updated 10:55 am EDT, Wed September 30, 2009
Also dismisses Safari, Chrome
Windows is regaining some of its marketshare, claims Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "We're gaining share. Apple is expensive," Ballmer says in a new interview. "And in tough economic environment, people get it. Their [Apple's] model is, by definition, expensive. And we've actually held or maybe even gained just a tiny bit of share relative to the Mac in the last 12 months. And it's not really Snow Leopard. It's really Windows PCs versus Mac."
Over a period of several years, Macs have been gradually gaining marketshare next to Windows PCs. Snow Leopard is believed to be one of Apple's most successful operating systems ever, and Mac sales have maintained growth since the introduction of cheaper MacBook Pros earlier this year, even as PCs have been hurt by the global recession. Sales were flat or even down in early 2009 however, and Apple has missed out on the popularity of netbooks.
Netbooks are "just the first battleground," says Ballmer. Microsoft has lowered Windows 7 prices to better compete with Snow Leopard, and Ballmer is dismissive of most competition for Internet Explorer. "The most successful [alternate browser] by far is Firefox," he says. "Chrome is a rounding error to date. Safari is a rounding error to date. But Firefox is not."