Microsoft: Ballmer statements on Windows 8 sales were misquoted

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.

Source: Computerworld.com

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I'll take Windows 8 .... on the next tablet I buy. That would be awesome. However, unlike before, this time around, I have no plans to upgrade from Windows 7 on my 10PCs. I hate that Start screen.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people just don't read or take a moment to understand what they just read before they go bashing on MS or Ballmer.

@Tsar - why would you dubious Metro interface? What is so dubious about it?

Windows 8 is more than just a touch screen centric Metro Interface. It is faster to boot, better coding, IE 10, feature rich in so many ways and an overall major shift in the way MS is moving forward with Windows OS.

MS isn't blind or unaware to the fact that there are millions and millions of non-touch desktops and laptops out there. But they also know they need to advance in order to survive. So how do they give the best of both worlds without separating their user base? They give them both and they believe this interface will bridge that gap without abandoning their current users while attracting new users with Tablets and Touch Interfaces.

Needless expenses? according to you? I didn't now you spoke for the industry as a whole.

Could be upgraded to Windows-8. The critical word is "could." I think only a very small percentage will upgrade to Windows-8. Windows-7 will continue to serve their hardware and software needs for many years. Since keyboards will be the main data input means for quite a while, why would a business go for the needless expense for touch-screens to reap the benefits of the dubious Metro interface?

TsarNikky said,
Could be upgraded to Windows-8. The critical word is "could." I think only a very small percentage will upgrade to Windows-8. Windows-7 will continue to serve their hardware and software needs for many years. Since keyboards will be the main data input means for quite a while, why would a business go for the needless expense for touch-screens to reap the benefits of the dubious Metro interface?

why do you assume the only benefit of w8 is better touch screen capabilities or think its no good for mouse/keyboard users?
I agree most will stay on 7 but for different reasons:
Companies held onto XP so long and if they upgraded to 7 will likely stick with it, at the very least they'll wait for sp1 as per usual with any new os.
misconceptions - such as the one you pointed out, that the only benefit is touch.
Economy - companies can't afford to just throw money at something that isn't ctitcal to their day to day business.
Home users - I can't call this one as all the negative sentiment seems to be coming from a small but vocal set of tech website readers, all the 'non techy' folks I've installed W8 CP for have been very impressed (yes I had to spend 10 minutes showing them its all about the corners, but its an very easy concept to learn). Hard call but I say people by and large will take to it.

I'm running the cp on my main desktop and laptop and would never go back to 7 now, it feels so natural to use once you allow yourself to get past the concept shift, honestly I work faster and can switch apps etc easier with 8 than any of its predecessors.

netsendjoe said,
Way to go Steve... again..

absolutely, how dare he be misquoted, he should know better than to speak words - thereby allowing sokeone to twist them, Jesus!

duddit2 said,

absolutely, how dare he be misquoted, he should know better than to speak words - thereby allowing sokeone to twist them, Jesus!

someone!

For the first time ever, I don't think from what Ive seen, I will be updating to Windows 8. And Ive have upgraded to ever opsys since DOS 3. There's one probably not doing it out of the 500 million. Now its only 499.999.999.

That's cool. I beta tested a steak once. Way too bloody. I decided that it was way too nasty for my plate long before it was finished cooking. I'll never reconsider.

NinjaGinger said,
For the first time ever, I don't think from what Ive seen, I will be updating to Windows 8. And Ive have upgraded to ever opsys since DOS 3. There's one probably not doing it out of the 500 million. Now its only 499.999.999.

I'm sure your thought will change once it comes out. Although I haven't played with Win8 based on what i've seen im excited for it.

Fritzly said,
Does anybody have the transcript of what Ballmer said? It would be very easy to check what he meant.

Here's the snippet from Computer World:

"With something like 400 million to 500 million users expected in the next year, the best economic activity for people building machines, and the best economic opportunity for people writing applications will be around Windows," Baller said, by Bishop's version.

Ballmer said nothing about Windows 8.

http://www.computerworld.com/s...onomyId=11&pageNumber=2

pugnus said,

Here's the snippet from Computer World:

"With something like 400 million to 500 million users expected in the next year, the best economic activity for people building machines, and the best economic opportunity for people writing applications will be around Windows," Baller said, by Bishop's version.

Ballmer said nothing about Windows 8.

http://www.computerworld.com/s...onomyId=11&pageNumber=2

If this is the correct transcript it seems that Ballmer was misquoted indeed.
It will be interesting to see what percentage of these users will run W8 next year.......
Users, users, users, users, users, users, users, users, users..............

So they automatically assume that since 500 million licenses of Windows 7 were sold that all of them will eventually upgrade to Windows 8? Good luck with that.

3dfxman said,
So they automatically assume that since 500 million licenses of Windows 7 were sold that all of them will eventually upgrade to Windows 8? Good luck with that.

Learn to read before you hate. What he said was that there was THE POTENTIAL for 500 million licenses to upgrade to Windows 8. Which, no matter how you slice it, is true. If a computer can run Win 7, it can run Win 8, so, therefore, any Windows 7 pc has the potential to update to Windows 8.

3dfxman said,
So they automatically assume that since 500 million licenses of Windows 7 were sold that all of them will eventually upgrade to Windows 8? Good luck with that.

exactly what I think when an apple CEO calls this the post PC era.. with there few percent of computers..

siah1214 said,

Learn to read before you hate. What he said was that there was THE POTENTIAL for 500 million licenses to upgrade to Windows 8. Which, no matter how you slice it, is true. If a computer can run Win 7, it can run Win 8, so, therefore, any Windows 7 pc has the potential to update to Windows 8.


Touché .

siah1214 said,

Learn to read before you hate. What he said was that there was THE POTENTIAL for 500 million licenses to upgrade to Windows 8. Which, no matter how you slice it, is true. If a computer can run Win 7, it can run Win 8, so, therefore, any Windows 7 pc has the potential to update to Windows 8.

that is rubbish, you could by that logic argue that 500 million windows 7 users could upgrade to MAC OS.

Sorry to burst your bubble - it ain't going to happen

dvb2000 said,
that is rubbish, you could by that logic argue that 500 million windows 7 users could upgrade to MAC OS.
Er, no you couldn't, for obvious reasons.

Win7->Win8 is a fairly simple upgrade path. Win7->OSX is not an upgrade path that even exists.