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News > International
Microsoft bullish on PC
November 14, 2000: 9:26 a.m. ET

Software titan sees huge potential for PC growth, exploit Web technology
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LONDON (CNNfn) - Microsoft Corp shrugged off concerns about the demise of personal computers, saying Tuesday the PC still has huge potential in Europe as the software titan transforms itself for the Internet age.

The world's biggest software company "is still very bullish on the PC," Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa, told CNNfn.com "The PC is reinventing itself in many forms" such as tablet PCs and hand-held computers.

graphicMicrosoft, best known for its Windows operating system that runs most personal computers, is pushing its new product .NET as a way to enable users to swap data between devices. The technology will see computer users handle more work via the Internet rather than a single desk-top computer.

"Only 45 percent of European small companies currently use personal computers, while the figure stands at 75 percent in the U.S.," Courtois said. "Microsoft sees a huge potential here."

Shares of companies linked to the personal computer industry tumbled last Friday after Dell Computer (DELL: Research, Estimates) executives said they expect Dell's revenue growth in the coming year to slow to a more modest rate in future than its historic heady pace. Dell stock slumped 19 percent on Friday.

Growth in industry-wide sales of personal computers in Europe remained at historic lows in the third quarter, according to figures from research firm Dataquest, a unit of the Gartner Group. It said shipments in the period rose 9.9 percent year-on-year to 8.1 million units, falling short of the long-term average growth rate around 15 percent, as businesses curbed large orders while the weak euro made PCs imported into Europe relatively expensive. graphic

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