Microsoft: Expect Windows installed base to hit 1 billion by mid-2008

Microsoft: Expect Windows installed base to hit 1 billion by mid-2008

Summary: 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. Ballmer made this prediction, and more, at the company's annual Financial Analyst Meeting on July 26.

TOPICS: Windows, Microsoft

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:

  1. Hire the best and brightest
  2. Continue to innovate
  3. Embrace disruption (figure out how to do software and services)
  4. Continue to invest in multiple competencies -- advertising, devices, gaming, managed services, etc.
  5. 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.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • LOL...

    "Hire the best and brightest"
    with IQ bellow 50 so Gate$ position won't be in jeopardy

    "Continue to innovate"
    Read: innovate new scams to squeeze the customers.

    As for the wishful thinking of 1 billion installed base, he forgot to add the Linux installations.
    Linux Geek
    • The real question

      I deffinitly agree, not only that but I go to "" and there are tons of post from people who switched to Linux because there sick of windows. And think about it, all the new computers that are being made, all the people who now have two computers, the more and more computer users there are, obviously their are going to be bigger numbers of windows users but the REAL question is how many NEW computers and users are there?? And what persent of all the NEW computers and users are using windows????

    • Linux Geek when you take a business to the heights he has and make 1/5 the

      Linux Geek when you take a business to the heights he has and make 1/5 the money he has. then you could say he has a low IQ.

      and the thing is you buy a computer the os is installed so who getting squeezed not the computer buyer they just want a PC.

      and when i buy a computer i decide if i want to buy from Microsoft or i want to use free software i use both by the way.

      you are happy using Linux most are happy using windows or mac osx.

      he has the American dream. i'm no big fan of bill gates but i give people there due and he has earned it.

      i don't care what you say he is the software copo or he broke the law to get there ect ect ect the point is he made it.
      SO.CAL Guy
  • Sounds about right

    Say what you will about their products, but as a company they are for sure returning value to their shareholders. I don't doubt that their install base will hit 1 billion, it probably already has with all the pirated copies out there. They know how to get value out of their products, and I guess you can't blame them, its what every other company tries to do. Even with the higher price of their products and licensing, they still are able to achieve these high levels of revenue and profit. We all must be brainwashed, but really I am just trying to keep my uptimes around 99% which i do with MS's products, go figure.
    • Not really

      MS stock has been flat for the past five years. Not really returning value.

      All Ballmer's figures mean is that there are a lot of PCs in the world.

      Case in point: Vista adoption is at just about the same rate as New PC sales.
      • Watch out, Sony!

        Who knew MS wanted to be such a big player in consumer electronics? These guys make XBox and a few keyboards and mice. Will be soon be seeing MS televisions? DVD players (stand-alones), stereos? Somebody needs to do some digging to see what's up their sleeves!
      • Not returning value? :)

        "MS stock has been flat for the past five years. Not really returning value."

        Unlike most tech companies, MS stock pays dividends...

        Makes a difference.
  • Best and Brightest; Brightest men in the room

    Best and Brightest? What does that mean? Since the United States was founded words like these have meant cultured individuals -- in particular Anglophiles.

    King makers in other words.

    Traitors to the US form of democracy in patriot words because above all our form of democracy abhors the making of king-like individuals who behave above the law.

    The words "best and brightest" imply a system of patronage where loyalty is rewarded with high paying jobs. It also assumes that any loyal can do any job. So a fellow from Harvard who got there owing to family wealth rather than SAT scores and grades is one of the Best and Brightest. King George Bush is a best and brightest. That Browny fellow in charge of Katrina is a best and brightest. Are you all following me?

    There is little hope for Microsoft with men like Ballmer in charge. Compare and contrast with firms associated with Stanford who do not subscribe to this best and brightest rhetoric. Sun, Google, the old HP...

    Remember that the brightest men in the room at Enron subscribed to Baller's way of thinking. They implemented a system where employees rated themselves and the bottom rated 10 percent were fired. This system was being implemented at Microsoft prior to the Enron collapse. That system has been credited by the whistle blowers as the major reason that the Enron house of cards could be built. Cultured individuals avoid unpleasant discussion regarding questionable transactions, they remain silent when the see likely wrong doing. They rate the honest and productive who dare speak of such things poorly. A culture of corruption is created.

    In the next 6 months Abramoff will be implicating more government and corporate officials. Abramoff already hs implicated Microsoft's Brad Smith and his predissor Bill Neukom who both used Abramoff as a key man at the Gates family law and loby firm and at Microsoft where Abramoff recomended consultant lobiests were hired to get Microsoft off the hook for antitrust (king making) and permatemp (slave making).

    If Bill Gates hadn't purchased a knight hood and Ballmer didn't drive a Land Rover this post could be dismissed out of hand as fantasy. It is real to Gates and Ballmer. It is time for patriots to see it as real and for it to stop.

    Frank L. Mighetto CCP
    US Patriot
    • I wondered what you were babbling about...

      Then I saw who posted. Forcibly reminding me that if you're babbling, you're not babbling *about* anything...
    • Waste Of Space

      That is one of the most useless and off point posts I've had the misfortune of wasting my time on. If you feel the need to write such drivel please do it on your own computer, print it out, read it and then think again whether to post it or not. I suggest not
    • tough one.

      <i> Are you all following me?
      No. I prefer life out of doors, thank you.
    • Your post is too deep

      For the readers, here, Frank.

      I have seen drowned rats, and believe me, it
      aint a pretty sight.
      Ole Man
  • Linux

    When Microsoft breaks support on Windows XP Professional, I'm moving to Redhat Linux, Fedora or Ubuntu. Then after all that, I'm staying with Linux operating systems then passing the Linux generation onto my kids.