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January 5, 2006

Microsoft News from CES06 – Installment 3

Posted by David Hunter at 9:40 PM ET.

The focus at the Consumer Electronics Show has shifted to other industry players after Bill Gates’ keynote last night, but there are still some residual items of note from press interviews that Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer did before the speech like Gates sees IBM not Google as top Microsoft rival:

“People tend to get over focused on one of our competitors. We’ve always seen that,” said Gates, comparing the potential threat of Google’s search capabilities to past competitors such as Internet browser Netscape and Sun Microsystems Inc.’s Java programming language.

“I’m never going to change the press’ view about what the cool company to write about is. That’s Google number 1 and Apple number 2. Too bad for Nokia, Sony and all those others.”

Asked if Google represents the most formidable threat of the company’s 30-year history, Gates replied with a curt “No.”

“The biggest company in the computer industry by far is IBM. They have the four times the employees that I have, way more revenues than I have. IBM has always been our biggest competitor. The press just doesn’t like to write about IBM,” said Gates.

IBM was actually at CES, but touting their semiconductor design and manufacturing services. Then there was Ballmer and Gates talking Vista upgrades in Microsoft: We’re in ‘fighting shape’:

Q: With previous releases, the upgrades were mostly new computers sold with the latest version, correct?

Ballmer: Numerically, that will be the dominant factor this time, too.

Gates: Because in the installed base, it’s the most active 20 percent who are willing to upgrade an OS. For a lot of people, that new machine is when they do (upgrade).

No matter what base you use, I’m sure that the percentage of upgrades will be much less than 20% which I assume was merely an example. Speaking of Vista, Microsoft Updates Windows Vista Homepage:

After a brief demo at the on-going CES conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft have launched a re-vamped version of the website for Windows Vista.

The slick new look makes a break from the often bland Microsoft product pages, and moves towards the Glass theme expected in Vista.

You can check it out for yourself here.

Filed under Apple, Bill Gates, CES06, Conferences, Coopetition, Executives, Google, IBM, OS - Client, Steve Ballmer, Sun, Windows Vista

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