Ballmer mixed on Windows 7's success
Super-sales patter sputters
Steve Ballmer's been giving out mixed messages on the likely impact of Windows 7 on Microsoft and PC sales.
With just over two weeks to go before Windows 7 is officially released, Microsoft's chief executive has reportedly played down the operating system's expected fillip on PC sales.
"There will be a surge of PCs but it will probably not be huge," Reuters reported Ballmer saying in answer to a question about the likely effect on the market of the new system.
Flipping back into super-sales-man mode, though, Ballmer apparently told SkyNews Windows 7 would pull Microsoft out of "the worst period of its history". He also told The Times: "With Windows 7 we're doing a great job! I think the product is pretty fine!"
Microsoft reported its first ever year-on-year quarterly revenue decline during its last fiscal year, thanks to the drop in PC sales. And then it happened again. The company has been forced to make its first layoffs to control costs, as a result.
As such, Ballmer blamed the recession rather than Microsoft's business model for plunging the company into the worst period he'd known while being with Microsoft. Ballmer joined in 1980.
Microsoft has been careful about saying when it expects the recession to end, but has broadly hinted at a return to spending during 2010.
Ballmer was giving out contradictory signals during his annual grand tour of the UK and European national and broadcast media outlets, organized by Microsoft's corporate PR team on the mothership in Redmond, Washington.
The UK and European press couldn't quite get with the program on this tour, either. According to The Times, which mixed a color profile with a Microsoft competitive talking points 101 from chief operating officer Kevin Turner, it was a case of the bombastic - Steve Ballmer: the future belongs to Microsoft. SkyNews and Reuters were less confident, with Microsoft Pins Revival Hopes On Windows 7 from Sky and Microsoft's Ballmer sees Windows 7 effect on PC market muted from Reuters.
The tour is designed to put Ballmer in front of serious-minded business press writing serious pieces rather than trade hacks that might try to embarrass him with questions about, er, losses, job cuts, and the impact of the recession on sales of Microsoft's days-away client operating system.
Among other highlights fielded by Ballmer during his outing: he is confident Bing.com would, over time, prove a challenger to Google. Well, he is the one who's committed $100m on marketing and several billion dollars on R&D to build Bing, after Microsoft ignored Google for 10 years on his watch, so he's kind of got a lot invested in the new search engine, both personally and professionally.
Oh, and you won't be surprised to learn Ballmer's rather glad the whole acquisition of Yahoo! didn't happen. "'With hindsight, Mr Ballmer admitted it was 'the worst mistake he never made'," SkyNews reported. "He added: 'Wow, I am glad we didn't do it, not because Yahoo wouldn't have been a good buy but because immediately afterwards the stock market collapsed.'" ®
Update: This story has been updated to clarify that Microsoft reported its first ever year-on-year quarterly revenue decline during its last fiscal year.
"Tell me, what other OS could I use to do all of the above? And don't give me the freeware Blender, or the apparently buggy OpenOffice...."
Before people correct me in saying neither Blender nor OpenOffice are OS's, you know what I mean. Don't be pedantic.
Now does Linux or MacOS have 3D Studio Max and/or Photoshop? Running it on a virtual PC is completely unfair ;)
Why insult M$ all the time? Get a grip ffs
I work as a software developer. I use Visual Studio 2008 and that has the best IDE and online help *ever*. I work with the .NET framework and it is a fantastic piece of work (or should I say, fantastic compared to Win32, Visual Basic 6 and the Unix command line C++ compilers I used in 1996) - (BTW, you do know .NET forms based applications don't need to use the registry? They can use application.config ...)
When I return home, I switch on my Windows 7 box and it boots up PDQ. I *do* see a speed improvement over Windows XP, I reckon it uses my I7 cores much better than XP did (unsurprising given that XP is 8 years old).
I can not only play games designed for Windows XP but I can immerse myself in the fantastic XNA development studio, 3D Studio Max, Photoshop, Paint .NET ... then get back to Earth and use Word etc.
Windows XP & 7 do the job for me.
Tell me, what other OS could I use to do all of the above? And don't give me the freeware Blender, or the apparently buggy OpenOffice....
>>I disagree. IBM grew big quickly yet OS/2 was a far better product than Windows.
For a while it was the *same* product (known as Microsoft OS/2), but IBM refused to add support for generic hardware, charged huge amounts for OS/2 whereas MS supported more hardware and bundled the OS with machines, so no matter how clever the OS was, it's irrelevant if you can't use the hardware, maybe a better OS but not a better product.
>>Google has grown quickly and has in no time built a mobile OS (Android) which makes WinMo look pathetic.
The pervasive technlogy of a mobile device is completely different to a PC, that said, all the hard work has already been done by the likes of the iPhone so it's quite easy to build something from the ground up when the user base is established and know what they like.
>>Apple has grown big relatively quickly but you'll never see them rushing crap products out the door the way MS does.
And that's why they'll never get the customers, coverage or investment.
>>"How can I just 'Try a Mac' in any meaningful way without buying it ? ", One word ... hackintosh !
Yet again, you completely missed the point, paying double for a Mac to do the same job as a PC or Linux box gives you nothing, the OS is an overhead, a way of getting at the hardware, turning it into a lifestyle choice is as vacuous as your arguments.