Steve Ballmer on the tablet computer:
This morning, I interviewed Ballmer and asked him about the market for tablet/slate computers. He made the excitement sound like empty chatter. He claimed to believe that there isn’t a sizeable market for the tablet.
“They’re interesting,” he said. “But it’s not like they’re big numbers compared to the total number of smart devices in the world.”
Well, Ballmer’s an expert in the field, isn’t he? Here’s Ballmer three years ago, on the iPhone:
There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.
Well, there you go.
It might have something to do with the fact that Ballmer had just attempted to steal Steve Jobs’ thunder by showing off three tablet computers at the CES in Las Vegas, to underwhelming disinterest. Since his presentation was a flop, it has to be because tablets just won’t work at all, right?
Cue Steve Jobs, January 27th.