Microsoft CEO Ballmer Touts HP Tablet, Bing Success at CES
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer used his Jan. 6 keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to suggest that Microsoft is coming back from an economically devastating year. In addition to citing market-share gains for both Windows 7 and Bing, which were launched in 2009, Ballmer announced a number of partnerships, including one with Hewlett-Packard to produce a tablet PC later in 2010. Thanks at least in part to rumors that Apple is developing its own tablet PC, the devices are hot at CES.LAS VEGAS-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer used his Jan. 6 keynote address at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to give details on some of Microsoft's initiatives heading into 2010, push the Windows-based ecosystem and demonstrate a tablet PC from Hewlett-Packard.
During the keynote, Ballmer referred to 2009 as a year of "economic turbulence," implicitly acknowledging that the economic recession mauled Microsoft's bottom line. However, he went on to describe his company as "bullish in terms of the long-term prospects of our industry."
Ballmer devoted much of the presentation to highlighting several of 2009's high-profile Microsoft releases, including Bing, the company's search engine, and Windows 7, which he termed "the fastest-selling operating system in history" since its release on Oct. 22.
Early analyst reports suggested that Windows 7 was indeed selling well, with a Nov. 5 research note from the NPD Group showing U.S. sales of Windows 7 boxed software had exceeded sales of Windows Vista by 234 percent during the respective operating systems' first days of release. The same report found that PC sales rose 95 percent between the weeks before and after Windows 7's release.
A handful of research companies have suggested that Windows 7 will drive a generalized tech refresh sometime in 2010 or later, as the impetus of a new operating system pushes businesses and consumers to replace aging PCs. On the eve of the Windows 7 launch, about 80 percent of all commercial PCs continued to use Windows XP, according to a report by research company Forrester.
In the coming year, Microsoft and HP will team up on search and Web portal applications, with Bing becoming "the default search engine on Hewlett-Packard PCs in 42 countries around the world," Ballmer said.