If you’re a journalist, you have to love Steve Ballmer. Something quotable always seems to be falling out of his mouth. In public, he is a mixture of loud-mouthed bully, bumbling reasonableness and calculating shark.
So which persona was responsible for his comment today at a Gartner technology symposium in Florida? According to a Bloomberg report, the Microsoft CEO said that a deal with Yahoo “may still make economic sense for shareholders of both companies,” though there are no talks going on at the moment.
Microsoft marketing has an identity crisis. Which means Microsoft doesn’t know how to talk to its customers, and that’s a big issue for the company.
Leave aside issues of desktop vs cloud software, Google vs Live search, and whether Yahoo was worth $33 per share. Instead, let’s look at how the company actually engages the public.
The latest internet earnings season has got off to a decidedly unappetising start.
eBay kicked it off today with two memorable firsts: the first-ever fall in the value of goods sold through its sites (which slipped by 1 per cent in the latest quarter) and a fourth-quarter financial forecast that predicts its first-ever revenue decline (yes, decline – and this is a company that was growing at 30 per cent this time last year.)