Feeds

Ballmer unplugged is off message from Redmond

Reel him in quick, before he whacks the stock price again...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

MS on Trial Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's travelling CEO, is unwired from Fort Redmond, judging by some contradictory statements he has been making about the judgement - as well as a startling admission that Windows 2000 desktop sales may not be so good.

He acknowledged to reporters in Rotterdam yesterday that it was a mistake to have had Bill Gates testifying on videotape instead of testifying in court, and wished Microsoft "had taken that opportunity". He also thought that Microsoft "could have done a better job communicating how this industry works", and shown how "competition is alive and well".

As for the present, he said that Microsoft was "not making any contingency plans" to split Microsoft, which may be brave, but is perhaps a little reckless.

Ballmer is also out of synch about Microsoft's appeal policy, saying that it had not been decided whether to appeal directly to the Supreme Court, or to go to the Court of Appeals. Even worse, he demolished Bill Neukom's earlier claim that Microsoft would be allowed on appeal to present new evidence, by admitting that it was unlikely that this would be the case.

As for the consequences of the judgement, Ballmer thought they would be "disastrous", and gave three examples: higher prices for Microsoft software; less innovation; and a message to software developers that if you were "too successful" the government could "take what you've created".

In a telephone interview with the WSJ while he was in London yesterday, he said the case had not been "zero distraction", but he had spent less time on it than Gates, because "he's got the history on this" (which was a bit strange as Ballmer has been at Microsoft since the early days) but "most of it is left to the lawyers".

Ballmer wouldn't be drawn when asked directly if Microsoft was going to change its business practices, but replied: "We're not going to stop adding value and improving value and improving Windows and adding capabilities to Windows" as a result of the judgement.

Apart from the evidence of poor internal communications at Microsoft, it was a surprise that Ballmer admitted that "I don't think we've done a great job always of telling this story about how great Windows 2000 is on the desktop even if you're not implementing Windows 2000 on the server..." So there we have it: Windows 2000 professional may not be meeting Microsoft's sales expectations. It will be interesting to see what the company has to announce in its 4th quarter figures next month. Could a profits warning be on the cards? (Down Graham! - Ed) ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
ONE MILLION people already running Windows 10
A third of them are doing it in VMs, but early feedback focuses on frippery
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Do Moan! MONSTER 6-day EMAIL OUTAGE hits Domain Monster
Customers freaked out by frightful service
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.