Ballmer reign not significant compared to Gates says Apple co-founder

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has levelled a broadside at Microsoft stating that they are overly dependant on markets that were built up a “long, long time ago”.

Wozniak, in an interview with the BBC, spoke about a number of subjects but zoned in on Microsoft’s recent releases and outgoing chief executive Steve Ballmer.

“I think in some kind of real dollar terms, Microsoft has been falling for quite a long time. It’s [sort of] been resting on markets built up a long, long time ago, and that’s pretty dangerous,” Wozniak said.

Of the outgoing Mr Ballmer, Wozniak stated that he didn’t think his time at Microsoft was “as important or significant as Bill Gates’”. The comments came after the news that Ballmer is to step down in the next 12 months as the company moves onto its next stage.

When it came to Apple, Wozniak hit back at criticism that the firm hasn’t been releasing a great product every year by stating that “great advances don’t happen every year”, after which he praised the work being done by Apple chief executive Tim Cook.

"Steve Jobs had very strong feelings about what makes a company great, what makes products great. He more-or-less chose Tim Cook to be in that role, in that position," Wozniak told the BBC.

The conversation eventually touched on the intense competition with Samsung that Apple currently finds itself embroiled in, and it’s something that Wozniak explained was down to Samsung’s increased presence in emerging markets.

"Samsung had great marketing prowess. They also had distribution channels in so many markets of the world that Apple was not in, because Apple more-or-less grew up under the Macintosh, which had a low world market share,” Wozniak said. "You are going up against people that already have the connections, the business strategies, the business methodologies of those other parts of the world. It is going to be a fight for Apple and a worthy fight."

Apple is rumoured to be ready to unveil a cut-price version of the iPhone next month in order to gain market share in emerging markets where it is currently being trounced by the likes of Samsung.

Image Credit: Flickr (The DEMO Conference)