Microsoft chief says Google success isn’t down to its culture

Steve Ballmer, the chief executive of Microsoft, has said he believes the success of Google is down to speed of development and not the company’s culture.

His comments came during a speech at the SMX West conference in Santa Clara, California on Tuesday. According to The Guardian, Ballmer said the reason for Google’s success is that it simply got there first.

He said: “The number one thing that Google benefits from in search is that they did it right, first. There’s a value to incumbency.

“You can ascribe these things to things like culture, but it’s never clear which came first – incumbency or culture.”

Google however prides itself on having a strong culture, with its unofficial company motto of “Don’t be Evil”.

During the speech, Ballmer also said Microsoft would not stay silent with regard to the anti-trust investigation being conducted by the European Commission into Google’s activities in Europe.

He said: “As in our case, a lot of times the initial complaints come from a competitor. We’re not being silent in this case, so we get involved.

“There are lots of places where it’s very hard to break through. I would love it if advertisers would share with us their experiences on Google.”

Asked if Microsoft could knock take Goolge’s crown in the world of search, Ballmer said: “Yes, someday.”

“We’ve got great long-term optimism,” he said. “Tomorrow’s goal is to gain a few points, a tenth here, a tenth there – just keep working and working.”

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Richard Morris

Richard joined Lakestar McCann as news editor in 2009 and over the past three years has run the company's daily news feed service. Prior to joining the team at Lakestar he worked as a business reporter at Crain's Manchester Business, and spent three years as a general reporter at the North West Evening Mail in Cumbria.

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