone wasn't the first touch screen phone. OSX is just a modified version of UNIX, iPad is a streamlined tablet. Everything Apple has capitalized on "is an obvious extension and upgrade over a preceding product".

        You set the bar exceptionally high for Microsoft and then mock them for not meeting or exceeding it. You're a little disingenuous in your thinking here.
      • RE: On mobile, Ballmer says Microsoft missed the cycle

        What you seem to overlook is not that they were first to come out with it, but first to make it work right--to make it into something people really wanted.

        The average consumer could care less about specs and features and gizmos; what they want is a device that works the way the manufacturer claims, and works right. Microsoft failed miserably with every mobile version of their OS and even failed dismally with their attempt to promote tablet computing. The technology was there, but in all honesty they continued to try and put a desktop OS into a mobility device; it just can't work that way. Even if it could, Microsoft needed to inspire developers to write applications to run on those devices.

        I know, you're going to tell me that a lot of WinMo devices worked perfectly well--I won't deny that quite a few different devices were developed; however, in nearly every case they were one-trick ponies (admittedly of several different breeds) that couldn't really be cross-utilized or upgraded effectively. Meanwhile, Apple has created a single mobility device that can be repurposed to any number of enterprise or health care functions by simply choosing a different app and perhaps docking it into a special-purpose sensor array. Not all that long ago, the Apple Stores used WinMo devices as point-of-sale tools; now they use iPod Touches.

        The point is that the iPad/iPhone is more than merely a consumer device, and Microsoft has really missed the boat in trying to maintain their lead (what lead they had.) Apple and Google have already far surpassed Microsoft in smart phone technology by simply offering a better OS and making the devices work in a more user-friendly manner. The only way Microsoft can recover is to literally leapfrog the technology and develop something that doesn't require a handset at all.
      • RE: On mobile, Ballmer says Microsoft missed the cycle

        "I know, you're going to tell me that a lot of WinMo devices worked perfectly well"

        I've never used a WinMo device so I'm not going to tell you that. Also there isn't anything in your last comment that I disagree with. I said that Microsoft missed the consumer gravy train, but was successful in many other areas. Microsoft is bigger now than it has ever been and covers a lot of different markets. Any one calling for Ballmers head because one division of the company got caught flat-footed is missing the bigger picture.
  • If you watch the video, Balmer is a complete idiot. He babbles, he makes no

    • Ballmer is a great salesman though


      He's also very good at playing office politics.
      OS Reload
      • I think the only thing he has done well is ride the OS and Office monopolie

        Everything else has been a big failure under his guidance.
    • I dont know but

      @DonnieBoy i think as much as i like billG personaly ballmer is really a better CEO,look at that CEO title because microsoft is something like a government and bill was really somewhere else living in his mind and dreams and ballmer is the earth man who know what the reallity is,i think he is the best person for that hard job and he will take mobile and entertainmet devision out of mess like what he did with windows. give hime some time if it wasnt for ballmer wiondows 1 was still going to ship
  • Rumors of Microsoft missing the cycle have been greatly exaggerated

    Those rumors are unfounded because Microsoft didn't miss the cycle, their leader chose to ignore the new cycle and when the new cycle started he didn't even make a serious attempt to be on it.

    We have Ballmer's remarks when the iPhone launched 3 years ago to prove this.
    OS Reload
    • Ignoring the cycle, doing nothing, is the SAME as missing the cycle.

      Maby worse.
      • Much worse

        @DonnieBoy <br><br>Microsoft is playing catch-up but it's too late for them now. This is not 1995 and todays opponents are much stronger than Netscape ever was. In fact their oponents are even stronger than Microsoft, and getting stronger.<br><br>Ballmer will lose this time.
        OS Reload
      • RE: On mobile, Ballmer says Microsoft missed the cycle

        @DonnieBoy & @OS... Maybe yes and maybe no, and the person that discounts MS is usually a fool, but time will tell. If the accuracy of the respondents to the blogs here is any indication they will be around a long time. However, on that note, were you not the same two nuts that said Windows 7 would be a flop bigger than Vista...and that MS was dead and doomed. Just checking to make sure we understand "expert" predictions.
  • Ballmer is cramming the facts in to his worldview

    In Ballmer's view of everything there is some hated rival who is ahead, Microsoft is the underdog, and now it's a two-way football game where Microsoft through sheer force of will muscles the opponent inexorably back to it's market-share endzone.
    Cue quarterly ComScore market share updates.
  • Windows phone 7 would not change anything this year

    Judging by the info that is coming from Microsoft Windows Phone 7 will have very limited functionality that is available for developers. Just like iPhone v1 and first Palm versions it is half cooked. The sad part is that MS developers are doing really great job but political decisions are killing them. I do not expect WP7 to get any significant market share this year or in 2011.
    • Thats like saying iphone 4 wont change anything this quarter

      of course if its not coming out til it almost over its not going to change anything this year. im sure ms said this before you did. as long as they're on the right track and they iterate well like they have with Silverlight they'll do fine. The smartphone market now is like the linux netbook market was before ms went after netbooks...
      Johnny Vegas