Ballmer: Linux More Dangerous than Apple

Feb 25, 2009

Linux is proving to be a stronger competitor than Apple for Microsoft, says Steve Ballmer at a recent Strategic Update meeting with investors, and has a supporting graphic to prove it.

In the regular investor meetings it's customary to have Microsoft finance chief Chris Liddell and CEO Ballmer ready with financial figures, future plans, market share and competitor information. The presentations are generally done by PowerPoint, this time being no exception.
Ballmer took over when it came to market share matters. One of his slides was entitled "Economic effects on home and business PC's" on which he exposed the current market share of Windows, unlicensed Windows, Apple and Linux. His accompanying comment:
"Windows license, number one market share, number two market share goes to Windows pirated, or unlicensed... Linux, you could see on the slide, and Apple has certainly increased its share somewhat."

The market share of Windows and IE was once a bit better....

Ballmer took the competition with Apple pretty seriously, but then remarked that "a point of market share on a number that's about 300 million is interesting." He continued, "we're very focused in on both Apple as a competitor, and Linux as a competitor. I think the dynamic with Linux is changing somewhat."
He enhanced his analysis further with another slide that showed the market share of Windows Mobile, which came in third place after Symbian and Rim/Blackberry.

Ballmer nevertheless sees the attack on Windows coming from two sides:
"I assume we're going to see Android-based, Linux-based laptops, in addition to phones. We'll see Google more as a competitor in the desktop operating system business than we ever have before."

Android is still but a tiny white slice of the mobile pie.


The consequences for Microsoft: "The seams between what's a phone operating system and a PC operating system will change, and so we have ramped the investment in the client operating system," says Ballmer.

Related content

  • Microsoft To Distribute Their Own Version of BSD/Linux
  • Welcome

    We don't cover a lot of Microsoft technology in this magazine (except in our "Interoperability" and "Living with Windows" issues), but sometimes the moving and shaking of Microsoft really does affect the rest of the high-tech industry. Redmond announced that they were laying off 18,000 people recently; big layoffs are always big news, and Microsoft's bold swipe dominated the high-tech headlines, but another important update from the empire received a lesser share of attention. New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's manifesto to his employees, dated July 10, 2014, set out a new direction for the company.

  • Market Share: Advance for Mozilla, Setback for Microsoft

    Market watcher Net Applications has found in their recent statistics that Microsoft's representation in operating systems has fallen to below 90% of the market. Meanwhile, Mozilla's Firefox is rising to a more than 20% share in the browser market.

  • Gartner: Weak 2009 Mobile Market Outside Smartphones

    Gartner reported a steep growth for the smartphone market. Linux loses. Android still gains, but producers mistrust Google's intentions. Symbian can't rest on its laurels.

  • Little Browser Grows Up: Firefox at Five

    November 9, 2004 was when Firefox was officially born. A look back on its fifth birthday.

comments powered by Disqus

Issue 167/2014

Buy this issue as a PDF

Digital Issue: Price $9.99
(incl. VAT)

News