The top 12 amusing technology quotes of 2012

The top 12 amusing technology quotes of 2012

Summary: From the cringeworthy to downright funny, tech industry leaders and firms have come out with some interesting quotes this year.


Tech industry leaders and firms have come out with some amusing quotes this year. From Oracle and Sun software to Judge Lucy Koh within the Apple v. Samsung court case, what are your favorites from this year?

1.) Are tech firms on crack?

In a Californian courtroom, the Apple v. Samsung copyright infringement battle was overseen by Judge Lucy Koh. However, after a number of changes, increasing paperwork filings and Apple's attempt to book too many witnesses in the last few hours of their allotted preparation time, Koh lost the plot at the iPad and iPhone maker. 

"I am not going to be running around trying to get 75 pages of briefings for people who are not going to be testifying. I mean come on. 75 pages! 75 pages! You want me to do an order on 75 pages, (and) unless you're smoking crack, you know these witnesses aren't going to be called when you have less than four hours."

2.) So much for politics.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, ever the politician, identified successful tech firm Apple as a "friend", whereas Facebook's position as a rival to the microblogging site labeled it an "enemy". The CEO said that Twitter and Facebook were two "very different sites," but compete for the same revenue streams. 

"Apple is our mentor, Facebook is our enemy."

3.) Eric Schmidt, the master of subtlety. 

Google's Eric Schmidt, interviewing Stephen Colbert concerning a new publication when visiting Google, eventually crossed the topic of Google Maps. Apple's rival offering -- as mentioned below -- has not received the best press, and has faced criticism in the light of errors and flaws, even going far enough for police to warn against its use. However, when Colbert commented that Google's offering is better, you can enjoy Schmidt's response:

"Google Maps are phenomenal." "Yep, ask an Apple user."

4.) Apple screws up.

Following on from Google's commentary on Apple Maps, CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that the tech giant's offering was not up to scratch. In an interview with Bloomberg, Cook admitted that the service had many flaws, saying:

"We're putting all of our energy into making it right. And we have already had several software updates. We've got a huge plan to make it even better. It will get better and better over time. We screwed up. That's the fact."

5.) The kings of customer service

Oracle president Mark Hurd has said that he wants to try and "make it easier" for customers to do business with the firm, as the complexity of contracts and licensing agreements were met with criticism by the software company's clients. However, while defending Oracle, Hurd was less than complementary about rival Salesforce, which was founded by ex-Oracle employee Marc Benioff:

" doesn't make any money. They just spend money like crazy. At some point, some shareholder is going to ask them, 'Hey, this thing ever, like, show up with any cash?' I don't know why anyone would buy a stock that doesn't make money."

6.) Let's hope coffee was available in the courthouse.

Everyone outside the Apple v. Samsung case may have been interested in the global copyright infringement battle, but for long-suffering judge Lucy Koh, the proceeds held the risk of sending the jury into a coma

"I need everyone to stay conscious during the reading of instructions, including myself, so we're going to stand up occasionally to make sure the blood is still flowing."

7.) "Hello World?" Nah. "The competition have nothing."

Oracle's Larry Ellison may have 34,343 followers on Twitter, but a single lone tweet has been his only offering in June this year:

"Oracle's got 100+ enterprise applications live in the #cloud today, SAP's got nothin' but SuccessFactors until 2020."

8.) Nice one, Samsung.

In a batch of internal Samsung emails released evidence within the Apple v. Samsung court case, one email in particular which documented a design meeting mentioned a design spec in relation to one of Samsung's tablets:

“Since it is too similar to Apple, make it noticeably different starting with the front side.”

9.) That's one way to describe Sun hardware.

The continual spat between HP and Oracle reached new heights this year when a released instant messenger conversation brought to light an Oracle sales executive describing Sun hardware thus to a human resources manager:

"Nobody wants to sell Sun. It baaaalllllooooows."

"Pig with lipstick."


10.) The keynote verdict on Steve Ballmer

After learning that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer would not be giving the keynote speech at CES in 2013, and instead Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs would be filling the slot, Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies was asked whether the replacement lacked any of the charisma of Ballmer. His response?

"Ballmer had something, but I'm not sure it was exactly charisma. He was loud."

11.) Having a baby? What's the fuss about?

Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer's comments about motherhood ended up going viral and made the rounds across every social networking site. Of course, we can't compare our situation with hers as the CEO of a multibillion-dollar company -- and she may have felt pressure not to say it was tough due to this -- but it didn't stop the Internet outrage.

"The baby's been easy. The baby's been way easier than everyone made it out to be."

12.) It may not be from 2012, but no tech quotes list would be complete without input from Steve Ballmer

"I'm going to f---ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to f---ing kill Google."

Topics: Tech Industry, Mobility, Oracle, Software

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  • Ballmer, please do

    "I'm going to f---ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to f---ing kill Google."

    - Yes please do.
    • Best Ballmer quote of all time (up there with Gates' "end of spam")

      "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It's a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get."

      Great call;-)
      Richard Flude
      • Actually not that bad a call

        2% - 3% for Apple is clearly low but his idea to have software on "60% or 70% or 80%" of mobile devices is not that far off. Just unfortunately for him Google had the same idea and are executing better with Android.
  • You missed the best one of Schmidt...

    "By the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded."

    OK, this was mid Dec 2011 (but you had an ancient Balmer quote so this is fair game) on his prediction of Google TV's run away success.
  • Why throw in that old Ballmer quote? I'm sure he said something in 2012

    you could use?

    Or was that a blogger troll?
    William Farrel
    • Here's a list of Quotes from your idol/Religious leader

      How about this one Todd:
      "When asked about Surface, Steve’s use of the term “modest” was in relation to the company’s approach in ramping up supply and distribution of Surface with Windows RT, which has only been available via our online store and Microsoft retail and holiday stores in the U.S. and Canada. While our approach has been modest, Steve notes the reception to the device has been “fantastic” which is why he also stated that “soon, it will be available in more countries and in more stores."
      Is that recent enough?
      Or how about "Monkeyboy" on WP 8?
      Troll Hunter J
      • Still the idiot, I see Troll Hugger J

        "Here's a list of Quotes from your idol/Religious leader "

        Well it's obvious that you really aren't too bright - I mean, seriously, just because to you anyone who doesn't back up your opinions (no matter how stupid) in reference to MS, then they're suddenly MS worshipers, or whatever, tells us you refuse to learn, will never except the truth.

        I guess you still can't believe that you ridol/Religious leader Steve Jobs really is dead, and not on some island with Elvis like you're praying to Apple for.

        Get a grip. :)
        William Farrel
        • I'm actually more neutral, than you

          But you're a Religious Zealot, so anyone is more rational/Neutral than you are.
          Troll Hunter J
    • I'm guessing that he's a bit more careful now

      But note that he's never retracted the statement. And the current relationship between MS and Google has become increasingly antagonistic. If nothing else, anytime there's an ZDNet article on Google, its guaranteed that several pro-MS Talkbackers will offer some trash talk on the subject. I do find it interesting that known pro-MS Talkbackers almost never have anything good to say about Google (if they were all truly independent, then I'd expect to see at least one Talkbacker who admires both).
      John L. Ries
      • It is almost impossible

        To say anything positive about Google, as all software they release has one goal and one goal only, to support their advertisement and data mining activities.

        I stay well clear of anything they produce, and stay well clear of people that claim they stand for open source and open standards, as the reality is, all of their phone home antics is anything but open or open source.
        • And yet...

          ...people use Google products all the time. So why would admiration of/loyalty to MS be incompatible with admiration of/loyalty to Google?
          John L. Ries
          • It isn't

            I did not claim it was.
          • So what you really meant was...

            ...that it was almost impossible for *you* to say anything good about Google.

            I wonder what's wrong with all those other people.
            John L. Ries
  • What Ballmer REALLY Needs...

    I lived in Redmond, had MS friends, been to MS Offices many times on partner business...the company is out of touch, and Ballmer should worry less about losing an executive than he should about an eroding corporate culture, insular thinking, and a general "business as usual" complacency.
    • And yet other say the exact opposite

      So who do we believe?
      William Farrel
  • The top 12 amusing technology quotes of 2012

    Why is #12 on there? No one has any definitive proof that Steve Ballmer actually said that. Its one disgruntled employee's word against the CEO of an industry leader. Congratulations Charlie Osborne, you just been suckered into the ZDNet game.
    • No one has any definitive proof

      No one has any definitive proof that Steve Ballmer is actually an Apple Employee and is paid to trash MS... But I still say that Monkey Boy is the best thing Apple has going and that is coming from someone who really, really, really, likes Apple products...
    • No Proof

      Other than a sworn statement. Which can be used in court. And, if you read the article, there is no sworn statement from Ballmer refuting Lucovsky's sworn statement. Only a press statement that Ballmer described Lucovsky's recollection as a "gross exaggeration". So, do you believe the sworn statement (a legal document) or a press release? Hmmmmm. Apparently you believe the press release.