Digesting Ballmer: to place a period

This morning, we posted on a Business Insider report from the Microsoft Annual Meeting quoting Steve Ballmer in regards to Windows 8 and Windows Phone.  Apparently the BI report caused quite a flurry since then, as Microsoft PR scrambled to sort out the punctuation, turning what we called a “confirmation” that Windows 8 was coming to Windows Phone, to something else entirely.  Here’s the relevant quote (we added the bold), from the transcript of the event (which wasn’t released when BI first posted):

STEVE BALLMER: Well, one thing I know is we’re certainly not — we are in the Windows era. We were, we are, and we always will be. That’s kind of what we get paid to do. We’ve got broad Windows initiatives driving Windows down to the phone. With Windows 8, you’ll see incredible new form factors powered by Windows from tablets, small, large, pens, smaller, bigger, room-sized displays. We are in an era in which the range of smart devices is continuing to expand. That’s a fantastic thing for Microsoft. That is a real opportunity. That is an opportunity that we will pursue by leveraging and sharing and driving Windows in new ways.

Remove that period, and the meaning changes, definitely.  We do find it interesting that Ballmer would lead off this answer to a question about the Post-PC era with a mention of “driving Windows down to the phone”, Windows 8 or not, but we stand corrected on the specifics of a Ballmer confirmation of Windows 8 coming to Windows Phone.

Of course a much bigger question is why would Microsoft want to wait until a Windows 9 timeframe (2015? beyond?) to move Windows Phone more fully into the Windows family, and to be honest we’re not convinced they will, regardless of what Ballmer did or didn’t say this morning.  We can certainly confirm that there are “broad Windows initiatives driving Windows down to the phone”, and maybe that should have been the news in the first place (and yes we’re aware that technically, Windows Phone is running “Windows”, but you know what we mean).