Steve Ballmer: “You Don’t Brute-Force Your Way Into a Market”

Posted Sep 26, 2008

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) delivered his point-of-view on the direction that he is taking the company.  Ballmer stated that Microsoft is the only that will provide “any real competition” to Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) for search engine market share. 

The best line that was made at the dinner taking place at the Churchill Club in Silicon Valley last night was, “We need to do some work to fundamentally reinvent the search business
model,” stated Ballmer. “You don’t brute-force your way into a market. You only make
great strides when you redefine the category for the user.”

Does someone need to remind Ballmer about Internet Explorer’s entrance to the browser market?  Pretty ironic, eh?  I disagree with Ballmer in that line he made. I think it is totally acceptable to brute force your way into a market.  You don’t enter a market and stay quiet about it in order to become a successful business.  If Microsoft didn’t brute force their way into the browser market, who knows whether browsers like Chrome and Firefox will be around.  Those two browsers were released because consumers wanted to see more choice.

Ballmer also mentioned that Microsoft is willing to spend 5-10% of their operating income to become a dominant player in search.  Ballmer was also asked to comment on the current competition with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

“Apple’s a good company, I won’t take anything away from them, but they
have a certain kind of strategy. They believe in putting the hardware
and software together, they don’t believe in letting other people make
it.”  This is why it will be hard for Apple to become a real threat to Microsoft’s operating system.