Tenacity and Patience

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-05-11 Print this article Print

With regard to the advertising market, Ballmer said that while Microsoft does not like being in third spot in any market, "I think we have shown we have the tenacity and patience and innovation to succeed," he said. "People said we wouldnt succeed in the browser market, with Windows, or against Novell. I think we have shown that we have the innovation and patience to succeed here as well," he said.
Ballmer also did not totally discount IBM as a competitive threat, especially with its services-based business model, but noted that others like Oracle have the same business model as Microsoft, which is outselling both Oracle and IBM on the database front, he said.
Asked about Google and the threat it poses, Ballmer said it is one of the two companies ahead of it in the advertising revenue front, so that does indeed make them a competitor. "The question I asked around this is whether we have done everything we need to do to embrace the advertising business model and provide the tools that drive this," he said, adding that Microsoft has an incredible amount of focus in this space as it is key to the future of other Microsoft businesses. The way advertising got bought and sold will be fundamentally different going forward. Microsoft will create its own services like Windows Live, enter into partnerships with others, and do acquisitions to help it bootstrap the advertising market, Ballmer said. To read more about Windows Live for developers, click here. While Microsofts online environment is where people spend a lot of time, that does not mean that environment is where they spend the most, he said, adding that its Hotmail, Instant Messaging and MSN assets have a lot of traction, particularly outside of the United States. "But we are still hard at work on our own services, but with the user in control. Windows Live will allow a customized, personalized view, with Microsoft creating an ecosystem around search that would allow the user to be in control," Ballmer said. Next Page: Embracing change.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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