Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has argued that the firm is still the leading tech company when it comes to innovation and development of new ideas, ahead of rivals Apple, Google and Oracle.
Speaking at the Said Business School, University of Oxford, Ballmer argued that Microsoft had been the most successful firm in the industry due to the fact that it has done “more tricks than anyone else”.
“Most tech companies fail, they are zero-trick ponies, they never do anything well. You’re pretty genius in our business if you’re a one-trick pony. It’s some innovation they get right and then they spin and it gets really successful,” he said.
“Our company has done at least two tricks. One is we invented the modern PC with Windows and Office, and the second thing we did was really bring microprocessor technology into the data centre.”
Ballmer added that the success of Xbox should be considered a half trick, putting it ahead of Apple and others in the market.
“Apple’s done two, most guys only do one, Google’s got one to their credit, Oracle’s still running the same playbook,” he added.
Ballmer admitted Microsoft had fallen behind on the “mobile trick”, but said the firm was now “building muscle” to ensure it can compete in this space through its work on the Surface tablet and its acquisition of Nokia.
“The fact we’ve done two and a half [tricks] is something I’m really proud of, and the fact we’ve built muscle that lets us do new tricks in the future will distinguish us from all other tech companies on the planet,” he added.
Ballmer was speaking in one of his first public appearances since being replaced as the CEO of Microsoft by Satya Nadella, the third CEO in the firm's 39-year history.
The full interview is embedded below.
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