The Gospel According to Ballmer

Microsoft's honcho sounds off on the future of business computing, IBM, open source, and why his outfit is so special

Microsoft (MSFT) Chief Executive Steve Ballmer wants to turn up the heat on IBM (IBM) in the $1 trillion market for business computing. He outlined Microsoft's plans at an event in New York City on Mar. 16. Edited excerpts of his remarks follow (see BW Online, 3/17/06, "Microsoft's Enterprising Endeavor").

On Microsoft's advantage in providing software for large corporations:

Only Microsoft's software supports people from the desktop to the datacenter and out to the Internet.

On the contrast between Microsoft and IBM:

IBM says, we have this team of consultants and we'll help you innovate. But, at the end of the day, we think unlocking the potential of each employee...is a much bigger boogie. Software gets that done.

On the lineup of products coming in the next 12 months, including the Windows Vista update, Office 2007, and business-intelligence software:

We're setting the stage for the greatest year of innovation at Microsoft.

On open-source software:

I think we have a total-cost-of-ownership advantage over open-source software. Also, there's very little innovation within the open-source community for empowering people.

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