Steve Ballmer weighs in on Microsoft versus Amazon and Apple

Dave W. Shanahan

In an interview with Bloomberg Business, Steve Ballmer offered his thoughts on Microsoft’s recent FY2016 Q1 findings and its intense competition with Amazon. Bloomberg Business shared a quote with Ballmer from Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, referring to Microsoft as a “country club.” Ballmer responds by offering his take on Microsoft and its culture:

“Microsoft’s culture is very strong, hard-driving, people are really focused on changing the world, people work very hard. I believe the same is true at Amazon, but you’ve got to remember: there’s intense competition between Microsoft and Amazon, both AWS [Amazon Web Services] versus Microsoft’s Azure. There’s also intense competition, just in the city of Seattle, over talent. I think they [Amazon] are a place that people don’t want to work. Anyone who ever left Microsoft, you could count on them coming back from Amazon within a year or two because this is not great place to work on innovative stuff as an innovative engineer.”

Ballmer had kinder words for Apple but thinks that Microsoft will be in a better position to compete with Apple with the new Surface Book.

“They [Apple] have done a great job. It’s a company that’s done a great job. I think –if you go back to ’97, when Steve [Jobs] came back, they were almost bankrupt, we made an investment in Apple as part of settling a lawsuit, we, Microsoft made an investment. In a way, you could say that is the craziest thing we ever did, but they’ve taken the foundation of great innovation, some cash, and they’ve turned it into the most valuable company in the world. Microsoft will give them a good run for their money. Nobody else is really trying to compete with them anymore, really, seriously, in hardware. Who’s really going after the Mac? Who’s really going after the iPad? You could basically say Microsoft and Samsung; Microsoft is the only one that has the software and the hardware capability, so if there’s going to be any competition for Apple, it will come from Microsoft, and I believe in that.”

Check out the full Bloomberg Business video for more information.