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Ballmer pumps Windows 7 up to thrifty customers

Hopes upcoming OS will fit into frugal 'new normal'

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Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer has used the ‘C’ word in a missive he wrote today that paints an austere picture of the world economy, but at the same time punts the company’s technology as a saviour to businesses and their depleted piggy banks.

“In the new normal, one thing is clear: cutting costs is extremely important. But cost cutting by itself is not a long-term winning strategy,” opined Ballmer.

The word ‘cut’ has become de rigueur among some politicians and biz tycoons of late.

“To build a sustainable competitive advantage, companies must ultimately do two things - increase productivity and find ways to deliver new value to customers.”

Cue Windows 7, which gets it official launch party on 22 October and is, according to Ballmer, “the best PC operating system we have ever built.”

He was also quick to single out the public sector and its diminishing funds as an example of the sort of customer Microsoft is super keen to scoop up.

“Governments must figure out how to deliver more services on budgets that are sharply constrained by falling revenue.”

Ballmer went on to cite the city of Miami’s recent deployment of Windows 7. The result: it expects to save nearly $400,000 a year in reduced security, management, and energy costs, he said.

Of course, he didn’t offer a compare-and-contrast with how those savings might be weighed against an open source option from a rival vendor, say. But then, why would he? After all, the man has a new OS to flog in the midst of an economic slump. ®

*We've reproduced the email in full on the next page.

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