Steve Ballmer should limit his worries to Microsoft and his advice to his employees. Last week the Microsoft CEO reportedly had the audacity to suggest that Apple "become more like Microsoft," and loosen the bonds between Apple hardware and software. Is he really that clueless? Surely he's aware that it's the marriage between hardware and Mac OS X that allows Apple build the best, most intuitive computers and smartphones in the world.
Ballmer prognosticated that Apple, Nokia and Blackberry-maker Research in Motion all will lose share as the market expands over the next five years "because they design their own proprietary hardware and tie it closely to their software."Never mind that it's those ties that permit the devices to deliver features that people want and need.
If anything, Microsoft's Monkey Boy could learn a thing or two from Apple about how to build reliable software with features people really want, rather than to bloating their systems with useless capabilities that no one asked for and will probably never use. Windows Mobile is about as easy to use as a graphing calculator.
If you can stomach it, here's a video of Ballmer speaking at the Churchill Club mostly about search. It's worth watching just to see him take a ribbing about the failed yahoo acquisition.