Cap’n Ballmer: Search, Full Speed Ahead

Steve Ballmer gives an interview to the FT, the summary is here. From it: Microsoft’s next big challenge is to address the threat posed by advertising-supported business models such as Google’s, Steve Ballmer, chief executive, signalled on Monday as the software group launched Vista, its new operating system. In…

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Steve Ballmer gives an interview to the FT, the summary is here. From it:

Microsoft’s next big challenge is to address the threat posed by advertising-supported business models such as Google’s, Steve Ballmer, chief executive, signalled on Monday as the software group launched Vista, its new operating system.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Ballmer said that, having focused on the threat posed by open source software over the past few years, the company had now turned its attention to advertising-funded business models.

That means, I presume, that all those Vista engineers have now been tasked to focus on search. Ballmer spend a lot of the interview talking about search. In short: The order has come from the bridge of the aircraft carrier: Turn toward search and advertising models, full steam ahead!

We’ll see how the USS Microsoft has fared in three years, when that turn is complete….

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

6 thoughts on “Cap’n Ballmer: Search, Full Speed Ahead”

  1. And what is going to be the far more important battle that will be raging in three years once MS finally shows up to the search battle?

  2. Why does Microsoft feel they need to be in every tech related business? Just pick a couple things and be really good at them. You don’t see Apple thinking they need to be in search. Speaking of Apple and Vista, when Apple does a major OS upgrade, it breaks almost all existing software, and they have no regret doing this. If only Micorsoft could be so bold (as they are in other areas) I don’t think you would see them trying to make all of these land grabs into search, mp3 players, video game system, mobile OS, TV channels, and IP TV if they had an industry-best customer experience in just one of these areas.

  3. Nick, the only software breaking OS upgrade from Mac that I can think of was the jump from OS 9 to OS X. Everything since then has been no problem to keep using after an upgrade.

    But you are right, MS wants to have its hand in every piece of the tech pie and it just makes them look messy.

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