Steve Ballmer today:
We have our advantages in productivity. We have our advantages in terms of enterprise management, manageability. We have got our advantages in terms of when you plug into server infrastructure in the enterprise.
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.
We do feel empowered to innovate everywhere and bring our partners with us. We are just not going to leave any — what’s the expression people like to use — We’re not going to leave any stone unturned, so to speak, as we pursue that.
Big words from a company CEO that has already ceded enormous ground to Apple over the last 5+ years and that has virtually zero profitable hardware initiatives. Remember this challenge when you look back two, three or four years from now. And keep in mind that the iPhone today has more sales than all of Microsoft combined.
And also remember that this is what Ballmer said on the launch of the iPhone five years ago:
Right now, well let’s take phones for instance. Right now we’re selling millions and millions and millions of phones a year. Apple is selling zero phones a year. In 6 months they’ll have the most expensive phone by far ever on the market place. And… Let’s see — what’s the expression — let’s see how the competition goes.
Maybe he is reacting to the Vanity Fair piece this month.
One of the best takes on all of this is Horace Dediu’s post entitled “The Poetry of Steve Ballmer.”
Disclosure: I am long AAPL.