When you think of which technology companies have been the most innovative since the beginning of the century, Apple, Google, and Facebook come to mind.
However, Microsoft, the company that once dominated tech, wants you to know that they are ready to make some noise again. Specifically, they’re confident they are now ready to take on Apple where it counts, according to CRN.
In an exclusive interview, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer explains that, despite some setbacks, his company is back.
Calling the eventual launch of the Surface tablet the marking of a new era at Microsoft, Ballmer said he will leave no “stone unturned” in their innovation battle against Apple.
Speaking at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, the CEO said:
But we are not going to let any piece of this [go uncontested to Apple. Not the consumer cloud. Not hardware software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen. Not on our watch.
Many, many stumbles
Of course, Ballmer’s comments come after years of decline that saw Microsoft’s grip on the technology industry end, just as Apple saw a revival thanks to the iPhone and iPad, and, of course, the App Store.
While Microsoft has found success with the 7-year-old Xbox 360, it has stumbled magnificently in the markets that Apple now dominates.
Before the Surface, there was Windows Mobile, which wasn’t much of a success. And who can forget Zune, the “iPod killer” that Microsoft finally euthanized in 2011 after years of weak sales?
While the tech world would probably be better with a stronger Microsoft, the skeptic in me doesn’t see this happening, at least with Ballmer at the helm.
For one, Microsoft is being challenged, not just by Apple or Google, but also by other players in technology. And many of these are smaller developers that weren’t around a decade ago.
Additionally, I feel apps are where the future lies. And on that, Apple and Google are so far ahead of Microsoft, I’m not sure there is room for a third player.
Of course, if Apple can come back, so can Microsoft. Still, maybe not with Ballmer in charge. After all, there’s a reason he is called the nation’s worst CEO.
Can Microsoft recover thanks to the Surface?