We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Interview: Microsoft CEO mocks 'Cult of Apple'

And Steve Ballmer does another crazy rant dance

At the end of an IT conference in London Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer laughed off Apple as a cult, and said he preferred his company's 97 percent market share to Apple's sex appeal.

CIO editor Martin Veitch interviewed Ballmer after his keynote speech at the pithily named "Technologies to Change Your Business: How Customers Are Implementing Tomorrow's Strategies Today" conference.

Discussing the Zune, Veitch mentioned the power of the Apple brand in the success of the iPod: "It seems to me to be a tricky one because Apple is out there, and they have a pretty good product - but also they have this kind of cult following of people who are just going to buy, because it's Apple. That must be a frustrating thing to compete against."

Ballmer replied to huge roars of laughter from the assembled IT pros: "They may have a cult following in the music business, and we got about 97 percent of PC users using our stuff. 97 percent may not constitute a cult! But I wouldn't trade that for a cult!"

Ballmer defended the reasons why Microsoft developed the Zune MP3 player.

"All content is going digital. And if we don't have the software and services that are useful, helpful and valuable for the consumption of music and video, we are sort of not really a player," he said.

"We built the Zune hardware with the Zune software - and what you'll see more and more over time is that the Zune software will also be ported to and be more important not just with the hardware but on the PC, on Windows Mobile devices, etc."

At the end of the interview Veitch asked Ballmer to go mental as he is famous for doing in YouTube classics such as "Developers!" And "Crazy!".

Ballmer sprang to his feet and jumped up and down, screaming "IT pros!!! IT pros!!!" to the amusement of all (pictured above).

Read the full transcript here.


IDG UK Sites

Android M Developer Preview announced at Google I/O: Android M UK release date and new features. Wh?......

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Ben & Holly's Game of Thrones titles spoof is delightfully silly

IDG UK Sites

Mac OS X 10.11 release date rumours: all the new features expected in Yosemite successor