ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley had a chance to interview outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and she asked about his biggest regret during his CEO tenure. His answer was not surprising, it is Windows Vista. He admitted that Windows Vista was not a great product and also it took 5-6 years for Microsoft to release it.
“When I look at it and I say, okay, what’s the thing that I did that I feel — that I regret the most, not just in my CEOship but my whole time here, it’s absolutely ‘Longhorn becomes Vista.’ That was the single biggest mistake I made,” Ballmer told me during a sit-down interview in his office in Redmond at the end of November 2013.
“Why?” he continued. “Not only because the product wasn’t a great product, but remember it took us five or six years to ship it. Then we had to sort of fix it. That was what I might call Windows 7.
“And what we wound up with (was) a period of let’s say seven or eight years where we had the A-team — not all of the A-team but a bunch of our best people — tied up not driving. We did not make years progress in eight years, and there were other things those people could have been working on, (like) phones,” he conceded.
Read the full interview from the link below.