Posts for Tag: steve ballmer

Apple blows away earnings numbers ... but let's all take a chill pill

As expected, Apple destroyed it's Q3 2011 earnings forecasts. It seems like nothing can bring down this juggernaut. But 15 years ago a little company called Microsoft was doing the exact same thing. Year after year, nothing could stop Microsoft's dominance of the computer industry. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer would high-five at analyst meetings where they reported billions upon billions in profits every quarter. Today, Microsoft is still reporting billions of dollars each quarter in profits but they're no longer the king of jungle. But remember, everything is a cycle. It is with absolute certainty that I say Apple will one day falter and another company will step up to claim the crown. Whether it's Microsoft, Google, Facebook or some new entry, somebody will take them down. Such is life in tech.

A little humility from Microsoft would go a long way

"Who knows what this thing is? To me, the Chrome OS thing is highly interesting," said Ballmer, choosing his words carefully and drawing more amusement from the largely pro-Microsoft crowd.

I don't think much of Google's Chrome OS and I guess Steve Ballmer shares my sentiment. Even still, he should be a little bit more humble/respectful when speaking about competition nowadays. Though I believe that behind closed doors, Microsoft takes any and all threats to its OS monopoly very seriously, it doesn't hurt to publicly show a little humility given their stumbles lately.

Stronger ... Faster ... Smaller? An OS upgrade that's smaller than its predecessor

It's a big Apple news day...

Having been a Windows user for the majority of my computing life, I've been trained to expect every subsequent new version of Windows to be larger than the version it succeeds. I made the switch to Mac a little over a year ago and kinda had the same expectation of the new OS 10.6 release. Stronger, faster, but maybe a little more bloated which I don't have an issue with given that hard drive prices continually get pushed down. However, I come to find that when upgrading to the new Mac OS build, you actually free up 6GB of space. That's definitely a refreshing revelation.
It made me think of a tech documentary (one of the best, in my opinion) called Triumph of the Nerds on PBS. One particular line was from Steve Ballmer who was describing how in the early days of Microsoft, they were bucking the trend of building big bloated software. Here's the quote:

"In IBM there's a religion in software that says you have to count K-LOCs, and a K-LOC is a thousand line of code. How big a project is it? Oh, it's sort of a 10K-LOC project. This is a 20K-LOCer. And this is 50K-LOCs. And IBM wanted to sort of make it the religion about how we got paid. How much money we made off OS 2, how much they did. How many K-LOCs did you do? And we kept trying to convince them - hey, if we have - a developer's got a good idea and he can get something done in 4K-LOCs instead of 20K-LOCs, should we make less money? Because he's made something smaller and faster, less KLOC. K-LOCs, K-LOCs, that's the methodology. Ugh anyway, that always makes my back just crinkle up at the thought of the whole thing."

The really ironic part is that Microsoft doesn't seem to invest money in actually making its OS more streamlined. Windows just seems to get bigger and bigger. Given all the advances in coding and technology, why can't someone make an OS more powerful yet slimmer? The short answer is that they never had to. CPUs got more powerful and memory (hard drives, RAM) got bigger/cheaper. Still, it's nice to see that someone actually decided to take a step back and say, "Hey, I can make this software perform better AND reduce its overall size."

Yahoo's new CEO is ...... Carol Bartz!

AllThingsD is reporting that Carol Bartz (previously CEO of Autodesk) has accepted the Yahoo CEO position. Good move for her as there are only a handful of companies with iconic status in Silicon Valley (if not the country). It's interesting how CEOs tend to reflect the state of where a company is and will most likely go. When Koogle was CEO, he was basically brought in as the adult to mind the store the kids built. His tenure was marked by impressive growth but not really sure if he was the driving force behind that or more just the conductor of the train already on track to do what it was going to do. Next was Semel who was brought in because Yahoo no longer wanted to be a tech company but a mass media player with its hands in Hollywood, Madison Ave, etc. Yang's short tenure saw Yahoo try to get back to its tech roots, albeit with little or no success. What will the Bartz era bring? Probably sound management with a focus on maximizing profits and shareholder value. Whether that means trimming more fat or selling off a business unit for a pretty penny (perhaps Search to one S. Ballmer?), I'm not really sure. One thing that's certain is that Bartz is a very capable business manager, often compared to Mark Hurd over at HP. I hear he's done an ok job.
Of bigger concern to me is the fact that in a way, Yahoo was able to get an insider without getting an insider. In my opinion, the whole point of a new CEO was to inject new life into the company - get an outside perspective because the inside one was not working. Bartz has had a prior relationship with both Yang and Decker (sits on Cisco board with Yang, Intel board with Decker) and are good friends. Let's hope that their prior relationship doesn't prevent Bartz from doing what needs to be done.