Ballmer comments on the cloud, iPad, Google and Silverlight for iPhone

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke at the All Things Digital D8 conference today where two days ago Apple CEO Steve Jobs had donned the stage.

A large amount of the interview was focused on the future of cloud computing and Microsoft's role as a software company in pushing services to the cloud. Ballmer was questioned over business concerns regarding privacy. Many businesses are concerned that companies will look at their data if they host it in the cloud. "There’s got to be a dialogue with the customer, the customer has to be allowed to make the choice. Different customers have different comfort levels, we're trying to find a way to let people make those choices" Ballmer said.

Questions moved on to the future of the PC. Steve Jobs envisioned the next five to seven years where people will start using a PC less and move to smartphones and tablets. Ballmer explained he believes people will be using PCs in the future and in greater numbers. "They'll get smaller, lighter, sometimes they won't have a keyboard. Sometimes the UI will look different" said Ballmer. He also said the iPad is a PC too and that Microsoft will have Windows tablets. "You’re going to have a range of devices over time that are light and don’t have a keyboard and will run Windows", said Ballmer.

The conversation then shifted to the mobile space. Ballmer praised BlackBerry manufacturer RIM. "They’re obviously a good competitor. There’s this old myth that they’re primarily an enterprise company, but they’ve done quite well in the consumer market" said Ballmer. Ballmer also recognised Apple's achievements in the mobile space. "They’ve done the best job on the browser. People focus on the apps, but the browser is really the thing that has distinguished their phones from others." Ballmer also admits that Android is a real competitor in the phone space. He explained he's confused as to why Google has two operating systems. "On the larger screen devices, who knows. I don’t know that these Android based things will matter."

Ballmer also answered questions on Bing. He explained that Bing is the first search engine to gain market share in a long time but that it's a long game. "We’re up 54 percent in unique users year over year, our demographics are good", he stated. " I think we have our work cut out for us in a battle with a very large behemoth."

Questions finally shifted to the audience, one member asked about advice for Google and Apple who are both facing antitrust issues. "You don't give advice to your competition...I just wish them good luck getting lots of experience", Ballmer said to applause and laughter from the audience. After some more questions Ballmer was asked whether Silverlight runs on the iPhone. "It certainly doesn't run on the iPhone. My guess is if it did it would be blocked! That's just my guess".

Image Credit: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital

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At least Microsoft has it somewhat right over Apple. Afterall MS has endorsed Open Source. Not by just ripping it off like Steve Jobs has always done, but by sponsoring projects like Silverlight for Linux. Moonlight!!! btw.... there is a mobile Moonlight plugin app in development for Android! ....but unlike iHitler Jobs App Market and his Hitler Youth Camp Cult Follower's quest for world domination, Moonlight will be just another REAL CHOICE, that Android and Linux has over every other proprietary competitor!

With Apple going ahead of Microsoft in Market Cap, what does that prove? Well that iHitler Jobs wants to be sure he takes more money and his all consuming GREED for power to the grave with him! Greed for profit is what drives Apple. Their iPad is produced by Foxconn with Foxconn making only a $1 a piece (high profit margins for Apple and Nintendo only). That under the strictest secrecy on the planet next to Nintendo and their Wii. So now, why are both finally investigating the high suicide rates in their locked down prison like sectors of the massive Shenzhen facility. Where underage workers are forced to eat, sleep and work in an environment so bent on secrecy that if they cough wrong they are accused of revealing Apple or Nintendo's Corporate Secrets.

Why do the other customers (HP, Dell, Microsoft, etc) have to subsidize such high levels of profit taking by both Apple and Nintendo? Just to protect Apple and Nintendo's secrets, while sacrificing their lives for these inhuman Corporate Thugs? Because you all got to have your FAD FIX! ....well at least till everyone has one and they become unpopular. Windows has never been a FAD. Microsoft like it or not is here to stay, precisely because they know how to roll with the punches and stay in the market than everyone else despite taking smaller profits! ....in the long run it benefits their customers and them most! iHitler is just gathering riches to take to his death bed!!!

yardman said,
Apple should really work with Microsoft on getting sliverlight on the iPhone..

That wouldn't allow them to restrict apps as easily as they can now... It would never happen...

Magallanes said,
so, the gossip about visual studio for iphone was untrue?

Is that a joke? I hadn't heard anything about that, and it would shock me if it were true as well...

CoMMo said,
Holy crap!! First videos I've seen of Steve where he wasn't jumping around and yelling on stage!!!

You need to get out more LOL...

Atleast after balmers interview you had an idea of what ms are doing, Steve jobs interview just showed the world he can talk a lot of crap and have a supposed journalist kiss his ass for it.

Some people will not see anything wrong with Job's decision about flash, until he wants to run for president. That's when he will be seen to be too restrictive, and depriving many citizens of their freedom of bla bla bla. Nobody's saying that the i suite (pad, pod, phone) should ship with flash, but why make it a crime to have flash on it in any way, why? That he doesn't like flash for all his glamorous reasons doesn't mean I shouldn't like it too. If it drains MY battery, crashes MY PAD, and makes MY aunt Betty weep..........it is MY choice!!!!! CHOICE is that one gift given to man that should not be taken from him in any way, form or under any guise.

nedu said,
Some people will not see anything wrong with Job's decision about flash, until he wants to run for president. That's when he will be seen to be too restrictive, and depriving many citizens of their freedom of bla bla bla. Nobody's saying that the i suite (pad, pod, phone) should ship with flash, but why make it a crime to have flash on it in any way, why? That he doesn't like flash for all his glamorous reasons doesn't mean I shouldn't like it too. If it drains MY battery, crashes MY PAD, and makes MY aunt Betty weep..........it is MY choice!!!!! CHOICE is that one gift given to man that should not be taken from him in any way, form or under any guise.

And you have the ability to choose to buy something else. But a company (any company), isn't forced to offer you a choice. Is it any different from some restaurants, theaters, etc., offering Coke instead of Pepsi? I don't think so.

nedu said,
CHOICE is that one gift given to man that should not be taken from him in any way, form or under any guise.

...which is why you have the CHOICE to not buy Apple products if they don't suit you. Apple has created the iPhone to be a little embassy for Apple policy.

Consumers have flocked to it - just as consumers have flocked to Microsofts embassy of "Xbox Live" where they decide what is allowed and what isn't.

There are benefits and drawbacks from gaming within the Xbox Live sphere - just as there are benefits and drawbacks of opting in to the iTunes or Zunepass spheres.

We need to be careful to avoid the temptation to try to inject our view of what's right into private spaces as long as people are free to leave those private spaces if they decide it's not for them.

A socialist friend of mine was arguing the merits of various forms of government. I pointed out that in a free (libertarian) world people could wilfully become part of a socialist (statist) or fasciast (corporatist) enclave - but in worlds dominated by statist or corporatist policies a libertarian enclave is impossible.

If opting in to a fascist enclave such as iPhone, iTunes, Zunepass, Xbox Live makes someone happy (and in some of those cases it makes me happy so far), so be it. I just want to keep thse influences out of the real world (something that's not very easy in the US as of late with increasing government dictation of corporate activities and malfeasance).

asdavis10 said,

And you have the ability to choose to buy something else. But a company (any company), isn't forced to offer you a choice. Is it any different from some restaurants, theaters, etc., offering Coke instead of Pepsi? I don't think so.

I recall sneaking into a Pepsi restaurant with a can of coke. The thing is they don't make it a crime, its just what they prefer and I don't have to like it too. Its not the same as what Apple is doing.

nedu said,

I recall sneaking into a Pepsi restaurant with a can of coke. The thing is they don't make it a crime, its just what they prefer and I don't have to like it too. Its not the same as what Apple is doing.

Actually, if you violate the restauraunt's terms by bringing in Coke they can charge you with trespassing. This is easy to prove. Simply walk in to your local theatre with a bag of popcorn and a 2-liter of your favorite beverage, then when confronted refuse to leave. When the police arrive the charge will be "trespassing".

So what crime would Apple charge you with if you shoehorned your software into the iPhone? Who knows. You'd probably have to break a few anti-hacking laws to do it.

Neb Okla said,

...which is why you have the CHOICE to not buy Apple products if they don't suit you. Apple has created the iPhone to be a little embassy for Apple policy.

Consumers have flocked to it - just as consumers have flocked to Microsofts embassy of "Xbox Live" where they decide what is allowed and what isn't.

There are benefits and drawbacks from gaming within the Xbox Live sphere - just as there are benefits and drawbacks of opting in to the iTunes or Zunepass spheres.

We need to be careful to avoid the temptation to try to inject our view of what's right into private spaces as long as people are free to leave those private spaces if they decide it's not for them.

A socialist friend of mine was arguing the merits of various forms of government. I pointed out that in a free (libertarian) world people could wilfully become part of a socialist (statist) or fasciast (corporatist) enclave - but in worlds dominated by statist or corporatist policies a libertarian enclave is impossible.

If opting in to a fascist enclave such as iPhone, iTunes, Zunepass, Xbox Live makes someone happy (and in some of those cases it makes me happy so far), so be it. I just want to keep thse influences out of the real world (something that's not very easy in the US as of late with increasing government dictation of corporate activities and malfeasance).

ahhhh.... Yes, flocked to iPlatform like the world flocked to AOL HELL. So where is the AOL Dominated Walled Garden NOW? xD .....yeah they aren't. Nobody really likes being controlled in the end. Even though people were willing to fight and argue over the last Furbie on the shelf in the past, where are those all those Furbie Fadsters now? Yes.... buying iPlatform devices till everyone else has one and you can't tell yours from theirs. How long do you really think a size fits all AOL HELL Garden Walled Prison can hold off Freedom of real choice and be truly popular? Fads have always been just that..... EXPLODE onto market and FAdeeeee out! Where's your Walkman people?

Ok he mocked Google for having two operating system for mobile devices (phone, tablets and netbooks). Microsoft is having a meltdown with fragmentation, he Zune OS, Windows Phone, Windows Embedded, Windows 7, etc.

thealexweb said,
Ok he mocked Google for having two operating system for mobile devices (phone, tablets and netbooks). Microsoft is having a meltdown with fragmentation, he Zune OS, Windows Phone, Windows Embedded, Windows 7, etc.

The Zune OS, Windows phone and Windows Embedded are all based on Windows Embedded 6/7.

Omen1393 said,

The Zune OS, Windows phone and Windows Embedded are all based on Windows Embedded 6/7.

An app made specially for the Zune HD won't work with Windows Phone so there different enough.

If Walt and Kara were real journalists they'd ask Mr. Ozzie about Azure and Live Mesh, specifically if the new Live Mesh (Live Sync) will get additional Skydrive shared storage (even if for a fee).

Bern@rd said,
If Walt and Kara were real journalists they'd ask Mr. Ozzie about Azure and Live Mesh, specifically if the new Live Mesh (Live Sync) will get additional Skydrive shared storage (even if for a fee).

For the record, I haven't heard anything official about the "for a fee" rumors. I have seen that you'll get 2 GB for *free* (TANSTAAFL!) in the cloud, but Live Sync P2P is only limited in that your largest file transferred must be 40 GB max (I'd make some Bill Gates "640k should be enough for anyone" comment, but who knows what we'll be doing with 40 GB files in 5 years).

Neb Okla said,

For the record, I haven't heard anything official about the "for a fee" rumors. I have seen that you'll get 2 GB for *free* (TANSTAAFL!) in the cloud, but Live Sync P2P is only limited in that your largest file transferred must be 40 GB max (I'd make some Bill Gates "640k should be enough for anyone" comment, but who knows what we'll be doing with 40 GB files in 5 years).

Unless one is planning on using Live Sync as a backup tool, I can't imagine anyone being patient enough to wait at least 5 minutes (over a gigabit connection) or 54 minutes (over a 100 megabit connection) each day for something in their folder to sync over.

dimithrak said,
It was a so so conf.

Its funny how Walt didnt seem as Enthusiastic as he was when Steve Jobs was on Stage!.......

Steve jobs took him to a fantasy world, balmer kept him in the real world

Rudy said,
Silverlight on the iPhone would suffer the same problems Flash on the iPhone would

Which would be rejection by Steve Jobs. Other than that, it'd be perfectly fine.

Rudy said,
Silverlight on the iPhone would suffer the same problems Flash on the iPhone would

Not really. Silverlight has the advantage of being much younger than Flash, meaning there's less cruft to support and that it was designed with different needs in mind (e.g. running as a standalone app, small screen/mobile devices). I would contend that a Silverlight plugin for iPhone/Android would perform much better than a Flash plugin.

Won't happen on the iPhone since Apple forbids non-native code execution (Apple requires ObjC, Silverlight is .NET).

Rudy said,
Silverlight on the iPhone would suffer the same problems Flash on the iPhone would

Silverlight for the iPhone would probably be much better than Flash.

Rudy said,
Silverlight on the iPhone would suffer the same problems Flash on the iPhone would
Silverlight for MacOS is already better than Flash for Mac, so I wouldn't be surprised if it makes it's way onto the iPhone before Apple ever considers Flash for iPhone.

Rudy said,
Silverlight on the iPhone would suffer the same problems Flash on the iPhone would

You mean the Steve Jobs problem? Yes it would.

Rudy said,
Silverlight on the iPhone would suffer the same problems Flash on the iPhone would

Yeah, it would even be worse. Why anyone wants another proprietary, patent encumbered technology is beyond me.

Bullhead said,

Yeah, it would even be worse. Why anyone wants another proprietary, patent encumbered technology is beyond me.

And you own an iPhone......why exactly?

LiquidSolstice said,

And you own an iPhone......why exactly?

Are you really comparing a phone to a proprietary browser plug-in? really?


Rudy said,
Silverlight on the iPhone would suffer the same problems Flash on the iPhone would

i tested both silverlight (3) and Flash 10, and surprising Flash is quickest (with the exception of streaming video) and it is a shame, because you can program silverlight in c# that it is a lot programming-friendly than actionscript.