Microsoft Shareholder Note Points To A New, More Apple-Like Position On Hardware

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Why is this girl so happy? That isn't a Mac.
Why is this girl so happy? That isn't a Mac.

In a letter to shareholders posted today on the Microsoft Investor website, Steve Ballmer, current CEO of Microsoft, said something surprising.

His comments in the annual letter suggest that Microsoft may take a page out of the Apple playbook and start building its own phones based on the upcoming Surface tablet PCs, similarly to the other hardware made by the Redmond-based tech giant, the XBox 360.

Microsoft: Screw Apple’s Post-PC Era, It’s Time For The PC+ [Agony Of Ballmer]

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The man, the myth, the sweaty legend: Steve Ballmer
The man, the myth, the sweaty legend: Steve Ballmer

Microsoft has had a lot to say about Apple over the past couple days. The Redmond-based company is holding its annual Worldwide Partner Conference this week, and some recent comments from Microsoft COO Kevin Turner and CEO Steve Ballmer address the company’s stance on Apple as a competitor.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and the late Steve Jobs have spoken out multiple times on how the iPad and iPhone have pioneered the “post-PC era.” Instead of needing a traditional desktop computer, consumers are turning to tablets and smartphones for their everyday habits. Today, Microsoft’s Turner called Apple out on its post-PC label, saying “We actually believe Windows 8 is the new era for the PC plus.” Yesterday, Steve Ballmer said, “we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple.”

Cult Of Mac Says Why Microsoft Might Be The Next Apple On Macbreak [CES 2012]

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LAS VEGAS, CES 2012 — Our very British Editor Leander and I were invited to sit in with Leo Laporte, Sarah Lane, and Alex Lindsay for Tuesday’s live episode of Macbreak Weekly. We had a hoot ‘n hollerin’ good time playing with new gadgets from the show floor, talking about this year’s trends in tech, and pondering how Microsoft just might be becoming the next Apple.

The full video is almost 80 minutes long, so feel free to skip around to all the good parts where it’s just me talking.

Steve Ballmer’s Final CES Keynote A Letdown, Despite Good Software [CES 2012]

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LAS VEGAS, CES 2012 – Oh the irony! Microsoft showed off some of its best software in years at its final keynote at CES.

But just as Microsoft seems to be getting its act together, it is pulling out of the U.S.’s largest technology show.

Steve Ballmer didn’t dance around like a monkey. Bill Gates didn’t make a cameo, and there was only one of the goofy, funny videos that Microsoft is known for.

Overall it was a letdown, despite software that looks like it might really give Apple a run for its money.

Pic Of the Day: Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer Rendered In Windows Blue Screens

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Remember that famous mosaic portrait of Steve Jobs that Fortune commissioned made from popular Apple products?

Well, a reader of Day Lyon’s Fake Steve blog created this portrait of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer from snaps of Microsoft’s most memorable product — the blue screen of death. Check out the detail of Ballmer’s tongue:

ballmer_tongue

This is actually quite astounding. Dear Reader Fraser has created a mosaic using 80 random Windows crash shots to portray Uncle Fester. Below is a detail of the tongue. Click on both to see them in greater detail. The full file is really amazing — we hope to make it available as a download soon so that you can print it out, frame it, give to people you don’t like as a winter solstice holiday present — you get the idea.

For what it’s worth, Fraser says he’ll create a poorly drawn portrait of anyone — just check out his site, PoorlyDrawnPortraits.com. Much love, Fraser. You sick bastard.