Steve Ballmer may have stepped down from the CEO post and board at Microsoft earlier this year, but the hard-charging technology executive still has Microsoft blood coursing through his veins.
That Microsoft pride is showing through with Ballmer’s latest prized possession, the NBA franchise L.A. Clippers which he just bought for $2 billion.
Ballmer has told the staff at the L.A. Clippers — including head coach Doc Rivers — that he doesn’t want iPads around the front office or on the bench.
Ballmer tells Reuters that most of the Clippers organization is already using Windows, though he conceded that some of the coaches and players are not.
“And Doc kind of knows that’s a project. It’s one of the first things he said to me: ‘We are probably going to get rid of these iPads, aren’t we?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, we probably are.’ But I promised we would do it during the off season,” Ballmer tells Reuters.
While at Microsoft, Ballmer prevented his family from owning iPhones, and once even famously simulated stepping on an employee’s iPhone at 2009 company meeting.
Microsoft is making a big push into professional sports, with a long-term deal to have the NFL using its Surface tablets. (Though some sports announcers have called the devices iPads on air).
In the report, Ballmer concedes that he failed in grasping the importance of the mobile computing revolution.
“And do I wish a higher percentage of today’s mobile devices were ours and we had birthed that category?,” he said. “Yes, of course I do.”
Ballmer likely will never live down this moment from 2007, when he criticized the iPhone for its high price tag and noted that it would not appeal to business customers because it “doesn’t have a keyboard,” making it “not a very good e-mail machine.”