10 Ballmer-isms you won't see at today's Microsoft CES keynote

Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer: "Who's more committed, the pig or the chicken?"

Steve Ballmer kicks off the Consumer Electronics Show tonight with a keynote speech that'll stamp Microsoft's vision on the year ahead.

What we don't want is a repeat performance of some of the man's more outlandish actions.

Here are 10 things we think you won't see Ballmer doing on stage today...

1. Doing the monkey boy dance

Like an overweight skinhead gorilla doing ballet, the sight of Ballmer whooping, screaming and hollering his away across the stage is enough to put the fear into even the most stoical convention attendee. Surely even Ballmer must find it hard to get that excited about Windows 7.

2. Giving a shout out to his developer friends

Ballmer does his monkey boy bit again, only this time he's wearing a sweat-soaked blue shirt and only has one thing on his mind:

"Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers."

3. Throwing chairs with menaces

When Ballmer learned that one of his chief programmers was defecting to Google, the Microsoft CEO allegedly went so apoplectic with rage that he threw a chair around the room, yelling:

"F***ing Eric Schmidt is a f***ing pussy. I'm going to f***ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to f***ing kill Google."

And he seems like such a mild-mannered chap normally.

4. Taking cheap shots at the competition

...especially when Microsoft sells software for it

"Can you find the applications you want on the Mac? Well, you don't really get full Microsoft Office."

What even in the £400 version? In that case we're going to ask for our money back.

5. Banging on and on about advertising

Like Ballmer's 'developers, developers rant', only even more unhinged. Choice quote:

"Digital digital digital. Advertising, advertising advertising. You talk about the bacon and eggs breakfast, and who's more committed, the pig or the chicken? We're the pig. We're in it. We're committed."

Pig or chicken? Gotta love those similes.

6. Bigging up the 'benefits' of DRM

"We've had DRM in Windows for years. The most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'."

Windows Vista has it and so will Windows 7. Doesn't Ballmer realise punters hate DRM?

7. Comparing his competitors to cancer

"Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches," Ballmer told the Chicago Sun-Times in June 2001.

What is it about Linux that scares Ballmer so much?

8. Slagging off the iPhone

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It's a $500 subsidised item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60 per cent or 70 per cent or 80 per cent of them, than I would to have 2 per cent or 3 per cent, which is what Apple might get."

That's the problem with shooting from the hip. Sometimes the bullet lands in your foot.

9. Dissing new internet technologies

Ballmer has been wrong on so many occasions, it's hard to know where to start. He dismissed Facebook and social networks as a fad because he couldn't see how Microsoft could make any money from it, and later had this to say about blogging:

"I'm not sure blogs are necessarily the best place to get a pulse on anything. People want to blog for a variety of reasons, and that may or may not be representative."

10. Making unfavourable comparisons with Microsoft competitors

It's debatable whether Microsoft's I'm A PC campaign does anything other that remind you of Apple's original campaign, along with the numerous home runs it has scored. But Ballmer's own ad spot is the real genius here: Watch in wonder as he paces Microsoft's corridors of power, bellowing "I'm a PC and I love this company."

Of course you do, Steve. It's made you a very, very rich man.


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