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Steve Jobs vs. Steve Ballmer — with bonus music videos!

April 14, 2009

Most of you reading this blog already know that Microsoft is one of my most-despised companies on the entire planet. I absolutely ABHOR anything that has to do with Microsoft.

I have about a hundred different reasons for this, but I think Steve Jobs himself best sums up all of my primary reasons here:

Ha, maybe the thing that despises me the most about Microsoft is the comment that it makes about our society. Our society is sooo filled with people who strive for nothing more than mediocrity that these very same people have spent the last 25 years rushing out to purchase mediocre (at best) products from Microsoft.

And speaking of mediocrity, if you can stand a video filled with documented lies, here’s Steve Ballmer. Remember when watching this video that just about everything he says in this video is a lie, including his deliberate misquoting of Steve Jobs about Apple and partnerships:

Look, I don’t care if someone is the cashier at the McDonald’s drive-thru (which is a summer job I held in junior high school)… just strive to be your best at whatever you do! While I was bending over backwards to take care of the drive-thru customers at McDonald’s, I remember most of the rest of the staff lounging around in the back, smoking cigarettes, making fun of me (the young computer nerd) for trying so hard.

Apple is the company that tries really hard to make your life better & easier & more productive. Meanwhile, Microsoft is lounging around in the back, smoking cigarettes, laughing at Apple:

Steve Ballmer always loves to talk about price in his videos (and in Microsoft’s new TV advertisements), but the old mantra is true:

You really do get what you pay for.

Now look, I’m not against saving money when the quality has been standardized. For example, a coca-cola on sale at Ralph’s for 50¢ is going to taste exactly the same as a $9 coca-cola at an upscale bar (yes, I have ridiculously paid $9 for a coca-cola before).

But when the quality varies wildly — like with a prostitute, perhaps — you’re going to want to spend the most money you can on the best quality that you can find.

Microsoft is the disease-infested hooker on the street who will lead your life into a fearful dead-end where you either want to kill yourself or take meth for the rest of your life.

Apple, on the other hand… well, I can’t even use a hooker analogy for Apple. Apple is the classy, respectful, funny, sweet, sexually playful, thoughtful girl that you fall in love with in high school and end up marrying — and she inspires you & motivates you to courageously go after your dreams:

In fact, Microsoft’s recent treatment of me at MacWorld Expo 2009 in San Francisco proved even more why I hate Microsoft so much. Unfortunately, this is one experience that I don’t have a YouTube video of.

I walked up to 2 representatives at the Microsoft booth and began sharing a few of my feature requests for Microsoft’s Mac email program known as Entourage. (MacWorld Expo is the venue where consultants like myself are allowed to do just that — speak DIRECTLY with the software engineers at various tech companies to share our thoughts about their products and to get into valuable discussions about the future with the very people whom we normally wouldn’t have access to. It’s normally completely fulfilling & rewarding.)

Anyways, my Entourage feature requests were very intelligent, and were features that are already present in Apple’s Mail program and Microsoft’s Outlook program. I just wanted these same features brought over to Entourage as well. So I started speaking to these representatives at the Microsoft booth, and the first representative completely walked away while I was mid-sentence! I have no idea where he disappeared to. Then, the other Microsoft representative (taking his cue from the first employee, no doubt) LITERALLY TURNED HIS BACK ON ME as I continued speaking!

It was like something out of a Hollywood movie: the Microsoft representative literally turned his back on me to… look at empty space? There was nobody else at the booth. I don’t think anybody has ever turned their back on me before in my entire life! I actually called him out on his rude behavior and said, “Hey, that is really rude. I’m in the middle of a sentence and you turn your back on me?” He turned around for a quick moment to say, “Look, I don’t know what to tell you… we don’t have the resources to handle feature requests from customers.” And he turned his back on me again.

There you go, folks — that’s how Microsoft treats its customers.

Look, I’m not saying that Apple doesn’t make missteps with its customers too (more on that in a future posting), but what I’m talking about here is an attitude that permeates all the way from the top down at Microsoft. The customer is ABSOLUTELY INCIDENTAL AND IRRELEVANT to Microsoft. And this unequivocally shows in their horrible, non-functional products that instill fear & frustration in people every day across the globe.

Is it any surprise, then, that Microsoft tries to HIDE ITS VERY NAME from many of the products it sells — such as the Xbox and the Zune? Go ahead, take a look at an Xbox or a Zune… you won’t see the Microsoft name or logo anywhere.

Is it any wonder, then, that Microsoft’s very own employees don’t use their own products?

Time and time again?

Meanwhile, Apple proudly stamps its Apple logo front & center on every single one of their products. And 91% of Apple employees approve of the job that their CEO Steve Jobs is doing. The highest ranking in the entire tech industry.

So, since all of these problems at Microsoft stem from the top down, let’s take an additional look at the top of Microsoft. Let’s take a look at what Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, acts like in public. Is this really the man whom you want to be purchasing your technology products from?

It’s completely embarrassing how he tries to muster up fake enthusiasm from the crowd, who knows that they are completely INCIDENTAL AND IRRELEVANT to Microsoft.

And here’s Ballmer trying to sell the very first version of Windows 1.0, back in the 80’s. I think this man might be better fit as a used-car salesman:

Compare those videos to any one of the hundreds of Steve Jobs presentations on the web. Here’s just ONE of Steve Jobs’ many presentations — this is the one when he first introduced the iPhone to the world:

I also posted 2 other Steve jobs videos in this blog entry, where you can’t even contain the roaring enthusiasm from the crowd. All from a man who is very calmly & thoughtfully delivering innovation after innovation to the public.

I shall now leave you with a panoply of entertainment, courtesy of Steve Ballmer:

First is the music video remix of Steve Ballmer’s “developer” chant:

Then, the “Young Frankenstein” remake you may have missed in theatres, called “Young FrankenSteve”:

Folks, life is short. Stop supporting Microsoft. It’s better for you and the world around you.


I hope you enjoyed this article. If so, please donate a small amount so that I can continue to post blog articles like this in the future:


7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2009 12:44 PM

    Horrifying. It’s like watching a toxic spill happening, and the public keeps sleepily walking around barefoot.

    Remember Bill Gates’ commencement speech? I do NOT recommend putting that up here. It is one of those speeches someone would hear in hell. Just droning on, nothing of value to the audience – in fact, just as you say, the group that actually hired him to speak, the graduating class, are just incidental. Gates isn’t speaking to them. He’s going down the list of ways that he spends the public’s money, talking about how awesome he and his wife are for trickling our money back at us. In a way that allows him to remain a $30 billionaire. Disgraceful. The speech is all over the place, lacks passion, and art. And obviously, focus.

    I can’t find the full ‘developers’ vid anymore – and I remember it was funny. There were a lot more crowd shots, and there were some key shots showing people with arms folded, with the expression “look, get on with this” on their faces.

    Ballmer’s always trying to knock people over with his outstanding logic. He does very little tech talk – I don’t think he can do that. Instead it’s a lot of bluster about -knowing what we all already know about MS – how many ways that stuff can be utilized, possibly, in the future, according to scary logic. Meanwhile, it almost never happens. As we see in the classroom vid where a French student asks why MS is so slow nowadays, Ballmer just goes through a hypothetical list of why things happen slowly. Like, in general, in the history of slowness. Steve Jobs would answer that with a specific story, and details about where science and technology was at the time the development was happening. You’d get a real answer, or he’d say, “unfortunately, much as I’d like to I can’t give you a real answer on that. It would reveal things we are working on right now and I don’t do that. Sorry. Next question.” You wouldn’t get the time-wasting soul crushing response about the way things happen in general, in the whole history of slowness.

    My Windows has been acting strangely – I mean stranger than usual. I finally downloaded that update I’ve been avoiding for weeks (I had to download silverlight and I figured I might as well do the whole thing). So now, I have that scary little exclamation point in the corner popping up again – in fact, maybe 15 minutes after, it started up again. That’s a common windows experience. I clicked it, thinking “might as well” – it is frustrating to get a new download 5 minutes after I just did this, and then 5 minutes after the next one… but fine.

    Only now, the yellow exclamation disappears when I click it! It just disappears. Then it comes back. Then I touch it and it disappears. Windows is playing peek a boo! It’s the most fun they’ve ever provided me.

    This has been going on for days. I’m not sure if the thing is broken, or if maybe I have a new virus, or if I should just stop playing around and get a Mac. Does Apple offer fun games like that? Will dire warnings with exclamation points simply disappear when i click them? I need to know, Scott, because I don’t want to pay all that money for a Mac and NOT have the ability to do that.

    Nice post. Nice touch with the hooker analogy.

    PS – in reference to the “schools” vid – my daughter is in public school and they use Macs. Her teacher played an April Fool’s joke, as my daughter says, “because we use Macs, he could turn them all off at the same time, so he kept turning them off behind our backs while we were using them. Then when they came back on it said ‘April Fool’s Day’.”

    This was the first time I even heard they used Macs! And SHE said “because we use Macs…” I don’t know if he explained it like that, or what, but I found that very telling. She just turned 8.

    Fight the good fight man!

  2. April 14, 2009 1:02 PM

    I wanted to follow up real quick on something:

    You know my trials trying to uninstall IE7 from my Dell, and how within the body of the instructions, MS gives contradictory, conflicting, confusing directions – you can uninstall IE7 but it will automatically – like a virus – re-install – without permission – IE6. And you can only do this if you have the last service pack. In which case, you can’t uninstall IE7 at all. That’s about how it goes.

    In reference to a request I put on a site about embedding Spell Check (a political site, an experiment on online government called “White House 2” that I recommend) in the site itself. It gets silly reading Right Wingers post their nonsense and being able to hear it in your mind as it would actually come off their lips, words mangled and distorted. At least with spell check, I reasoned, we could pretend the other side was really informed and intelligent, and try to defeat these insane arguments – like, why God must be included in every law – as a test for how we would do it in real life.

    So, some of the respondents say “Well… I certainly see it… but maybe that’s just my (Firefox, Safari) browser doing it?”

    The founder wrote back saying “it is the browser – and some of those browser solutions are so elegant that I don’t want to do something that competes or destroys that functionality. So, if you are using Windows, you can also embed spell check in your system, here it is.”

    Now, take a look at this. Obviously, the respondent was mistaken and this isn’t the download page, but just a … what? A description? An ad? A trouble shooter guide? An instructions page?

    It is a little of all of those – especially an ad – but the one thing I canNOT find is a download link!

    Now, as I always say – I KNOW THIS MIGHT BE JUST ME – I might be missing this. It could be that my Dell isn’t working so great today, this happens, and sometimes links don’t light up under my mouse.

    But even clicking some of the buttons up top, I can’t find a place to download this spell check functionality. And worse, navigating away from the page means you can’t get back to it without the ‘back’ button. So – how does someone find this fantastic feature IE is proudly trumpeting? I mean, just using the resources at that link.

    Also – notice the way it is written – terribly. Hilariously, the page could use at least a ‘grammar check’ functionality.

    This stuff is insulting to the common intelligence.

  3. April 14, 2009 1:35 PM

    Mind you – I have the latest IE7 – and I do not have spell check. Because I decided to stop using IE7 as MY DEFAULT browser, because it makes my computer, literally, whine too loudly, I had to switch. MS decided to cut off my right to use add-ons when I DO have to use IE. There’s probably some way to turn add-ons back on – but IE made a point of informing me that it had turned off add-ons when I chose to go with Chrome as default. It literally sends you a little box telling you this.

    They make a page for spell check – they embed it in IE7 – they don’t give you a link to just add that functionality. Because it would be simple.

    The best I can do right now is to… oh screw this… I’m just getting a Mac.

  4. April 14, 2009 8:54 PM

    Hahaha… dude, you add so much value to my blog with your outstanding commentary. I actually feel like my blog postings are incomplete without your excellent commentaries attached to them!!

    Did you know that Mac OS X comes with a built-in spell checker as part of the operating system — and it is available in EVERY SINGLE APPLICATION on your entire Mac? That’s right… 100% of the programs on your Mac have immediate & instantaneous access to the built-in spell checker. And the built-in dictionary as well. Simply right-click on any word that you want to find out the definition of, and choose “Look Up In Dictionary” The definition will pop up in a little bubble for you right there, without you even needing to leave the page you’re looking at.

    In any case, regarding the IE7Pro program you were talking about, it looks like you can download it on this page: There’s a big yellow button that says “Download Free”

    But fuck it — just get a Mac because I can’t wait to read your blog postings on your PC to Mac switching experience.

    Also, thank you so much for your valuable insight on Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates. What you said is so right on, and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Thanks again, man.

    p.s. So funny about what your daughter said!!!!

  5. April 14, 2009 10:45 PM

    By the way, thanks for the insight into Bill Gates’ commencement speech and how he treats his audience (just like his customers) as incidentals. I’ve gotta force myself to watch that speech all the way through — I never got all the way through it before.

    AND — I almost forgot — I don’t think you’ll want to purchase a Mac after all, because it won’t play that peek-a-boo game of yellow exclamation points with you. That’s a Windows-only game.


  1. Karma is a bitch, Microsoft!! « ScottWorld Blog
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