Steve Ballmer On Dropbox, Yammer Acquisition And More

In interview to Bloomberg, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer commented about Dropbox, Yammer acquisition, future of Office and more. When asked about Microsoft competing with Dropbox which already has 100 million users, Steve Ballmer said that Dropbox is a little startup when compared to Office franchise and it is comparable to Microsoft’s Cloud Storage service SkyDrive which has 200 million users already.

Well, you’ve got to remember, 100 million sounds like a pretty small number to me, actually. We’ve got a lot more Office users. And actually if you even want to go to the cloud, we have a lot of Hotmail and SkyDrive users. I’m not beating on Dropbox. They’re a fine little startup and that’s great.

We first did our HTML versions of Office, the so-called Web Apps, two releases ago. I think probably six years. We enhanced them three years ago. And this is just another logical step down the path that we had embraced.

When asked about why Microsoft acquired Yammer which is also a small start up like Dropbox for about $1 billion,

Well, remember, there are two different things here. Yammer is about sort of mid-size companies and above. And what we’re trying to do with [Microsoft’s cloud-based service] Office 365, it has an enterprise side and a consumer side. If you want to get numbers like 100 million, it helps to start with consumers as opposed to businesses so you’re doing an apples-to-apples comparison.

In general, I would say a much higher percentage of our unit engagement with our customers comes from the consumer. And a much higher percentage of our revenue participation comes from our business customers. And the Yammer model is really about how do you let people who work in businesses get excited, and then if they do and their businesses think it’s important and valuable, how do they pay for that?

Read the full interview here.

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