Ballmer Confiscates iPhone at Microsoft Annual Meeting

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News Posted: Sun, Sep 13 2009 6:29 PM
It's already known that the Gates family is i-deprived, unable to get iPhones or iPods. It's also known that iPods aren't welcome on Microsoft's campus. Note to Microsoft employees: don't try to take a picture of CEO Steve Ballmer with an iPhone.

It was Microsoft's annual private company meeting at Seattle's Safeco Field on Thursday. Besides previews of Bing 2.0 and Project Natal, there was a poor Microsoft peon who decided to take a photo of CEO Steve Ballmer. Not bad, in essence, except he tried to use his iPhone.

Naughty, naughty, thought Steve. As tweeted by witnesses, Ballmer grabbed the phone, but was decently gentle with it. Hopefully, the owner had a case, as more detailed reports indicated Ballmer placed it on the ground and pretended to stomp on it. There were also boos, but it's unclear if the boos were because the owner had an iPhone in the first place (more likely), or because Ballmer took it from the guy.

Later, during his presentation, Ballmer made sure that people knew he hadn't forgotten the incident, as he teased the person again.

Yes, this was easily made a joke of, but we wonder what a survey of the smartphones that Microsoft employees carry would show. Our guess would be that the iPhone would outnumber Windows Mobile phones significantly, at least among personal devices, and particularly among AT&T devices.
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ClemSnide replied on Sun, Sep 13 2009 7:02 PM

Hm. Ballmer previously


"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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ClemSnide replied on Sun, Sep 13 2009 7:08 PM

(OK, try this again.) Ballmer previously laughed at Google, now he does a John Belushi routine (from Animal House, where he smashes the folksinger's guitar then shrugs and says "Sorry") on someone's iPhone.

It's clear that Blue Steve (Jobs, of course, is Rainbow Steve) secretly desires to be a standup comedian. My advice would be not to quit his day job. Of course, his day job garners him a salary of $1,250,000 (fiscal 2008), so he's probably figured that out already.


"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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3vi1 replied on Sun, Sep 13 2009 7:25 PM

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you..."

 

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Lol 3vi1. Kinda a dumb statement looking back now, but being the CEO of Microsoft he couldn't really be like "Oh it looks cool."

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Super Dave replied on Mon, Sep 14 2009 12:03 AM

Isn't this like going to Mom's home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner with your own personal stash-bag of McDonald's burgers?

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mhenriday replied on Mon, Sep 14 2009 7:09 AM

That must indeed have been a real dilemma for Mr Ballmer - a choice between getting his picture taken with a competitors product (imagine what would have happened if the offending camera had been found on an Android !) or not getting it taken, which from what I understand, would not be an appealing alternative to a man with Mr Ballmer's need for the limelight. Presumably he resolved it by seeing to it that several photos were taken of him «stomping» on the phone....

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3vi1 replied on Mon, Sep 14 2009 7:47 AM

Super Dave:

Isn't this like going to Mom's home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner with your own personal stash-bag of McDonald's burgers?

No.  Not unless Microsoft was going to give everyone phones at the event.

This is more like packing a homemade healthy lunch to take to your job at McDonalds.

...and then having your idiot boss pretend to stomp on it because he thinks McDonalds should have a monopoly on food.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Ha.  Though Microsoft doesn't have a Zune Phone or anything like that to compete with the iPhone.  What are these millions of phone's Ballmer claimed to be selling?

Hello

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Jeremy replied on Mon, Sep 14 2009 1:15 PM

3v1, nobody makes a homemade smartphone, so your analogy is a little off.

This is more like showing up at the executive planning committee meeting of McDonald's, which you know the CEO is attending, with a bag of food from Wendy's to munch on. Then, you offer said CEO a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger as he walks by.

You don't wave your competitor's product in your CEO's face at a meeting. Bad form.

Then again, Ballmer did over react. He's known for that, at least he didn't actually damage the damn thing.

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3vi1 replied on Mon, Sep 14 2009 3:57 PM

I don't think your analogy is any better. Offering the competitor's cheap food to a CEO is completely different than using an expensive personal camera to take a photo - no matter who makes it.

Funny thing is, if it had been a phone camera that runs SymbianOS, which owns almost 50% of the smartphone market, Ballmer probably wouldn't have done anything (if he had noticed). He really needs to get his priorities straight about who the real competition is.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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ClemSnide replied on Tue, Sep 15 2009 2:13 PM

Just as a comparison, I remember back in the 1980s, when someone mentioned publicly that "when the software of the future is written, it will run on a Macintosh." ...Then again, Bill Gates did forbid his kids from having iPods. I'll have to ask him the next time we meet for lunch at McDonald's whether he actually smashed any tht they brought into his house.


"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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starwhite replied on Thu, Sep 17 2009 7:31 PM

What a sorehead!

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