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Surely You're Joking, Mr. Ballmer?

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 28, 2005

At an analyst conference today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a choice comment. “We have won on the desktop,” he said according to this account at CNET “Now we really are going to win on the Web.”

Bite your tongue, Steve. Now, maybe he didn’t mean it exactly the way it came out. And I don’t doubt that Microsoft will indeed become an even bigger force online. But someone should break it to Ballmer—and, for that matter, to any folks at Google or Yahoo! who might think the same thing but are more circumspect: Nobody will own the Web of the future but the people using it. Between open-source software, blogs and wikis, Web mash-ups, Flickr,, Greasemonkey, and yet more technologies to come, it’s the people who increasingly will create and control their own Web. And any companies that think otherwise will feel the Power of Us quicker than my pop-up blocker can spike their annoying ads.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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