Earlier this week, we reported that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said during a speech in South Korea that up to 500 million users will be using a Windows 8 device by the end of 2013. The statement was first reported by the AFP news service. The news story spread like wildwire on the Internet and certainly generated a lot of comments on our site, mostly saying that Ballmer's predictions were way too optimistic
Now Microsoft is doing a bit of damage control. Computerworld.com reports that in a statement, Microsoft claims that Ballmer was misquoted in that AFP report. It says:
The numbers Steve Ballmer gave at the Seoul event are a restatement of what we said at the Windows 8 Store event in December, when we were talking about existing Windows users and analyst projections of PC sales for 2012 that could be upgraded to Windows 8 when the time comes.
The "restatement" refers to one made by Ted Dworkin, director of the Windows Store development team in December. At the time Dworkin said in a Microsoft blog post:
We've just passed the 500 million licenses sold mark for Windows 7, which represents half a billion PCs that could be upgraded to Windows 8 on the day it ships. That represents the single biggest platform opportunity available to developers.
So there's your explanation, according to Microsoft.