Walt Mossberg asked Steve Ballmer and Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's chief software architect, what they thought of Google, Android, and Chrome.
Ballmer yammered away about how Google's strategy of having two operating systems doesn't make any sense. Why have Android and Chrome? Why do two operating systems like that? Makes no sense, he says,
After Ballmer is done, Ray Ozzie says, Chrome is a bet on the future, Android is a bet on the past.
We can't think of a better illustration of the Ballmer-era.
A competitor announces something innovative. Ballmer goes out in public, plays dumb, trashes it, acts like he doesn't think it makes any sense, even though it does.
Chrome doesn't make sense today. But it will make a lot of sense in the future when browsers are more powerful and web-based applications are more robust.
Obviously Ray Ozzie gets this. Why doesn't Steve Ballmer?
Interestingly, before the interview started Ina Fried at CNet wrote that Ray and Steve don't talk very much. Clearly, that needs to change.