New Delhi: Being overtaken by Apple Inc. in market capitalization didn’t appear to put Microsoft Corp. chief executive Steve Ballmer off his stride when he met on Thursday with journalists in Delhi, most of whom suddenly just had one question to ask.
The Microsoft chief insisted that the world’s biggest software maker was still ahead of rivals in a significant metric.
“I will make more profits and certainly there is no technology company in the planet which is as profitable as we are,” Ballmer said.
The company will focus on its product line and innovation, he said.
“It’s a long game, we have good competitors...we too are a very good competitor,” Ballmer said. “We are executing very well and that is going to lead to great products and great success.”
Ballmer is betting big on the company’s devices division, which is working towards making the Xbox video-game console more interactive, and preparing for the launch of the Windows Mobile 7 platform, which debuts around Christmas this year.
Unperturbed: Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer. Jasjeet Plaha/HT
For the tech powerhouse, emerging markets such as India are key to growth. With a personal computer (PC) penetration that’s one of the lowest in the world, “India becoming the top fifth-sixth market for PCs is a good sign for Microsoft,” Ballmer said.
The other growing markets for the company are Japan, Germany, Brazil, the UK and France, while the US and China are the biggest.
Ballmer also championed the company’s cloud-based offerings, which come under the Microsoft Azure label, saying India would play a key role in its adoption.
“India will not only see a surge in consumption of cloud services, driving growth in domestic IT usage, but companies all over the world will look to India to support their transition to cloud computing,” he said.
Cloud computing’s potential in the government sector is high thanks to the reusability of applications. The company likened its advantages to the country’s experience with communications.
“India leaped directly to the mobile revolution missing on the landline revolution,” said Ravi Venkatesan, chairman, Microsoft India. “Similar will be the case with IT, as the country will directly move to cloud-based services.”
Cloud computing allows clients to access shared resources, software and data stored on an external server.