Ballmer: PC Is Our Primary Focus

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.

  • reprotected
  • tacoslave
    Well at least Ballmer is still sane sort of...
  • Mr Pizza
    Well duh the PC is the best of anything
  • TheDuke
    hopefully they don't forget that
  • 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.
  • RabidFace
    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

  • suisenbenjo
    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.
  • iLLz
    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.
  • PC will die, how more retarded can u be :/
  • jj463rd
    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.