MS: changing market poses no danger

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says the transition from PCs to smartphones and tablets is a time of "potential tumult" in the technology industry, but adds the software maker will continue to prosper in the changing market.

Ballmer points out that Microsoft's Windows operating system, currently used in the vast majority of the world's PCs, will be featured on the new breed of touch-screen tablet PCs.

"Depending on what you're trying to get done with the device at different times, there will be people who absolutely will want the comfortable and familiar look of Windows," says Ballmer at the All Things Digital conference yesterday, where he appeared on stage along with Microsoft chief software architect Ray Ozzie.

Apple has taken the lead in the nascent tablet market, selling more than two million of its iPad tablets in about two months. Apple also recently surpassed Microsoft in market value.

"There's nothing bad for us in the trend," Ballmer says of consumers' tastes for new Internet-connected gadgets like tablets and smartphones.

"We are moving from a world that's fundamentally good for us, to a world that could be even better," he notes.

Ballmer says business in developing countries has started to come back and spending by businesses on technology appears to be recovering.

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