Ballmer skeptical of Apple share gains
Never one to let an opportunity pass to tweak a competitor, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer got off a few zingers at long-time rival Apple at the software giant’s analyst meeting on Thursday.
“Share versus Apple, you know, we think we may have ticked up a little tick, but when you get right down to it, it’s a rounding error,” he said. “Apple’s share change, plus or minus from ours, they took a little share a couple quarters, we took share back a couple quarters. But Apple’s share globally cost us nothing. Now, hopefully, we will take share back from Apple, but you know, Apple still only sells about 10 million PCs, so it is a limited opportunity.”
Shipments of Apple’s Mac PCs rose 4 percent in the June quarter, while the global PC market shrank 5 percent, according to Gartner.
Ballmer also touched on the advertising war that has blossomed between Microsoft and Apple, and said the Windows ads have proven to be “quite effective”:
“Starting about two years ago, I started to get the question, what’s up with the Apple ads? It was one of the few places where I had a lot of investors pushing me to spend money as opposed to constrain the spend of money. Well, those folks ultimately won.”
Microsoft, of course, also plans to open its own chain of branded branded stores, some right next door to Apple’s outlets.