Ballmer: "We are in the Windows era"

At a company shareholder meeting this morning, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was faced with a tough question from a shareholder: what is Microsoft going to do in the 'post PC era?' Ballmer grinned. “We are in the Windows era – we were, we are, and we always will be," he replied, according to Business Insider.

Ballmer said that Microsoft is working to bring Windows to every conceivable form factor. “Through the power of Windows, the PC will be a tablet machine, will be a reading machine, will be a note-taking machine.” Windows will power everything from phones to 'room sized displays,” he said. The mention of a note-taking machine is interesting, since that's exactly what the Courier project that Microsoft killed was.

This isn't exactly news – Microsoft has been using Windows in all kinds of form factors for a years now – but it shows that the company is still committed to the strategy. Windows 8 brings them even closer to the 'one OS, every device' strategy, since it will power everything from tablets to servers.

Ballmer said that Windows would be powering phones, too, presumably referring to Windows Phone 7 which, although generally thought of as a different OS, uses the Windows CE kernel. Apple and Google, on the other hand, power their devices with several different OSes.

The question is whether or not this strategy is still viable in the face of the competition. Microsoft has already fallen behind its competitors in the tablet space, since the current Windows GUI isn't built with touchscreens in mind. While Windows 8 seeks to remedy this, it will have a lot of catching up to do, with both consumers and developers.

Windows Phone 7, meanwhile, has yet to make much of a dent in the Android dominated mobile market, even though it has received positive reviews. We'll see over the coming year whether or not Windows on everything can really work, with Windows 8 and the next version of Windows Phone, code named Apollo, due out sometime next year.

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Closed minded conquerors never win. Our 7000 year old history should be lesson enough...
Windows -> closed source, expensive commercial/end-user license, unnecessary bloat, locked-down features (UAC), embedded restrictions (DRM, HDMI), no regard for user ease-of-use;
*nix, GNU, and the likes -> open source, free, unlocked, unrestricted, built with user ease-of-use in mind;
You always have a choice. Make the right one. ;-/

People who dismiss MS forget that MS will spend the money to eventually catch up on whatever market space they pursue. They may have a few false starts along the way, but eventually they get there.

Remember when Nintendo and Sony were the number one gaming consoles and the first gen Xbox was struggling for market share? Now Xbox 360 is a VERY successful console, isn't it?

Etc. etc.

What did you expect him to say? Did you honestly think he would say something like, "You're right -- our monopoly / market dominance is coming to an end. I guess we'll just have to fold and call it a day." Of course he wouldn't. Love him or hate him, he's passionate about the company and what he does (I would too with that paycheck!).

Although Windows Phone seems like another failed prototype, it still has a little time to grow before we give up on it. Like the rest of the world, I use Android, but even I don't think it's right to throw in the towel just yet.

Right, It's true. "We are in Windows era". My father was in Windows era (well, technically MS-DOS era), I'm in Windows era (And I'm happy about it, I love my PC and Windows Phone) and hopefully my nephew will be someday

Edited by tuneslover, Nov 16 2011, 11:17am :

Weissmeister said,
Bunch of idiots. There's no "post-PC" era. And there won't be in the nearest future.

I agree. It seems that this news attracted apple fanboys.
I personally dont see why people hate Ballmer so much. he has been with Microsoft for ages now and it only grows.

qdave said,

I agree. It seems that this news attracted apple fanboys.
I personally dont see why people hate Ballmer so much. he has been with Microsoft for ages now and it only grows.

You definitely have a point, but Sinofsky is so charming!

GS:mac

qdave said,

I agree. It seems that this news attracted apple fanboys.
I personally dont see why people hate Ballmer so much. he has been with Microsoft for ages now and it only grows.

Less Apple fans, more just anti-Ballmer

I like Windows on my desktop. I really do. But if I see Windows powering my refrigerator and it blue-screens on me, I may starve to death.

But honestly I wouldn't mind my toilet being powered by Windows Phone. And ironically I want Mac to power my Window Blinds.

UndergroundWire said,
But honestly I wouldn't mind my toilet being powered by Windows Phone.

I want live tiles in my shower.

UndergroundWire said,
But if I see Windows powering my refrigerator and it blue-screens on me, I may starve to death.

And how often does your current computer actually blue screen??

UndergroundWire said,

Steve or Tyler?

Ballmer. This ranks up there on his list of retarded comments. "Windows era"? seriously? Maybe in his mind...

Dot Matrix said,

Ballmer. This ranks up there on his list of retarded comments. "Windows era"? seriously? Maybe in his mind...

I'm not sure how I feel about that. Despite all the negative things I say about Windows Phone, I would love to see it succeed as a number two phone. The problem is that I feel if Steve gets axed, Windows Phone will have a year to live if it doesn't improve. I strongly believe that whoever replaces Ballmer, I see them axing a lot of the stuff that is not profitable for Microsoft and them focusing on other areas.

UndergroundWire said,

I'm not sure how I feel about that. Despite all the negative things I say about Windows Phone, I would love to see it succeed as a number two phone. The problem is that I feel if Steve gets axed, Windows Phone will have a year to live if it doesn't improve. I strongly believe that whoever replaces Ballmer, I see them axing a lot of the stuff that is not profitable for Microsoft and them focusing on other areas.

Anyone could be better than Ballmer... And I don't see Windows Phone going anywhere soon. Not with Nokia around.

Dot Matrix said,
Somebody fire this guy.

*Ballmer just doesn't have the cool factor Microsoft needs. When people think of Ballmer, they think of a bumbling ape. He's lost touch with reality.

Dot Matrix said,

*Ballmer just doesn't have the cool factor Microsoft needs. When people think of Ballmer, they think of a bumbling ape. He's lost touch with reality.

Ballmer would be an excellent salesman for Gorilla Glass.

UndergroundWire said,
I see them axing a lot of the stuff that is not profitable for Microsoft and them focusing on other areas.

You will see that happening in in the next 5 years when its going to be really late for microsoft. When they loose thier desktop dominance they will go away really fast! Who is going to take that position and how remains to be seen.

Not that google is any different! they sucessded in Search and using their cash to search for new territories and havent really improved or innovated search for the past 5 years! Google as a search engine is no better than it was 5 years ago!

That surely is not going to be apple with their stadegy which is not world domination but we are just after doing the best products and makign the most profits and we don't care who dominates!

parisp said,

You will see that happening in in the next 5 years when its going to be really late for microsoft. When they loose thier desktop dominance they will go away really fast! Who is going to take that position and how remains to be seen.

I don't see Windows losing their desktop dominance. There are way to many business that rely on Windows. For example the Engineering field uses Autodesk. Here is the issue, AutoCAD exist on the Mac but not their other product lines like Civil 3D, Map 3D, etc... So they will continue to use Windows.

Then there is the GIS field. The biggest player in this field is ESRI. Their software runs on Windows. So again that's not going to change.

These are the only two fields I am really familiar with. I'm sure their are others.

What I think will most likely happen is not too many business will upgrade to Windows 8. They have already deployed Windows 7 or starting to now. So they will skip it. This has happened before and it won't hurt Microsoft dramatically.

Just my $0.02.

UndergroundWire said,

I don't see Windows losing their desktop dominance. .

You are 100% correct, of course. Only Apple aficionados in complete denial think that Microsoft's W7 and W8 aren't solid consumer (and of course the ONLY business) choices.

While Ballmer may not be the cult of personality leader Jobs was, he's not wrong. The more you know about how the world of technology really works, under the hood, the more you learn about Windows dominance.

But such fanboy bait generates website hits...so have at it.

Yup, Windows Desktop will not die out. There is too much corporate use with Windows. They will not switch platforms. It would require massive training which is not worth it.

UndergroundWire hit the nail on the head.