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Top 5 Steve Ballmer memorable moments

Steve Ballmer in 2007
Steve Ballmer in 2007 (Image credit: Microsoft)

We collected a set of the most memorable Ballmer moments, in honor of his "Microsoft anniversary;" Ballmer was named the company's president and CEO (opens in new tab) on January 13, 2000, 18 years ago today.

Without further ado ...

1. Developers, developers, developers!

This fascinating meme has spread way beyond the Microsoft community and infected minds worldwide with its rhythmic nature. When Steve Ballmer gave a presentation on Microsoft's twenty-fifth anniversary, Steve couldn't handle his maniacal energy, and he let it all out by shouting "developers" multiple times as loud as he could, while energetically (and sweatily) waving his hands. It became a huge internet meme which has stayed with us to this day. In 2008, Steve slightly altered the meme by changing it up to "web developers," which proved that he was aware of the comical nature of the whole thing.

2. Ballmer's last speech as Microsoft CEO

When Steve Ballmer held his last speech as the CEO of Microsoft in 2014, a lot of people found it to be very emotional. No matter if you liked the man or not, you have to agree that this particular company meeting was ... heartwarming. Steve Ballmer cried on stage while he was thanking employees for everything they had done, and he wished them good luck in the future under the lead of Microsoft's current CEO, Satya Nadella.

3. Laughing at the iPhone

Ballmer has had more than one infamous moment that is laughed at today, but this one, in particular, is especially memorable. He laughed off the iPhone as being too expensive, not functional enough, and Ballmer said that there was no way that it would sell well. That was almost a decade ago when the iPhone was first announced. The iPhone today is the biggest success in the history of consumer electronics, and Windows 10 Mobile is slowly fading away.

4. The Windows 95 release presentation

The Windows 95 presentation was a huge thing for Microsoft, as well as its customers. It was the most consumer-friendly OS Microsoft had ever released, and because of the huge excitement that filled the people presenting the product, the presentation resulted in a small dance by cofounder Bill Gates, Ballmer and a few other high-profile executives at Microsoft. As expected of Steve, he took things a little too far. The (in)famous internet meme that's known as the "Steve Ballmer monkey dance" was born.

5. What is love?

Ballmer and Gates have a long common history behind them and one of these famous moments was a little play on the song, "What is love?" Gates and Ballmer both decided to record a small parody to highlight the Windows 98 launch. The two have recorded multiple different videos together, but this one, in particular, is very memorable and very funny. The parodic and comical nature of the video once proved that Ballmer can be a really funny guy.

Happy birthday, Steve! And if you simply can't get enough Microsoft memes, check out this list of the best of the best:

Updated January 12, 2018: We double-checked this post and reran it in honor of the 18-year anniversary of Ballmer being named Microsoft's chief executive.

Dennis Bednarz is a former writer for Windows Central and the guy behind ModMy. He has been a recognised member of the Microsoft community for years and owns everything from Lumia phones to Surface PCs. He occasionally likes to rant about Windows Phone and drink tea. You can go ahead and follow him on Twitter at @DennisBednarz

108 Comments
  • Haha funny man.
    Maybe if he headed the Mobile dept and Satya the cloud, Microsoft would have really taken off?
  • I don't think so. Steve had a chance to choose between pursuing the mobile market or spending millions on the XB360 red ring issue, and he chose Xbox instead of creating a strong mobile presence. Thankfully it seems like the company as a whole has turned around since Satya took over, but mobile needs more attention than "we'll do it when it feels right."
  • No.  Ballmer admitted he screwed up in mobile when he took resources away from mobile and put them into developing what came to be that POS OS Vista.
  • As crappy as vista is/was.....it is still miles better than the POS MacOS.  
  • First Ballmer wasn't an Xbox supporter never was.... What "company turn around"??? beside a few minor hick ups here and there and the dive everybody took in 2008... Ballmer did a great job financially and investors always loved him... Always doing better and always some dividends...
  • I miss him and Satya Nadella makes me miss him more.
  • Microsoft's stock doesn't miss BalmerBalmer. Microsoft's stock is close to doubling what it was in 2014 when Satya Satya took over. We also have the Surface line now, and that product line had pushed the industry forward. Prior to the Surface line, the PC and tablet markets were stagnant with slightly more powerful devices being released. MS is far from perfect (look at the phone market), but they're definitely headed in the right direction.
  • Ballmer was the one who gave the green light to the Surface.
  • Satya's success in Cloud has overshadowed his failue in Mobile.  The rise of MSFT has covered it up.  We are the victim unfortunately.  Steve would choose to streamline the WP division instead of selling it off.  He would keep Lumia 950/950XL until Surface Phone arrives.  He won't probably abandon Project Astoria either.
  • why do you keep on harping about project Astoria.. There is project islandwood.. not enough? isn't apple the company with the largest market share.. how many Apps got ported? 
  • Android has the largest market share, not Apple.
  • Nadella did not fail in Mobile. He never believed in it and choose to kill it instead of develop it. Nadella is the shareholder's lapdog and will do whatever to appease his masters by playing it safe. And he will do fine in that which is part of the problem. Ballmer was more of a risk taker, he made a few bad choices mainly by thinking too short term and trying to push stuff out before it was ready.
  • I don't believe in 2 Windows either, a burden to code & QA too. Android + iOS + Win10 (PC, S and ARM) is enough, Android + iOS + Win10 (PC, S) + WinPhone is just crazy, esp when WinPhone has the smallest market share.
  • Surface Pro was started by Ballmer. HoloLens is thanks to Ballmer. Xbox One = Ballmer. Windows Phone was 10%+ in some European countries and on the rise. Windows 8, 8.1 and the foundation for Windows 10 and the whole One OS strategy.. Ballmer.  
  • yeah yeah.. and MS reached where they are,from number one, to almost gone during balmer so zip ip up.
  • Exactly!
  • Xbox One was a failure on release. You already forgot? There's a reason why the PS4 is sold more than twice as much. And yes I love my XboxOne.
  • Name one project that Satya kicked off that has been released?  The Microsoft you see today is still Ballmer's Microsoft as he left it in very good shape with lots of great stuff in the pipeline like the Surface and Azure.  Windows Phone is really the only piece that didn't work and really 1 fail out of X products is pretty dam good and with UWP, mobile is just a component that they will continue to work on, so its not going away and will keep on improving as Windows 10 does.  I love my 950XL and every release it gets better and more capable. It takes years for a new CEO to put his signature on a tech company.  For example the HoloLens project was signed off by both Gates and Ballmer so don't be thinking that Satya is the man yet, he only apeased the shareholders desire to get rid of Ballmer which might be a mistake they will regret someday.  If nothing else Ballmer was never afraid to try something, which is what you want from a CEO of a progressive tech company, just ask Apple.
  • Regardless, the trend seems to be a more blurer line between consumer and business; also a more blurry line between mobile and PC. I believe that Satya wants a Microsoft future without Windows; I understad that OSs are an old market but I believe that they are needed to the long term strategy. I think that Nadela strategy can work if web becomes a predominant force in mobile and/or bots skyrocket with Skype leading the pack. If that doesn't happen a Microsoft focused in large enterprise will be their future. I like their products but retrenching in mobile seems to have backfired and Windows 10 hasn't been the success they were expecting.
  • Everyone is right in their own ways. It's just that someone is more "right" than others and in a business world, that means everything!
  • Satya continue the Surface project for Steve btw...
  • Gosh I miss Ballmer. There isn't anyone left at Microsoft that could pull off these kinds of videos anymore.
    Whenever Ballmer came out at any of the Microsoft developer conferences that I went to the crowd always went wild.
  • You can say what you like about Ballmer, I happened to have liked him, but there are few, if any, other CEO's in the world with his amount of passion for his company.
  • Yep exactly this. Ballmer had passion like no tomorrow, he genuinely believed in the products, and he had such levels of energy I'm convinced he has ADHD. If he does have it though, he really used it to his advantage. You cut him open he'd bleed Microsoft. His passion for Windows phone was astounding and it seemed like it was genuinely going places under him, slowly but surely.
  • I definitely agree. I loved Ballmer.
  • I like him too. Happy birthday Ballmer, oops.
  • He had passion. But he lacked future vision, which Nadella has. Also Ballmer was arrogant. Due to his arrogance Microsoft has lost faith among the users and made Microsoft irrelevant in the tech industry among the big-trio. Nadella surely underestimates its own Mobile OS dept, but Nadella is helping Microsoft again to gain the status what it held once, during the glory days of Microsoft.  P.S Dont forget Ballmer killed the then revolutionary mobile OS WM6, and brought almost useless WP7. He forced touch suitable metro UI on every Windows user, which severely failed to catch attention. 
  • Lacked future vision like creating the Surface Pro line, HoloLens and making the foundation for Windows 10 and a united OS among devices?
  • I was realy mad when they killed WM6 and it took me years to get over that (stupid I know), but now in retrospective I see that Windows 10 and UWP is really the next generation of OS and Microsoft has a huge jump on everyone else which is going to pay off in buckets as they will be able to move forward with the new generation of devices like the HoloLens.  Anyone that says Ballmer lacked vision, is pretty dam short sighted as Ballmer set Microsoft up for the future.
  • But WM6 had just icons (yuk), Windows Phone 7 started the beautiful UI of tiles.
    ​Of course there were other things wrong with Windows Phone 7, but the tiles is the main thing that may have never came in the future.
  • MS irrelevant among the big trio LOL.. I think I haven't laughed that hard in a while.... Google and apple have nothing on MS when it comes to patent and R&D and business level tech so pretty much what really matters... Being trendy in the consumer market doesn't make you a strong leader... But MS is more relevant than ever before... And more than those two other when it comes to serious stuff...
  • ohh man..i really miss windows mobile 6 :( There was no os like that than and there is no os like that now.
  • Happy birthday Steve!
  • I miss Steve Ballmer, people who were then rejoicing at his exit should now take a look at the state of windows phone.
  • Windows phone is just one portion of the company.Balmer is the core reason MS didn't have a foothold in the market until it was too late. Windows Central did an artilce a while back that gave insight into a choice Balmer had. He could've choosen to pursue the mobile market when the iPhone era began or throw money at Xbox. He chose Xbox. Microsoft's stock was at 48.80 when he became CEO in 2000. in 2009 the stock dropped to its lowest price of 16.15, and when Satya took over, Balmer had only raised the stock price to 38.31. 10 points lower than when he took over. Since Satya took over in February 2014, Microsoft's stock is now at 65.35. 10 points higher than March 2016. With it's current groth rate, Microsoft's strock could double its value in just 3 years since Satya took over. Microsoft is also being looked at as the driving force in the tech sector these days. Look at the Surface line and the copy cats. The SP1 and 2 were a little rough, but ever since the Pro 3 the Surface line has taken off. There were still people talking about the Surface Studio weeks after it was announced. I've had Mac people say they're seriously considering getting one. I would like to get into how the cloud section of MS has taken off, but this is getting pretty long already. Microsoft is in a much better place than 2014. I wanted to buy stock around the time Balmer left, but a friend who works in the stock market cautioned me against it. I wish I went with my gut feeling because I could've doubled my money in just 3 years. Money isn't everything, but now people are positively talking about MS again. Not all the time but more than they have been.
  • I went with my gut and put $15K into MSFT when it was ~$28. I also put $30K into Nokia around the same time at ~$4. I'm keeping both as long term holds and raking in strong dividends in the meantime.
  • K
  • Yes a Surface line Ballmer created, along with HoloLens.
  • He kill the wm6, kill WLM
  • Thank you! Someone that isn't romanticizing Balmer's era. He did kill Windows Phone. He chose to throw millions at Xbox instead of establishing a presence in the iPhone era smartphones when the era started. Balmer managed to drop Microsoft's stock to its lowest point ever. Satya has almost doubled the company's stock price since he took over. People are talking positively about Microsoft again, and companies are creating copy cat devices of what Microsoft puts out now and not Apple like they had been. The market has shifted to Microsoft's favor right now. It will shift again as it always does, but for now Microsoft is in a very good position and it's only getting better.
  • He chose to throw millions at Xbox because he didn't want to screw over the customers with RRoD that were out of warranty.  Can you imagine how much more hated MS would be if they just said "screw you" to all the people with RRoD that couldn't get them fixed?
  • Wellll I agree to a point. If the hardware wasn't blundered in the first place under his leadership this wouldn't have been needed.
  • At least he cares about customer and commitment, and sales a lot of Xbox which is still one of the most sucessful hardware lines in Microsoft. Band 2 also has terrible quality (I havn't heard of anyone I know who has Band 2 and doesn't break it), but its sales is even terrible that the whole line got cut. As a customer, I would more like the company to fix the issue, instead of throw it away and pursue other porfits.
  • And again agree to a point. Band 2 is a niche device that is easily scrapped without much backlash. In the grand scheme of things, who cares, even if it was a stellar product. Alienating your MASSIVE and overall happy xbox user base by not fixing the issue? That will lead to a min of 20% of those users if needing to rebuy, just buying a playstation. I don't disagree in that he totally did the right thing, but I'm not sure they get a big pat on the back for it. It was either fix it or trash a massively profitable gaming platform by alienating their users.
  • Ballmer was amazing, and he didn't get the recognition he deserved. Yes he made miscalculations (the iPhone), but what he said, made sense, at least at the time. And did anyone forget Tim Cooks toaster-refrigerator moment?! Sounds like Ballmers iPhone moment to me, that's all I'm saying!
  • No. Cook was wrong about the toaster refrigerator. Ballmer was right about the iPhone. They had to cut the price to sell it.
  • Again, quit spreading lies.
  • What he lacked in vision he made up for in charisma. A good leader for a time when MS needed a guy like him. I'm pumped he passed the reigns to Nadella. He's the right guy for the job now.
  • Microsoft needed a guy that took their stock from 48 to 16? This year Satya will double the company's stock price since he took over in 2014. People applauded Ballmer's energy and ethusiasm, but that's about it. We have Vista, ME, WP6, WP7, WP8, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 to thank Balmer for. He is why people talk down about Microsoft, and the Satya era is why people are interested in what MS is doing again.
  • And Windows 8(.1) laid the foundation for Windows 10, one is the natural evolution of the other (just as 7 was Vista on steroids). Both Vista and 8(.1) where ahead of there time and we wouldn't have 7 or 10 without them.
  • Exactly. Ballmer laid the foundation for Windows 10, and thanks to his vision Windows will still be relevant in the future. Among creations like HoloLens, Surface Pro and Xbox One.
  • Vista wasn't ahead of its time, it was just full of bugs. Even if they got it patched, it's name was already doomed so that's why we had 7. But I agree on 8
  • He was right about the iPhone, though. They had to cut the price to get it to sell.
  • but they didn't cut the price. You're wrong. They were selling the phone for $600-$700. The second gen iPhone was substidized so that it was built into the price of the contract. Cusotmers still paid $600-$700 but over the course of their 2 year contract. AND, the price of the iPhone has acutally gone up. Apple now charges $950 for their top tier iPhone with rumors that the iPhone 8 Pro will have a starting price of $1,000 or higher.
  • Actually, you're wrong. The original iphone had its price cut a few weeks after going on sale - Ballmer said what he said before that price cut was announced.  At its then (original) price point it was overpriced and wouldn't sell. Apple obviously agreed, cut the price, and the rest is history. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/07/technology/07apple.html
  • Come back Steve!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Haha please no. Look back at how he tanked the company and tell me he should still come back.
  • How/when did he tank the company?  All I can see are gains in profit throughout his tenure.
  • He tanked the stock price to 16 and he inherited it at 48. Balmer handed the company to Satya at 38. Satya could double the stock price this year, just 3 years later.
  • If stock price is your only measure of a company then why are you here and not at imore?  MS was vastly undervalued considering how well he performed.  I don't care if MS stock was at $200 a share right now if they abandon all their consumer products they will mean nothing outside of enterprise and even that would only last until the new consumer dominance crept in.  Stock price is great for investors but they could get just as much benefit if MS sold itself for scrap to Chinese companies right now.
  • You serious? Microsoft was the reigning number one when he took charge and was almost relegated to obscurity when he left.. that is what a share price indicates.. your love for balmer is not based on how well the company is/was doing.. its based on something else!!
  • He is the LEADERSHIP that is missing.
  • Agreed.   He had passion,  delivered consistent results (even though there were a few missteps) and truly cared about the company.   Satya seems like he would go to Google or Apple if they offered him enough. Satya is a great engineer but he has shown no desire to cater to consumers.  Ballmer started Surface, Hololens, Azure, Office365, and wanted to actually propel their Nokia purchase just like Surface.  So far Nadella has been making blunders left and right that will not be apparent to all for a few more years.  Hololens is MIA for consumers years after it was announced giving others a wide window to come in and dominate the market. The long gaps between product releases like Surface and mobile devices, and the naivity of thinking OEM partners will actually fill the gap like they did when there was no competition will leave them in a much worse place soon. Stock price should not be the driver for success as the shareholders would be just as happy seeing Microsoft broken apart and sold off for a quick profit.
  • How about that time he lost like $8 billion buying a phone manufacturer? That was pretty memorable.
  • Satya killed that phone division so actually Satya threw away 8 billion.
  • No, that's called cutting your losses. The div was draining money.
  • Would've been profitable if MS made it happen.. It could've been a good thing if WP was given the proper attention it needed to be successful.. A lack of terrific marketing for a great product was the biggest waste in the history of MS.. Mobile should've been first priority, and owning a phone division should've been taken advantage to the fullest. By time the 925, 1020, and 1520 came to market, and with WP8.1, WP really was becoming a viable alternative. It should be ten times more viable by now, but the wrong people made the wrong decisions. What a complete waste of the best opportunity any company in this world had to be number 3. Sad.
  • It wouldn't have been lost if Satya Nadella didn't kill the division as soon as he took over.
  • Remember the days when Windows Phone had double digit market share in many European markets?  That was awesome. You'll be lucky to ever see those numbers again under Satya.
  • So much cringe!
  • This man genuinely loved Microsoft and his work. And it was thanks to him that we tried what it means to be the owner of a smartphone based on Windows, which does not look like a copy of other smartphones. Let Nadela raise the value of Microsoft shares, but Ballmer increased people's faith in Microsoft itself.
  • As a man he might be a very lovable buffoon. But God riddance he's no longer in charge of Microsoft.
  • Hope Satya is as passionate about mobile phone as he did. 
  • Happy Birthday Ballmer! Thank you for all you have done for Microsoft!
  • I get why people like Steve Ballmer.  I liked him, too, just not as CEO.  He was a great VP of sales type, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Microsofts products, no doubt. What he wasn't good at was doing the most important thing a CEO needs to do - make sure that there's a coherent vision, strategy to achieve that vision, and the right people at the top (who should be making sure the right people are under them) to achieve that vision.  You know that joke org chart for Microsoft with the different groups with guns pointed at each other?  A good CEO makes sure that doesn't happen.  Yes, at times there can and perhaps should be internal competitions over a particular direction or technology, but not the sort of pervasive infighting seen at Microsoft. Recent example:  Ballmer's 3 screens intiative.  Phone, Destkop/Tablet, and Xbox running the same OS/interface/apps.  Finally getting there now with Windows 10.  But why couldn't the Xbox run any Win8 apps at release?  OK, maybe consoles are a special case.  Much more importantly, why were the APIs on Windows Phone 8.0 and WIndows 8.0 so different?  I remember reading that something like only about 30% of the APIs were common to both platforms;  I think when both platforms went to 8.1, that number increased to more like 75%.  Second question, why couldn't Windows 8.0 run either Windows Phone 8 or 7 (Silverlight) apps scaled up.  Just like the iPad at launch could run iPhone apps;  they were kind of ugly, but they gave the iPad apps until developer caught up. I mean, that's a pretty obvious thing to target, especially for Windows RT which particularly suffered from having hardly any apps at launch.  But instead, for all the talk, each product was separate from the others.  And why was that?  It seems like Sinofsky was a big part of the problem - in many ways, and a clear example of the wrong guy for the job being given control over a critical initiative and/or Ballmer not getting control over the situation. I could go on about all sorts of things;  How about throwing enormous sums of money at acquisitions with dubious returns or contributions to strategy.  The guy nearly spent, what, 40 billion for Yahoo.  Yahoo!  Only saved by the fact the other side was crazy stupid greedy and wanted even more.  Bought Skype, for which Microsoft terminated their own messaging service, for $8.5 billion and what exactly did they get for that? And then there was that ad company - aQuantive, wasn't it? I don't think he was the worst CEO possible, but he wasn't a good CEO, IMO. (Edit:  forgot to touch on one thing.  Ballmer gets a lot of grief about belitting the iPhone's price, and as at least one poster above mentioned, he was correct in that Apple quickly - within months - did a price drop and then changed things around with AT&T regarding pricing and subsidies.  If only Ballmer reacted as quickly dropping the price of the Surface RT.  But back to Ballmer's comments about the iPhone.  If you go back to those articles from 2007 where he talked about the iPhone's price, one of the things he also was talking about in the broader context of mobile was how Microsoft was competing with Zune.  "But it's not like we're at the end of the line of innovation that's going to come in the way people listen to music, watch videos, etc. I'll bet our ads will be less edgy. But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we'll get him to own a Zune.​" http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-what-steve-ballmer-thought-about-the-iphone-five-years-ago-2012-6 Here's the thing, for a couple of years before the iPhone came out, pundits were musing about how phones were going to push aside MP3 players and while Apple had a nice iPod business, how were they going to react?  And after they did react with the iPhone, Ballmer is still talking about the Zune.  Clear sign that he had no idea where things were heading.  But even then, it took them 2 years before the Zune HD came out in 2009 to compete with the iPod touch, at which time WP7 was still another year away.)
  • Fair points, internal politics was a result of stack ranking if anything along with the fact each department ran like a seperate company. That mindset I would say cost them in several sectors. Zune, was not globally available. How can you expect to gain traction without global availability. Pundits and most people don't see the bigger picture. They may see "a picture" but they usually go along with the pretext of current trends. They don't take into account other possibilities such as the adoption and what if scenarios. Adoption is a volatile element, by itself the market picks up what ever it does (vhs vs betamax, blu-ray vs hd-dvd, walkmans vs mini disk players) and that it can be influenced through user engagement and relating to the future generations.
  • Well, was internal politics a consequence or a result of stack ranking?  I never worked at Microsoft, so don't claim any knowledge. But in general;  I think the question shouldn't be who's the top 1% or 5% or 10%  or 50% or....?  in some simplistic question, but are the teams working  towards the corporate goal?  (And BTW, I say this as someone in a comparny where I'm in the top, well, whatever  %,. but the fundamental issue is are we alll working in alignment towards the end goal? And if we're not, why not?)
  • Most likely both are contributing factors alongside the fact departments were competing for resources. So that negative mind set of department vs department, you can fill in the rest.
  • Ha!, it takes thought, logic, effort, to refute an arguement and provide a coherent reply.  But it only takes a click to downvote...
  • Now that we have such a modest CEO, who will be maybe remembered as the one who drove Microsoft from N.1 in all, to one of the "cloud service companies", I GREATLY appreciate Ballmer.
    He could not have been a super genius, but he LOVED MICROSOFT.
    Developers developers developers !!!
  • Yup, Ballmer really was passionate about Microsoft.
  • Ya, he loved Microsoft but that's not really enough is it?
  • Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! YES!
  • Was that worth the effort?
  • CRTL V, CTRL C, repeatedly?  Yeah, probably for the lolz
  • Then no developers.... SMDH
  • There are no devolopers left, i had to leave WP, take S8 :/
  • Well, I would say him laughing at the iphone should be prefaced with the fact that other phones existed at the iphone launch (and still exist), Microsoft had partner's making Windows CE Mobile phones, they had pda's running this o/s, it had office even back then. As well as they were shipping and selling a rather vast number of units. What it didn't have was a cohesive store. Each OEM had their own and people had to browse the web for .cab files. Despite what most think it was far more accessible than android. You could go into the windows folder and start tweaking lol. Yes, those who don't know the mobile o/s back then had the windows directory. The iphone 1st gen itself was a web connected, app less, single button calculator. Couldn't copy and paste let alone do many of the functions that many take for granted. So yes, Ballmer was right. If it reminded that way it wouldn't take off. But what he didn't foresee was the difference made by a app store. Windows CE Mobile had apps so did other platforms but not a completely cohesive store. Most conveniently forget that too.
  • Ballmer's love of Microsoft was a double-edged sword -- it was great for his commitment and certainly led to some wonderful moments, but it's ultimately what tanked the company's chances in mobile and gave the Mac a second wind. While he was CEO, he acted as if everyone was biologically pre-programmed to love Windows.  Isn't this phone great merely because it has Windows?  No, actually, the interface is clunky compared to what Apple and Google are doing.  And remember the early Surface ads touting "it's a PC" as if that were necessarily a good thing?  Ballmer really did act as if putting Windows on a tablet automatically gave it an advantage, even in situations where it was more of a drawback.  He was obsessed with beating the iPad when he really should have been doing something more like Microsoft is now: creating something clearly different and valuable on its own terms. And on the Mac front... well, Ballmer basically handed the high-end computer market to Apple on a silver platter.  He was more interested in spreading the reach of Windows than ensuring it represented a quality experience (because, of course, he thought it was already great) and presided over the race to the bottom where companies made ever cheaper, ever crappier Windows PCs.  It's to his credit that he greenlit the Surface program that would ultimately help protect the high-end Windows experience, but that was only after the mainstream Windows experience had degraded so badly that millions of people were more interested in a $500 mobile tablet than a $300 laptop.  Apple wouldn't be in the top 5 PC makers if it weren't for most Windows vendors giving short shrift to the high end space.
  • In light of the expensive Surface lineup MS is pushing today, it's interesting to see how they thought targeting the high end of the market was a bad strategy when the iPhone launched.  Guess it was a pretty good idea after all.
  • You definitely missed the very recent Qualcomm cameo meme, and the I LOVE THIS COMPANY YEAAAAHHHHAHHH
  • What we need now more than ever is "Developers! Developers! Developers!"
  • Yes, we need "Apps! Apps! Apps!"
  • I miss this guy. Satya is may be good for stock holders, not for windows users.
    Steve please come back and save windows form that bad COE
  • Funny thing is, when Satya took over I was hopeful and kind of glad that Balmer was done, but now, after having seen what Satya has done, I miss Balmer.
  • "and Windows 10 Mobile is slowly fading away."
    Weird to read this in a windows oriented site that, to this date, has published articles about how Windows is not dead and won't be. I'm not trolling, I just found it curious. Was this article published on another site and then republished here?
  • No it wasn't. I simply have another opinion that the people who wrote the hopeful articles about Windows on phones.
  • His love and passion for Microsoft is so apparent and contageous. Many others have commented and said it well; hard not to credit the guy for getting Microsoft to the point it was when he stepped down (hugely profitable company en route to even bigger profits in cloud efforts).
  • This article was posted today but all the comments are from 9 months ago?
  • ikr wtf
  • This article is old, but it was updated recently. It's stated at the end of it.
  • Someone still loves you Steve Ballmer
  • MS has no entry point for consumer computing i.e. phones and this will eventually send stock price down. Those touting Nadella as the reason for its increase seem to forget the GFC so Nadella has really only ridden the world's recovery. In fact Nadella may have increased stock price by cutting off his nose to spite his face. Pity really as the world of consumers is where business will follow inevitably. MS will be the next Kodak on today's trajectory.
  • Sweat
  • "He laughed off the iPhone as being too expensive, not functional enough, and Ballmer said that there was no way that it would sell well." It's easy to make fun of this comment now, but at the time he hit the nail on the head as far as the first iPhone is concerned. iPhone did not take off because of affordability, functionality or even techincal quality. It took off because, despite Steve Job's failure to recognize it at first, the platform copied (yes, again) and improved the model of 3rd party apps and a marketplace to sell them from Nokia. The iPhone did not become a solid product until the iPhone4 and in actuallity has not really advanced much from there except for the annual performance boosts and redesign of the case.Actually, the product is iOS, the phone is just one form factor that uses that product.
  • Well said. I'm gonna sit here and wait for someone to refute that, if they can.
  • All I know is, before Satya, MS's products don't really connect with each other. At least now we have Win10PC on ARM, 1 platform / OS to code for, not 2 (and the extra one has small user base).
    I wouldn't have come here if UWP (BC, FC, XPA, GamePass, IOT, AR, MR) & ARM's not implemented. Future of IT's finally become interesting after so many years.
  • Everyone so mad on Satya Nadella to kick the Windows Phone out of the market but when Satya appointed as the CEO of MS in 2014 Windows Phone already hit a low of 3% and below. With the declining share prices, the pressure to bring new OS as soon as possible to tackle the damage created by Windows 8, PS4 out selling Xbox all round the world. And many more. He took out MS from that situation and successful in providing a new OS though buggy at the beginning it, working on new Xbox project, Surface lineup, and many more to its name, but people will remember him for the one which he didn't focus on the phone. With 3% share in the market and gradually declining it need miracle and lots of money to invest in something which never ever gained mass public interest except few. As the CEO of a company it's hard to manage everything especially the one which requires lots of attention, but time ain't with MS on phone. App gaps were the biggest problem of the windows phone and the sole reason for its failure. If you guys remember it was from Ballmer time that WP suffers this faith not in Nadella time. I know that phone holds the future but MS is too late to catch the train and it's Ballmer who can't get any ground breaking results from WP from the day it launched. Lashing out Satya for killing WP which is already dead isn't fair. Satya just give a silent funeral to it.