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Steve Ballmer: Selling in Tough Economy

Boot Camp feature for Monday, October 8, 2001

A tough sell... .in a tough economy. Bloomberg Boot Camp... .a report on today's technology. From the new versions of Pocket PC and Windows... .to the upcoming Xbox game machine... ..the question Microsoft is facing is... how can it get people to spend money on all this new stuff? CEO Steve Ballmer's response?

"We can't control the economy and certainly I think, everybody understands that we've got a tough environment out there. But we've built some great products and I think even in tough times, exciting products that improve people's lives can catalyze some buying. And in the long term, I certainly know the kinds of devices that we help power with our software are going to continue to contribute in new and important ways to the world. And so we'll keep our head down and focus on the long term."

Even though the official release isn't until October 25th, new PCs loaded with Windows XP are already on the market... .and the sales results so far have not been impressive according to Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Michael Dell has also said the new operating system hasn't help sales so far. But Ballmer tells us he is still confident...

"I know we've got a great product. I know the users are going to be super satisfied and that's the most important thing."

Fiorina is saying the September 11th terrorist attacks may have something to do with the public's reluctance to buy. Microsoft and its partners are planning a billion dollar Windows XP marketing campaign to try to turn that around. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.