Steve Ballmer Talks About His Biggest Regret At Microsoft

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Windows Vista

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.

Source: ZDNet

About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • SategB

    Calmed Longhorn / Vista was his biggest mistake but he turn around made the same mistake with Windows 8 by shipping product that has been rejected by Enterprise and slow on the uptake with consumers. So like Vista it was so poorly received, the company has to extend the previous OS life cycle, spend additional resources “fixing it” (8.1), and more money marketing it.

    These are the mistake he can not hide from, the bigger ones consisted of his failure to respond to market changed until it was too late and then became reactive and hoping to buy his way out of missing the boat; search & mobile.

    Even bigger was the extend and defend strategy of Office & Windows while killing any innovation in house that would challenge the legacy products. A perfect example of Christenson’s Innovators Dilemma.

    • tomakali

      W8 is a mistake for retards who cant growup
      W8 is a revolution for current generation

      • SategB

        This is the type of reply that pushed people to reject the new OS and embrace alternative ones. Products should offer solutions to existing problems not create new ones.

        • tomakali

          embrace WHAT?

    • iLove2argue

      IMO, windows 8-8-1 is another stepping stone for the company i have no complain about.. The OS is fast, no hassle installations at all. Enterprise cant accept the new OS because its expensive to purchase a new OS like w7 or w8 and they are used of it the old OS WXP. If I am the enterprise company to purchase a new OS why would I spend another bucks for the new OS if my OLD OS is still working? Windows 8 now a days is for tablets and touch capabilities for future. Do u think the company will survive in the future if they will still remain in the same concept as windows 7 or XP? All devices now a days are touch screens. Windows 8 is the combination of old and new applications and thats the best thing of it.

  • SategB

    Maybe his biggest mistake was pushing out anyone who possible could replace him like our fiends Sinofsky and Ozzie, fearing their abilities and intelligence.

    Instead of running form it he should have embraced Ray Ozzie words went he sent us his memo forecasted where Ballmer was to lead us and leave MSFT as he departed:
    http://ozzie.net/docs/dawn-of-a-new-day/

  • Nham Thien Duong

    Microsoft should’ve unified Windows and Windows Mobile and integrate the Xbox’s U.I. … oh, they’re finally doing that, well, look back, regret, and learn, now make up for those mistakes, it isn’t too late yet.

  • tomakali

    I like to see tabbed desktop and replacing icons with live tiles in W9