From ‘Monkey Boy’ to Developers: 6 classic videos of Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer

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Ballmer talking with Guy Kawasaki at Mix 08

We’ve loved watching Steve Ballmer over the years, talking about technology, and, yes, occasionally going nuts on stage.

So, in light of today’s announcement that Ballmer plans to step down from Microsoft after more than three decades, here’s a look back at some of our favorites.

These videos show some of the rocky moments during Ballmer’s 13-year tenure as CEO, including the big miss on mobile.

While folks are already talking about the next Microsoft CEO, watching these videos is a reminder that Ballmer really is one-of-a-kind.

In this video, Ballmer laughs about the iPhone, and says it’s not “a very good email machine” because it doesn’t have a keyboard. Perhaps one of Ballmer’s enduring legacies will be his miss of the mobile market, something that has set Microsoft well behind rivals like Apple and Google.

A great exchange between Ballmer and Apple fanboy Guy Kawasaki at Mix 08 during the Vista era in which he defends the operating system, but also admits to problems with it. Ballmer notes: “In this industry, I actually think the great company, either move forward or become less relevant.” He later tries to convince Kawasaki to get rid of his Apple products, noting that “we’ll get you a real machine.”

Here’s veteran journalist Walt Mossberg grilling Ballmer in 2010 on the iPad, as then CTO Ray Ozzie (who has since left the company) looks on. Ballmer notes: “Windows machines are not going be trucks.” (All Things D has a great recap of all of Ballmer’s appearances at the D conference here).

My all-time favorite Ballmer video.

And no video recap of Ballmer would be complete without Monkey Boy. Say what you want about Ballmer, but this enthusiasm likely will never be replaced.

And here’s an extra special bonus, a fun recap of Ballmer in some funny spoofs and on-stage moments over the years.

  • cfo

    The guy always struck me as a bully of sorts. If he didn’t agree with what was being said, he would talk louder, talk over, become aggressive, laugh or mock, shout, etc. There never seemed to be a thoughtful or contemplative analysis of the question. One has to believe that particular style had an impact within the organization as well…