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Marianne Paskowski

Microsoft’s Ballmer Ducks Eggs

May 21, 2008 11:59 AM

I literally mean that, and I’m not talking about Microsoft’s bungled efforts so far to take over Yahoo to better compete with search leader Google.

Today, cable nets aired Internet user-generated content showing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, addressing students at Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary, under attack.

What savvy network wouldn’t run this video? It isn’t every day that you see a disgruntled youth throw eggs at Ballmer as he’s telling students, “You can change the world.” The student apparently was unhappy that the Hungarian government had partnered with Microsoft.

Like that’s a problem?

Give me a break. Yep, Microsoft has changed our lives. Ask anyone back here who bought a new computer lately, loaded with Microsoft’s upgraded Windows Vista operating system, and you’ll want to throw eggs, too.

You can’t buy a computer with Windows XP anymore, and Vista simply won’t work with most users’ peripherals.

Message to Ballmer: Vista is a beta in drag.


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Comments (20)


Yo, Blondie --

Just as that video clip flashed on my TV screen, my Internet Explorer browser kept crashing in inexplicable ways. That Hungarian kid is my hero. If kids in Hungary played more baseball, I bet he'd have scored.

Cruisin not bruisin

Jeff Mulligan:

Marianne --

We Americans generally don't know how badly Microsoft sullies its reputation in Europe arrogantly fighting repeated anti-trust rulings from the EU courts. The purveyor of the "blue screen of death" is widely hated even as its software can't be avoided (save for deep-pocketed Apple fans and self-flagellating Linux users).

But you're right; Vista and Microsoft's arrogant discontinuation of XP support is building a similar army of resentful users in the U.S.

Let them have eggs!


Joe Guerin:

Microsoft has millions of hapless computer users in a yoke of software dysfunctionality.

Some yolk thrown at Balmer is fitting indeed.

Marianne :


That Hungarian kid came basically unarmed, only three eggs, and he palmed them instead of an overhand, fast, thrust at Ballmer's head.

See why I hate Microsoft?


Marianne :


As you might have guessed, I'm not a big Microsoft fan, can't tell you how hard it is to run Windows Media Player here. It used to work, not now.

I'm not sure what this Linux operating system is, but it's supposed to be an open source platform that supports everything you want to do on your computer.

In the meantime, seriously thinking of going to Mac, to watch TV on the small screen.

Thanks for your post,

Marianne :


Man, I hear you. Try running a browser other than Netscape, and have the fun I do with Mozilla Firefox, the superior browser.

This is a problem though, as the lines among linear and nonlinear media blur. I want to access everything from my computer, or TV. Not my phone, for what that's worth.



Depending on the type of system, XP can still be preinstalled on new systems until at least the end of June.

It's ok though. I come to TV Week for TV news, not computer news. :)

Marianne :

Sorry CA,

But if you have Vista, there will be problems viewing TV on the software and June is smack in our face:} That's why I wrote about it.

Thanks for your post.

Chi-town Mike:

As much as I would like to throw eggs at Microsoft, I feel bad that it happened to Ballmer instead of Gates. For those that haven't seen the movie yet, "Pirates of Silicon Valley" is truly must see TV.

It shows the dark sides of Microsoft and Apple, but it has its funny Steve Ballmer moments. Ballmer, overall is a down to earth and very likable guy. (Even he tried to salvage an omelet afterwards) Unfortunately Steve works for a company that made and STILL supports Vista.

Chi-town Mike:

(going off some of the comments above)

First and foremost let me say that I am extremely ANTI-VISTA ! However, (being realistic) XP has been around for almost a decade. While I love XP, it's OS life expectancy is about double the average MS OS life.

With regards to Mac and Linux.... Would you really want to run your business with either of these two OS? Not too many people would want to pay the enormous OVERPRICED tag of the hardware and software costs of Apple, plus Mac 3rd party support is extremely weak.

Linux is a great choice for small business owners, but I would not recommend it for medium to large business owners. Linux is great to customize, but in any medium to large business standardization is critical. If you had a tech that setup a Linux shop for your business and quit (even with great documentation) you're still expecting to run into problems!

Finally.... (Sticking with the real bad egg - Vista!) XP users recently got to breathe a sigh of relief when Microsoft recently said that they have no plans to pull the plug on XP support. (at least for another 2 years) So XP critical-updates will still be available. Recognizing the importance of this, Dell is "Brilliantly" making sure that all of their business laptops still have the option for XP to be installed. If you're not a fan of Dell, but want a new PC/laptop with XP on it, some retail stores have a business outlet to still get XP. For instance if you check out "bestbuybusiness.com" you'll notice that Best Buy has its own little online back room where you can get PCs and laptops with XP on them, however they are not cheap. Finally if you don't have XP on your new PC or laptop, I'm sure a "local" techie could still find a way to get it on there for you.

Chi-town :)


Hey Marianne,
At school we get new laptops every two years. Its part of the tuition we pay and the school handles all the problems when our computer goes nuts (which happens monthly on these cheap piece of crap Gateways we have). That said, I really like the XP OS. Very user friendly in my opinion. They've been testing the new Vista (which we'll have next year on Dell Lap Tops that are supposedly more sturdy). I've heard pros and cons. I hope by the fall a lot of the kinks are worked out. Anything in particular one should watch for besides Windows Media Player (which I rarely use anymore)?

Arthur :


I actually solved this DOS/Windows/Vista problem back in 1984. And the same solution still works:

Buy a Mac!

What's more, today's Intel-powered Macs can actually run BOTH operating systems if you absolutely must.


Marianne :


My husband cusses Vista every day on his new Dell computer. My new dell has been sitting in its box since December, until Bob works out the kinks. He also bought backup XP software for me because he knows I'm such a spaz with this stuff.

Thanks for the post,

Marianne :

You're print won't work either on Vista, another bummer.

Thanks for your post,

Marianne :

Bollmer is losing a lot of customers to Apple, like you. Shoulda, coulda, didn't:}

Bob is in the office across the hall, cussing out Vista again.

Thanks for your wisdom, as usual,

Chi-town Mike:

I'm sorry to hear that you and Bob are "not thrilled" to be using Vista.

Maybe this video from a couple years ago might help to put a smile on your face... ;-)


Marianne :

Thanks for the laugh, I read about the famous Gates gets pie in the face, but never saw the video.

Yikes, this worked out better than I thought, I think I now have my own Geek Squad and you're all better than Best Buy!


Dear Marianne,

I would like to become a member of your Geek Squad.

What must I do to qualify?


Marianne :


I know most of my computer problems are of my own making. When I was a suit at RBI, the IT guys came up regularly with a contraption that looked liked a gurney, when I called.

They were great, every week a keyboard, a monitor or a printer got carted away to the morgue. When I called for help, they would say, don't touch a thing, "we'll be right up."

Ah, those were the days. Now it's me(pathetic), my husband (great), and my many, many calls to some 800 number in India (a learning experience).

But hey, somehow I'm up and running, and learning to be a geek myself.

Good to hear from you,

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