Ballmer: We Wasted Too Many Years on Vista

Wednesday Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer addressed an audience of CEOs at the company's 14th annual CEO Summit. His speech covered business basics such as getting the product right, helping the customer, and remaining patient. The topics were apparently a surprise to the audience--Ballmer usually covers return on investment, equity and all that "bleh bleh bleh bleh bleh."

During the speech, Ballmer took an honest-yet-surprising turn and admitted that Microsoft fell short with Windows Vista. "We tried too big a task and in the process wound up losing thousands of man hours of innovation," Ballmer said. He added that Microsoft spent too many years building the Windows Vista operating system, but then paused to question about the appropriate time frame for research and development.

"What is the right window for innovation?" he asked the audience. "Six months? Ten years? Three years?" He said that the company has previously bet on things that are too far in the future, however he didn't specify any particular product (although Vista and the PC tablet are prime candidates).

Ballmer gave himself a pat on the back, however: the Xbox consoles hit the nail on the head in regards to racking in gaming-based revenue. He's also currently set his sights on cloud computing, forecasting that it will be a place where everyone will eventually work, tying together a conglomerate of phones, TVs, corporate-data centers, PCs, and anything else that can access and use Internet-stored software.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Queen of Jordan Rania Al Abdullah and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett were just three out of a hundred CEOs in attendance of the CEO Summit.

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  • ta152h
    I still haven't seen any reason for an operating system after Windows 2000. All they do is move things to different locations, make the operating system slower and take more memory, and make things buggier.

    It would be nice if they just settled down and got rid of bugs, and made the OS very stable and fast, instead of adding features no one asks for, or wants. They come with a price - slower speed and bugs, that seems a little high for lack of benefit.

    But, then, they don't get extra money for just releasing faster, less-buggy versions of the same operating system.
  • windows vista wasnt that bad but im glad they moved on.
  • dameon51
    Yeah Vista wasn't too hot, but windows 7 came from vista, and 7 is pretty darn-tooting-good.