Apple co-founder: Microsoft stopped innovating

Steve Wozniak says Microsoft has been resting on its laurels. Elon Musk to the rescue?

Nimble. Steve Wozniak, who dances with stars, says Apple has been able to move fast for a big company, while Microsoft has not.

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Microsoft has been relying on products it created years ago without bringing out anything innovative, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told the BBC following the recent announcement that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will retire.

"Microsoft has been falling for quite a long time, hasn't had really great new surprises, (they're) just sort of resting on their markets they built up a long time ago," Wozniak said in a video interview with the British broadcaster and website.

In contrast Apple, the company that Wozniak founded with the late Steve Jobs and the lesser known Ronald Wayne in 1976 (yes, Apple is approaching 40 years of age) has managed to stay nimble and innovative, he notes.

"Usually big companies cannot move fast," Wozniak says. "Apple found the formulas" that led to such groundbreaking products as the iPod, iPhone and iPad, he notes.

Wozniak adds that Apple's big challenge at the moment is to find a way to fight the global distribution prowess of companies like South Korea's Samsung, a group that has "channels in so many markets of the world that Apple was not in because Apple more or less grew up under the Macintosh, which had a lower market share."

Wozniak's remarks come a few days after Ballmer announced he will leave Microsoft within a year, as the fortunes of the Pacific Northwest company stagnate.

I don't suppose Wozniak is bucking to replace Ballmer. Woz seems to have it pretty good these days dancing with stars and as a speaker and philanthropist. Maybe Elon Musk and his Tesla crowd could swoop into Seattle.

Whoever arrives, I look for Microsoft to break itself up into separate companies.

Photo from Nichollas Harrison via Wikimedia

More Ballmer and Musk:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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