In fact, Ballmer was famous for discounting pretty much all of the products that have defined the recent computing age.
His comments about the iPhone in 2007 to USA Today distill it perfectly: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.”
Here’s one metric by which Ballmer will be judged harshly. On the last day of 1999, the day before he took over as CEO, Microsoft’s market capitalization was $600 billion. On the day before he announced his intention to retire, it was less than $270 billion.
There are more than a few who wonder how he managed to hold on as long as he did.