The Windows installed base will hit the 1 billion mark by the end of Microsoft's fiscal 2008 (which ends on June 30), according to Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.
"There will be more PCs running Windows than automobiles at that point," Ballmer told attendees of the company's annual Financial Analyst Meeting (FAM) in Redmond on July 26. (I'm here in person, up in the media rafters.)
Ballmer addressed invited Wall Street analysts and media about how Microsoft has been driving shareholder value and continues to do so in the coming months/years.
Ballmer fired off other bragging points:
- Microsoft has doubled profit and nearly doubled revenues in the last five years
- Microsoft has returned more than $100 billion to shareholders
- The company hired 12,800 new employees in the past year. (Headcount grew slightly less, given its eight percent attrition rate. Ballmer labeled 3 percent of that attrition as "good" and four percent as "bad.") Microsoft is managing to hire 90 percent of the people the company pursues, Ballmer said.
Ballmer said Microsoft is focused on doing five things well in order to continue returning value to its shareholders:
- Hire the best and brightest
- Continue to innovate
- Embrace disruption (figure out how to do software and services)
- Continue to invest in multiple competencies -- advertising, devices, gaming, managed services, etc.
- Take a long-term approach
I thought it interesting that Ballmer emphasized repeatedly that Microsoft now sees itself as an advertising company. When identifying the four primary areas where Microsoft sees itself competing, advertising was one of those. (The other three: Commercial software, open source, consumer electronics.)
More coverage of Microsoft's eight hours of FAM presentations to come. Stay tuned.