Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer opened his big mouth again. He decided to dish on Apple, saying the company competes by providing little more than a logo and a higher price.
"Apple gained about one point, but now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction," Ballmer said in a keynote speech at Media Summit 2009, discussing Apple's recent gains in the market. "The economy is helpful. Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment...to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be."
Apple fans came out in force, responding to Ballmer's latest bullet. Commenters tried to correct Ballmer, saying, "That extra $500 gets you an OS that doesn't get viruses and allows you to run for the life of the computer without having to wipe the computer and reinstall." Others were more reactionary. Said one, "Ballmer is an idiot...period."
But is he? Sure, he opens his mouth when most competitors wouldn't, but it's hard to argue with his track record as a CEO. Over the past four years alone, he has presided over a staggering increase in Microsoft's bottom line. During that period, profits at the company have risen from $12 billion in 2005 to more than $17 billion for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008. Revenue has nearly doubled in that time. And shareholder value--a measure of a company's ability to increase its free cash flow over time--has increased since he became CEO of Microsoft.… Read more