Steve Ballmer has been at the head of Microsoft for over 10 years. During that time, Microsoft has grown a lot and added three new operating systems. Still it pales in comparison to the success of Apple, with Steve Jobs at the helm. But that could change soon.
Steve Jobs, I’m sad to say is sick, not well. Hopefully his cancer can be eliminated, but that is an iffy statement. What will happen to Apple if Jobs passes away? That is a big question. But the answer is that for the short term, probably nothing. There are many projects under construction and Steve Jobs doesn’t manage them on a day to day basis anyway.
However, Steve Jobs has been the most innovative person in the computer world now for over 20 years. There is only one other person that has had as much influence on technology as Jobs, and that was Thomas Edison. Jobs not only helped create the PC industry, he helped turn around the Telephone Industry, the Internet Industry, the Graphics industry, the Music industry, and the video industry. His impact has been universal. And the truth of the matter is, Apple needs Steve Jobs, but Steve Jobs doesn’t need Apple. He’s just there, but he could be anywhere. And that is where Steve Ballmer comes in.
Running one of the largest (monopoly’s) companies in the world is not easy. But Ballmer with the focus on business enterprise, not the consumer enterprise, runs a very different ship. His company has mastered many versions of software and continues to fine tune the biggest one, the operating system. In the case of Microsoft, the Ballmer-Microsoft relationship is one-to-one. Microsoft needs Ballmer and Ballmer needs Microsoft. Which is why Apple should be worried.
With Jobs’ time at Apple limited, Apple could be the subject to a buyout or takeover. Maybe not right away. But right now the only company in the horizon that could do that would be Microsoft.
Does Apple have a focus? Oddly enough one can make a claim that it does not. Sure the iPad, iPhone, and other products are successful; but Apple has been on a streak of winning the lotto with these products. Steve Jobs picks the numbers and he’s won more often than lost. But will his replacement be able to do that? I don’t know. Will Apple be able to produce more winning technologies going through the rest of this decade? I don’t know that either. But Microsoft will continue with it’s focus, which is to build up its domination of the Computer Tech world, and this would include getting Apple under its fold. This is why Apple should fear Steve Ballmer.