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Ballmer shrugs off Chrome OS as "interesting"

updated 04:05 pm EDT, Tue July 14, 2009

Ballmer Shrugs at ChromeOS

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer at the Windows Partners Conference today downplayed a possible threat to Windows from Google's Chrome OS. The executive admitted that the web app-focused platform was "highly interesting" to him but questioned its true role and said it could invoke unnecessary confusion given possible overlap with Android, which in a few cases may target the same ultra mobile notebook space.

"I don't know if they can't make up their mind or what the problem is over there, but the last time I checked, you don't need two client operating systems," said Ballmer. "It's good to have one."

He didn't address the self-contradiction of offering both Windows and Windows Mobile, which themselves are used on handheld devices.

Chrome OS isn't expected until later in 2010 but could challenge Microsoft's near-complete dominance of the netbook space, where it successfully ousted Linux as the primary operating system. Google's software should be less resource intensive and will particularly require less storage thanks to its greater dependence on Internet-based apps. Windows 7 is the first modern Microsoft OS to run smoothly on netbooks but will still usually require 1GB of RAM and at least 15GB of hard drive space in most circumstances, ruling out the 8GB or smaller solid-state drives present on some netbooks.

Ballmer has had a historically poor record of addressing threats in public speeches, famously deriding Google itself as a "house of cards" and claiming that Apple would fare poorly with the iPhone when it was first launched, though he partly blamed it on the high price that was commonly held as a limiting factor. Since both these events, Google has readily eclipsed Microsoft as the leading search engine provider and Apple's smartphone sales are threatening to overtake the entire Windows Mobile device business, which reached about 20 million units in 2008.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Of course...

    "He didn't address the self-contradiction of offering both Windows and Windows Mobile, which themselves are used on handheld devices."

    Of course he doesn't - he's probably out of touch enough to not even be aware of that.

    He also shrugged off the iPhone, and we know how that went :-)

  1. MacinTalk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh, Ballmer

    Ballmer is a clown. He "shrugs" everything off that is a potential threat to Microsoft.

  1. drackmere

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Or how about this......

    "where it successfully ousted Linux as the primary operating system." Through OEM manipulation and probably a lot of blackmail. Typical.

  1. kdogg73

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Quote SJ

    "The problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have no taste and I don't mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way."

  1. stainboy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    500 dollars?

    "Fully subsidized? With a plan? I said that is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good email machine…. Right now we’re selling millions and millions and millions of phones a year, Apple is selling zero phones a year. In six months, they’ll have the most expensive phone by far ever in the marketplace and let’s see…what’s the expression? Let’s see how the competition goes."
    - Steve Ballmer, January 2007

  1. DeezNutts

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Gotta agree with Balmer

    Sadly I have to agree with the guy. ChromeOS while interesting, is nothing at the moment.

    If Chrome the browser is any indication of how things go then we can expect a very basic OS in 2010 with a LONG way to go before it is feature complete.

    So far it just sounds like another linux distro and that is not that earth shattering in this day and age.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Brought to you.....

    Brought to you by the same monkey boy that predicted the iPhone would stand no chance.

    I'll tell that to the 25 people i see in every subway car, 15 people in every train car, and 100 people i see on the streets.

    Anymore predictions Balmer? How about you predict you won't retire?

    - A

  1. Okonomiyaki

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I can't understand why the shareholders haven't revolted against this guy yet. Not that I mind but he's destroying the company.

  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969



    maybe he needs new glasses - because apparently he is pretty short sighted with his predictions!

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Tard time again

    Monkey Boy spews yet more f**** from his pie hole.

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