Steve Ballmer talks Windows 8, claims it will be “pretty important”

By Tom Warren, on 9th Jul 11 10:33 pm with 48 Comments

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has claimed that the company’s next-generation of Windows “will be pretty important.”

Ballmer made his remarks at an Imagine Cup 2011 event in New York on Friday. The software giant brought together some of the brainiest students to showcase their work and efforts to solve real world problems using technology. Ballmer praised the various groups of students who are participating in the event. Over 300,000 students registered for the Imagine Cup 2011 and the winners will be announced next week.

Ballmer spoke briefly about Windows 8 and the future of what Microsoft is doing. “As we take a look over the next several years, we’re certainly excited about what we’re doing,” said Ballmer.

“What’s Windows 8? How do we drive it? What do we make happen? What are the key phenomena? When do we get to release it? How do we make it better, and better and better? Yes, there are some other guys we compete with. Boom we’ve got to do better, and better, and better, and better, and better. It’s pretty exciting, pretty exciting stuff.”

Ballmer also spoke about Microsoft’s Xbox plans and how the company’s excitement and innovation is driving the Xbox into living rooms worldwide. Microsoft is moving to the cloud according to Ballmer. “We’re moving to the cloud. Everything is moving to the cloud,” he said. Ballmer also said he was excited by the company’s Bing service. “Bing. Bing is a service that is probably amongst the things I’m most excited about at Microsoft, most excited.”

Ballmer rounded his speech off with a brief mention of Windows 8 again. He claimed that Windows 8 “will be pretty important,” echoing previous comments at a Gartner conference in late 2010 where he revealed that the next version of Windows will be the company’s riskiest product bet.

“Whether you consider yourself a businessperson looking at technology, or a technology person looking at technology, the opportunities for you are really going to be pretty fantastic. There’s a lot coming in our own case I think the news, the things that we have to talk to you as a group of technologists over the next few months, Windows 8 will be pretty important. You’ll hear more about that at our developer conference Build in September. But, you’re going to see a stream of things from us.”

The full transcript of Ballmer’s speech is available here.

  • Anonymous

    pretty this, pretty that…

    • Anonymous

      pretty much

  • http://techtt.hassantt.com Hassan Voyeau

    Important for MS or important for the customer?

    • Guest

      Both obviously, since Windows dominates amongst customers.

    • Andy M

      Actually the customers are increasingly finding that Window are not so important with them, which is why they are embracing Android and iOS at ever acceleration rates, while traditional PC are showing flat sales.   

    • Anonymous

      No.

    • Guest

      In the enterprise, troll, most of the work still gets done on Windows PCs

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1651320256 David Min

    In other words, “grass is green”

  • Chinonso

    I have noticed in a lot of his speeches that he regularly uses the word “pretty”. Maybe the word has become second nature to him and so he uses it unconsciously.

    • Benjy91

      I prefer him using that than Apple saying eveything they make is “Magic”

    • B1000

      i hate steve jobs and him thinking that he farts magic, and the freaking ipad commerical that thinks it made the world better.  So what I mean by my statements is thank you for your comment. 

    • Bryan

      While Jobs is out there spruking the magic of iPads and the magic of the new Apple HQ Gates is out there working the real magic of medicines and clean water so that people live!! And he’s doing with all those evil Microsoft dollars he’s making.

    • SaidSikira

      Apple : Just like that

    • Guest

      Yeah, I had a problem with the latest one that implies Apple/iPad invented the electronic magazine and a number of other mainstream things that Apple had nothing to do with. In fact they’re so over the top that I’m surprised they haven’t been challenged as false advertising.

    • Anonymous

      They have been challenged in Europe. The US is way too lenient. Every other commercial about a product claim they are “clinically proven” nowadays, from your baby could read to the shake weight to mattresses.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mitch-Foster/100000527225418 Mitch Foster

      I think he is trying to express some amound of modesty, to throw everyone off track.  In previous years, everything was going to be “amazing” and “game changing” and all this stuff, but a lot of people didnt share the same interest as Microsoft did in their own products… At least to that extent.

      So what to do now? Low-ball the adjectives and let everyone know they arent living in fairy-tale land anymore… But now in the real world (:

  • BeastleB

    Once again Ballmer has talking about some “pretty” exciting feature in UPCOMING products to distract from how poorly MS is executing currently; VISTA, Kin failure, WP7 with only 1% of market share, Students are purchasing 8 Macs for every 2 Window PC, No response to iPad.   HOW DOES THIS GUY KEEP HIS JOB.

    • http://www.facebook.com/travisbrowny Travis Brown

      And yet the great things Microsoft is doing outnumber all those negatives. The Kin and Vista failures are behind Microsoft; things have clearly changed for the better with Windows Phone Mango on the way and Windows 7 & likely 8. It should not be surprising that a new mobile OS only has 1% of the market; but it’s nice to see analysts predicting a huge increase after the Mango update and Nokia handsets hit the market. The response to the iPad is coming in the form of Windows 8. As for students purchasing more Macs, I don’t have any response to that. :P

    • Guest

      Bada, Samsung in house phone OS, was introduce the same time as wp7 and has outsold it 10 to 1.  So do not blame WP7 lack of sales no it being new.  The fact is WM is still doing better then WP7, that is like saying you would understand if Vista as doing better then W7,  It being new should help not hurt.  

    • Anonymous

      Easy: They do fail with some products and are successful with others. Office 2007 was the best selling software for long time, now Office 2010 is extremely successful especially at business customers. Windows 7 is the most successful OS in history. Kinect is the fastest selling gadget in history (u can look it up in the Guinness Book).
      Sure they have a lot to improve but as a company they are very successful ATM.

    • Anonymous

      How does this guy keep his job you ask…….   Since he been in charge, has MS have a losing qt in profits?  Try record profits each qt and every year!!!  Vista wasn’t a failure, out sold apple computers!!  Windows 7 over 350 million copies sold and still going!!  Kin didn’t fail cause of MS……  Look at Verizon and their crazy azz plans for it. 

    • zzz

      Verizon plans was a response to poor carrier relations that MS has develop over the last 15 years, just has the inability of WP7 to gain traction with any carrier.   

      Vista was a huge failure, rejected by the market and W7 still lags behind XP in market share.   PC sales are flat.

      More then any other failure of Ballmer’s is the fact MS is worth only 2/3 of Apple, this is a market value of $100 billion dollars less over.   

    • Frylockns86

      Windows 7 has been the fastest growing OS Microsoft has seen. And Windows 7 still lags behind because China lags behind. Windows 7 has surpassed XP in most first world markets, and did so a long time ago.

      And Vista was not a failure. It was pretty much rejected by the public, but technilogically, Vista was a success. It was a breath of fresh air compared with the utter crap that was XP’s codebase. It brought about much needed security and stability to the platform.

    • GrayD

       It was pretty much rejected by the public = FAILURE

    • Major Plonquer

      Vista achieved about 20% penetration in its time.  Mac has only ever reached 2.5%.  Which is the failure?

    • Shiro

      Mac are too expensive. The cheapest Mac desktop is like $1,200 bucks. (Check the Apple website)I bought a Windows 7 Dell desktop with more than twice the speed for $600 bucks out the door. 

    • Guest

      Comparing a mass market product to a niche product does not help your position.  It makes all other points your trying to make worthless by association.  

    • Major Plonquer

      PC sales are NOT flat.  Global predictions for 2011 have seen GROWTH projections scaled back from 16% to 9%.  That’s 6 times higher growth predicted than the US GDP and about the same growth rate as China.   Hardly flat.

      In fact analysts are now predicting that the most promising growth in 2012 will actually be desktop computers as people realise you can’t work on an iPad. Or a phone, no matter how ‘smart’. I recently bought an HP Win7 monster with 2X23″ monitors for the same price as an iPhone.

    • Frylockns86

      You mean those Applites that tell me the iPad can do EVERYTHING are wrong? ;)

    • Guest

      Only an idiot would compare 2×23 monitor set-up to to any phone.  It make any other point your trying to make useless.  

    • Anonymous

      The fastest selling hardware and software product of the past year were both from Microsoft. Don’t let facts mess up your argument, troll.

    • Anonymous

      The fastest selling hardware and software product of the past year were both from Microsoft. Don’t let facts mess up your argument, troll.

    • Guest

      Why would you list Vista when it’s old and W7 has been extremely successful? Didn’t fit your meme?

      Also, got a source for this:

      “Students are purchasing 8 Macs for every 2 Window PC”

      Because I call bs.

    • BeastleB

         Global Equities Research “Apple Promo Beating Microsoft Eight to Two”  Source; http://bit.ly/laFJkN  

      WP7 extremely successful?   It’s market share is less then PALMS!!!!!!!!   

    • Anonymous

      That’s baloney. 8 of 10 college students can’t even afford a Mac. Can’t trust the objectivity of a stock analyst that set’s a $400 price target for Apple.

    • Guest

      Apple didn’t have a back to school promo this year. So much for the accuracy of your source.

      And I said W7. Try to read.

    • BeastleB

      You are ignorant of the facts:   
      Apple Store Current Promo;  http://bit.ly/oFgYgI

      I am happy to educate you but understand if you are going to leave comments, ignorance does not serve you well.  

    • Major Plonquer

      HOW DOES THIS GUY KEEP HIS JOB.     

      Well, globally 48 people buy Windows for every one that buys Macintosh.  Keep in mind the USA is NOT that big a market these days.  Even China is bigger now.

    • Guest

      And Android sales more in a week then WP7 does in a year, what is your point.     

      The quality of management Ballmer offers is not Apple, Android, vs MS thing in only in the fact that the markets shared MS has consistently be out preformed.  You can point to W7 (a product that is basically has monopolistic positioning) as an example of good management (but considering how poorly Vista performed and how aged XP is anyone could have manage a success with that product, maybe even you)  but the fact is there is way more example to loss opportunities and foolish spending (bing and xbox both money looser in attempt to compete).  

  • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

    i only got one way to remark the obviousness:

    Duh! WINNING!!!
    :D

  • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

    i only got one way to remark the obviousness:

    Duh! WINNING!!!
    :D

  • http://www.hdolder.com/CutBSK6fN.htm H.Dolder

    Can one theory explain all things MS is saying ? I propose the following “Standard Model”:MS is …* Creating a NET W8 Framework in which they are …* Replacing DirectX with the HTML5 Rendering Engine.* Replacing MSIL with Javascript.* Implementing Silverlight/WPF/XNA (http://jsil.org/) in a layer on top of HTML5 (not side-by-side with HTML5).* Viewing the HTML5 Browsers as “Plugins” for the different Operating Systems and adding also Out-of-Browser (OOB) functionality for each OS.Can you imagine the impact on portability ?Can you imagine the impact on Java based systems ?
    H.Dolderhttp://www.hdolder.com/CutBSK6fN.htm
    z

  • Armi

    I’m looking forward to window 8 but I really hope it doesn’t force bing on you, I get quite annoyed whenever it makes it difficult to change. (eg ie9 or windows phone)
    But yeah windows 8 tablet looks exciting :D

  • Guest

    He said Vista would be great too. Also, that iPhone wouldn’t get much share and nobody would want Android. So his opinion on something isn’t worth much. That said, I’m hoping W8 will be great. It needs to be, or else MS is in big trouble.

  • Guest

    He said Vista would be great too. Also, that iPhone wouldn’t get much share and nobody would want Android. So his opinion on something isn’t worth much. That said, I’m hoping W8 will be great. It needs to be, or else MS is in big trouble.

  • Guest

    “Bing is a service that is probably amongst the things I’m most excited about at Microsoft, most excited.””

    Good thing, since he’s lost at least $8B on it so far, not counting acquisitions like the $6B aQuantive.

  • Blackletter

    The weight of the evidence across different Operating System platforms strongly suggests that desktop User Interfaces are moving toward and being natively integrated with mobile Operating Systems UI. Apple’s iOS 5 and Lion are being deeply integrated, and Windows 8 is adopting the look and feel of Windows’ Phone Metro UI, which is uniquely innovative, fluid, and deigned for multitasking efficiency. Both Apple and Microsoft are adopting cloud integration and not looking back. One thing is for certain, Microsoft must carefully design a great marketing campaign task force to compete with Apple’s well oiled marketing machine.

  • TC