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Google a One Hit Wonder, Muses Ballmer

By - May 18, 2005

Ibm XtBizweek reports:

Speaking to a packed auditorium at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., on May 12, Ballmer trumpeted the ripe opportunities around Microsoft’s sprawling business and questioned the ability of Google (GOOG ) to maintain its edge. Clearly alluding to Microsoft’s key Internet search rival, Ballmer said: “The hottest company right now — the one nobody thinks can do any wrong — may just be a one-hit wonder.”

Yeah, and where was Microsoft seven years after it was founded? Let’s see, it started in 1975, so that’d be 1982. By then, MSFT had one major product categories: DOS. Sure, it also had programming languages and some false starts in hardware and games (kind of like Google has OEM deals, the Search Appliance and Orkut), but it was, for the most part, a one trick pony. Its revenues of about $24 million in 1982 pale compare to Google’s $5 billion+ run rate at year seven.

Steve, not a good call.

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4 thoughts on “Google a One Hit Wonder, Muses Ballmer

  1. quanta says:

    Just posturing for the cameras. It can be argued that even today, MS is a two-trick pony: Windows and Office monopolies financially supports everything else.

  2. Ven says:

    Sure MS was a one trick pony back then, but it was the only pony in town to ride. Today with search that is not really the case. Also, I think you would need to adjust numbers for inflation, it was 20+ years ago.

  3. I’m not sure it is right to compare year 7th now and back then, when the speed of IT was far more slow.
    7 years back then equals 1-2 years in 21st century, imho

  4. d.durand says:


    S. Ballmer can’t describe Google like this. He’d better worry about Google progresse in the corporate arena.

    Look at today announcement of Google Desktop Search for Entreprise (for ex on Internet News or on Google blog): they listened to their users and as a result clearly gain ground against MS within the corporation. Some new worries for you, Steve!