In Microsoft's Golden Age, Redmond was in a monogamous relationship with Intel and never looked at another chip.
But now the outfit is getting on a bit it is starting to have a mid-life crisis, bought a red sports car, and is seeing other chips.
"Whatever device you use now or in the future, Windows will be there," Ballmer said. Sheesh, a Windows powered car whatever next?
Ballmer had to do a lot in this address to capture some of the thunder which has been stolen from the Imperium. Instead he appeared to trot off the usual nonsense with little substance. Headlines will appear such as Ballmer said "bugger all" and recount how much the bloke has lost the momentum of his early "used car salesperson" approach.
It was clear that Ballmer wanted to do a catch up but it gets a bit tricky as you are getting older, even if the main mobile rival has had a liver transplant and only lives off vegetables and the odd fish. The industry is less about PCs and Laptops than it is about mobile gear and Steve has become one of those shell shocked dinosaurs wandering in the dust after the earth has been hit by a major slice of cosmic doom.
Ballmer had a bit of a problem at CES. Last time at CES, he showed off an HP tablet running Windows 7. Only a couple of tablets running Windows ever made it to the market. While a few more might be expected this year, but Microsoft really has not got its head together on mobile.
Ballmer told the throngs he was planning to do great things in the smartphone market. He said that Windows Phone 7 was quickly capturing the attention of third-party developers.
The Microsoft download store has registered more than 5,500 apps in its first few months. However again it was all catching up. Apple's two-and-a-half-year-old App Store has over 300,000 apps, although a lot of them are really dire.
Again this is nothing new which about sums up Ballmer's approach of late. Our CES correspondent was so bored he headed off to the pub and has not been seen since.
* EyeSee ARM shares shot up yesterday.