In-Depth

10 Most Outrageous Steve Ballmer Performances: A Video Round-Up

Check out these videos highlighting Microsoft CEO's larger-than-life personality.

Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer has had his share of critics scrutinizing and second-guessing his every business move. But you cannot deny his passion for the company and his excitement he brings to every event and meet-and-greet he attends. While his public speaking demeanure may not be orthodox (and he would be the first to admit it, as he has allowed a Windows Phone 7 app that pokes fun at himself), it's always entertaining and sometimes outrageous.

Here are brief descriptions and videos to Mr. Ballmer's greatest public moments:

Developers, Developers, Developers





Who can forget Steve Ballmer, blue shirt stained with huge patches of sweat, railing about developers at a 2009 developers' conference. He would have literally been on fire where it not for the gallons of perspiration. I heard Ballmer soaked himself with water to get that effect. That's a showman!

Web Developers!





Reprising his role as developer cheerleader, Ballmer stuck the word "Web" in front of "developers" at Mix08 and then went a little nuts chanting again.

Would You Sign My Mac?





Ballmer showed that he was a good sport when he signed a student's Macbook during a visit to a university in January of 2010.  

This iPhone Thing Won't Catch On





Ouch. Shortly after Apple introduced it, Ballmer explained -- on video, unfortunately -- why the iPhone was a joke and why Microsoft's Windows Mobile devices were better for business users as well as for consumers. Again, ouch.


Windows Machines Are Not Going To Be Trucks




In response to the introduction of the iPad, Ballmer tried to explain why (almost) everything is actually just a PC after all, and why Windows is for everybody, not just for "Mac" truckers.


Who Knows What this Thing Is?

 




Ballmer was tongue-tied -- perhaps a bit condescending -- trying to respond to the introduction of Google's Chrome OS before finally saying, "The last time I checked, you don't need two-client operating systems."


It Was a Friendly Disruption





Ballmer did well to dodge eggs thrown by an angry Hungarian student in Budapest a couple of years ago. He also did well to recover from the bizarre incident by describing it as "a friendly disruption." 


Monkey-Man Dance





The original is still the best. Remixed a thousand times to different beats, Steve Ballmer's "monkey-man" dance, performed rather spontaneously at an event in the early 2000s, remains a defining moment in the man's career.


"All In" for the Cloud





In a March speech at the University of Washington, Ballmer declared his company to be "all in" for the cloud, marking a major point of transition in Microsoft strategy.


Cash Cows





In a 2008 question-and-answer session at the Churchill Club, Ballmer denied knowing what a "cash cow" was. Said Ballmer: "I don't know what a cash cow is; if a cash cow is something that's growing 15 to 20 percent a year, that's okay. That's okay, anybody who wants to use the word, I'm glad to have that cow in our pasture."

What's your favorite Steve Ballmer moment? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

About the Authors

Lee Pender is the executive features editor of Redmond magazine. You can reach him at lpender@redmondmag.com or follow him on Twitter.

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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