Microsoft Ballmer Talks About His Consumer Problems & Possible Aquisition Of Nokia

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In an interview with a US TV network Steve Ballmer CEO of Microsoft has tried to defend his Companies poor position in the fast growing consumer market. He has also answered questions about the potential of Microsoft buying either Nokia or Blackberry.

In an interview with a US TV network Steve Ballmer CEO of Microsoft has tried to defend his Companies poor position in the fast growing consumer market. He has also answered questions about the potential of Microsoft buying either Nokia or Blackberry.

CNBC personality Maria Bartiromo questioned  the Microsoft CEO on several topics. When asked about aquiring Nokia or Blackberry he said “I’ll write it down as a list of suggestions from you,” Ballmer told the TV host one point, declining to fuel any speculation about the possibility of Microsoft attempting one of those deals.

The interview went as follows:

BARTIROMO: Now, there is a perception, as you know, that you’ve been run over on some of these big consumer trends. Now, to be fair, you actually demoed a tablet here last year at CES. You were among the early ones to actually notice the strength in smartphones. But over the last year, amazing what’s happened. You look at the success with Android, the success of iPhone. What happened?

Mr. BALLMER: Well, a lot of work to do. And, I mean, I can go over history, but I kind of like where we are today. There’s a big opportunity and a big challenge in front of us. The Windows Phone 7 that we just brought to market 60 to 80 days ago, people are loving them. People who get their hands on them, who actually see them, nine out of 10 are recommending, which is unheard of, phenomenal. So I’m pretty excited about where we can go there, and the range in new PCs and what people are going to do with them, because a lot of times what you really want is the ability to have something on the go, but you really want the full power of the PC if you’re a student, you’re–or somebody else.

BARTIROMO: What has stopped you from making really bold and sort of aggressive new bets on technology? For example, why not acquire? You’ve got more than 40 billion on the balance sheet. You want to have a substantial market share in smartphones. Why not just acquire RIM?

Mr. BALLMER: Well, look, let’s distinguish between bold technology bets and acquisitions. We’ve made bold technology bets. We’ve bet on the Cloud and our Enterprise business, it’s going fantastic. We made the bet on Xbox, we made the bet on Kinect. Those things have gone super, super well. So I think we’re–we made the bet on… We’ve come from nowhere. We’re growing like a weed in that business. So I feel pretty good about the bets. Now, when does acquisition make sense? That’s a complicated subject, probably best not addressed in this interview.

 

BARTIROMO: Well, you know, when you talk about the installed base, let’s say, you’re talking about an installed base of 50 million, right, for let’s say, you know, gaming. You’re talking about four billion phones, mobile phones in the world today. I mean, that’s really what investors want to know. So why not acquire? Why not use some of that cash on the balance sheet to acquire Nokia?

Mr. BALLMER: I’ll write it down as a list of suggestions from you.

BARTIROMO: All right, let’s talk about the generational shift that’s really going on in the world today away from PCs and more toward wireless and portable devices. How are you going to get the Microsoft brand to really resonate with the younger consumer out there the way Apple and Google does?

Mr. BALLMER: Well, the most popular young consumer brand in the electronics business is ours, the Xbox. I mean, you could say, OK, we and Apple can go at it. But let’s make no mistake about it, for young people today it’s the exciting things they’re doing, or the things they’re doing in the–what we call the entertainment side of their lives. Every kid grows up with Microsoft Office to do their homework, but the exciting part of their life is what they’re doing online, is what they’re doing with their friends. It’s gaming, it’s DVD. And Xbox is square in the middle of that. So I like our seat at the table, if you will.

BARTIROMO: But do you need a transformative move to really make sure it’s in people’s face, that yes, you are in that space in terms of these different consumer trends, in terms of this move away from the PC model and toward wireless?

 

Mr. BALLMER: Well, let me first disagree with you. There’s no move away from the PC. There is an embrace of other new form factors, which I think is fantastic, but people aren’t stopping one thing and doing another. They’re doing these things more or less additively, which I think is important. Do we have a lot of opportunity and a lot of desire to really drive hard, particularly in the phone? Absolutely. And Windows Phone 7, which we introduced two months ago, that’s the shot.

 

 

 

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