Ballmer suggests Chrome’s market share is “rounding error”

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Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer has launched a forthright attack on Google Chrome, calling its current market share a "rounding error." He also turned on Apple's Safari browser. "Chrome is a rounding error to date. Safari is a rounding error to date," he told TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. The interview is carried out in Ballmer's famously blunt style. In it, Ballmer and Arrington discuss the various threats to Microsoft's browser and operating system hegemony, not least the threat posed by Google Chrome and the upcoming Google Chrome operating system. "They must have gotten the first one wrong," he told TechCrunch, speaking about Google's mobile Android operating system. "I don't know why Google before they have one successful one, decided they needed a second one," he continues. "I think that's a little tougher for them now because they basically tell the hardware community Android is dead." Ballmer described the positioning of Google Android against Chrome OS as a "cacophony" that was probably "helpful" to Microsoft. "Otherwise, in the OS business, it's generally advisable to get it right and stay right as opposed to have many of them. We have one and a half operating systems, Windows and Windows Mobile," he added. Google refused to comment on Ballmer's comments. However, last month the company told IT PRO last month that "success for Chrome isn't necessarily about market share." Google Chrome's market share in August was 2.84 per cent of the browser market, putting it in fourth place behind Safari. Chrome is not yet available for Mac OS X.

According to Net Applications, Microsoft holds two-thirds of the browser market. This is at odds with Ballmer's claim that "we're right now about 74 per cent overall with the browser market, roughly speaking." "But we're having to compete like heck with IE 8," he added.