Steve Ballmer admits Microsoft is becoming more like Apple

With Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and the Xbox 360 all sharing the same design language in the Modern UI, and Microsoft’s websites all being migrated to the UI, Steve Ballmer’s latest annual letter to Microsoft’s shareholders has suggested the company are taking inspiration from Apple in its business practices.

We’ve already seen Microsoft successfully capture the console market with the Xbox and Xbox 360, and their range of keyboard and mice have been selling well for years, but it’s the move into the tablet market with the Surface and the rumoured Microsoft branded phone that’s drawing comparison to their Cupertino based rival. Steve Ballmer wrote:

There will be times when we build specific devices for specific purposes, as we have chosen to do with Xbox and the recently announced Microsoft Surface.

The one thing that people will argue is that Microsoft doesn’t have the cool factor, and that they will need to put in a hefty amount of overtime to convince people that they are a consumer friendly company.

Ballmer has himself admitted that Microsoft is becoming more of a devices and services company. Not that they won’t continue to push Windows and Office,  but the strategy that Microsoft employs to push the products will have to change to compete with the ever evolving PC and tablet market. Microsoft will continue to work with OEMs like Dell, Samsung and HTC, but the ecosystem is changing. Ballmer said:

It impacts how we run the company, how we develop new experiences, and how we take products to market for both consumers and businesses. This is a significant shift, both in what we do and how we see ourselves — as a devices and services company.

For the past three years running, he failed to bank his full performance bonus, listed as twice his annual salary (which is $685,000 per year). This year he banked a ‘paltry’ $620,000 in bonuses. Our hearts bleed for him!

Source: Tech Eye | Image courtesy of www.tonistechblog.com

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rojorojo said,
Did I miss something? Where in his quote did he say, "We're becoming more like Apple?"

He didn't. He said they're becoming a hardware and services company. That's a huge difference from a consumer fashion company.

A340600 said,
Ballmer didn't admit to anything about Microsoft "becoming more like Apple." Talk about twisting words.

I read the quotes and didnt see him say anything about apple either

A340600 said,
Ballmer didn't admit to anything about Microsoft "becoming more like Apple." Talk about twisting words.

I would agree. This post should've been titled as an editorial.

"We've already seen Microsoft successfully capture the console market with the Xbox and Xbox 360"

ORLY?

last i heard XBOX was trailing PS3 in global market share. how does that equate to XBOX "successfully capture the console market" ?

pengwin1 said,
"We've already seen Microsoft successfully capture the console market with the Xbox and Xbox 360"

ORLY?

last i heard XBOX was trailing PS3 in global market share. how does that equate to XBOX "successfully capture the console market" ?


Hey look, someone inherited Steve Jobs RDF. /facepalm

The constant comparison's to Apple are good for the rivalry, but I think anyone immersed in the tech world from the start realizes that this is the tech business pure and simple and everyone here has always stood on the shoulders of everyone else in this industry. To reduce anything that Microsoft has done over their 30 years history to the simplistic view of them simply emulating some other company, is great for headlines and arguments, but has not much basis in reality. IMO.

Title says Ballmer admits MS is becoming like Apple. Then the article says he suggests. Seems like BS and not front page worthy. Also who cares if they take a leaf out of Apples book. Its not a perfect eco system but it works and if they take some queues from it to make MS better than that's cool.

This article is not at all what I expected. I couldn't care less about unified UI's or the fact that they make hardware in general. My issue with Microsoft becoming like Apple is that they are more and more moving toward the walled garden approach which I oppose. It's ironic that they seem to be embracing the very thing that they used to point to as how they were better then Apple. I've owned Sidewinder Joysticks and Gamepads, I still use MS mouses and keyboards, I even have a MS headset and camera. I don't care that MS made MP3 player hardware with the Zune but I opposed the Zune because they ditched the open plays4sure to embrace a the closed Zune. I stuck with the more open mp3 players that just acted as external hard drives. I oppose the XBox360 because it's less open than the PS3 (though neither is particularly open). I oppose Windows 8/RT because of the Microsoft Store but I love Windows 7, Microsoft Office (2010 at least), and I program C# in Visual Studio for a living and couldn't be happier about my language and tools.

Time for you to stop using MS products all together and buy Google branded items now. Like the Chromebook. XBox is the future of MS. Wait until the traditional PC is replaced with a console. If MS has their way it will be. (editorial)

Asmodai said,
This article is not at all what I expected. I couldn't care less about unified UI's or the fact that they make hardware in general. My issue with Microsoft becoming like Apple is that they are more and more moving toward the walled garden approach which I oppose. It's ironic that they seem to be embracing the very thing that they used to point to as how they were better then Apple. I've owned Sidewinder Joysticks and Gamepads, I still use MS mouses and keyboards, I even have a MS headset and camera. I don't care that MS made MP3 player hardware with the Zune but I opposed the Zune because they ditched the open plays4sure to embrace a the closed Zune. I stuck with the more open mp3 players that just acted as external hard drives. I oppose the XBox360 because it's less open than the PS3 (though neither is particularly open). I oppose Windows 8/RT because of the Microsoft Store but I love Windows 7, Microsoft Office (2010 at least), and I program C# in Visual Studio for a living and couldn't be happier about my language and tools.

NeoPogo said,
Time for you to stop using MS products all together and buy Google branded items now. Like the Chromebook. XBox is the future of MS. Wait until the traditional PC is replaced with a console. If MS has their way it will be. (editorial)

I doubt the consoles will even exist much beyond the next generation. I suspect phones are the future. Clearly not yet but MS is in a race to bring its PC platform to the phone while Google is trying to grow their phone platform up into a full featured PC as the mobile hardware continues to improve. I'd probably be backing MS if it wasn't for the fact that in the process they are closing the platform and so I currently support Android (though I don't care about the open source nature I just want to support a platform that doesn't require I buy all my apps for it from the OS provided store.) I use the Hotmail, OneNote, and SkyDrive apps on my Android phone however. (I do use google instead of bing though)

So to be more like apple they are now going to sue everyone into oblivion and sell hardware at exhorbitant prices with shoddy components that you can't upgrade (at least for the PC/Laptop side of things )

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