Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
Commentary
5/27/2010
12:31 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Steve Ballmer: Planetary King Of Info Tech Profit

I like Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's dismissal in the Wall Street Journal of all the frothy media churn over Apple surpassing Microsoft in market cap: "I will make more profits and certainly there is no technology company in the planet which is as profitable as we are." Next question, please?

I like Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's dismissal in the Wall Street Journal of all the frothy media churn over Apple surpassing Microsoft in market cap: "I will make more profits and certainly there is no technology company in the planet which is as profitable as we are." Next question, please?From the Journals news article about Ballmer's deflection of questions about market-cap superiority at a media event in New Delhi:

Instead, Mr. Ballmer said Microsoft is focused more on launching new products and improving profitability. "We are executing very well, that's going to lead to great products and great success," Mr. Ballmer said at a press conference. . . .

Since Mr. Ballmer took over from Bill Gates as CEO in January 2000, Microsoft's market value has more than halved from $556 billion to Wednesday's close of $219 billion. Rival Apple's market value has surged from $15.6 billion to $221 billion over the same period.

Many journalists crave controversy, even when they have to manufacture it themselves by bending reality to fit the template they believe will titillate audiences. In this case, rather than assessing the extraordinary gains Apple has made in the past few years with the iPhone, the iPad, and iTunes and give credit to Steve Jobs and company for their achievements, the knee-jerk reaction among many journalists is to go on the attack against the former top dog in market cap, Microsoft.

To be sure, Ballmer and Microsoft have made some significant missteps during these few years of Apple's remarkable ascendancy, but in the past several months Microsoft and Ballmer have also done many things right for both the short term and the long term. And lest we forget, while Apple is a hugely profitable company, Microsoft-true to Ballmer's claim of planetary supremacy in profits-outperforms Apple in profits by a huge margin. From the Journal article:

For the January-March period, Microsoft posted a net profit of $4.01 billion on revenue of $14.50 billion. Apple's net profit was $3.07 billion on revenue of $13.50 billion.

In that context, I also like the brief perspective Ballmer offered on share prices at the end of his comment about Microsoft's unmatched profitability: "Stock markets will take care of themselves."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.