Steve Ballmer has insisted that OpenOffice is a far better rival to Microsoft's Office than Google's applications suite, and insisted that he isn't worried about people skipping Vista and moving straight onto Windows 7

The Microsoft CEO, talking at the Gartners Inc conference, told the assembled audience that he did not consider Google the company's biggest rival in terms of applications, in a market that Office currently dominates.

When asked about Google's online applications, Ballmer said: "People don't use it. People try Google Apps, they don't use it. You can't even put a footnote in a document!"

Very primitive

When pushed, Ballmer added that he felt Google has 'very primitive' capabilities. "We have better competition today than Google Docs and Spreadsheets. We get more competition from OpenOffice and StarOffice frankly."

Ballmer also talked about the growing mood that Vista should be skipped in favour of its successor Windows 7.

"Our next release of Windows will be compatible with Vista. The key is let's get on with it. We'll be ready when you want to deploy Windows 7," said Ballmer, who remains insistent that Windows 7 deserves its major release tag.

"It's not minor because it's a lot more work than a minor release. It's a major release. Windows 7 will be Vista, but a lot better."