Steve Ballmer takes pop at Microsoft over universal apps

Steve Ballmer has criticised Microsoft over its approach to universal apps and its approach to cloud revenue.

It’s two years since Steve Ballmer was forced out as CEO of the company he so loved, and a year since he resigned from the board. However, the eccentric figure remains the single biggest shareholder at Microsoft. Awkward.

Inevitably, like a divorced father turning up at a family party and causing a scene, Ballmer can’t quite seem to move on.

Take his recent performance at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, for example. Ballmer started by criticising how Microsoft reports profit margins and sales for its cloud and hardware businesses, calling the current ‘run rate’ approach “bull****”.

“It’s sort of a key metric – if they talk about it as key to the company, they should report it,” he elaborated to Bloomberg. “They should report the revenue, not the run rate.”

Ballmer didn’t stop at squabbling about money, either. He also doesn’t like the way the new Microsoft family head, Satya Nadella,  is handling apps.

When quizzed by an audience member on the continued lack of key apps in the Windows Phone ecosystem, Nadella pointed towards the company’s universal app push, which encourages the creation of apps that work across all Windows 10 platforms, including mobile.

“That won’t work,” Ballmer chipped in as Nadella spoke. Ballmer’s solution, he added, would be “to run Android apps.”

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Microsoft was developing a means to allow Android apps to be reworked for Windows earlier in the year, but those plans – code-named Project Astoria – were recently put on hold.

Of course, one of the main reasons Ballmer was replaced as CEO was because Microsoft missed the smartphone boat on his watch. So Satya Nadella might opt to take his advice on the matter with a pinch of salt.

Next, take a look at Windows 10’s key features: