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

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