Tell me, Steve Ballmer . . .

Published: October 14th, 2009
The last time I met Steve Ballmer, about five years ago, I wished I had bought a shield.
At the time, he was in town for Can>Win, a conference with senior business leaders, and he granted a few minutes to a handful of Canadian reporters. He made a strong impression on me:

This is what Steve Ballmer sounds like: “”Kapoosh!”” “”Arrrgh, arrgh, arggh!”” “”Yeaaaah!””

Trying to quote him after the fact is like attempting to draw an old Batman comic strip. Developers are used to these antics coming at them from giant monitors when Ballmer speaks from the stage of a Microsoft event. Sitting across from him in a small room, as I was during the Can>Win event on Thursday, magnifies the experience to a jarring degree. Poor Frank Clegg, the Microsoft Canada president who sat next to Ballmer, kept getting a sharp slap on the back or the shoulder from his boss whenever an important point was being made. I was grateful for some distance.

When Microsoft launches Windows 7 in Canada next week, Ballmer will be back, and I've been lucky enough to get an invite back. And although I've got lots to talk about, I'm also open to questions from our readership, particularly ComputerWorld Canada, to help address any issues on their minds regarding Windows 7, Windows Server R2 or anything else.
You can send your questions to me at or No, I won't ask him how much coffee he drinks in the morning, or whether he and Bill Gates really got along, but I'm happy to be a conduit for IT managers who want to get their thoughts before the CEO of the world's biggest software company. Consider this the user-generated content invitation of the year.

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