Bye, big guy: Steve Ballmer’s best moments

As the outspoken Microsoft CEO announces his retirement, we say thanks for the memories

Microsoft is about to lose its CEO. The company this week announced that Steve Ballmer, a larger-than-life figure in the tech world since he joined Microsoft’s leadership team in 1980, will step down from his role at its helm and retire at some point in the next 12 months.

In an industry where interesting individuals are becoming few and far between, we’ll certainly miss Ballmer’s outspoken, outgoing nature. Here are some of our favourite moments from his long career as Microsoft big cheese.

On his feelings for Microsoft…

“I. LOVE. THIS. COMPANY. YEAAAAAAHAESSS!!!”

On keeping his offspring brand-loyal…

“My children… in many dimensions they’re as poorly-behaved as many other children, but at least on this dimension I’ve got my kids brainwashed: ‘You don’t use Google, and you don’t use an iPod.'”

Image credit: Wired Photostream

More after the break...

His thoughts on the 2007 iPhone announcement…

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidised item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60 percent or 70 percent or 80 percent of them than I would to have two percent or three percent, which Apple might get.”

Hindsight’s a killer, eh? Apple today enjoys a 40 percent share of the US smartphone market, while Windows Phone languishes with, yep you guessed it… three percent.

On Google CEO Eric Schmidt (allegedly)…

“I’m going to f****** bury that guy. I have done it before and I will do it again. I’m going to f****** kill Google.”

Even if the above quote (from a court transcript) is inaccurate, it’s safe to say that there’s little love lost between Ballmer and Google as a company. Ballmer has publicly dissed Chrome OS (“Who knows what this thing is?”) and Android (“You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone, and I think you do to use an Android phone!”).

[Source: Sydney Morning Herald]

On developers...

Developers.