Ballmer: Windows 7 sells twice as fast as past operating systems

He dismisses Mac's market share gains

Microsoft Corp. said today that Windows 7 has sold twice as many units as any other Microsoft operating system in the same time period.

During its annual shareholders' meeting, CEO Steve Ballmer also dismissed market share gains by Apple Inc.'s Mac computer to "a couple of tenths of a percent" and said that many young people would eventually outgrow their preference for Macs.

"Some of it is marketing, some of it is phase of life," Ballmer said in response to a shareholder question about Microsoft's poor perception among younger buyers. "The truth is we do quite well, even among college students.

"Windows 7 gives us a real opportunity to get back that audience," he continued. "With the down economy, people understand that the Mac is a lot more expensive for essentially the same computer" as Windows 7.

NPD Group reported earlier this month that first-week retail sales of Windows 7 in North America were 234% higher than Vista's were at launch. Those Windows 7 sales include pre-orders that Microsoft and partners began taking in June.

The Mac has been making strong market share gains for most of this decade, though that has been limited mostly to North American consumers. In the most recent third quarter, Apple's unit shipments grew 6.8% year-over-year to give it 8.8% of the U.S. market, according to Gartner Inc. It ranks in fourth place, behind Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Acer Inc.

Ballmer said Microsoft plans to keep investing in Web search, the Windows Mobile operating system and cutting-edge technologies, such as the Xbox's in-air motion controller, Project Natal.

He defended the Windows Mobile OS from a questioner, saying it was a "small but important fact, that we have quite a bit more market share than Android. We have about 10%-12%, Android has 3%, iPhone about 20%, RIM 20%-25%, and Nokia about 45%."

"It is a competitive game," he continued. "We have a lot of opportunities to improve our products and market position."

Addressing persistent rumors of a Microsoft-manufactured phone, such as a Zune Phone, Ballmer said, "We think we have the right strategy, which is to focus on the software, not build a phone, and offer a diversity of phones like we offer a diversity of Windows PCs."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftWindows 7steve ballmer

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Skywatcher Dobsonian 8″ Collapsible Telescope

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Whodunnit™ Duo-Scope MFL-007 Microscope Kit

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?