Insults and Myopia: The Steve Ballmer Edition

It was intended as a passing insult. a chance for Steve Ballmer, the bombastic and simian CEO of Microsoft, to draw a little blood at Apple’s expense. Addressing a crowd at the recent McGraw-Hill 2009 Media Summit, he quipped “…Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment — same piece of hardware — paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that’s a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be.”

I hope for Microsoft’s sake that Ballmer was intentionally being dismissive, because if he was serious, then his statement ultimately says far more about the myopia of Microsoft than it does about the cost of a Mac. If Ballmer REALLY can’t comprehend how people could choose a competitors’ product over his own, then he really doesn’t understand the fight he’s in or how to win such a fight in the first place. If he’s truly amazed that people would pay extra money for the “same piece of hardware” then he clearly doesn’t understand the power of software, which is a pretty amazing confession coming from the CEO of the world’s largest software company.

So, there you have it…Steve Ballmer is either a true simpleton or desperate to dilute Apple’s momentum. Either way, it’s not very good news for our favorite Monkey Boy.