Ballmer makes a scene over an iPhone during private meeting

Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, is known for pulling some pretty interesting stunts and making direct comments putting down competitors of Microsoft. For example his comment back in July stating that Apple's Mac growth is a "rounding error". The war between the two companies have been going on for years now, and yesterday Ballmer pulled yet another stunt at a private company meeting at Seattle's Safeco Field.

According to Todd Bishop over at TechFlash, Ballmer was taking the stage for the event and "he spotted someone at field level, allegedly a member of the Windows group, using an iPhone to take his picture. Ballmer grabbed the Apple device from the employee and made some funny remarks as everyone booed. Then he put it on the ground and pretended to stomp on it, before walking away."

After Ballmer was finished up his stunt, important details were announced at the event. Bing 2.0 was the main highlight of the meeting, and according to some tweets from employees of Microsoft, it will be powered by Silverlight.

Update: Engadget claim to have the picture taken from the iPhone above Ballmer's head:

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He should really start ignoring this stuff. It's making him look bad... What he should focus on is not the iPhone, but Microsoft's iPhone killer... The direction they're taking Windows Mobile and the Zune OS in for instance is very interesting. It sounds like they finally get it... THAT'S what they should be focusing on...

Sometimes also ignoring stuff makes one look bad, like for example:

Why neowin did not mention the newest apple ad ?!

because it has no way of approaching it to be criticized?
or it does not have the potential to start a flame war?

Pink Waters said,
Sometimes also ignoring stuff makes one look bad, like for example:

Why neowin did not mention the newest apple ad ?!

because it has no way of approaching it to be criticized?
or it does not have the potential to start a flame war?

Hm... I actually hadn't seen the latest ad... But I am going to check that out now...

Just think about it, Smart Phones are something that Microsoft have been trying to make mainstream for the last 10 years and Apple walks in drops a single phone and everyone is like its the 2nd coming of Jesus. Apple don't even need to do advertisements for it, it's in like every movie and tv show everyone who is anyone has one. Just the other day Sprint CEO (Sprint has the Palm Pre exclusive in US) spoke to Charlie Rose and said and I quote 'You cant compare anything to the iPhone' He made the conclusion that its in an entire league of its own and this is the CEO of Sprint selling a direct competitor to the iPhone.

I'm not surprised Ballmer went off tap and grabbed a guys iPhone from the crowd every Windows Mobile meeting he ever sits in on has the iPhone mentioned guaranteed.

@spenser.d:
Of course it's a big deal. Ballmer should have brought his *own* iPhone rather than illegally snatching & toying around with someone else's.

Anyway, who uses Silverlight? Probably nobody, Except the M$ fans and Windows 7 adoptors.

jjypk said,
@spenser.d:
Of course it's a big deal. Ballmer should have brought his *own* iPhone rather than illegally snatching & toying around with someone else's.

Anyway, who uses Silverlight? Probably nobody, Except the M$ fans and Windows 7 adoptors.

are you living under a rock? Even netflix will be implementing silverlight by the end of this year.
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/03/netflix-updates/

Putting an emotionally unrestrained ex-Car Salesman in the CEO seat for Microsoft was not one of their better ideas. I doubt this will be the last outburst we hear of this year at [apple/google/yahoo/other sucessful tech company].

I think he's desperately trying to "break the mould" of how to be a CEO [E.g. Richard Branson] but in a bad way.

Umm, big ****in deal? Seriously, it sounds like it was a joke, and probably pretty funny to witness. And even on the off-chance it weren't, what does it matter?

I just love how people with no life and with pizza sauce on their shirts typing in front of their crappy monitors think they are so clever and believe that Ballmer is just a stupid moron. Running a giant company such as microsoft, which has thousands of employees and competing in so many markets, is not a piece of cake guys.

tele-fragd said,
I get your point, but why would you assume that everyone here fits your 'pathetic geek' stereotype?

I certainly don't mean everyone fits to the same description. My post only concerns that do fit to the description ;-)

LOL I'm having pizza tonight but I won't have no pizza sauce on my shirt. And has for crappy monitor - who gives a flying **** what hardware someone has, maybe it's all they can afford.
However I agree about the rest of your comment. But then, maybe I agree because I do have some form of a life, and don't spill pizza sauce down me, and use a half-decent monitor.
Oh dear.

Balmer is "old skool" US sales. I have an intense dislike of the methods he uses as they have caused no end of damage to our economy here in the UK since they were imported during the 80s. However anyone employed by microsoft should have insight to realise waving an iphone at the bloke isnt going to get a pat on the back.

It's humor and he is just making fun imo, people don't get offended here. I bet Nvidia CEO will not have a smile on his face if folks working there are also playing with the ATI 4870 for example. It's Apple vs MS war. Same as Intel vs AMD and Nvidia vs ATI/AMD.

Julius Caro said,
They should stop hating on the iphone and make something useful out of the remains of windows mobile.
And what happened to the zune phone idea? That would've been clever.

What exactly do you expect bringing an iPhone to a private Microsoft meeting?

If someone took a laptop with Windows to a private Apple meeting you can bet Stevie would be praised all around for doing much worse. That's just the double-standard that we live in.

LOL, why would anyone bring a Windows laptop to an Apple function? The guy with the iPhone wanted the best phone on the market, lol, you are adorable c_guy.

bob_c_b said,
LOL, why would anyone bring a Windows laptop to an Apple function? The guy with the iPhone wanted the best phone on the market, lol, you are adorable c_guy.

Bahahaha best phone on the market, please, you gotta stop kidding yourself

Billus said,
Bahahaha best phone on the market, please, you gotta stop kidding yourself

Actually you need to stop kidding yourself, nothing from the Android camp, Palm or Windows Mobile comes close.

bob_c_b said,
Actually you need to stop kidding yourself, nothing from the Android camp, Palm or Windows Mobile comes close.

Your right, their miles ahead. The iPhone just recently got copy and paste and mms, something which has been around for quite a few years. The iPhone may look nice but it lacks some serious features *cough* multitasking

bob_c_b said,
Actually you need to stop kidding yourself, nothing from the Android camp, Palm or Windows Mobile comes close.

I'd say Android comes close, but it seriously irritates me to see people so blindly negative towards the iPhone. I guess it's their loss at the end of the day, if they prefer inferior products because of a brand, so be it.

C_Guy said,
If someone took a laptop with Windows to a private Apple meeting you can bet Stevie would be praised all around for doing much worse. That's just the double-standard that we live in.


well as long as its a macbook running windows...they do beat alot of other laptops at things like Vista boot times, after all...

Billus said,
Your right, their miles ahead. The iPhone just recently got copy and paste and mms, something which has been around for quite a few years. The iPhone may look nice but it lacks some serious features *cough* multitasking

Yeah, so even without those aspects, it was clearly superior to any phone on the market. You can pretend that it isn't, but the facts don't lie. Unlike Windows, people don't have to get an iphone, but they still do. 50 million iphone and touches to date, an amazing success. They did it by having the best hardware and software. Sure, blackberry are up there as well. Microsoft has nothing even close.

Gladiatorus said,
He's pathetic! Someone in his position must have self control and insight. I've never seen someone like, say, Carlos Slim or Warren Buffett, do such stupid things in public.

For someone who has been doing and acting weird for years, it is pretty much considered normal. If Ballmer was a joke, he wouldn't be the head of MS.

Looks like he was having some fun. I don't see any problem with that. I prefer these type of CEO over those that just sit in their ivory tower.

jandler said,
Looks like he was having some fun. I don't see any problem with that. I prefer these type of CEO over those that just sit in their ivory tower.

Yeah - always preferred a CEO who acts like a d**k to one who competes by showing a better product myself

Byron_Hinson said,
Yeah - always preferred a CEO who acts like a d**k to one who competes by showing a better product myself

Most CEOs are dicks, just some of them sit there are pretend not to be. Others just act like themselves. I prefer Steve to some guy who is just a PR puppet, and behind the scenes is just as big a ******. For some reason, you get this with IT CEOs, Steve, Steve, Larry, they are all big characters.

If he or anyone else came up to me and took my phone out of my hand and did that ****, he would have a few less teeth in his ****ing mouth.

lillitnn92 said,
If he or anyone else came up to me and took my phone out of my hand and did that ****, he would have a few less teeth in his ****ing mouth.


This would be like offering the CEO of Coke a Pepsi to refresh himself before a presentation.

Well, I'd never let someone straight take my phone. Why does it matter that someone who works at MS uses a iPhone or anything non-Microsoft? Everyone has their own likes and just because you work for a company doesn't mean you MUST use their products. Just because you designed the Ferrari doesn't mean you can't buy a Lamborghini.

I take it he gets mad to when he walks into people's offices and sees MacBooks. lol

lillitnn92 said,
If he or anyone else came up to me and took my phone out of my hand and did that ****, he would have a few less teeth in his ****ing mouth.

Wow, you'd lose your job and be arrested for assault over a crappy iPhone (which was not harmed in any way incidentally).

lillitnn92 said,
If he or anyone else came up to me and took my phone out of my hand and did that ****, he would have a few less teeth in his ****ing mouth.

Uh huh, sure you would. I highly doubt you're gonna punch out the CEO of Microsoft.

winrez said,
This would be like offering the CEO of Coke a Pepsi to refresh himself before a presentation.

theres a saying around where i live which says that he would actually enjoy that Pepsi, one because he's probably sick of drinking his own drink , and two because he's trying to find an inspiration to make Coke better!

but this is Ballmer, and he would never do anything like that...

FloatingFatMan said,
If Ballmer doesn't like the iPhone, then MAYBE Microsoft should pull their fingers out of their backsides and get Windows Mobile 7 finished?

Nah, that would make too much sense!

FloatingFatMan said,
If Ballmer doesn't like the iPhone, then MAYBE Microsoft should pull their fingers out of their backsides and get Windows Mobile 7 finished?


Finished? Didn't the code go RTM?

RAID 0 said,
Finished? Didn't the code go RTM?

Windows Mobile 7 not Windows 7. WM 7 is still in pre-beta stages (most probably) and right now the world is waiting for WM 6.5 very soon.

FloatingFatMan said,
If Ballmer doesn't like the iPhone, then MAYBE Microsoft should pull their fingers out of their backsides and get Windows Mobile 7 finished?


I agree with getting WinMo7 out with a better touch interface.

However, technically WinMo 5.x is more advanced than the iPhone's OS. It is just the 'interface' that seems dated. And 6.0 and 6.5 are even MORE 'technically' advanced than the iPhone, and they add a good touch interface. (Especially 6.5)

I think MS should just ditch the WinCE platform, go with the embedded Win7 architecture and let phones run a full version of Win7 and even add in x86 emulation for applications on ARM and other CPUs.

They could get Win7 into a 1GB ROM, and that is cheap today and not un-reasonable for phone anymore.

anthonyspt said,
I agree with getting WinMo7 out with a better touch interface.

However, technically WinMo 5.x is more advanced than the iPhone's OS. It is just the 'interface' that seems dated. And 6.0 and 6.5 are even MORE 'technically' advanced than the iPhone, and they add a good touch interface. (Especially 6.5)

I think MS should just ditch the WinCE platform, go with the embedded Win7 architecture and let phones run a full version of Win7 and even add in x86 emulation for applications on ARM and other CPUs.

They could get Win7 into a 1GB ROM, and that is cheap today and not un-reasonable for phone anymore.

Ha, that is funny. Yeah, Winmo is more advanced! That is for sure. As someone who has actually used that horrible excuse for an OS (sure, it was good 4 years ago, before we expected more), it is in no way more advanced.

I don't see why Ballmer is making all the fuzz about Apple, he should embrace the technology and be gratefull that someone has moved on with telephone technology

If he liked Apple or at least showed in public that he did then they wouldn't be competitors...

I'm sure you'd get the same reaction if you were running around the Verizon Wireless Headquarters as an employee with an AT&T phone on your side...

WAR-DOG said,
I don't see why Ballmer is making all the fuzz about Apple, he should embrace the technology and be gratefull that someone has moved on with telephone technology

Also, the fact that the iPhone has good MS Exchange Server support is a good thing for Microsoft.

Showing up to a Microsoft meeting with an Apple product is akin to showing up to Football practice with the other team's jersey or showing up to the US Army's BMT (boot camp) with a US Navy shirt on. You're going to be heckled.

Solid Knight said,
Showing up to a Microsoft meeting with an Apple product is akin to showing up to Football practice with the other team's jersey or showing up to the US Army's BMT (boot camp) with a US Navy shirt on. You're going to be heckled.


Heckled?

You'd probably get killed if you did that in Britain, depending on the team.

In other words... if you have a torch on fire, that was given to you from another tribe, you must throw it away, because our tribe has not invented the thorch yet...

WAR-DOG said,
In other words... if you have a torch on fire, that was given to you from another tribe, you must throw it away, because our tribe has not invented the thorch yet...
Touché.

WAR-DOG said,
I don't see why Ballmer is making all the fuzz about Apple, he should embrace the technology and be gratefull that someone has moved on with telephone technology


Do people 'really' believe this? The iPhone since it was released has been behind on almost every aspect of telephone technology and convergence devices.

The only feature it brought to a Phone that was not common was the multi-touch display.

It lacked basic features, including Bluetooth and other major features that some people had just expected out of their phone for YEARS.

Hitting a button on a bluetooth headset or from your car and saying 'Dial 555-1111' is still a better interface than having to take your phone out of your pocket and tap the screen.

Even in Video and Music playing, it was behind the current technology, as on even free models from carriers you could use SD cards, and also use the voice technology to say 'Play All Music' without having to touch the phone.

Even the 3G technology was behind, as my first 3G phone was from 2004 with a full web browser.

I know that more advanced features may have not been 'common' knowledge or the fact that a lot phones were multimedia devices in addition to phones, but that doesn't mean Apple did anything.

Heck go look up the old Motorola Razr V3m or v715, they were equal in audio video features to an iPhone and were out in 2004-2005, and had real 3G with TV streaming and real STEREO bluetooth with voice activated dialing, and they were 'cheap' phones...


Understand?

WAR-DOG said,
In other words... if you have a torch on fire, that was given to you from another tribe, you must throw it away, because our tribe has not invented the thorch yet...

what did apple give to microsoft ? they certainly didnt give them any iphones...

Shadrack said,
Also, the fact that the iPhone has good MS Exchange Server support is a good thing for Microsoft.


Good? Not by a long shot. I know they licensed ActiveSync from MS but the implementation sucks. I've now got several clients that have employees using iPhones at the work place and they absolutely are not reliable. Some connect instantly and without problems. Others don't work at all or require messing around with them for long periods of time. And with users that are on the same mail server! I've had other iPhones that wouldn't connect at all and needed to be replaced.

No, it's not "good" Exchange support. It's "okay" at best.

Tim Dawg said,
Good? Not by a long shot. I know they licensed ActiveSync from MS but the implementation sucks. I've now got several clients that have employees using iPhones at the work place and they absolutely are not reliable. Some connect instantly and without problems. Others don't work at all or require messing around with them for long periods of time. And with users that are on the same mail server! I've had other iPhones that wouldn't connect at all and needed to be replaced.

No, it's not "good" Exchange support. It's "okay" at best.

Yeah, in no way could this be due to Exchange being a complete POS. When it makes gmail look good, a server that is hosted a long way away, compares to the one in my company office, you know there is a problem.

Maybe you just don't know how to set it up properly?

WAR-DOG said,
In other words... if you have a torch on fire, that was given to you from another tribe, you must throw it away, because our tribe has not invented the thorch yet...

Your analogy does not parallel the situation. Apple isn't giving new technology to Microsoft. It's more akin to wearing another team's jersey to practice than it is to sharing technologies.