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Steve Ballmer, Steve Ballmer, Steve Ballmer, Steve Ballmer, Steve Ballmer. Say his name five times into a mirror and, no wait, that’s the Candyman. I often get those two mixed up. Steve Ballmer? Oh, he’s the guy in charge at Microsoft who isn’t quite as good as Bill Gates. And never will be. Now I’m with you.
A lot of people really don’t like Steve Ballmer. Perhaps because he’s Mr. Microsoft, or because he was (for many years) Bill Gates’ lickspittle underling. Whatever the reason, he’s a figure of fun in a way neither Gates, or his sparring partner Steve Jobs, has ever been. And there are plenty of funny Microsoft videos demonstrating why Steve Ballmer is ripe for being laughed at, five of which are embedded below for your pleasure.
Windows 1.0 Commercial
Steve Ballmer is now the CEO of Microsoft (for the time being at least), but he had to work his way up the ranks to get there. And do some dirty work along the way. Such as appearing in early commercials for the company. Here he is selling Windows 1.0 in an over-the-top, used-car salesman manner. Who would have thought this guy would end up running the company and being worth $13.9 billion?
Ballmer comes across as an idiot, quite frankly. But then Microsoft has never ‘got’ marketing in the way Apple has. As true today as it was in 1986. Insanely, Ballmer doesn’t seem to have aged a day in the 26 years since this ad first aired. He was as chunky and as bald back then as he is today. But even more annoying. perhaps.
Moving on from advertising, Ballmer has also been known to do a little presenting. An essential part of being the head of a department and especially the CEO. I imagine Ballmer will have a calm, Zen-like style of presenting that closely resembles Steve Jobs or his old boss Bill Gates. He certainly wouldn’t come bounding on stage screaming his head off, because that would be insane.
There is such a thing as geeing a crowd up, and then there is coming across as some kind of serial killer intent on butchering everyone in attendance. Just look at those eyes as he stares at his next victims. He even points at a couple of them. I half expected him to then make a cutting gesture across his throat. But remember, he does love this company, so that explains the strange behavior.
What Is Love?
Wow. I was almost speechless on first watching this video. Is that actually Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer dressed in Miami Vice suits and dancing to What Is Love? by Haddaway? Yes, I think it is. Apparently this was made for an internal Microsoft conference and never meant for public scrutiny. Because those Microsoft guys know how to party.
Strangely this doesn’t affect the admiration and respect I have for Bill Gates. Even though he is part of the dire duo performing in this video. He looks like a geek, but then he always has done. He also wears an inane grin throughout, but it kind of suits him. Ballmer, on the other hand? No, no, and thrice no. I’m pretty sure the suit was his own, too.
Laughing At iPhone
Ha, ha, ha, Steve Jobs is so stupid! He’s going to try and sell a phone for $500, the fool. That won’t work, obviously. Business customers won’t be interested as “it doesn’t have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good email machine.” And no one else in their right mind would ever spend that sum of money on a mere phone. Would they? Really?
This video was shot in 2007, in the weeks following the unveiling of the first iPhone. In the five years since then the iPhone has disappeared without trace, Apple is almost bankrupt, Zune is absolutely everywhere, Microsoft is the biggest name in mobile, and Steve Ballmer has been shown to be an incredible seer second only to Nostradamus. Or something like that.
Signing A MacBook
OK, enough of the cheap shots. Let’s round this out with a video that will likely make you laugh along with Steve Ballmer rather than at Steve Ballmer. You may even like him after seeing this. Though I doubt this clip will be enough to erase the memories of the previous four clips.
While Ballmer was visiting Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee, an enterprising student asked whether the Microsoft CEO would sign his laptop. There’s just one problem; it’s actually an Apple MacBook.
The student promises it’s actually running Windows, but I doubt that. And it’s not as if Ballmer was going to turn it on to check before signing. Instead, he signs right across the Apple logo before adding, “Need a new one?” Which is actually pretty witty. By CEO standards.
Steve Ballmer probably couldn’t care less what anyone thinks of him. He has enough money in the bank to never have to interact with another living being again. But he remains for now the head honcho at Microsoft, despite numerous claims over the past few years of a developing coup to install Steven Sinofsky in the job instead.
When Steve Ballmer does finally make way for his successor I may actually miss the guy. No one (certainly no big technology CEO) does crazy like Ballmer. More’s the pity.
If you have any more videos of Steve Ballmer being Steve Ballmer then please feel free to share them in the comments below.