Ballmer says Google is one trick pony

Written by Brett Thomas

March 19, 2007 | 07:34

Tags: #steve-ballmer

Companies: #google #microsoft

No matter where you stand with Microsoft as a company, there is one thing many people who keep up with the news wonder: Why is Steve Ballmer still allowed to talk in front of people? The iPod-banning CEO of Microsoft usually manages to say something either artfully insulting or just plain funny. And he's at it again, this time taking Google to task.

He's offering Eric Schmidt and company a little business advice - get another trick. Google's basic premise since its outset has been ad-based revenue, and shows no real sign of changing that. Ballmer has called this a recipe for disaster, pointing out how Microsoft has had to change several times to meet with the ever-moving consumer and his or her cash.

The words came at a speech Mr. Ballmer was invited to give at Stanford University's business school. "They're really just one business, a search and advertising business," he said. He followed it up with an acknowledgment that acquiring YouTube was branching out, but then amended his statement to illustrate that the cash still comes in the same way. "Bravo to them [for] trying to start a second business. But it's a related business; it's not a completely second [one]."

Oddly enough, this is one statement I have to give Ballmer the thumbs up on. His leadership with Microsoft has seen the company wearing many hats, from OS to Productivity to Gaming. The revenue models for the company have been all over the park, and that strategy is the same success that has bred the likes of General Electric and General Motors. Diversity is key once your business hits the big time, or your sales eventually stagnate.

Compared to companies like Microsoft or Apple, Google really is a one-trick pony, focusing solely on ad-based revenue. Though that works for the enthusiastic market that it is in now, its dominance in searching could also be its downfall - there's only so much more it can do.

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