Ballmer: We need a $100 PC

What's one of Steve Ballmer's biggest headaches? It's not Linux or security breaches. It's piracy, the Microsoft CEO said Wednesday.

"The biggest problem we have right now is that people who should be paying for software aren't," Ballmer told an audience of technology executives at an industry conference here sponsored by market researcher Gartner. One way to stem piracy is to offer consumers in emerging countries a low-cost PC, Ballmer said. "There has to be...a $100 computer to go down-market in some of these countries. We have to engineer (PCs) to be lighter and cheaper," he said.

People in poorer countries have one low-cost computing option, Ballmer said. "They have a least-PC concept: the Internet cafe. Pay-by-the-drink computer use--that has a very important place in the market. (Microsoft) has five times as many Hotmail users in India and China than there are PCs because of this," he said. Ballmer said piracy of Microsoft's Windows and Office software in emerging markets has become a major concern for the software giant, especially among business users who can afford to pay for software.

News source: C|Net News.com

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