Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Talks About Office for iPad And Dropbox

Steve Ballmer is absolutely mad, and we love him that way.

Steve Ballmer is absolutely mad, and we love him that way.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is the anti-Steve-Jobs: a sweaty, tongue-lashing ogre of a corporate figurehead who exudes a sort of Ben-Grimm-like lovability through his orange, scaled outer shell. He often says foolish things, and that’s okay, because we love him anyway.

This morning, Ballmer’s talking to Bloomberg Businessweek about the just-released Office 2013 (not to be confused with Office 365, Microsoft’s online productivity suite). In the interview, he talks a little bit about Office for iPad, and then bizarrely decides to slag off Dropbox for a spell.

First, the Dropbox quote. The cloud syncing app for iOS, Mac, PC, Android platforms may be a user favorite (I personally don’t understand why Apple or Microsoft just doesn’t buy Dropbox to get their own cloud syncing systems in order), but Ballmer thinks it’s Mickey Mouse, claiming that Dropbox’s 100 million user install base is “a pretty small number to me, actually. We’ve got a lot more Office users. And actually if you even want to go to the cloud, we have a lot of Hotmail and SkyDrive users.”

Still, Ballmer clarified, “I’m not beating on Dropbox. They’re a fine little startup and that’s great.” Then he patted Dropbox on the head and gave it a lollipop.

As for Office for iPad, Ballmer wouldn’t be roped into talking about it directly, but he did hint that it might be coming:

I have nothing to say on that topic. We’re very glad with the product, very happy with the product that we’re putting in market. It makes sense on the devices like the Mac and the PC. We have a product that we think makes a lot of sense. We do have a way for people always to get to Office through the browser, which is very important. And we’ll see what we see in the future.

We’ve seen multiple credible leaks of Office for iPad floating around in the past year, but so far, Microsoft hasn’t actually released it. I can see their dilemma: they want to sell Office, but they know that native Office support is probably one of the only advantages something like the Microsoft Surface or a similar Windows 8 tablet has over an iPad. Sell Office on the App Store, and that advantage disappears. Then again, Windows 8 and the Surface aren’t making traction against the iPad anyway, so Microsoft may as well make money off of the software people do want, don’t you think?

Related
  • bdkennedy

    Ballmer is old. He doesn’t know what’s going on anymore. He’s so out of touch he can’t feel the edges from inside his bubble. He’s a car salesman desperately trying to sell software and needs to step down.

  • technochick

    Apple likely isn’t buying DropBox be if they wanted that feature they could have just left iDisk in play. Unlike all the bloggers out there they have stats about use and those stats showed that most folks never used iDisk etc. so why invest their money in improving a system that wasn’t getting used. Those that need a Dropbox service can use Dropbox or someone else

  • Derek Schlicker

    How Balmer is still CEO of MSFT is beyond me. The only unabashed success under his leadership is the Xbox, which is still a rather clunky piece of hardware (noisy, large, feels breakable), and only became a success because of its titles and XBL.

  • shagans

    That’s one scary man….

  • LegacyRyan

    Ballmer is old. He doesn’t know what’s going on anymore. He’s so out of touch he can’t feel the edges from inside his bubble. He’s a car salesman desperately trying to sell software and needs to step down.

    You do realize that he is only four years older than Tim Cook right…and is the same age Steve was when he passed.

  • James Barnette

    How Balmer is still CEO of MSFT is beyond me. The only unabashed success under his leadership is the Xbox, which is still a rather clunky piece of hardware (noisy, large, feels breakable), and only became a success because of its titles and XBL.

    What the???? What else does any console become successful on?

  • davester13

    How Balmer is still CEO of MSFT is beyond me. The only unabashed success under his leadership is the Xbox, which is still a rather clunky piece of hardware (noisy, large, feels breakable), and only became a success because of its titles and XBL.

    I believe it’s because he keeps firing everybody close to being able to take over his job.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News | Tagged: , , , , |