Steve Ballmer Laughs at iPhone in 2007

After noting that Apple’s iPhone business now generates more revenue than all of Microsoft combined, MG Siegler linked once again to this classic 2007 interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Nobody enjoys laughing at utterly-wrong-in-hindsight claim chowder like I do, but in all seriousness, this interview, to me, is all the proof Microsoft’s board needs that Ballmer should be asked to step down. (Or, really, that he should have been asked to step down a few years ago, as soon as it became clear just how successful the iPhone was going to be.) The damning thing isn’t that Apple got there first; it’s that even after Apple revealed it, that Ballmer didn’t get it, that he didn’t see instantly that Apple had unveiled something amazing and transformative. All Ballmer could see was the near future, the next few months where the iPhone was indeed too expensive and where typing on a touchscreen was a novelty.

Of course Microsoft’s CEO wasn’t going to sing the iPhone’s praises. But if he had a true understanding of what they suddenly found themselves up against, he sure as shit would not have laughed at it.

Monday, 6 February 2012