Shy and retiring Microsoft CEO, Steve “Sound of Silence” Ballmer is telling the world that Windows is about to evolve into something completely different.
Speaking today at a Houston Technology Center bash, Ballmer said that changes on the PC were being driven by “innovations” with sophisticated smartphones and tablet devices.
According to Seattle Pi, which showed up for the nibbles and free booze, Ballmer claimed that Windows will “look a lot different and will run different applications” than it does in 2011.
It is difficult to see where Steve was going on this point. The whole point of Windows is that it can turn PCs into an office tool. Most of that software is crafted seperately for a particular purpose. If it is running different software it becomes something else and Steve did not describe his vision.
Ballmer admitted that Microsoft had stumbled a bit lately. He moaned that the industry moves quickly and his company isn’t always able to move as fast as competitors.
He said that Apple is proof that a company can come back to upend the market. He pointed out that when he started at Microsoft, Apple was bigger, but by 1997, Apple was almost bankrupt.
Now, Apple has turned itself around quite nicely. You see, you can come, go, come and go, and come again, Ballmer said.
But as any observer would have pointed out, when Apple came back it had an idea.
That idea was that you could set up a closed shop of gadgets and drive users in with nice design. You could keep making money out of them by bringing in more gadgets with more updated designs. It did not matter how good the gadgets were, so long as they looked nice.
Ballmer does not seem to have an idea that he is talking about to anyone. If he wants Windows to evolve into something more interesting he really needs to tell people exactly what.