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Ballmer: PC Is Our Primary Focus

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 43 comments

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that the PC is the #1 smart device on the planet today.

Just days after retiring Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie said that the industry needs to envision a post-PC world, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer jumped on stage at the Professional Developers Conference and yelled that he was "pumped up" in regards to smart devices. In fact, he seemed rather excited over the progression of Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7.

"In the last 12 months the world has bought 350 million new personal computers and we've sold 240 million new Windows 7 licenses in just the last year," Ballmer said. "Phones are going to be very important. TVs are going to be very important."

But fear not. Despite Ozzie's prediction of the PC's ultimate demise, it's still the number one smart device on the planet today according to Microsoft. That's not surprising given that--as Ballmer stated in his presentation--Windows PCs are Microsoft's most popular smart devices.

According to numbers provided by IDC, 409 million PCs will ship in 2011. 88-percent of businesses are already upgrading their company PCs to Windows 7, finally ditching old-school favorite Windows XP and the less popular Vista.

Still, Microsoft has no choice but to roll with the industry as consumers focus more attention on mobile devices. This means offering additional form factors outside the customary desktop and laptop sporting Microsoft’s flagship OS.

"There's lots of innovation going on," he said. "You'll see a range of new form factors for this holiday season, after this holiday season, and throughout next year in the Windows personal computers. Netbooks, tablets--you'll see people push. They'll build on the ink and touch support which is built into every copy of Windows 7."

Ballmer is also "pumped up" about Windows Phone 7, however he acknowledged the battle ahead in gaining ground in a crowded market not dominated by Microsoft. "We're entering a market in which there is a lot of activity," he said.

Will the PC eventually become extinct? Various companies envision a smartphone with the processing power of a desktop but allowing users to pull the device out of their pocket and connect external LCD screens and USB peripherals. Still, notebooks and tablets and smartphones are great, but there's nothing like pulling off a desktop's shell and shoving in a new Nvidia or ATI card. The desire for self-customizing will keep the desktop PC alive and ultimately pour big bucks into Ballmer's wallet.

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Top Comments
  • 18 Hide
    Mr Pizza , October 30, 2010 10:30 PM
    Well duh the PC is the best of anything
  • 17 Hide
    RabidFace , October 30, 2010 10:47 PM
    How blinded do you have to be, to think the PC will ever die? I mean...really.

    The PC will never die for one reason and one reason only: it is the backbone to the ENTIRE world. Even someone as smart as Ray Ozzie, to make such a blanketed statement, mind boggles me.

    If PCs die, what is this world going to be run by, tablets? HA! :D 

    The PC will also never die because, THE "Personal Computer" will NEVER die. Whoever thinks any different is an idiot :D 



  • 17 Hide
    stm1185 , October 30, 2010 10:35 PM
    The desktop will survive as long as there is always a killer app that requires the computing power only a desktop can provide. Right now I would point to Gaming, Video/Editing, 3D modeling and painting, and various other more work/science related programs.

    In a5 years maybe cell phones will catch up to a PC right now and can play games in 1080p, but then maybe in a 5 years we will want to be playing in 3D Quad HD.
Other Comments
    Display all 43 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    reprotected , October 30, 2010 10:14 PM
    Yay!
  • 10 Hide
    tacoslave , October 30, 2010 10:19 PM
    Well at least Ballmer is still sane sort of...
  • 18 Hide
    Mr Pizza , October 30, 2010 10:30 PM
    Well duh the PC is the best of anything
  • 5 Hide
    TheDuke , October 30, 2010 10:33 PM
    hopefully they don't forget that
  • 17 Hide
    stm1185 , October 30, 2010 10:35 PM
    The desktop will survive as long as there is always a killer app that requires the computing power only a desktop can provide. Right now I would point to Gaming, Video/Editing, 3D modeling and painting, and various other more work/science related programs.

    In a5 years maybe cell phones will catch up to a PC right now and can play games in 1080p, but then maybe in a 5 years we will want to be playing in 3D Quad HD.
  • 17 Hide
    RabidFace , October 30, 2010 10:47 PM
    How blinded do you have to be, to think the PC will ever die? I mean...really.

    The PC will never die for one reason and one reason only: it is the backbone to the ENTIRE world. Even someone as smart as Ray Ozzie, to make such a blanketed statement, mind boggles me.

    If PCs die, what is this world going to be run by, tablets? HA! :D 

    The PC will also never die because, THE "Personal Computer" will NEVER die. Whoever thinks any different is an idiot :D 



  • 3 Hide
    suisenbenjo , October 30, 2010 11:11 PM
    I think people who predict the PC dying off are doing so based off the idea that portable devices like smartphones are going to be able to perform most of what we have come to associate with PC's. The PC's themselves, however, have come a long way as well and will continue to do so and so while I can agree that for many tasks, the PC will be replaced and in fact has already, there will always be new applications for our increasingly powerful desktops/workstations that mobile devices of the time can't handle.
  • 1 Hide
    iLLz , October 30, 2010 11:12 PM
    Quote:
    In a5 years maybe cell phones will catch up to a PC right now and can play games in 1080p, but then maybe in a 5 years we will want to be playing in 3D Quad HD.


    While I agree that technology will no doubt get much better for cellphones in 5 years, I doubt it will play games in full HD. Not for more than 15 mins anyway with the battery tech we have now. I believe in 2014-2015 we will have a quadcore version of the snapdragon platform. Whether it has more advancements beyond just adding cores is yet to be seen. I do know it will be clocked higher than 1Ghz. I am pretty sure it would have more improvements but noone have been discussed as of yet.
  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , October 30, 2010 11:13 PM
    PC will die, how more retarded can u be :/ 
  • 10 Hide
    jj463rd , October 30, 2010 11:32 PM
    Saying that the desktop PC will eventually die is like saying that motorcycles will replace the automobile.Each has their place and function.
    I also agree with stm1185.The desktop will always get more powerful every year and mobile devices will just be playing catch up.
  • 5 Hide
    Haserath , October 30, 2010 11:46 PM
    Of course PCs will die, the human race can't last forever ;) 

    If there isn't enough demand to keep PCs as a via le solution then there is a chance that they will stop being sold. AMD's Bobcat will most likely have enough speed for 80% of the people out there, but maybe the enthusiast market will be able to keep itself alive if there is enough money in it.
  • 1 Hide
    carlhenry , October 30, 2010 11:49 PM
    pc won't die. i don't want to game, heck even work in a tiny screen. hey, if they can invent a portable system unit that will act as your phone and just jack it up to your monitor then i guess pc's will die. hmmm... no i guess not. if it is a system unit replacement then it will still be a pc. argh..... what the hell is a PC nowadays? everything is so personal and has a cpu, hd, ram, and a gpu. long live pc! i think it is inevitable that the hardware would get smaller and get integrated onto a single chip.
  • 1 Hide
    Haserath , October 30, 2010 11:49 PM
    Quote:
    If there isn't enough demand to keep PCs as a via le solution

    Until there is a keyboard made for phones that won't happen. Via le was supposed to be viable.
  • 1 Hide
    thechief73 , October 30, 2010 11:56 PM
    Finally, an industry leader says some really smart things and doesnt sound like he/she has thier head stuck up a really dark spot or living in thier own little imaginary world. Its quite refreshing.

    +1 to stm1185 and jj463rd
  • -2 Hide
    christop , October 31, 2010 12:02 AM
    Can I have my money back for Vista please??? :) 
  • 4 Hide
    stevelord , October 31, 2010 12:13 AM
    We hear this every time a multi-platform game is released.
  • -1 Hide
    randomizer , October 31, 2010 12:35 AM
    Of course Ballmer will say this. If the PC dies so does MS. It is their only viable existing market. They have to make sure it survives.
  • 0 Hide
    Vermil , October 31, 2010 12:36 AM
    Now THAT is what we want to hear Ballmer say!
    But talk is cheap. Now do something.
    (Funny, this came only hours after I had my say on the matter. Did he read my post?)
  • 3 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , October 31, 2010 12:48 AM
    Mobile devices just need to become more unified so we don't have to carry around separate devices for every little thing. For instance, I really hope that one day, an iPhone, or a DROID, or a Windows Mobile phone or any of these other variants, will replace the need to have an extremely good digital camera, and also have integrated a mobile gaming system, sort of like what is rumored for the PSP2. Most of the smart phones now already have GPS capabilities. I also hope that vehicles will become standardly equipped with radios that have the capability to connect with your phone. Also, I'd like to see the same integration system in mobile PCs that some car stereos have. That is, don't even require a cable, and with the touch of a couple of buttons, your mobile PC will find the nearest phone and sync with it.

    Aside from the mobile world, I hope the PC solution is here to stay. Desktops and maybe even touch screen PCs, like the HP TouchSmart. You can do so much more with a desktop that just simply isn't possible (yet) with a mobile PC. Desktop PCs NEVER have to worry about running out of battery, or their battery getting old. Desktop PCs NEVER have to worry about their screens turning pink and wearing down, because you can just as easily go out and buy a new one. Desktop PCs are easily upgradeable, part-by-part, as well.
  • 2 Hide
    cronik93 , October 31, 2010 12:50 AM
    I'm not going to lie.

    The guy looks like a dick in that picture.
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