Feeds

Ballmer says Google growth strategy 'insane'

Tech world amazed by relative politeness

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Chair-flinging Microsoft kingpin Steve Ballmer has continued his public campaign against Google, characterising the search firm's growth strategy as "insane."

The famously irascible billionaire, currently fourteenth on the Forbes' richest-yanks-on-the-planet list, made the remarks during a talk to Stanford Business School students on Wednesday. Ballmer studied there as a young man after a first degree at Harvard, but dropped out to work for Bill Gates.

Ballmer suggested that Google was growing too fast, and had failed to make a success of efforts to diversify beyond search with ads. He dismissed Google's various other projects as "cute" to chortles from the assembled business students, and commented that "a random collection of people doing their own thing" might not add value. This was taken by many as a jab at Google's well-known practice of allowing its engineers to spend 20 per cent of their working hours on personal schemes.

Wednesday's dig was mild and good-humoured compared to other episodes in Ballmer's career. The emotional exec reportedly required surgery after "blowing out his vocal cords" with repeated cries of "Windows, Windows, Windows" at a meeting in 1991, and "barked the word 'developers' 14 times until hoarse" at another function 10 years later.

The feud with Google is a long-running one, with Ballmer previously reported as shouting "I'm going to f—king kill Google" and "Eric Schmidt is a pussy" during a 2005 dust-up over an allegedly poached employee. He has also described Linux as communism.

Does the relative calm of Wednesday's episode mean the bad boy of Redmond is finally mellowing with age? Tech commentators worldwide will be hoping not. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.