Steve Wozniak: Microsoft resting on their markets and "that's pretty dangerous"

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak thinks that Microsoft, under the leadership of its now retiring CEO Steve Ballmer, has been declining for a while now, in remarks made today in an interview with the BBC.

During the chat, Wozniak stated that in his opinion, Microsoft has been "resting on their markets that they built a long, long time ago and that's pretty dangerous." He added that while he doesn't know how the world judges Ballmer, Wozniak believes his time as the leader of Microsoft was not as significant compared to when Bill Gates was CEO. Gates stepped down from that position in 2000 in favor of Ballmer but still has the title of Chairman.

Wozniak's comments today are interesting because he has made statements in the recent past praising Microsoft and some of its products. In 2012, he called the Windows Phone OS "intuitive and beautiful". Later that year he was positive about Microsoft as a whole, saying they were "starting to show maybe they're a different company than before."

In today's BBC interview, Wozniak says that Apple "found the formula" of being both a big company and being able to release new and innovative products under the leadership of the late Steve Jobs. He also feels that current CEO Tim Cook is the right person to lead the company.

Source: BBC | Image via BBC

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I enjoy reading anything from this guy, not all of what he says is true but i still enjoy reading it.

IMO apple is resting on its premade user base and not innovating but that woz is taking apples success with amount of sales etc as "our users see we are innovating so keep buying our stuff" which looks like they aren't resting.

either way the phone and tablet market are monopolised by apple but the desktop OS market is monopolised by Microsoft regardless of mistakes they might have made.

Microsoft isn't resting, they really are pushing the boundaries, they just need their user base to trust them enough to commit to their products as much as apples userbase commits to theirs, sales marketing is a weak point for msft.

And could everyone else stop trying to think they have any idea about the inner workings of these companies or think they know about their strategies, the only people that really know would not be posting here. PLONKERS!

What Woz said, is that MS, even when they are launched new product but MS hardly are created a product that MS can says "if things fail then we can move all our business to this technology".

Ok was...even though I like you and you are cool...QUESTION?! What did Apple do that was innovative with Mac OS after nearly 2 decades with it? NOTHING other than wasting time to change from Sega Chips (Motorola 68k series chips were used in Macs and Sega Genesis) and then the failed PPC attempt even with 3 huge companies pushing it, it went nowhere. Then so far with OS X, all Apple has been doing is releasing Service Pack-like updates and have been stuck on OS 10 for how many years now?

And what about iOS. Other than 1 designed change to the iPad and one design change to the iPhone, and one design change to the Touch, what has Apple really done? NOTHING!

They are doing exactly what you are accusing MS of doing. Here is the difference WOZ. Windows is over 30 years old and has lost about 1% marketshare in recent years. They went from 905 to 89%. While Apple in the past 3 years have fell 10% from where they were when the iPhone 4 was released. Oh and the tablets? Where Apple once has a near monopoly at 85%, they now have fallen to just 28% or less.

What major changes have their stuff been through? NOTHING! The iPhone has remained virtually unchanged from day one. Its gained .5" in size and no real firsts in software.

Siri is stupid. Talking to your device has simply never been good even with todays chip technology. You can still type faster or Google faster. What innovations have Apple brought to iOS? Nothing. OS X has basically had boring UI changes.

In the time Ballmer has been King of the Empire, Microsoft has started lots of new services and applications. What has Apple done? Every CEO has failures.

Going from a 3.5" device and growing it to a 9.7" device isn't innovative. Making it talk isn't either. Drop down notification isn't either. Slide to unlock isn't either. Page bouncing to show you've reached the end isn't either. Round corners isn't either. That is all you've one in 6 years of iPhone/iPad.

What the pigs who work at Apple, or in this case formally worked at Apple need to do is...STFU trying to worry about everyone else and worry about themselves. If it wasn't for Microsoft, Apple wouldn't even be here today and that is beyond the $150M investment.

Microsoft is still sustained by the same product that landed them their empire. All the other products exist due to Windows penetration. Where has the Mac gotten Apple? 130M sales in its whole life?

This obese loon needs to invest in fixing his health and look, before taking about what a multi-billion dollar company should be doing. The whole tenure of Ballmer wasn't perfect, but at least he didn't run the company into the ground like RIM's CEO, or HP's CEO. At least Microsoft was profitable every single year. At least he can hold his head up. At least they didn't lay off 1/2 their workforce.

Take a deep breath and calm down. No need to go insulting and using caps lock just because you don't agree with the guy. He may be right or wrong, who knows but at the end of the day he's much smarter than you ever will be and has accomplished much more than you ever will.

stevan said,
Take a deep breath and calm down. No need to go insulting and using caps lock just because you don't agree with the guy. He may be right or wrong, who knows but at the end of the day he's much smarter than you ever will be and has accomplished much more than you ever will.
And you know that...how?

I own 2 businesses...one of which makes over $7M per year. I have 25 permanent employees and I sub-contract over 4200 contractors in the USA/Canada/Puerto Rico and Europe. Even though my main business is structured cabling, I do security and phone systems. My second business I do computer repair for CPS and other colleges and Universities. We repair phones, computers and some printers. Right now that business gross 5.5M per year. 68% of which is thanks to refurbishing Apple computers an devices.

My top contractor who owns his own business, but works mostly for me, made nearly $400k last year. How much did you make? We only work with Fortune 500 company's. Many of those retailers you visit and buy stuff from on a regular basis.

Unlike Apple fans, I could care less how much they have or make. I've got my own. But I don't tell someone how to run their business or bad mouth them about it. I don't publically speak especially like Woz about a company that has more employees, has more product that are successful than my old company, and its a company that is younger than mine is. Woz needs to shut up and fix his weight problem. All that money he has and he looks like a munchkin that's 5.8.

I love Steve Wozniak and always have. Ever since he visited my grade school. I attended Walter Elias Disney Magnet school for 3 years and one of those years he came to our school and our school receive a bunch of the first iMacs that Jobs made when he came back in 97. I will never forget it because he stood in my class and hand all 50 of us one for our computer lab. I got a blue one. Even tho it sucked to use, I was happy because I got to shake the hand of the man who got me started with the Apple II because I loved that PC. And I bought a IIE and IIC and IIGS because of him.

So yeah, I'm scolding him because he is speaking out of place. Just because you are rich, doesn't mean you get to open your mouth and bad mouth a competitor or former competitor in his case.

I've built a computer from scratch too. I just didn't let me friend us it to build a company from it. Yes he is a little smarter than me, yes he may have done a little more than me, but that gap between me and him is much smaller than the gap between you and him. :-)

What I get so tired of, is the lame idiots who always have so much to say about Microsoft. Microsoft is still in the same place they were back in 1985. Can Apple say the same? NO! Not even close.

Who said I didn't agree. MS did sit on their laurels with Windows. Same with Windows Mobile and other things. It seems to happen to the best of them. Nokia did it, RIM did it, Apple did it, HP did it. Did he say any thing about them? NAH. He use to work for HP...remember?

The difference of Microsoft versus outfits like Apple, is MS has 2 products that pretty much control the world. No one else has this. Its like a failsafe. If Apple dips into a market and fails, it could spell the end of them. If Android has made it to market one year before iOS, Apple would be dead now. That year gave them a huge advantage. They had 5 years advantage with the Mac and what go did it do them? It took them 28 years to sell 130M of them, when the top 3 PC makes alone sell over 100M computers every year.

If iPhone sales were to drop just 50%, Apple would be in serious trouble. Unlike Microsoft who could give every Surface away from free and all they would lose is maybe a few million dollars. That is why Apple needs to save all that money, because they is no telling when they will have the next big thing. iPhone has been the biggest thing they had since the first Mac.

Edited by Hi_XPecTa_Chens, Aug 26 2013, 8:39pm :

TechieXP said,
pigs who work at Apple [...] STFU [...] obese loon needs to invest in fixing his health and look

I hope you realize you're making it absolutely impossible to take anything else you say seriously… disgraceful comment really.

What it boils down to is a common understanding that Apple doesn't innovate "new products" They take an existing idea or product and make it better. Apple may not have changed much on OS X or iOS over the past decade, but the big difference is that they have kept improving it and built a darn good eco system software and hardware. Microsoft is trying to follow this route as well, but has always rested on their markets too late and either killed the product off or waited too late to improve it. Windows Phone is a great start to Microsoft's change to this.

CSharp. said,

I hope you realize you're making it absolutely impossible to take anything else you say seriously… disgraceful comment really.

Really? You have been to an Apple store right? You have asked the genius' questions...right? I've never been to Cupertino, but I have been to other places where I had to deal with some higher ups from Apple, Dell, HP and many many others.

Based on my experience, many of them are pigs and I don't mean their weight. I am talking about their pompus attitudes as if they are so much better than anyone else. Steve Jobs attitude can be seen in many of the genius' I death with. I will give you an example.

The last iPhone I own, the 4S had an issue with the dock. The phone would simply not except being attached to any docking station accessory, even though it had no issue with a charger. When I brought it in the snarky genius said I must not have been attaching it correctly? So I said I will be back. I went up the street to Best Buy an purchased a dock and brought it over to the store and showed him. Once I made him look like the ass he was, he then said well I have to check it for wet damage. I said, well I've had an iPhone before and when it gets wet it doesn't work at all.

So he took it upstairs. My problem with him was he was trying to talk above me. He wasn't asking me questions to get an idea of the issue, he asked me snarky questions to simply see if I even knew what I was talking about.

The other issue with it was, when I pressed the volume buttoms after removing it from the doc, the volume controls would not work anymore until I rebooted the device. Even then it would only allow me to adjust the volume once. Then he asked if I tried reinstalling iOS. I said yes lots of times. The issue isnt the software it the docking issue. When I unplug it from the dock, it still thinks its in the dock.

I sat there for an hour in a store than had just opened an had less than 10 people, where 1/2 where their to make a purchase. Why did it take so long. Then he come handing me a refurbished phone. So I showed him again my receipt, which shows I had just purchased the phone 11 days ago from HIS store. I said I know you aren't going to give me a use phone when I bought a perfectly brand new one.

I called the manager and told him and he pulled the guy aside and he then made a call and another genius brought me a brand new phone. Which is what I should have gotten in the first place. The women at the Apple Stores are awesome...the men simply aren't.

Dealing with to guys at Apple? My company repairs their crap. I don't need some guy who acts like a loon just because his company has more money vs mine. We fixed over 250,000 Apple phones/ipads/imacs this last quarter which was more units and faster than ABT did.

The employees from Apple's early years can't be lying.

I don't see anything wrong with his comments. Must be because he's talking "bad" about Microsoft. Truth hurts sometimes!

Pardon? What about Azure? SkyDrive? Skype? Exclusive TV content for Xbox? Digital content like apps, games, music + movies? PC hardware? Ads and Bing as a platform?

On the other side Apple has: the iPhone and iPad which are both very similar if not identical. The App Store and iTunes content is only available on these products. So one could argue that Apple has only one single product line where they are making real money. And Google does make money almost entirely with ads. Their digital content distribution over the Play Store isn't very large yet and the hardware business (Motorola) is losing money.

tiadimundo said,
Pardon? What about Azure? SkyDrive? Skype? Exclusive TV content for Xbox? Digital content like apps, games, music + movies? PC hardware? Ads and Bing as a platform?

On the other side Apple has: the iPhone and iPad which are both very similar if not identical. The App Store and iTunes content is only available on these products. So one could argue that Apple has only one single product line where they are making real money. And Google does make money almost entirely with ads. Their digital content distribution over the Play Store isn't very large yet and the hardware business (Motorola) is losing money.

Skydrive is resting over Office.
Azure is resting over cloud windows server.
And Skype... well, it is an purchased technology.
And for xbox, xbox is a "toy" project.

Has anyone ever thought that MS was holding back because the state department accused them of monopolistic practices? MS pretty much stopped innovating during the whole investigation. I believe it was just 2 years ago when they closed the book on that. Fast forward 2 years and now they have more competition and they are starting to innovate their market. I think they held back on purpose.

Spicoli said,
I assume by "innovating" you mean "make novelty consumer products". Real technical innovation is rarely visible to the end user.

What do you consider innovation the iPhone,iPod, or iPhone?

I might have agreed with him before Windows Phone and Xbox One happened, but even then you can't really talk about Microsoft as a whole like that; there are just too many different products all changing at different rates.
Thinking about it, that's a difference between Microsoft and Apple: Microsoft often push to release something quickly, with new features, to be patched later, while Apple will take longer over development and release less frequent patches. Obviously there will be exceptions

Ridiculous, MS is throwing out alot of new and different products, revamping nearly every product line while apple still gives us ROW OF ICONS in IOS7.

It's not like what he's saying is not true, but Woz usually likes everybody until he doesn't. He used to praise Android, then WindowsPhone then Apple again. He's just a regular nerd, nothing new here.

Praising those things is not exclusive to saying they've been "resting on their markets."

The markets MS is weak in, are not "their" markets. Their core markets are Windows and Office. They've been resting on those for a long time and not making headway in the emerging mobile markets. He said resting on their markets, not on their asses.

I guess I agree with you, he is correct and he is a nerd.

he doesn't remember what he said last year. its part of his shtick of trying to look impartial. don't worry, nobody in the press will actually call him out for it, because he is an jolly nice guy with apple blood.

Mr. Wozniak is resting on a reputation he built a long, long time ago. He's totally irrelevant.

Too add something a little more on topic, anyone who thinks Microsoft is slow moving or lacks innovation doesn't know what they are talking about. As a tiny example, while they're not making a smart watch, lets not forget Kinect and the ambition behind making the Xbox One the entertainment center of our houses.

Edited by Vannos, Aug 26 2013, 1:01pm :

What? MS have just been accused by loyal users everywhere of trying to change Windows too radically and he says they're resting on their markets? If anything, they're rapidly changing but handling the changes very, very poorly.

I think they rested so long they had to make such a radical and sudden change that it hurt. It's taken a while to start fixing things as well, but they are complex (8.1 and core apps).

They waited until they were nearing total irrelevancy (Tablets & Phones) to really get to work. I think that's all the Woz means. He's otherwise been very positive about Microsoft.

This doesn't make any sense. Microsoft is heavily investing in new markets. It's primary product, Windows, is undergoing massive redesigns to capitalize on touch and mobility. And what about their entertainmant devision? Xbox is undergoing some radical changes. From a gaming platform to an allround entertainment plantform. With support services such as Xbox video and music. Microsoft has also started to produce their own line of devices with the Surface. Succesful or not he cant accuse MIcrosoft of resting on their old markets.

What new things has Apple done lately? It seems they are just releasing their yearly iPhone and iPad. Sure they might have an iWatch in the pipeline but who knows that Microsoft is working on. Certainly not Wozniak.

Microsoft is experimenting with the consumer market. And this has happened before where Microsoft experiments with a product, it kind of fails, and then Apple tweaks the the hell out of the same thing and then gets all the business that Microsoft sought after.

so when he's half bashing Apple and biggin' up the soft he's a guy that talks sense but as soon as he makes a different statement about MS he's irrelevant.. ?

Uplift said,
so when he's half bashing Apple and biggin' up the soft he's a guy that talks sense but as soon as he makes a different statement about MS he's irrelevant.. ?

Pretty much.

I come here for the entertainment.

Woz has been pretty inconsistent with his remarks, he's irrelevant (has been for years). Regarding Apple, his statements aren't given too much weight except being used in flamewars to rile up some sensitive Apple fans.

Uplift said,
so when he's half bashing Apple and biggin' up the soft he's a guy that talks sense but as soon as he makes a different statement about MS he's irrelevant.. ?

For this web site anyway.

You mean the global business "market". He's probably just jealous because Apple has never been able to get any traction in the enterprise. They continue to cling to the one source hardware thing which no one wants to go back to.

Ph1b3r0pt1c said,
listening to him speak sometimes is like watching Keeping up with the Kardashians. Why does he matter anymore?

You really don't have any idea about the guy you talking about. He is one of the most underrated yet prolific innovator.

WinDev said,

You really don't have any idea about the guy you talking about. He is one of the most underrated yet prolific innovator.

I believe you, but please provide some evidence/sources to back that up, save a flame-war starting...

WinDev said,

You really don't have any idea about the guy you talking about. He is one of the most underrated yet prolific innovator.

What has he innovated lately?

What has he innovated within the last 10 years? And yes, I can read and I know he was there at the beginning of Apple, but after that, what did he do? Just show up and talk about how he helped Apple? I hope in 20 years I can just ride around and talk to people about how I helped fight cancer 15 years ago.

Ph1b3r0pt1c said,
listening to him speak sometimes is like watching Keeping up with the Kardashians. Why does he matter anymore?

Learn your history...

Whether you like or dislike his comments; he deserves the respect of anyone that would be posting here.

I don't agree that Microsoft is resting on their markets, as part of Microsoft's problems have been in pushing out new changes in the concepts of the OS, OS kernel, and the OS model along with new UI changes that require users to adapt to a new usability model.

Vista, was a major change in how the kernel can deal with the GPU directly, Windows 7 and 8 further increased these changes.

Building on Vista's model, NT is the only OS that has kernel level GPU thread scheduling and can multi-task GPU threads alongside CPU threads and with Windows 8 send them to either processor based on the fastest result of which each is equipped.

(These are beneficial to keeping an OS buttery smooth and allows the graphics framework to use and offset features through the NT kernel that are simply not possible on other OSes.)

Woz is a legend and deservers an ear, even if he becomes raving mad from a disease.

I really like the Woz.. but, He has been saying some pretty crazy things lately.. Time to put down the pipe..

While, I am not happy with the direction of Microsoft lately, They are not resting on their market..

if anyone is, it sure is Apple..

oh woz, the guy that tries to fake being impartial but still worships the ground apple is built on. I mean theres nothing wrong with the worshipping part afterall, based on his history with apple, but please cut the bull****.

fusi0n said,
I really like the Woz.. but, He has been saying some pretty crazy things lately.. Time to put down the pipe..

While, I am not happy with the direction of Microsoft lately, They are not resting on their market..

if anyone is, it sure is Apple..

100%. Microsoft has taken a lot of risks lately.... thats not resting!

I don't care if he's impartial, but when you make two completely opposite statements about something in the period of less than a year you just start coming off like a nut. He's given Microsoft some of the highest praise in the last year saying it had the spirit of Apple and Steve Jobs that it's product were like a new Microsoft. And now here he is saying that they've been resting on their markets?

Microsoft changed in the last few years in an amazing way. They improved so many of their products and services. At worst they've been racing to catch-up, not resting.