Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Ballmer: Our E-reader is the Windows PC

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 27 comments

Microsoft e-reader? Nonsense! We have Windows!

E-book readers are slowly filling the market, but they've yet to hit critical mass. Amazon appears to be leading the way with the Kindle, but there is still plenty room for competition. Could it be Apple, someday, with its tablet that'll do for books what it did to music with the iPod? Whoever it'll be, it won't be Microsoft.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said last week that the world's largest software maker has no plans to compete in the e-reader market. The reasoning behind this is that Microsoft already has software for what Ballmer says is the most popular e-reader in the world.

"We have a device for reading. It's the most popular device in the world. It's the PC," Ballmer said on Thursday on the sidelines of television show, reported Reuters.

Ballmer added that Microsoft would be open to working with other companies to expand e-reading options to the PC.

"I would love to see companies like Amazon and others bring their books to the PC," Ballmer said. "Hopefully we can get that to happen with Barnes & Noble or Amazon or somebody."

"But no, we are not interested in e-readers ourselves."

Of course, if the market gets big enough, Microsoft might choose to reconsider. After all, just look at the video games and portable music player market.

Discuss
Display all 27 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , October 12, 2009 4:42 PM
    The only problem with using a pc is that I can't get comfortable in bed.
  • 13 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , October 12, 2009 4:56 PM
    JohnnyLuckyThe only problem with using a pc is that I can't get comfortable in bed.


    Not considering the option of using a projector on your ceiling?
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , October 12, 2009 4:42 PM
    The only problem with using a pc is that I can't get comfortable in bed.
  • -5 Hide
    kartu , October 12, 2009 4:55 PM
    Sense makes it not...
  • 13 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , October 12, 2009 4:56 PM
    JohnnyLuckyThe only problem with using a pc is that I can't get comfortable in bed.


    Not considering the option of using a projector on your ceiling?
  • 7 Hide
    HolyCrusader , October 12, 2009 4:58 PM
    While I don't applaud Microsoft all that often, I do agree with Ballmer. I have a PC, and I don't mind reading on my 22" LCD Screen. I have an old Palm T|X that vastly more versatile than the Kindle or other e-Readers, and costs less. Most importantly, I can take data from my PC and load it onto my Palm for mobile reading. Granted it's not as big of a screen as the Kindle, but I don't have to worry about Amazon deleting my info :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Honis , October 12, 2009 5:08 PM
    With netbooks I can't imagine Microsoft being to worried about the kindle. The kindle only has battery life and its readability in daylight over a netbook which are both hardware issues (ie not Microsoft immediate domain). Acer (i think) was making a duel LCD/e-paper laptop/netbook screen which if brought to market could vastly increase netbook battery life and daylight readability for the same or slightly higher price than a Kindle. It would also be a better productivity tool than the kindle since it can actually run programs.
  • 0 Hide
    SAL-e , October 12, 2009 5:25 PM
    In short term e-readers are going to win and MS is going to miss the profits. In long term Ballmer is correct. The PC (netbook, tablet) and e-reader will become one device. The biggest obstacle is stupid copyright laws. And paper books are going to stay with us for very long time. They don't require batteries and Amazon can't take it back once I have payed for it.
  • 2 Hide
    kittle , October 12, 2009 5:26 PM
    JohnnyLuckyThe only problem with using a pc is that I can't get comfortable in bed.

    Same here.

    Plus they dont fit in your carryon luggage, and are extreemly awkward to take on the train, or checkout from a library.
  • 5 Hide
    geoffs , October 12, 2009 5:26 PM
    Does Ballmer ever say anything useful or is everything that comes out of his mouth some form of Windows marketing drivel?
  • 0 Hide
    erichlund , October 12, 2009 5:30 PM
    Funny he should mention Barnes and Noble. I have a Gigabyte netbook/tablet PC that I use to download and read books from Barnes and Noble. I like their reader a bit better than the Mobipocket version. OK, their essentially the same under the hood, but B&N's has a battery monitor and you can access the touch screen interface in more ways.
  • -4 Hide
    Yoder54 , October 12, 2009 5:45 PM
    Yea, I like those pretty blue screens that Windows throws at me once in a while...I just can't figure out if I am reading Moby Dick, or a bad interpretation of an Aleister Crowly dream.
  • 0 Hide
    wildwell , October 12, 2009 6:01 PM
    Just when I thought Microsoft was getting their act together. New search engine coop agreement with Yahoo!, more online presence in general; then a remark like this. Ballmer sounds kind of like Nardelli from Chrysler about a year ago, both content with the products and position of the company today instead of thinking about tomorrow.
  • 2 Hide
    xrodney , October 12, 2009 6:34 PM
    I dont want to disagree with mister Balmer, but i believe most of us would like to use cheap e-book reader that doesn't weight a "ton" and its batery last at least few days of usage so we can read it in bed or in park.
    And that's not even include easier readable e-ink displays much more friendly to the eyes then standard PC displays.
  • -1 Hide
    koga73 , October 12, 2009 6:46 PM
    tablet pc > kindle
  • 0 Hide
    geoffs , October 12, 2009 6:58 PM
    chaohsiangchenNot considering the option of using a projector on your ceiling?
    And think of the advantages that brings to viewing your porn collection. ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 12, 2009 8:52 PM
    I'd like an eBook Read similar to the Kindle DX, but with the option to change the battery myself when it can no longer hold a charge. The nice thing about an eBook Reader is you aren't restricted to just sitting in a chair at your desk to use it. You can lay down, go outside or use it where ever you want.

    Ballmer just can't see this, probably cause he's not into reading books for enjoyment. To top it off, the Microsoft Reader is a joke.

    -

    Ballmer: Open Mouth < Input = Foot

    ERROR
    ERROR
    ERROR

    - REBOOT
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 12, 2009 9:19 PM
    E-readers such as the Kindle stomp all over netbooks for reading documents, for multiple reasons. First, e-ink isn't backlit; when you read from a netbook or PC you are essentially staring at a lightbulb. Much easier on the eyes. It can also be read easily in straight daylight. Second, because it isn't backlit, once the page refreshes, there is NO battery drain. With the wireless off, the battery on my Kindle lasts for well over a week with several hours' use per day. Having to jack in can be a major inconvenience at times, and with a Kindle or other e-ink reader you don't usually have to worry about it.
  • 0 Hide
    the_krasno , October 12, 2009 10:15 PM
    What about a netbook? Their are PC's too, they are small and portable and have a large battery life. I would love to see Amazon books on my smartphone, which runs windows.
  • 0 Hide
    BladeVenom , October 12, 2009 11:55 PM
    Too bad he didn't have the same philosophy when it came to games. That would have saved Microsoft the billions they lost with two failed consoles. Might have also helped Vista sales.
  • 0 Hide
    ceteras , October 13, 2009 10:21 AM
    Sure, those fools can just destroy their eyes reading from backlit displays.
    I read a lot on my pc's and it's not comfortable at all.
  • 0 Hide
    dekrow , October 13, 2009 10:47 AM
    koga73tablet pc > kindle


    apples > oranges

    Different products for different applications.
Display more comments