Microsoft's very own Ballmer hypes up Windows 8 - no kidding -

Software's answer to Marcel Marceau, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, is quietly talking up the arrival of Windows 8.

Steve has been telling everyone within ear shot, which is most of the West coast sea board, that Windows 8 may just be the most significant product launch in Microsoft's history,

He said that Windows 95 was certainly the biggest thing in the last 20 years until now and he thinks that Windows 8 certainly surpasses it.

Speaking to the local rag, the  Seattle Times,   Ballmer is so confident about Windows 8 that he won't even entertain the idea that the new operating system and the products built around will not be anything more than a huge success.

According to Ballmer, most of his confidence comes from a belief that the PC market is stronger than it gets credit for.

He said that there's going to be close to 400 million PCs sold in the next year, which makes it a big market and Windows 8 will propel that volume.

This is where he comes up against analysts and the Tame Apple Press, as well as the severe press like TechEye, for example,  which insist that the PC has been replaced by the smartphone and they point to PC sales going down as proof.

Ballmer, presumably, thinks that PC sales falling are probably due to the worst recession that the world has seen in years.

Although he is still hedging his bets. Microsoft isn't ignoring the tablet space completely either. The company will start selling its new Surface tablet online and in Microsoft stores next month.

But it seems that Ballmer is preparing a spectaular own goal on that. Word on the street was that the tablet was going to be cheap. If that was the case it really would wipe the floor with the competition. Howver, Ballmer suggested that this tablet won't be as cheap as some previous reports had suggested.

He said that based on the PC market the sweet spot would be $300 to about $700 or $800.

This would actually be surrendering the market to Apple and leave Microsoft dependant on Ballmer's PC roll of the dice.