Ballmer: I'm not paid to have doubts

Microsoft CEO bullish on Windows 8 release

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has sung the praises of Windows 8, and admitted its R&D efforts aren't particularly "sexy", in a recent interview.

"Windows 8 is going to do great," he said in an interview with Seattle Times technology reporter Janet I Tu.

"I'm not paid to have doubts. I don't have any. It's a fantastic product... People talk about: "How healthy is the PC market?" There's going to be close to 400 million PCs sold in the next year, which makes it a big market. And whether it's 405 million or 395 million, it's a big market, and Windows 8 will propel that volume."

He also touched on Microsoft's R&D spend, compared to its marketing efforts.

"A lot of what we spend [on], and [where] we have a big business, [is] selling to enterprise customers. It's never going to be sexy," he admitted.

"Certainly on the consumer side, our R&D has really paid off in some ways. Kinect is a good example; what we've done with Xbox is a good example. Some of the innovations we see - certainly Windows 8, I think, is going to be a very, very good example... At the end of the day, I feel pretty good about our R&D and its return. Some of these things we signed up for, we knew there were long-term battles."

He also said you could see the "pattern of success" in Microsoft's gaming products.

"It usually is a powerful, innovative idea formed and driven by a powerful sort of team with great innovators and great executors ... followed up by an incredible kind of - I won't say marketing because it's really more about how you tell your story than just how loudly you tell it," he explained.

"Screaming loudly doesn't work very well in our industry. It really matters whether the product fundamentally captures people's imagination, and then you tell the story well around that. I certainly see Skype sort of on that path. ... We'll have to see whether Surface is a success or not because we haven't shipped any yet. But it certainly has the elements of success."

PC developers, including Valve's Gabe Newell, have expressed their concerns about the "walled garden" approach of Windows 8. The OS is released on October 26

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...Taxi Ballmer!
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