Steve Ballmer: Microsoft Is The Only Company With Hardware And Software Prowess To Challenge Apple

Steve Ballmer may no longer be Microsoft's head honcho, but his love for the company hasn't faded. In a new interview with Bloomberg, Ballmer had some great things to say about the company while at the same time giving some of its competition - namely, Amazon - a quick jab.

In a recent New York Times piece, Amazon's Jeff Bezos was quoted as saying, "If Amazon became like Microsoft, we'd die", and it's a sentiment Ballmer couldn't disagree more with. He's confident that Microsoft is the more interesting company, and the better one to work for. He notes that there have been many who've left for Amazon (in Washington, where both companies are based) that wound right back up at Microsoft a year later. "It's [Amazon] not a great place to work, to do innovative stuff as an engineer".

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After the topic turned to Apple, Ballmer had friendlier things to say. It's hard to dispute that Apple is an incredibly important company right now, and it's in fact the largest in the world. Ballmer took an opportunity to remind us all that Microsoft could have had a role in that, as it invested in Apple when it was close to bankruptcy in the late 90s. "In a way, you could say that might have been one of the craziest things we've ever did."

Ballmer went on to say that Microsoft is really the only company out there that could give Apple a run for its money, because "Nobody else is really trying to compete with them anymore, really, seriously, in hardware." He continues, "If there's going to be any competition for Apple, it'll come from Microsoft - and I believe that."

Based on all of what we saw Microsoft unveil earlier this month, such as its new Lumia smartphones, the Surface Book, and Surface Pro 4, it's not hard to understand where Ballmer is coming from. It's just now a waiting game to see if the Redmond company can keep the momentum going.