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Ballmer: larger threat from Apple, Linux

updated 03:35 pm EDT, Thu July 30, 2009

Ballmer on Win Competitors

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer today told those gathered at his company's financial analyst meeting that he fully anticipates stiffer competition, particularly from incumbent rivals like Apple, Linux and evetually Chrome OS. He contended that it was only natural for an OS as dominant as Windows to face a threat and maintained that Microsoft "deserves competition" to remain healthy. In spite of particular inroads by Apple, Microsoft's devotion to improving its OS for Windows 7 would keep it afloat.

Even so, Ballmer downplayed the Mac's impact and argued that Microsoft's poor fiscal year was a "wash." He claimed that while Apple might have gained market share early on in the period, which began in July 2008, this was reportedly balanced by Windows recouping share in the last few months ahead of June 2009.

The statement is already believed to be somewhat inaccurate, however, as Apple posted a 4 percent increase in Mac sales in the spring where Microsoft itself has estimated the PC industry shrank by 5 to 7 percent, contributing to the company's first-ever annual decline in the 23 years since its initial public offering on the stock market. Companies like Dell have faced declines both from corporate hesitation to buy large numbers of PCs as well as an inability to crack the premium PC market, where Apple has a majority share in US retail.

However, Ballmer encountered mild embarrassment when he noted a disproportionately large number of Macs in use by journalists at the meeting that appeared to undermine the argument for Windows market share.

"I can see we have some work to do here," he said. "Don't hide it, I've already counted them. We got a bank of them over here in the middle, over here. Feel free, as long as you're using Office to go right ahead."

by MacNN Staff



  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Tard Time

    Suck it, Monkey Boy.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If there's someone who knows something about 'large', it is ballmer.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    are you referring to Ballmer's ego or his ability to make massive misstatements?

  1. BelugaShark

    Joined: Dec 1969



    haha "Stiffer Competition"?!!
    He should say "Unlike us, someone out there has a clue"

  1. Hurley42

    Joined: Dec 1969


    As long as using Office..

    Good thing I was not in that audience. I dumped MS Office last summer (finally!) and now use OpenOffice and iWork exclusively. My PC friends have no idea when I send them a document that it was not created using MS Office. There is very little reason to continue using Office, for most people.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why would he even

    mention that the audience was filled with Mac users. It almost seems to be undermining the fact that Macs only have about 10% market share. Suppose about 40% of the audience were using Macs. Scary. Like anyone was trying to hide the fact they were using Macs. They probably held them up and said "Down with Windows 7".

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    good thing

    he didn't poll the audience to find out how many own an iPhone.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Market Share

    Keep in mind Apple has the "Nice Laptop" market cornered apparently. Most analysts are raking in money, especially the tech ones are likely to have high end notebooks, only makes sense.

    That said I too shun office :)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Testudo

    are you referring to Ballmer's ego or his ability to make massive misstatements?

    Actually, I was referring to either his head or his waistline...

  1. Monde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Best CEO Apple ever had

    Ballmer almost singlehandedly gave Apple the leg-up in the marketplace that it is now enjoying. Between the greed-head pricing schemes for windows and the profound lack of innovation due to epic laurels resting, Ballmer has--with certainty--been at the core of the MS malaise.

    May he serve MS as CEO for an additional 20 more years. He should get credit at Apple shareholder meetings for all his hard work on the Mac's behalf.

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