When Steve Ballmer steps down from his role as CEO of Microsoft in 12 short months, the world will lose a little bit of luster.
It’s not that the longtime leader is irreplaceable—Ballmer’s achievements were indeed momentous, but there are already possible successors champing at the bit to take the reins. But without Steve at the top, the constant flow of hilarious Ballmerisms we’ve come to enjoy over the years will no doubt dry up, leaving the technology world a decidedly unfunnier place.
From ridiculous to ridonkulous to utterly insane, here are the best Ballmerisms to come out of Steve’s mouth throughout the years. One thing’s for sure: While laughter may die on our lips with Ballmer’s retirement, PR handlers in Redmond will surely sleep easier at night.
On with the show!
Steve’s a PC
Steve thinks highly of Bing
We should have named it BOOM!
Steve on Bing, 2009 (via AllThingsD)
Steve on the antitrust
Illegal monopoly? Pffffft. Let’s dance!
Steve on parenting
Steve, talking to Fortune in 2006:
My children - in many dimensions they’re as poorly behaved as many other children, but at least on this dimension I’ve got my kids brainwashed: You don’t use Google, and you don’t use an iPod .
Windows Phone: Not for computer scientists
Steve in 2011 (via Digital Trends):
You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone. I think you do to use an Android Phone.
Steve gets incredibly excited about AMAZING opportunities
Steve, talking to USA Today in 2007:
There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item.
Windows digs DRM
Steve, 2004 (via ArsTechnica):
We’ve had DRM in Windows for years. The most common format of music on an iPod is ‘stolen.’
Important technology about the blah blah blah
Steve on the iPad, in 2010 (via Fortune):
Now, we’ve got some other competitive actions coming back, and we’ll talk about slates and tablets and blah, blah, blah, blah....
How much do you think this advanced operating environment is worth?
But wait, there’s more...
That seems a bit harsh
Steve, 2001 (via The Register):
Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.
That seems a bit more harsh
Steve (allegedly) in 2005, when Microsoft senior engineer Mark Lucovsky announced he was leaving for Google (via BetaNews):
I’m going to f—-ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to f—-ing kill Google.
“That guy” is Google boss Eric Schmidt, and Steve supposedly said this while slinging a chair across a room.
Oh, you say that now
What Steve told CNET in response:
I have never, honestly, thrown a chair in my life.
A house of cards made out of money
Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards.
That’s something else Ballmer allegedly said to Mark Lucovsky. Here’s Google’s response, when asked to comment today:
All about developers
And of course, no list of Ballmer’s greatest hits would be complete without…