Just days after retiring Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie said that the industry needs to envision a post-PC world, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer jumped on stage at the Professional Developers Conference and yelled that he was "pumped up" in regards to smart devices. In fact, he seemed rather excited over the progression of Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7.
"In the last 12 months the world has bought 350 million new personal computers and we've sold 240 million new Windows 7 licenses in just the last year," Ballmer said. "Phones are going to be very important. TVs are going to be very important."
But fear not. Despite Ozzie's prediction of the PC's ultimate demise, it's still the number one smart device on the planet today according to Microsoft. That's not surprising given that--as Ballmer stated in his presentation--Windows PCs are Microsoft's most popular smart devices.
According to numbers provided by IDC, 409 million PCs will ship in 2011. 88-percent of businesses are already upgrading their company PCs to Windows 7, finally ditching old-school favorite Windows XP and the less popular Vista.
Still, Microsoft has no choice but to roll with the industry as consumers focus more attention on mobile devices. This means offering additional form factors outside the customary desktop and laptop sporting Microsoft’s flagship OS.
"There's lots of innovation going on," he said. "You'll see a range of new form factors for this holiday season, after this holiday season, and throughout next year in the Windows personal computers. Netbooks, tablets--you'll see people push. They'll build on the ink and touch support which is built into every copy of Windows 7."
Ballmer is also "pumped up" about Windows Phone 7, however he acknowledged the battle ahead in gaining ground in a crowded market not dominated by Microsoft. "We're entering a market in which there is a lot of activity," he said.
Will the PC eventually become extinct? Various companies envision a smartphone with the processing power of a desktop but allowing users to pull the device out of their pocket and connect external LCD screens and USB peripherals. Still, notebooks and tablets and smartphones are great, but there's nothing like pulling off a desktop's shell and shoving in a new Nvidia or ATI card. The desire for self-customizing will keep the desktop PC alive and ultimately pour big bucks into Ballmer's wallet.