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Ballmer wishes he could have the last 10 years back to focus on mobile

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Ballmer wishes he could have the last 10 years back to focus on mobile
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wishes that he had a time machine. This way, he could go back ten years and refocus his energies on Microsoft's mobile platform. As it turned out, Ballmer says that he was spending his time with Windows Vista. "We would have a stronger position in the phone market today if I could re-do the last 10 years," he said, noting that as a 4% stockholder in the company, he still benefits from the success of Microsoft.

Speaking of success, he called the acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services businesses important to the future of Microsoft. The $7 billion acquisition is expected to close soon. While Kantar recently called Windows Phone the fastest growing OS in the world, the platform is coming off such low market share numbers that a small improvement results in a large percentage improvement.

While Windows Phone is just coming into its own now, there was a time when Ballmer was certain that Windows Mobile would be able to challenge iOS and Android in the touchscreen space. But for the fiscal year that ended in June 2010, the former CEO received only half of his maximum bonus award because of the missteps Microsoft was experiencing in mobile.

"Will that asset (WhatsApp) ever be worth anything? Will those 450 million people ever generate enough revenue? Reasonable people – Zuckerberg believes so, and no reason to doubt it."-Steve Ballmer

Ballmer also questioned whether or not WhatsApp will prove to be worth the $19 billion that Facebook paid for the messaging app. He said that if Mark Zuckerberg believes that the 450 million subscribers to the messaging app will generate enough revenue to make the deal worth it to Facebook, why should he doubt him?

The executive was speaking Tuesday at Oxford University for his first public appearance since leaving Microsoft.

source: WSJ

35 Comments
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posted on 04 Mar 2014, 19:47 6

1. jack123 (Posts: 83; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


Windows Vista???????
Time Machine would make Win Vista never exist....lol

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 23:05 5

16. Scott93274 (Posts: 1182; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Shameful secret: I actually paid money for Windows Vista Ultimate… very costly and embarrassing lesson learned with that.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 19:50 3

2. Liveitup (Posts: 1353; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


Yep we all have regrets.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 19:53 11

3. jack123 (Posts: 83; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


I would prefer they improve Windows Mobile than make the Windows Phone instead.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 19:56 2

4. MacWiNux (Posts: 73; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


haha the phone that has a start button lol..... pure lag isn't it?

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 20:07 6

7. jack123 (Posts: 83; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


come on man,,,,
what's about cupcake?
The touch screen phones on that time on were WM, Linux and Symbian.
No dual cores or quad cores... run lower than 1 ghz of single cpu.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 22:04

14. Credo (Posts: 695; Member since: 19 Apr 2012)


I loved Maemo 5 :) 600mHz Arm Cortex A8 :)

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 20:04 4

5. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3556; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


You're alone in that preference....

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 20:21 5

8. AfterShock (Posts: 2812; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


No, he is most definitely not alone in that feeling!

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 20:30 3

10. AfterShock (Posts: 2812; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


I'll clarify that, in my eyes, wp is coming full circle to what wm was, and that is what many like us want, control of our os again.

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 00:55 1

21. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3556; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


To a WP fan it's more about the look, and feel of WP7xx/WP8xx... WM, and it's core could've never achieved what WP8.1 has.. The foundation, and idea, of WP vs WM is just way more modern...
....................
To be honest, WP7.0 would've been great if it had been unveiled no later than 2008, two years earlier..
....................
Nevertheless, there can be those who wish that MS carried on with WM, and that's fine.... I can live with that..

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 12:46

32. SemperFiV12 (Posts: 819; Member since: 09 Nov 2010)


I loved Windows Mobile, and I love Windows Phone... And I loved WebOS, and love Android (have yet to try Ubuntu or other open sourced phones)... It is all preference, coupled with how the OEM produces the hardware.

WP is definitely the future, with a late start. But it is rolling on and making up for list ground VERY quickly, even ahead in many areas for some users preferences!

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 21:31 3

13. Liveitup (Posts: 1353; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


Only the haters agree with him.

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 05:58

27. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Right, I did enjoy WM on my Omnia and the original XPERIA, amazing phones in their times.

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 08:34

29. jroc74 (Posts: 4974; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I kinda agree.....but if you look at WP.....the HTC HD2 was IMO the beginning of WP.

They shoulda built off of what the HD2 had....but they wanted to go in a different direction. All I know is that type of setup isnt hurting Android or the iPhone.

I still cant get used to Live Tiles....or the minimalistic look of WP.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 20:04 1

6. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3556; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


Who would've think it?

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 20:28 5

9. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 1151; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


The only good thing in the last decade (For Microsoft) that Ballmer can take credit for is planting a mole in the Grand Old Dame that is Nokia to destroy its value so that MSFT could purchase it for a song and suckering people into paying for buggy junk Office on a subscription basis. Windows has been hit and miss, with Windows 8/8.1 slowly finishing the job Vista started (Yes, it's still #1, but the company's bottom line isn't showing it anymore), WP is rudderless and making a tenth for them what Android makes for them, the Surface is an abject failure, and the XBone is getting trounced by the PS4 because MSFT botched their product announcement like they were a bush-league startup. Enjoy retirement, Steve, because nobody in tech would hire you if you volunteered to work in the mail room for free.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 21:12 1

12. PBXtech (Posts: 980; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


People swear the Zune was great, but was killed off.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 23:03 1

15. Scott93274 (Posts: 1182; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Meh.... it was ok at best, but going up again the already established iPod was a lost cause.

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 00:01

19. PBXtech (Posts: 980; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


I've actually never seen one, but hear a lot of great things about them. Personally, Cowon is my go to player.

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 06:06

28. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Zune sucked! I remember getting one instead of the iPod because I wanted to try something different since everyone was rocking ipod. Guess what happened, I end up buying an iPod.

posted on 06 Mar 2014, 14:58

35. PBXtech (Posts: 980; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


Should have went with a Cowon. I owned 2 iPods and will never go back after hearing the better quality of Cowon.

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 01:02 1

22. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3556; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


If you lived a few weeks with a 1520, Xbox One, and a Surface pro 2 you wouldn't think so... You wouldn't go back....

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 03:15

25. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 1151; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


I did so with the 920 (twice), the 1020, and the 1520, and had no problem walking away. I had the XBox 360 and PS3, and the XBox was so dusty that I gave it to the kids. The Surface Pro 2 is the best of the lot, but I only use Windows because I am forced to in order to game, not because I would ever willingly choose buggy, bloated, and schizophrenic Windows (My gaming tower has 7, because 8 months of Win8 made me quite unhappy) over OSX.

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 05:39

26. papss (unregistered)


Xbox one is anything but a failure and so far has better software and apps than the ps4.

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 20:51 1

11. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1959; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)


So long, you old coot, coulda ,woulda, didnta? O,o

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 23:08

17. shahluffyz (Posts: 6; Member since: 23 Feb 2014)


It's okay, Ballmer. It's okay. Just keep looking forward, okay? :')

posted on 04 Mar 2014, 23:56

18. kanagadeepan (Posts: 685; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


Everybody wants a rewind button in their life... To correct their earlier mistakes, to enjoy the joyful moments they wasted for earning money, to get their true love back, to become a child again, to live without worries...

But what to do lovely moments once gone is gone for ever...

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 00:14 2

20. androiphone20 (Posts: 1474; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


Go home Monkey boy, remember when you called the iphone a "rounding error"? you deserve to feel like crap

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 13:48

33. ihavenoname (Posts: 1444; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Ironic, when you google rounding error, first that comes is "rounding error in excel"

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 01:15 2

23. alumoyo (Posts: 213; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)


If Microsoft had not totally misread the explosion on Internet and Mobile, and had been the first to the gate in those areas - I shudder to thing what we would be paying for those things today. They would have imposed their OVERCHARGE EVERYTHING business model. Thank god he never got those ten years.

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 08:37

30. jroc74 (Posts: 4974; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I agree. Biggest mistakes MS made with mobile phones:

Dismissing the iPhone.

Waiting too late to go to capacitive screens. If the OS had to be reworked for that...they just waited too late. I had an Omnia 1 (Samsung, Win Mo)...and used a co worker's iPhone for a few minutes....I almost went to AT&T that day for the iPhone.

Capacitive screen was the biggest draw for me.

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 11:51

31. marbovo (Posts: 655; Member since: 16 May 2013)


aren't you talking about resistive screen?

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 01:48 1

24. QuadFace (Posts: 62; Member since: 19 Aug 2013)


Microsoft has the money to bring back Windows phone on top, wacht em grow with pride.

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 18:10

34. mrblah (Posts: 457; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)


wishes won't get you anywhere, you big dumdum. vista sucked. 8 and 8.1 suck with out stardock mods, and you could of, the old windows phones were crap. they deserve to fail.

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