With the reveal that Windows 8 will be generally available on October 26th, more and more attention will be given to Microsoft to see if its big gamble with Windows 8, and its Surface tablet, will be successful. Now a new interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gives some more insights into how he sees the company going forward.
Ballmer says he "loves" what the company is doing with Windows 8, saying, "We’re reimagining our number one product. That’s cool. But it’s not for the fainthearted. It takes a certain boldness and a certain persistence."
The announcement of the Surface tablet has been seen by some as a direct shot against PC hardware makers but Ballmer doesn't see it that way. He states, "With Surface we wanted to make sure that no stone is left unturned, in terms of really showing Windows 8 in its most innovative form. With Windows 8 you can get a tablet and a PC in a single package, and I think Surface probably proves that as well as anything."
He added that Microsoft's goal is not to compete with the many companies that make Windows-based desktops, notebooks and tablets. Ballmer said, "The bulk of our Windows volume is going to come from our hardware partners."
Ballmer also commented on a recent Vanity Fair article, which was highly critical of Microsoft's recent management practices, calling it a "lost decade" for the company. Ballmer said:
Ultimately progress is measured through the eyes of our users. We have 1.3 billion people using PCs today. There was a time in the 1990s when we were sure there’d never be 100 million PCs sold a year. This year alone there will be 375 million sold. So, is it a lost decade?
Ballmer also says that he misses having Microsoft chairman Bill Gates around on a day to day basis. Ballmer says that Gates comes in to the Microsoft offices one or two days a month " ... just to brainstorm with groups, talk about their plans and ideas for Office and so on."