Ballmer: Windows 8 'Shatters Perceptions' of PCs

Dennis Faas's picture

Windows 8, Microsoft's newest operating system (OS), launches today along with the firm's first tablet computer: the Surface. Yesterday, the company's chief executive officer Steve Ballmer appeared in New York to discuss the much-anticipated debut.

"With Windows 8, we have brought together the best of all worlds, the PC and the tablet, your work and your life," Ballmer said in a presentation that was live-streamed across the Internet.

"You log in once and see the device light up with your life, everything and everybody you care about," Ballmer said. "Picture your start screen filled with everyone and everybody who's most important to you." (Source:

Ballmer: Windows 8 "Shatters Perceptions" of the PC

In the past, Ballmer might have specifically mentioned how a new operating system affects a laptop or desktop PC's usability experience.

But "device" is the preferred term now, since Windows 8 -- with its unique tile-based interface -- is clearly designed for touchscreen mobile devices like tablet computers and smartphones.

In his presentation, Ballmer insisted that "Windows 8 shatters perceptions of what a PC now really is," suggesting the firm is determined to move forward and compete with Apple and Google in a rapidly expanding mobile market.

Hardware Sales Higher, CEO Says

The "shattered perception" idea touches on the first major challenge facing Windows 8: Since it's built for mobile devices, how will users of traditional non-touchscreen PCs respond to it?

Ballmer said that early interest in Windows 8 has been positive. He noted that sales of Windows 8-based computers have been 40 per cent higher than they were for the Windows 7 launch in 2009.

The other problem facing Windows 8 and Microsoft's new tablet computer, the Surface, is the new Windows Store. Right now it contains only 4,000 applications, far fewer than Android and Apple offerings.

It's an issue Ballmer says the Redmond-based software giant is addressing feverishly.

"Developers are working fast and furiously to stock the shelves of our new store with Windows apps," Ballmer said. (Source:

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