Wozniak Talks Ballmer, Microsoft, Apple Innovation

In a new interview with the BBC, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak suggested that Microsoft has stagnated, but that Apple still has the opportunity to seize new markets and beat back Samsung.

“I think in some kind of real dollar terms Microsoft’s been falling,” Wozniak said, “resting on markets it built up a long, long time ago.” That sort of behavior, he added, is “pretty dangerous” for a company’s longer-term prospects. Nor did he think departing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s time at the helm “was as important, significant as Bill Gates.”

He contrasted Microsoft to Apple, which he described as a “big company” with the ability to move quickly into new markets whenever the opportunity presented itself: “Apple found the formulas and they’re still there.”

Apple has received quite a deal of criticism from investors over its product pipeline; the company hasn’t launched a new device since the iPad Mini, which made its debut in late 2012. While rumors suggest two new iPhones are coming in September, Wall Street wants Apple to break into new market segments, the better to revive its explosive growth of a few years ago; if one believes the scuttlebutt, Apple’s designers and engineers are exploring timepieces and television sets as possible products.

Wozniak believes this obsession with new products is unwarranted: “Great advances for mankind don’t happen every year.” But Apple can still battle Samsung, which has significant presence in most markets and products that sell millions of units: “It is going to be a fight for Apple and a worthy fight.”

Wozniak has been back in the news lately thanks to Jobs, the Steve Jobs biopic that debuted this month to middling reviews and box office. Early Apple employees suggested to Slashdot that the movie isn’t really all that accurate; in his own review on Gizmodo, Wozniak said he was “attentive and entertained but not greatly enough to recommend the movie.”


Image: BBC