On the heels of an embarrassing takedown like that Vanity Fair profile, most CEOs would lay low. The article both eviscerates the notion that Microsoft can still innovate and is none too flattering regarding Steve Ballmer’s leadership. But that’s not how Steve Ballmer rolls. Like the honeybadger, he don’t care.
So instead of keeping quiet, he went and declared war on Apple, to a (presumably delighted) reporter at trade journal CRN. “We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple,” he said.
A sample of the tirade:
“But we are not going to let any piece of this [go uncontested to Apple],” shouted Ballmer. “Not the consumer cloud. Not hardware software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen. Not on our watch.”
Hollering about Apple to a reporter: Just Ballmer being Ballmer. If only there were video.
But it sure must burn to be overtaken by a company you had, at one point, left for dead. Doesn’t Mr. Ballmer know that zombie fighting rules say always do a double-tap, just to be sure?
Also, it sounds like Microsoft isn’t entirely discounting just making its own damn smartphone. Asked if the company would consider such a move, he said:
“Right now we are working real hard on the Surface. That’s the focus. That’s our core. Look, we’ll see what happens. We have good partners with Nokia, HDC in the phone space. I love what we’ve got going on with the Surface.”
Is that Jeff Bezos we hear cackling in the distance as he plots, and plots, and plots?