Feeds

Ballmer says Google growth strategy 'insane'

Tech world amazed by relative politeness

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.