Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has talked about this tenure at the software giant in a speech at the Oxford University, saying that one of his regrets is that he didn’t mix the software and hardware businesses sooner while he was at the helm of the company.
Ballmer said in his speech that offering the world powerful software is not enough to build a very strong business, so focusing on hardware is a must if you really want to lead the IT industry.
“The thing I regret is that we didn’t put the hardware and the software together soon enough,” Ballmer was quoted as saying during the speech. “If you really want to bring a vision to market, it is helpful to be able to conceive and deliver the hardware and the software. Our company is in the process of building new muscle.”
And still, Ballmer explained, Microsoft has managed to do at least two, what he called, tricks in history, which pretty much served as the foundation of the great company that it is these days.
“You’re pretty genius in our business if you’re a one-trick pony,” Ballmer said. “In our company, I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve done at least two tricks. Tricks are worth billions and billions of dollars.”
One of these tricks was the invention of the Windows personal computer that made working so easier, thanks to powerful software such as Windows and Office. Putting microprocessors in data centers also helped the business, Ballmer explained.
And now, the former CEO continues, Microsoft is preparing to make another important move that could actually help it mix the hardware and software businesses: purchase Nokia and focus on mobile devices more than any time before.
Steve Ballmer, who was replaced last month at the helm of Microsoft by cloud boss Satya Nadella, is the main advocate of the devices and services approach for the Redmond-based tech giant.
Ballmer initiated a transformation process for Microsoft in mid-2013, pushing the software empire towards a devices and services approach that’s continued by the new CEO and is supposed to give the company another shot at the hardware industry.
As part of this transformation, Microsoft has appointed a new CEO, while company co-founder Bill Gates returned in a much more active role that would help Satya Nadella bring better products to the market and put the focus on innovation and a wide variety of new projects.