Steven Burke of CRN spoke to Steve Ballmer after Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto:
“But we are not going to let any piece of this [go uncontested to Apple],” shouted Ballmer. “Not the consumer cloud. Not hardware software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen. Not on our watch.
If you have to say it, you’ve probably already lost. If you have to shout it, you almost certainly have.
“We do feel empowered to innovate everywhere and bring our partners with us,” Ballmer said. “We are just not going to leave any — what’s the expression people like to use — We’re not going to leave any stone unturned, so to speak, as we pursue that.”
“What’s the expression people like to use”. This is a weird speech tic Ballmer turns to quite often (and hardly his only one). It almost seems as if he’s using it as a mega billionaire trying to relate to the “common man”, but it comes across as pretty much the opposite. “What’s the expression people like to use” — as opposed to what, donkeys?
It also reminds me of another famous clip of Ballmer speaking. In 2007, when asked about the just-announced iPhone:
“Right now, well let’s take phones for instance. Right now we’re selling millions and millions and millions of phones a year. Apple is selling zero phones a year. In 6 months they’ll have the most expensive phone by far ever on the market place. And… Let’s see — what’s the expression — let’s see how the competition goes.”
“What’s the expression”?