Steve Ballmer on Vanity Fair article: Lost decade my eye
A recent Vanity Fair article characterized Microsoft as company defined by boneheaded decisions, most of them the fault of CEO Steve Ballmer. Microsoft’s chief, though, sees the company’s recent history very differently. In a Wednesday interview with Forbes, Ballmer said that, measured by its popularity among consumers, Microsoft’s been successful all along.
I mean, look, ultimately progress is measured sort of through the eyes of our users. More than our investors or our P&L or anything else, it’s through the eyes of our users. We have 1.3 billion people using PCs today. There was a time in the ’90s when we were sure there would never be 100 million PCs sold a year. Now there will be 375 million sold this year alone. So, is it a lost decade?
As for Microsoft’s stagnant stock, Ballmer isn’t worried. It’ll pick up eventually, he said.
The stock market has always had its own meter. Sometimes it’s ahead of itself, sometimes it’s behind itself. A broken watch is right twice a day. Ultimately all Microsoft can do is focus in on doing exciting products, which with Windows 8, with Office 15, with Surface, with the new PPI technology, with what we’re doing with Skype, where we’re going with Bing and Windows Phone and Xbox. We think we’ve got the most exciting stuff we’ve ever had. Number two is how do we do from a profitability standpoint. If we deliver exciting products and we make more money, eventually that will translate into rewards for our shareholders.