Ballmer Apologizes for Windows Vista - 'Bout Time.

I love Steve Ballmer. I really do. Guy is so on-point. Got his finger on the pulse. And so passionate. Windows 1 comes with reversi, guys. Reversi. And a clock.

The title of this post isn’t one hundred percent accurate, but I’ve got your attention now, so I may as well clarify. Continuing his long tradition as the wacky, outspoken face of Microsoft, Ballmer bebopped at Microsoft’s CEO Summit yesterday, and besides being notably, er… calm, Ballmer cited the figurative facepalm of operating systems, Windows Vista, as ‘just not executed well’.

That’s big of you to admit it, Steve. We were all thinking it. Hell, we were all saying it. But Steve’s reasons actually made a decent amount of sense.

It was just not executed well, not the product itself, but we went a gap of about five, six years without a product. I think back now, and I think about thousands of man-years and it wasn’t because we were wrong-minded and thinking bad thoughts and not pushing innovation. We tried too big a task, and in the process wound up losing essentially thousands of man-years of innovation capability.

I guess that’s kinda true. The longer you wait, the more catchup you’re going to have to play. Hey, Steve, few complaints about 7, so far. Just don’t wait, er, ‘thousands of man-years’ for the next product and history won’t repeat itself, yeah?

[Via Microsoft CEO Summit Keynote]

Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.
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5 Comments »

 
#1
Jeroen Marechal
May 20th, 2010 at 12:19 pm

It’s true what he says… the longer you wait to more you need to catch up. Afther catching up your already outdated, because in that time other software companies already revealed their new software

 
 
#2
Stinky Tofu
May 20th, 2010 at 10:45 pm

I may be wrong, and I often am, but I think Balmer is a swaggering, loud-mouthed blowhard who, for the sake of Microsoft, really should step down as the face/voice of the company. His tactless public comments have regularly shed the company in a bad light…. I am surprised the board has not asked him to step down yet. He’s just bad for Microsoft’s PR.

Anyway, if he truly believes that “the longer you wait, the more you need to catch up”, then tell me what interesting things have they done with Windows Mobile over the past few years? The iPhone has been out for 3 years now and has been dominating the market. Google Android is out too and gaining market share… and during the past 3 years, what exactly has MS done with Windows Mobile to compete with Apple & Google? They have yet to launch an app store, their web surfing experience is inferior, and they have an inadequate touch interface. In short, they’ve done nothing innovative with Windows Mobile since the launch of the iPhone, and they clearly have a lot of catching up to do before they can generate the kind of excitement that iPhone and even Android have. It seems that Windows Mobile is still too focused on building bigger & better features for their devices, making their phones increasingly bloated and complicated, while their UI is about as easy to use as the controls of a 747.

Windows Mobile is just one example, MS has sat on their asses for too long on many other products. Another example would be Hotmail. Yahoo and Gmail have made many innovations over the past few years to their email client, while Hotmail has not changed for the last 10 years. There are many things outside of Vista that MS has not “executed well”.

I’m sorry, but to say Balmer has “his finger on the pulse” is laughable. And I suspect that the only thing Balmer is really “passionate” about is money, not technology or innovation.

The below quote from Balmer can easily be referencing Vista, Hotmail, Windows Mobile, IE7, Office, or any of MS’ myriad of products:

“It was just not executed well, not the product itself, but we went a gap of about five, six years without a product. I think back now, and I think about thousands of man-years and it wasn’t because we were wrong-minded and thinking bad thoughts and not pushing innovation. We tried too big a task, and in the process wound up losing essentially thousands of man-years of innovation capability.”

 
 
#3
Ipman
May 23rd, 2010 at 3:13 am

Couldn’t agree more. Balmer’s “passion” lies with maintaining the status quo for as long as humanly possible, rather than striving for any kind of innovation.

And the only product I can think of that MS has actually executed well in the recent years is the XBox gaming console.

 
 
#4
wingwinder
June 22nd, 2010 at 1:48 pm

are you saying that Windows 7 wasn’t well executed?

It is the fastest proprietary OS available on the market right now, i can’t imagine you could think negatively of it.

 
 
#5
wingwinder
June 21st, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Vista wasn’t that bad after the first service pack.

It just had driver issues and it used up too much RAM, nothing really else.

 

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