Apps at CES: Microsoft's Ballmer Really Doesn't Have a Clue

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The geeks at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas worked themselves into a lather last night. Microsoft ( MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer made a "surprise cameo" appearance.

Call me a disrespectful cynic, but this isn't quite to the level of Springsteen showing up at a Gaslight Anthem show, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine joining Bruce or Brandon Flowers of the Killers covering the Boss at the freaking Stone Pony! (Be sure to go to Page Two for some true YouTube greatness!). Not even close.

If Apple's ( AAPL) Tim Cook or Twitter founder/Square CEO Jack Dorsey or ( AMZN) top dawg Jeff Bezos or Howard Schultz of Starbucks ( SBUX) or TheStreet's Jim Cramer stepped on that Las Vegas stage last night, the world, not just nerddom, would have had reason for excitement.

To his credit: Ballmer, as is often the case, did come off like a rock star on a hallucinatory trip.

I had to double-check with my girls in Vegas to make sure I got this right, but here's what Ballmer said last night. And this is what all of the scribes feverishly pounded out for the news wires last night.

We have seen the number of apps in our Windows Marketplace, available on Windows tablets, increase five-fold since October.

He's probably just a quick typer so forgive the spelling errors, but a guy who sent me a Tweet said it best:

Right on. If you have ever experienced the "Windows Marketplace," particularly if you have experience with Apple's App Store, you know what I mean. It's full of garbage. It's akin to Netflix ( NFLX) loading its library with cheesy knock-offs of Disney ( DIS) films ( nice that they will not need to do that pretty soon!).

Quantity means nothing. Quality and user experience. These types of things matter. So Ballmer said ...

Soon, we will have the Twitter app and the Dropbox app and even the CNN app!.

These are all paraphrases, by the way, thus the italics and no quotes. But you dig. This is what he said. The Twitter app is coming to Windows!.

Pardon my French, but talk about a half-ass embarrassing launch of software and hardware. Steve Jobs would have drowned somebody in the Pacific Ocean if this happened at Apple during his tenure.

Getting the Twitter app is not news. It's not something you tease and tout. It's expected. When I had a Windows Phone, I couldn't believe it didn't have Pandora ( P). What a joke.

This is the type of stuff you straighten out before the launch. It's an insult to the consumer and the entire space to put out crap like Microsoft does, and then basically say this was just a pilot. We have the good stuff coming. That doesn't fly.

Tim Cook, in fact, learned this the hard way with Apple Maps. That entire snafu was out of the norm for Apple; sadly, it's status quo at Microsoft.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.