Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Ballmer at D: The Bold, the Brash and the Bombastic (Video)

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may be retiring, but the man could never be described as “retiring.” Ballmer was a frequent speaker at D conferences, so our video archive holds a sense of his legacy and his tone over the past decade.

At D5 in 2007, Ballmer demoed the first Microsoft Surface (the big multitouch table), said “We’re firmly behind Zune,” and told Walt Mossberg that Microsoft would never develop a phone.

Ballmer and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates appeared together at D6, where they discussed the early days, their working dynamic, walking away from buying Yahoo, and gave a preview of Windows 7. Here’s the first part:

Ballmer introduced Microsoft’s new search play, Bing, at D7:

And at D8, he appeared with Microsoft’s then-Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie to discuss competition, tablets and the notion of syncing. Ballmer admitted, “We missed a whole cycle” of smartphones, and they both critiqued Android.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work