Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer claims that 350 million Windows 7 enabled devices will ship this year. According to Bloomberg, Ballmer claims, “It makes Windows the most popular single system.” Compared to what, a skeptic might ask. Windows 7 is the past, and Windows 8, slated to be released this fall, is the future. Ballmer did not have as much to say about that.
Microsoft may ship tens and tens of millions of Windows 8 enabled devices, but Wall St.’s most significant concern is that very few of these will be mobile devices, the supposed future of operating systems as the demand for PCs falters.
Microsoft’s largest bet on mobile versions of Windows is its partnership with deeply wounded handset company Nokia (NYSE: NOK). Its new smartphones, part of its Lumia brand, have only sold modestly well, and continue to be swamped by sales of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhones and iPads, and a new generation of Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android-powered devices.Ballmer’s comments about Windows 7 don’t mean much.
Douglas A. McIntyre