Steve Ballmer’s Last Act Was To Unleash Office For iPad Unto The World

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Steve Ballmer. A total doofus, right? The man who said the iPhone was destined to be a failure, who thought the iPad was a dud, who stood in the way of Office being released for the iPad long after it was clear that Windows 8 was a total bust.

Okay, sure, Microsoft’s sweatiest ex-CEO was a bit of an idiot. But to be fair to the man, he did make his amends before he was forced out by incumbent CEO Satya Nadella. In fact, Ballmer’s last oleaginous act as CEO appears to have been greenlighting the release of Office for iPad.

That, at least, is the claim of the Office for iPad team, in a recent Reddit AMA. There, an Office for iPad team member explains:

nuqqet9k: “Is Satya the MSsiah like the tech media is portraying him? How much of the recent headline-making moves can be credited to him, and how many were Ballmer’s?”

officeforipad: “The decision to ship Office for iPad was made before Satya became CEO. Steve Ballmer approved the plan to ship Office for iPad.” — Kaberi, Technical Product Manager, Office for iPad

If this is true, it appears that Ballmet’s last act as CEO might have been one of contrition. Having held up the release of Office for iPad for years, the last thing he did before exiting Microsoft was set the company on the course on which it belonged. Enough to make the man seem noble, huh?

  • Luckie

    I’m used to paying for software and apps in one shot rather than annually.

  • jleetj

    No, cos he made it subscription based.

  • D R

    More like “Here Satya, you figure out how to sell the Surface Pro when the iPad run rings around it with Office.”

  • Kr00

    “Microsoft’s sweatiest ex-CEO was a bit of an idiot.” A bit??!!! More like a complete idiot. Under his tenure, the company went backwards in development and output of stable OS’s and now have to turn to subscription based services to make money. They must think people are idiots if they think people will pay monthly to use a piece of software.

    • scorpian007

      Except Microsoft grew substantially and made a crapload more money under his tenure. He’s no idiot, he might appear that way on stage but no “idiot” could run a company as complex as Microsoft

      • Kr00

        No, he is an idiot. The departments make the decisions, not him. And this was the idiot who stated in 2007, “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.”

        Under him Microsoft innovation has gone backwards not forward. They are 2-3 years behind every other major player in almost every area.

        He doesn’t run the company, he’s just a G W Bush like figurehead.

      • scorpian007

        Here we go again. Yes, he did say the iPhone had no chance, but that was when it was $500 subsidised! He said it was too expensive and he was absolutely right. If you recall, the iPhone wasn’t selling that well and it wasn’t until Apple dropped the price, their market share grew.

        It’s not like Steve Jobs didn’t say stupid things in hindsight, like about an 8″ tablet and large size phones and those devices not having a place in the market. What a different world we live in now.

        Microsoft has not gone backwards, I agree they missed the boat on a few key markets (mobile being the biggest) but they’re still making an absolute crapload of money in other area’s like the enterprise space so they can afford to take a bit of a hit on the consumer stuff while they regain their focus.

        He might come across as an idiot in public but he is far from.

      • Kr00

        Are you kidding me or are you just blind? Vista? Rubbish for almost its entire life. W7, only just made up for vista. W8, well you only need ask 90% of its users what they think of it.

        Now mobile OS, what a joke metro is. Windows makes up 4% of that market. The surface is an expensive flop, and they’ve yet to break even on it.

        Office has almost admitted defeat by turning to subscriptions to make money. Any Apple user wouldn’t waste their time or money heading down that dead end road.

        Xbox is highly subsidised, does that make it a failure too?

        How can you qualify what Ballmer said with, “but that was on a subsidised phone”? It makes no differences, the phone, world wide and unsubsidised changed the mobile phone landscape totally, but you just dismiss it to justify what turned out to be the most idiotic statement to come from the turd in a tie?

        You must think people are stupid if you want anyone to accept your argument that Ballmer was a successful CEO.

      • scorpian007

        Vista wasn’t nearly as bad as everyone made out. Retards trying to run it on old hardware. Because they changed to a more robust driver model, a lot of older devices didn’t work and manufacturers were lazy and wrote crap drivers for Vista, that’s where all the complaints came from. 7 was nothing more than a highly tweaked Vista, nothing more, all the groundwork from Vista was there. Same thing happened when people changed from Windows 98 to XP, people forget how hated XP was when it was first released because of all the under the hood changes. Windows 8 on the other hand, i will agree with you, however that was all Sinofky’s doing. Went too fucking far. Although I’ve personally never had issues with it, I can see why people hate it on laptops/desktops. I will say though, it is incredible on a touch device.

        Like I said, they missed the boat on mobile, can’t expect every company to hit every new thing that’s out. They’re gaining marketshare slowly and it’s a big market so I wouldn’t count them out yet. Microsoft do their best when they’re under pressure.

        Surface is too early to say, but it is the only device in the world that does what it does. A whole new market there. An iPad is not a computer replacement, a Surface can be.

        Stupid thing to say Office is admitting defeat, it is still the No. 1 productivity suite in the world, over 3.5 million 365 subs in one year. Yeah, people don’t want to pay yearly for it.

        The iPhone didn’t make any inroads or changed until Apple dropped the price. If it had stayed at $500, it would have taken Apple FAR longer to gain the traction and change the landscape.

        So it’d a little harsh to say somebody that more than doubled Microsoft’s profits and revenue in his time as CEO is an idiot. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m glad an engineer is back in charge now.

      • Kr00

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 wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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