Ballmer calls Google a One Hit Wonder

Source Title:
The World According to Ballmer
Story Text:

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may just live to eat his words after a speach at Stanford university where he called the worlds top Search company a "one hit wonder" according to this Bizweek report...

Speaking to a packed auditorium at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., on May 12, Ballmer trumpeted the ripe opportunities around Microsoft's sprawling business and questioned the ability of Google (GOOG ) to maintain its edge. Clearly alluding to Microsoft's key Internet search rival, Ballmer said: "The hottest company right now -- the one nobody thinks can do any wrong -- may just be a one-hit wonder."

John Battelle however points out some rather pertinent facts about M$ at age 7...

Yeah, and where was Microsoft seven years after it was founded? Let's see, it started in 1975, so that'd be 1982. By then, MSFT had one major product categories: DOS. Sure, it also had programming languages and some false starts in hardware and games (kind of like Google has OEM deals, the Search Appliance and Orkut), but it was, for the most part, a one trick pony. Its revenues of about $24 million in 1982 pale compare to Google's $5 billion+ run rate at year seven.

In my view Google need a slap, for sure: But given John's points above, i'm inclined to agree that Ballmers statement was a bad move...


Ooooh and at Stanford of all places.

MS may have just started a jihad with the Google folks.


Move along.

If the hit is big enough

You can live out a lifetime on the proceeds!

If you look at half the major brands in the world they could be called 'One Hit Wonders' or probably more accurately 'One Trick Ponies'

For example - Coca-Cola, News International, Amoco, Armani, Oracle they are all one trick ponies; one major product and a few sidelines that make a little money but wouldn't put the company on the map.


So what if Ballmer's right? Other than for G stockholders not much changes, afaik. Veterans of the game have seen the rise and fall of many other "wonders." The good news is that G has taken organic search mainstream, largely stripping it (search) of previous attempts to portalize and/or bastardize the serps. The better news is that they made a bundle doing it.

He may be right, but what he's actually driving at

of course, is dethroning the encumbent.

And depending on how much funds and marketing savvy MS are prepared on pumping into the venture, I'm not at all sure they're doomed to fail.

While they may never have produced a single line of truly innovative program code, one thing MS has always been good at is marketing. If this should escalate to an all-out war between the two, I don't think I'd want to place my bet on Goo.

In any case it will be interesting to watch.

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