EX-CHIEF of Microsoft Steve Ballmer has described the company as "a two trick pony".
In his first speech since retiring as CEO of Microsoft, Ballmer told students at the Oxford Union of his regret at not pairing software with hardware fast enough.
Explaining that although many companies have one trick - Coca-Cola - or two tricks - Apple - to continue to thrive in their field, he said that Microsoft will have to develop a third trick, and added, "let's call it phones".
Expressing his frustration, he said, "I don't know if we were too busy, or if we only knew the tools for the first two tricks."
The two tricks to which he referred were Windows PCs, and the integration of microprocessors into data centres.
"Those two tricks will keep us going for a number of years," he said, "But in our industry, you've got to do a third trick."
Ballmer remains a passionate member of the Microsoft board of directors and owns four percent of its stock, making him one of the Top 50 richest men in the world. Forbes recently announced that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has recently retaken the number one spot.
In a rather confusing analogy, Ballmer said, "Technology businesses are like sharks too. You either move forward ambitiously or poof, you become small or irrelevant or both."
Coming from Ballmer, the comparison of Microsoft to a shark is rather telling, The INQUIRER suspects, but it also shows that Ballmer believes that adapting to survive is the only way forward.
Ballmer cited machine to machine communications as the next big thing. Watch out Internet of Things, Microsoft is coming. µ