The PC is far from dead, says Ballmer

People will be using PCs for "many years to come," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said, pouring scorn on claims by Steve Jobs that the iPad would make the PC redundant.

Ballmer told the Wall Street Journal's eighth annual All Things Digital conference yesterday, that the iPad is just another PC design and said such tablet devices - which he prefers to call slates - would be better off running Windows 7.

But Ballmer did admit that Microsoft had its work cut out to match the success of Apple's iPad, which Apple says has been selling like hot cakes since launch. Microsoft has, "a lot of work to do" he confessed.

The outspoken but rarely-out-shouted Microsoft chief had tried to beat Apple to the bunch by showing off "slate" PCs at CES back in January, but ended up with egg on his face as the HP flat-top he brandished is now likely to ship with webOS inside rather than Windows 7.

A bullish Ballmer said: "Our OEM partners are doing great work with some slate PCs that will be rolling into the market late this year." He added: "The emerging category of PCs really should take advantage of the touch, mobility and capability of Windows 7."

"The race is on," he bellowed.