No, This is Steve Ballmer Looking Like an Idiot :-)

I just got an email from one of our college-aged readers, calling out me and the GBM staff for making the Microsoft chief look stupid. He was apparently distraught that we’d dare put a picture of Steve Ballmer on the home page with his tongue hanging out. Kids these days….I guess they’re just too young to remember the good old days of Monkey Boy and Developers, Developers, Developers…

Xavier,

Why are you making Microsoft CEO look like an idiot this week on your website? You can’t even put a good picture up of the man in charge of the biggest and best software company in America? It is disrespectflu  and there are millions of good pictures of Ballmer on the internet.

U must be a big Apple fanboy. You never show Steve Jobs with his tongue out. Steve Balmer always looks smart and professional: Except on your homepage.

Daniel xxxxx

xxxxxxxxx University, CSC, Class of 2011

First of all, we like Microsoft a lot around here. While a lot of us use Macs, iPhones and other Apple devices, all of us also use an array of Microsoft products. Do I like my Apple products? Sure I do. But I spend a lot of time using and writing about Windows devices. If fact, like our other contributors, including Chris Leckness, Warner Crocker and Sumocat, I’m a Microsoft MVP.

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Ok enough, with defending the fact that we give Microsoft more than its fair share of coverage around here and on with a history lesson.  When Daniel was about 10, I was interning at Salesforce.com back when it was a startup with about 100 employees. There were a bunch of Salesforce.com engineers and salespeople breaking out in laughter, huddled around a computer display. I asked what was so funny and they replayed the following two videos over and  over again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvsboPUjrGc

Monkey Boy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8To-6VIJZRE

Developer, Developers, Developers

Remember, these videos were released to us back in 2001, well before the advent of YouTube, 3G, widespread WiFi and home broadband. Most of my friends were still on dial-up and watching videos over the Interwebs was still magical. This was one of the few good tech humor videos of its time and we didn’t have 10 million other funny videos to choose from.

You see, we all know Ballmer is a smart guy and leads a company that’s changed how we all work and live. But I’m not the one that makes him look like an idiot in public. He does a fine job of that himself. He’s obviously a very intelligent guy and a strong leader…which is why it’s funny when he acts (or lookst) like an idiot like the rest of us do on a much more regular basis.

Thanks for your email Daniel and thanks for making me feel old :-)





Comments

  1. aftermath says

    These clips are classic. The dance remix of “Developers” is great.

    As you pointed out, Steve Balmer needs no help looking like a fool in public. For my money, there are few more awkward experiences than having him on stage addressing an audience. Even when he’s not being over the top, he comes across as very weird.

    Although your email commenter might not be so bold (having had has remarks dragged out into public, which is fair game), I don’t mind being the one to point out that your response did little more than to reinforce his point. I say this as somebody who notice the embedded videos first, then your comments, and then the original email at the top (yes, that’s a pretty messed up way to read).

  2. gEEk says

    LOL. I haven’t watched those videos in years. They’re definately classics. What stands out to me now, especially in the first one, is how winded he gets. I hope he’s in better shape now than he was then.

  3. Jon says

    I have always liked Bill Gates much better than Steve Ballmer. Bill Gates was a real nerd’s nerd. He looked the part, with the big glasses, goofy grin, and the hairstyle he locked into in the late 70′s. Steve Ballmer on the other hand, has always looked to me like he used to BEAT on nerds, and that scares me.

    • GoodThings2Life says

      It’s not just that he is a nerd’s nerd, it’s that he’s a nerd’s nerd that thought outside the box on all these great technologies. His vision for tablet computing was clearly ahead of its time, and it’s taken 10 years for companies to genuinely and fully pursue it… and because of that lag, the rest of Microsoft was allowed to ignore it rather than truly push for it sooner.

      • helt says

        The problem is (imo) that MS doesnt pursue its “hardware fantasies” in order to keep its biggest customers (business hardware like hp or dell) satisfied.

  4. GoodThings2Life says

    I wouldn’t consider him to be a strong leader, but I’ve always felt he performed a great job as a marketing guy, a promoter, and a fighter/defender of the Microsoft way. And yes, I happen to remember each one of the videos and links. His antics are great for gathering attention, and you’re right, he IS an intelligent guy in reality.

  5. Ben says

    The only pictures I ever see of Ballmer on tech blogs are idiotic ones. Apparently Daniel doesn’t get on the internets very much.

  6. Randall Garrett says

    I mostly agree with Daniel’s position. Like Jon, I liked Bill Gates better, but I’m getting tired of always seeing the same 2 or 3 goofy pictures in every article mentioning Steve Balmer. As GT2L said, he has actually accomplished much. Maybe GBM couls stop being so “me too”, spend 10 seconds to replace their 3 stock photos whenever their writers submit something (?) Others have – http://wmpoweruser.com/ballmer-rapped-over-the-knuckles-for-kin-tablet-failure-and-thats-a-good-thing/

  7. dstrauss says

    Maybe Ballmer should take the stage again and change his chant to “Marketing, marketing, marketing!” as he fires the entire Microsoft marketing department AND outside advertising firm(s).

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