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.

About the author  ⁄ pradeep

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • SagetB

    Will someone shut this clown up, he is, again, making the who company look like fools. He dissed the iPhone, he dissed Android, he dissed iPad and each time he does he gets the chair kick out from under him. He needs to go back to the office and let his engineers create some great innovation, and then sell the heck out of them but no he all about protect legacy products that once was cash cows but now find itself in a disruptive market.

    Here is a sure money maker is you play the market, if Ballmer insults a product, run out and buy a thousand shares, you will get rich every time!

    • TroyGates

      And yet, Microsoft has had record quarters almost every quarter under Ballmer’s leadership.

      • SagetB

        Just think what would have happened if instead of a clown running the show we had a forward thinking transformational manager working on long term success rather then just driving quarterly sales; profit and a future. We would have record quarters and significant share of the smartphone market, a tablet that is actually competing with Android and iPad, a online strategy that is not bleeding billions, and a stock that goes up in value.

        Does is really make you feel confident that the Apples iPhone revenue is bigger then all of MSFT…this happen under Ballmer’s watch.

        • TroyGates

          Phones are not the core of Microsoft, never have been never will be. Apple’s success with iPhone was due to they had no other successful product so they found one. It would be dumb of Microsoft to only focus on the core product of Apple and ignore all of their other products. That is why Microsoft is a solid rock, it has a diverse portfolio of successful products, not just 1.

          • SagetB

            Far from me arguing for Apple, but I think there was a little thing called the iPod before they iPhone, and now they have the ipad not to mention a profitable computer line that averages double the profit per computer as any PC OEM.

            Success of the iPhone should have been Microsoft for they was a major player in the market Windows Mobile saw year over year growth between 2005–2006 of 38.8% which helped Windows Mobile to solidify its stronghold on the market and held close to 50% in 2007. Leadership (Ballmer the Clown) gave it up by failure to innovate and by being complacent while blowing billions of dollars on on line services that has and will never be profitable. A great example of this process of Ballmer trying to extend legacy products over innovation opportunities is the promising Courier Tablet. (Instead of something innovative we get a warmed up laptop called Surface)

            Your diverse portfolio of Microsoft you talk of is a misnomer in fact take away Windows and Office there is very little left. And again look at Apple: the iPhone, the iPad, the Mac, and the iTunes Store – rake in so much revenue each that they would rank INDIVIDUALLY in the top half of the Fortune 500. That is a diverse portfolio of successful products.

            To make thing even sadder is the fact MSFT was in all those product markets FIRST and ignored them so badly their presents in the majority of them (sans the not growth segment) now are almost non existent: less then 1% in tablet market, less then 3% in smartphone, and scrambling to get some type of iTune Store copy.

          • VHMP01

            MACs are sold at expensive prices, people who buy it are in for fashion, so they will pay Premium, that is why out of the 8 out of 100 they get more profit, but they had more market share than Windows at the begining and MS still holds 92% of computer market! (US included). And looking at their products, Apple is more of a Media company (with iTunes and now App Store being the center of it all) than a Software company turning into services, as MS, so the comparisons are null, people argues because of pried. But Apple did loose US$235,000,000,000 (yes Billions) in the last 4 months alone! Cannot change that fact! Same as with MACs some 20 years ago!

          • SagetB

            I am not here supporting Apple, My point was to show how MSFT management is not performing at the level that it should and why Ballmer needs to be sent to the curb.

            But your post is so full of errors is it making the whole rest of the internet a bit more ignorant. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $54.5 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion with sales of 47.8 Million iPhones Sold; 22.9 Million iPads – hardly a media company.

            And while yes my beloved MSFT holds 92% of the PC market, the world has changed. Where that was once the only market for personal computer devices with the influx of mobile (IOS and Android OS smartphone and tablets) that have gone from hold 93% of personal compute device market share to less the 25%. Which again, show how poorly management has performed and how badly the company has miss the trends in computing.

          • VHMP01

            All those ‘sales’ and still down by US$235 Billion! There has to be some sort of management error, right? They had MACs a lost marketshare to MS 20 years ago, they had iOS and lost marketshare to Android las 5 years, now they got iPad and are losing marketshare. See any patern here? Management errors everytime they rise to the top!

          • SagetB

            I am not sure why your trying to make this about Apple, but you are the perfect example why blind loyal fanboys actually hurt the MSFT rather then help. Instead of focusing on what MSFT could and should be doing you say (much in the same vain of Ballmer) “MSFT is making money so everything is great” rather then thinking in an critically thoughtful and intelligent manner.

            I used Apple and Android as two examples of where the decision making of Ballmer choosing not to invest in innovation has not only caused the company to give others an competitive advantage in those markets but now infringing on the main profit centers of the MSFT corporation.

            I guess I overestimate your intelligence and you simply can not think beyond a childish concept of “MSFT cool, everything else sucks.”

          • VHMP01

            Exactly, you used examples that have made recently great decisión making mistakes too… Apple avoiding innovation as NFC, wireless charging, etc. which has made their stock fell because of lack of innovation. Who told you I defend MS blindly, I just pointed out other´s mistakes too. I use a Galaxy S, Acer A500 and W501 tablets, and a Dell Vostro V130 laptop. At home we have a Galaxy Tab 10.1 and my wife has a Macbook Pro and an 3S. Who cares about brands…

          • SagetB

            Then why do you feel the need to address a discussion about poor MSFT management through a disingenuous stawman argument of a company that by any half intelligent individual would acknowledge has performed significantly better the company Ballmer runs (one shat has not had any Market cap growth in 5 year vs one that was grown over 500% in the same time for even you know (or I hope you do) that any short term move in the market can not be valued)?

            More over you do not understand the word Innovation in a technical meaning. Things like NFC and Wireless charging are features, while real innovation is a disruptive product that is transforms or create new markets. I suggest to educate yourself you should pick up a few of the writings of Clayton Christensen. Start with “The Innovators dilemma”. It a bit complex but will enable you to make worthy contributions to discussions such as these.

          • VHMP01

            You brought Apple in from your first post, in a MS discussion site! So my point is both Companies have made huge Directive mistakes through their existance, lately, Apple lost $235 Billions, as bad or worst than MS’s mistakes. Get over that fact! The point you show is that it hurts your pride, yet I could not careles if bad thing are said about MS.

          • SagetB

            Your point is a need to defend poor management of Microsoft and to do so by saying my comparison is not a perfect company either (though out performed the topic company by leaps and bounds in the last 5 years).

            I can only conclude your not here to learn or be informed but just to troll. If there is any chance I am mistaken I again suggest to educate yourself you should pick up a few of the
            writings of Clayton Christensen. Start with “The Innovators dilemma”.
            It a bit complex but will enable you to make worthy contributions to
            discussions such as these. But in addition, a few books on the market would be good too, your understanding of it is woefully inadequate.

          • VHMP01

            Really? I am not defending MS Management. You brought in Apple saying its great, which is not if they lost $235 Billion in 4 months, quite simple. Both have messed a lot of Management and other things. Then you defend Apple’s innovative products! Really? Wow, let’s start; in Steve Jobs’ own words: “Good artists copy, great artists STEAL”; so Apple’s philosophy is based on exactly that, copying not innovating. You could have said great marketing behind copied products.

          • VHMP01

            Need more prove? Jobs’ own words again: “We have been ‘ShameLESS’ about stealing great ideas”, I wonder what he meant about it? So all companies copy, mainly Apple, deal with it.

          • VHMP01

            Panorama + Notification Bar = Android
            iMaps = Google Maps (Opps)
            Ping = Facebook, Twitter
            iPad = Samsung´s Photoframe
            iPod = Creative Technology
            ‘iPhone’ name = Linksys’ iPhone®
            Original iPhone = Samsung’s S700 Mp3 Player
            iPhone 4 & 4S = LG’s Prada
            iMessage = BlackBerry Messenger
            Siri = Xiaoi Bot + Nuance
            App Store = Ubuntu Software Center
            Bigger Screen = Everybody else
            MacBook Air = HP’s Sojourn
            Macsafe = Asian Crockery
            Thunderbolt = Intel
            OSX, iOS = Unix
            Newton = Psion Series 3, HP 95LX
            Apple Logo = Genesis 1:6, 3:6
            Aluminum = Cheapest Metal
            Plastic = ($$$ Reinforced Polymers)
            Security = Buy a new one…

          • SagetB

            Now arbitrarily playing the copy charge to reenforce your incompetent
            understanding of Innovation and its meaning in technological circles
            while while simply trying to distract from the subject at hand (I think
            me lady fanboy protest too much).

            Next time Bill decides to do charity work hopefully he will invest in eradicating ignorance, and start with you.

            Good day.s

          • VHMP01

            You brought it up and you didn’t like it! And call me ignorant! Right!

          • SagetB

            “Apple did loose US$235,000,000,000 (yes Billions) in the last 4 months
            alone” Apple did not loss anything it was Apple’s market cap decrease by that much which has little
            effect on a company except for borrowing money a fact that Apple hoards its profits giving it $135 billion in cash on hand, borrowing is not an issue.

            But VHMPO1 you are right Apple Market Cap did decrease that amount, the whole size of MSFT Market Cap and yet Apple’s still almost twice as large as MSFT; showing again why Ballmer should get the boot.

            Thanks for the help.