Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told a group of Stanford MBA students today that Internet rival Google was a "one-trick pony" that has not had much success in business areas outside search engine advertising.
Ballmer addressed an overflow lunchtime crowd of more than 100 students at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, where Ballmer spent a year in 1979-80 before dropping out to become Microsoft employee No. 24.
Ballmer spent much of the hour talking about his background and philosophy of management. However he responded to a student's question about his view of Google's phenomenal growth.
"They're trying to double in a year. I think that's, that's insane in my opinion," Ballmer said.
Ballmer also questioned Google's corporate culture, which is known for encouraging individual projects by employees.
"A random collection of people trying to do their own thing -- that doesn't create value, in my opinion," he said.
Ballmer also noted that currently 60 percent of the industry's computer engineering and programming graduates are coming from China and India. Recruiting them is getting harder because of immigration restrictions in the U.S.
"With the current issues that there are with H-1B visas there's even more pressure," Ballmer said.
The H-1B visa gives its holder permission to work on a temporary basis in the U.S. in a specialty occupation.
For the near future, Ballmer said he is especially excited about Microsoft's products in the field of distributing television over the Internet. Microsoft customers such as AT&T and Verizon are using the technology to compete with cable companies.
"I think our customers are going to take a big share of the TV business," Ballmer said.