By Greg Mills

Someone needs to explain the concepts behind selling things at a profit and buying things competitively to Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer. The conversation ought to be in one syllable words, quit simple, so he can understand.    

One might imagine selling the rights for to use a fresh mobile OS to the biggest cell phone company on the planet (for the time being) would net you a chunk of change enough to retire on. The great dealmaker Ballmer actually agreed to pay one billion dollars to Nokia for them switching to Windows Mobile 7.  

Nokia had already publicly indicated they were throwing in the towel on their own mobile OS efforts, so Ballmer had them over a barrel. Smelling blood in the water, like a great white shark, Ballmer circled his prey and then viciously bit his own foot off.  

Now, anxious to outdo his Nokia deal making blunder, rumors are that Microsoft has agreed to pay US$4.5 billion more than Google’s best offer. That is over twice what they might have gotten Skype for had they hired a bank to negotiate for them. Ballmer figured he could save $20 million or so by doing the deal negotiated with Skype’s banks using Microsoft’s in-house people. Great move Mr. Ballmer. If I owned Microsoft stock I’d file suit.

Mr. Ballmer, here is a list of concepts you need to understand:
1. When you sell something, they pay you, you don’t pay them to take what you are selling.
2. Don’t pay more than you have to pay; that is wasting money.  
3. A billion dollars is a lot of money.
4. There isn’t enough loose money in the world to make Microsoft into Apple.

That is Greg’s Bite out of Ballmer’s hide for today … yuk. 

(Greg Mills is currently a graphic and Faux Wall Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. Greg is an Extra Class Ham Radio Operator, AB6SF, iOS developer and web site designer. He’s also working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process for turning waste dual pane glass window units into thermal solar panels used to heat water see: Married, with one daughter, Greg writes for intellectual property web sites and on Mac/Tech related issues. See Greg’s art web site at He can be emailed at )