While Ballmer Gets Aggressive, Apple's Wozniak Compliments Microsoft
By: Ben Weiss
Young Jobs and Wozniak
The current juxtaposition between Steve Wozniak and Steve Ballmer could not be more pronounced. As we reported earlier today, Microsoft’s boisterous CEO Ballmer gave an exclusive interview to CRN yesterday in which he defiantly claimed that Microsoft would no longer allow Apple to go without fierce competition in any corner of its operations.
"We do feel empowered to innovate everywhere and bring our partners with us," Ballmer said in the midst of Microsoft’s annual partner conference currently unfolding in Toronto. "We are just not going to leave any -- what’s the expression people like to use -- We’re not going to leave any stone unturned, so to speak, as we pursue that."
Interestingly, in the wake of Ballmer’s aggressive announcement, Steve Wozniak – the fellow who co-founded Apple in the 1970s with Steve Jobs – took a very different tone when addressing his company’s traditional rival.
While speaking at the Entel Summit in Chile, Wozniak was asked about a wide range of topics including his thoughts on the demise of MegaUpload and the management of Kim Dotcom’s arrest.
However, when Wozniak was asked about the state of Microsoft, he was surprisingly complimentary. In fact, he mentioned that while many critics have bashed Microsoft for its lack of recent innovation, Wozniak was quick to point to the success of the Xbox. Moreover, he mentioned how he considered the Lumia phone running the Windows 7 OS to exhibit the marriage of art and technology that so revved Steve Jobs’ engine. Wozniak even went so far as to joke that Jobs was reincarnated as a Microsoft technologist.
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Going further, Wozniak even lauded Microsoft’s new Suface tablet stating, “I do want to see the surface. I want to own one, I want to use one. I prefer to judge things that I really know and not just things that I’ve read about.”
So while Ballmer has launched what appears to be an offensive against Apple, Wozniak’s comments show that once again, his camp is playing it cool.
“I’m glad that Microsoft is starting to show that maybe they’re a different company than before,” said Wozniak. “I don’t remember this kind of thing happening for Microsoft in a long, long time, so I’m very happy.”
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