In an interview with Bloomberg Ex Microsoft CEO Ballmer says that if there is going to be any competition for Apple, it will come from Microsoft.
Since leaving Microsoft in 2014 as its CEO to become the owner of the LA Clippers pro basketball team, Steve Ballmer has been mum on his views on the tech industry. However, in an interview with Bloomberg TV, he shared some insights into his former company and its competition.
Ballmer described Apple’s efforts in combining software and hardware as a “good job.” However, citing the recently announced Surface Book as an example of how Microsoft could compete with Apple with that kind of business model, he said: “If there’s going to be any competition at all for Apple it will come from Microsoft.”
He took on Amazon as well. Here a transcript of Steve Ballmer´s statements.
“Microsoft´s culture is very strong, hard-driving, people are really focussed on changing the world. People work very hard. I believe the same is true with Amazon. But you´ve got to remember, there is intense competition between Microsoft and Amazon, both AWS versus Microsoft´s Azure, but there is also intense competition just in the city of Seattle, over talent.
I think they are a place that people don´t want to work. Anybody whoever left at Microsoft, we could count on them, coming back from Amazon, we could count on them coming back in a year or two, cause it´s just not a great place to work, to do innovative stuff as an engineer.
Many people round-trip, not everybody but many people round-trip. At this stage it´s probably fair to say that you see movement between the two companies. Remember it´s not Silicon Valley where everybody is moving between every company all of the time. In Seattle there is really some start-ups, but mostly the two big tech-employers Microsoft and Amazon.
[About Apple] A company that´s done a great job, I think you have to go back to ´97 when Steve came back, when they were almost bancrupt. We made an inverstment in Apple as part of settling a lawsuit, we Microsoft made an investment.
In a way you can say that´s been the craziest thing we ever did. But, they´ve taken the foundation of great innovation, some cash, and they´ve turned it into the most valuable company in the world.
Microsoft should give them a good run for the money! Nobody else is really trying to compete with them anymore, really seriously in hardware. I mean, who is really going after the Mac, who is really going after the iPad?
You could barely, basically say Microsoft and Samsung. And Microsoft is really the only one that´s got a software and a hardware capability. So if there is going to be any competition for Apple it will come from Microsoft, and I believe in that!”