Report: Ballmer disses on Apple

At a conference in New York, Microsoft CEO is asked about Apple's computer market share. He responds by summing up the difference between PCs and Macs.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto

What's the difference between a Mac and a PC?

According to comments reportedly made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: $500 and a logo.

Ballmer, according to a report in TechFlash, issued his fighting words during his keynote speech at Media Summit 2009 in New York.

When asked about Apple's market share growth in computers, Ballmer reportedly responded with a barb to his competitor, according to TechFlash:

Apple gained about one point, but now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction.

The economy is helpful. Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment - same piece of hardware - paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be.

Although Apple had a 6 percent drop in retail sales in January, compared with year-ago figures, PC makers encountered even greater difficulty.

Ballmer, however, has also been known to throw cold water on his own company. When discussing Microsoft's ranking in online advertising and search, he's quick to note his company lags far behind Google.