Back in March, Steve Ballmer gave his first speech since stepping down as the CEO of Microsoft. If you have ever seen Ballmer speak, this appearance was no different with a candid delivery at maximum volume. The speech, which took place in Oxford, could be Ballmer's last as he stated that if it doesn't go well, he may never do it again. Although, considering that he is going to give the commencement speech at the University of Washington next month, we suspect that he enjoyed his time at Oxford.
What would a Ballmer speech be without a few quotes that seem to stir up the imagination and paint a different perspective on two massive technology companies, Apple and Microsoft. During his speech he said that both Apple and Microsoft are two trick ponies which is better than most companies that are one trick pony. He said that Coca Cola is an example of a one trick pony by creating a soft drink 100 years ago and is still riding that cash cow.
So what are Microsoft's two tricks? Ballmer said that they are creating the modern computer and getting businesses to adopt the microprocessor into their workflow. For Apple, it was creating low-power touch computing with the iPod and of course the company's line of Macintosh computers.
Ballmer said that Microsoft is still working on its third trick as technology companies are not able to ride a single trick for 100 years like Coca Cola is able to do. But what is that third trick? Well, it's not clearly defined by Ballmer but it's clearly the company's cloud and services focus that will likely help push the company forward as cloud computing continues to grow.
That's not a big surprise as the company has been pushing cloud services heavily and Windows as a Service is the next great subscription leap for the company (the first was Office). Further, they appointed Satya Nadella as CEO who previously ran the cloud division at Microsoft.