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Ballmer Says Microsoft Wasted Time On Vista 375

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the developers-developers-developers dept.
Stoobalou writes "In a chat with fellow CEOs at Microsoft's 14th annual CEO Summit, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer came close to admitting Vista was a dog. 'How do you get your product right? How do you help the customer? How do you be patient?' he asked, as if he knew the answer. What he did know was that Microsoft spent too many years building Windows Vista. 'We tried too big a task and in the process wound up losing thousands of man hours of innovation,' he said." You can also watch video of the speech, but 31 minutes of Ballmer is a lot of Ballmer.
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Ballmer Says Microsoft Wasted Time On Vista

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:43AM (#32277418) Journal

    "We tried too big a task and in the process wound up losing thousands of man hours of innovation,"

    Boy that word sure doesn't mean jackshit when it just gets thrown around and abused like that, huh? Like watching the word 'fuck' get detoothed in Scorsese's Goodfellas, there's this sort of desensitization toward 'innovation' that leaves me confused as to how I should describe people like Tesla, Turing and Shannon. If Ballmer considers all of his workers as 'innovators' and has "thousands of man hours of innovation" at his disposal then surely there must be some new word to apply to the real innovators. I guess there might be something to the theory that innovation diffuses with time [wikipedia.org] but this is downright ridiculous.

    Innovation requires risk and not the kind of risks Microsoft took with their Vista debacle. It requires that you do things entirely differently than everyone else. This is not Microsoft. This is not Windows Vista nor Windows 7 nor IE anything.

    • by Allicorn (175921) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:47AM (#32277454) Homepage

      Boy that word sure doesn't mean jackshit when it just gets thrown around and abused like that, huh? Like watching the word 'fuck' get detoothed in Scorsese's Goodfellas, there's this sort of desensitization toward 'innovation' that leaves me confused as to how I should describe people like Tesla, Turing and Shannon

      "Fucking innovative".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GigaplexNZ (1233886)

      Innovation requires risk and not the kind of risks Microsoft took with their Vista debacle. It requires that you do things entirely differently than everyone else. This is not Microsoft. This is not Windows Vista nor Windows 7 nor IE anything.

      Microsoft took a big risk with Longhorn and tried to write pretty much the whole OS in managed code (entirely different to everyone else) and it didn't pay off. Most of the delay came from throwing most of that work away and starting again back in native code.

      • by Anpheus (908711) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:30AM (#32277942)

        Longhorn never was a managed code approach, which is still a lofty research goal (and may still be brewing behind the scenes at Microsoft Research through Midori, Barrelfish, and Singularity.)

        Longhorn did however try to incorporate a bunch of other research projects right from the get-go, most of which were spun off into individual projects or into existing products. Avalon was supposed to replace winforms, WinFS was supposed to replace NTFS, Palladium was supposed to be incorporated, etc. The development team was spinning their wheels trying to adapt to the latest demand to use the latest research products instead of developing along a stable path. By the time the "reset" came Microsoft had already missed their 3 year OS schedule and it was going to take another 3 to turn Longhorn into a releasable product. While many user applications (Explorer, for example) were partially rewritten in .NET, they represented only a small portion of the total code.

        Windows 7 by comparison was released with teams focusing on milestones internally and not releasing or demonstrating any not-done-yet feature. Essentially each feature that a team proposed was a patchset on the Windows build and they would test it but if it did not make the cut, they didn't apply the patch to the milestone build. The Engineering Windows 7 blog goes into great detail about the development process that was vastly improved over Windows Vista's.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by GigaplexNZ (1233886)

          Longhorn never was a managed code approach

          Perhaps I exaggerated a little, but there was a big push to try to focus user space as primarily managed code. Singularity et al are doing crazy stuff with managed code in the kernel amongst other things, which is interesting but not what I was alluding to in my original post.

          The Engineering Windows 7 blog goes into great detail about the development process that was vastly improved over Windows Vista's.

          I'm aware, I followed the blog while it was still active. I particularly found the GDI concurrency post interesting. I wonder if having a similar blog for Vista would have allowed them to realise earlier on that it was going out of con

        • by nschubach (922175) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @10:15AM (#32278790) Journal

          While many user applications (Explorer, for example) were partially rewritten in .NET

          ... and I'm still waiting for the patch that allows me to hide the "Organize bar" and allows me to turn back on treeview lines, get rid of the "locations" crap and pretty much make it look like it used to.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Longhorn did however try to incorporate a bunch of other research projects right from the get-go, most of which were spun off into individual projects or into existing products. Avalon was supposed to replace winforms

          I'm not sure what your sources are, but I dare say they are rather suspect, given that WinForms was never a part of Windows proper (it's a .NET library, which is a fairly straightforward OO wrapper on top of Win32 API, nothing more). It ships with Windows since Vista, in a sense that it comes as a part of .NET, and OS ships with .NET. But it's not something that affects the OS development as such.

      • by Bakkster (1529253)

        Microsoft took a big risk with Longhorn and tried to write pretty much the whole OS in managed code (entirely different to everyone else) and it didn't pay off. Most of the delay came from throwing most of that work away and starting again back in native code.

        Or, perhaps more accurately, of throwing away your whole codebase halfway through and restarting, and still expecting to meet your original deadline. If you expected it to take 4 years (for example), and find out your first year did nothing, you're now trying to complete a 4 year project in 3. Is it any wonder Vista had such difficulty?

    • by daffmeister (602502) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:54AM (#32277526) Homepage

      It's amazing how programmed the top brass at Microsoft are to including this word "innovation" in every speech. I've hardly heard a pronouncement over the last ten years, particularly from Ballmer, and before him Bill Gates, that doesn't feature this word prominently.

      I think it all kicked off when they were being hauled over the coals by the EU and threatened with anti-trust action in the US. They then decided that they had to give a better image of actually doing something worthwhile.

      Of course, as you note, they are (given their R&D resources) about the most un-innovative company you could imagine.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        as opposed to "magical", "revolutionary", "great", "awesome", "phenomenal", etc...?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by seven of five (578993)
        It's amazing how programmed the top brass at Microsoft are to including this word "innovation" in every speech. I've hardly heard a pronouncement over the last ten years, particularly from Ballmer, and before him Bill Gates, that doesn't feature this word prominently.

        "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it..." [thinkexist.com]"
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by linumax (910946)

        It's amazing how programmed the top brass at Microsoft are to including this word "innovation" in every speech.

        Have you listened to top brass of any large company with a large R&D?! They all use nice words.

        Of course, as you note, they are (given their R&D resources) about the most un-innovative company you could imagine.

        You are equating R&D with productization. Microsoft Research is much more diverse than you think it is. That includes funding a shitload of basic sciences research which is not

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eagee (1308589)
      But it was Windows - remember when everyone thought it was just a fad?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cgenman (325138)

      It's not like they're inventing anything.

      Remember when innovating actually meant "taking something good, and make it a little bit better?" Not massively better, just a little bit. Now the term innovation gets thrown around to mean everything from re-releasing old software to creating entire new forms of human endeavors.

      "Our new human teleporter is an innovation like the world has never seen before."
      "What is it innovating on?"
      "...Paradigms!"

      Clearly, innovating on multimedia superhighways will empower your

  • by alen (225700) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:47AM (#32277448)

    windows 7 is nice, but the cool things now are cell phones and tablets. for that you need a mobile OS with a footprint of under 1GB. Windows Phone 7 is still months away and a few years behind iPhone OS and Android.

    • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmai l . com> on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:58AM (#32277568) Homepage Journal

      Supposedly they designed Windows 7 with tablets in mind and added multi-touch support. However the only company I know that was working on a Windows 7 tablet (HP) has since dropped Windows 7, and instead bought out Palm so they could get WebOS.

    • by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:06AM (#32277650)

      windows 7 is nice, but the cool things now are cell phones and tablets. for that you need a mobile OS with a footprint of under 1GB.

      Or a bigger phone.

      Like, sleve sized, phone.

      A one foot wide phone, attached to your arm. running W7.

      Carefully directing the exhaust from the cooling system, it could double as a jet pack.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sopssa (1498795) *

      windows 7 is nice, but the cool things now are cell phones and tablets. for that you need a mobile OS with a footprint of under 1GB. Windows Phone 7 is still months away and a few years behind iPhone OS and Android.

      Are you saying they should stop making Windows 7 and PC's just because cell phones and tablets are somehow "cool" things now? I'd like to keep my computer, if you don't mind.

      • by alen (225700) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:17AM (#32277764)

        microsoft became big by starting in the cheapo PC market and working their way up. PC's were cheap crap in the 1980's compared to the cool workstations and mainframes. same thing with tablets and phones. for now they don't do as much but in 10-15 years the technologies will improve and who ever gains the marketshare today will rule in the future. I personally prefer Apple's fat client over Google's cloud model, but they are way ahead of MS in the mobile space

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:50AM (#32277476)

    Way too much Ballmer, I'd say.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    And they only sort of cleaned things up with 7. Keep solidly in mind that 7 is nothing more than what Vista probably ought to have shipped with in the first place. Keep solidly in mind that it's NOT any more secure than XP (if you tell yourself that it is, keep deluding yourself...helps all the botnets...). If Ballmer was honestly interested in "innovation", he should have risked quite a bit more than he did with Vista- for all the issues, etc. they had, they could have gotten further along by taking a *

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      it's NOT any more secure than XP

      Umm, yes it is. (lol slashbots, +5 mod to an obvious untruth just because it bashes MS ...)

      UAC, bitlocker / EFS, IE protected mode, enhanced firewall management, ASLR enabled (plus I think they improved it in win7) and Windows Defender installed by default, kernel patch protection, network access protection. Furthermore MS has for some time been carrying out more thorough code review, reducing "attack surface" e.g. removing unnecessary default services and sending coders on s

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It is much more secure than xp.
      UAC, which allows old application, requiring admin rights under xp, to run under user's account. Firewall, which now can filter outbound connections and offers better configuration capabilities. Protected mode for ie, which mitigates most exploits. Holes in ie are really exploitable only on windows xp.
      Address space randomization. SEH is now secure, under xp it was possible to change exception handler's address (if the application itself had an exploitable buffer overflow, of

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmai l . com> on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:52AM (#32277494) Homepage Journal

    Innovation? Part of the big problem was that there weren't killer features worth upgrading for. You could cite Aero, but it was a massive resource hog and is chasing the tail of Mac OS X and Linux. It wasn't innovation.

    In so many areas Vista made needless changes that weren't improvments or innovations. It seems like they had no direction and needed to shuffle things around enough to convince people this was a new Windows release.

    Windows Repair Install is gone with no apparent reason.

    Every major ocnfiguration dialog is moved to another location. You need more clicks to accomplish the same tasks. This was a major usability regression with no apparent reason.

    Vista's failure was because Microsoft had no idea what it wanted Vista to be. It is a failing of leadership. Leadership also failed in not reaching out to hardware manufacturers and working closer with them. ATI and NVidia had trouble working with the new Vista driver API (which was a mess). OEMs had trouble figuring out what exactly constituted "Vista capable" hardware.

    It isn't because you spent too much innovating. It is because you spent too much time running around in circles.

    • by gclef (96311) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:02AM (#32277606)

      Vista's failure was because Microsoft had no idea what it wanted Vista to be.

      I disagree. They knew exactly what they wanted Vista to be: Longhorn. They just couldn't pull it off, so we got Vista instead.

      • by dzfoo (772245) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:19AM (#32277788)

        I was just about to reply with the same comment. There were clear goals expounded throughout almost a decade of vaporware announcements of NT, Chicago, and then Longhorn. The problem was that they couldn't get most of it to work properly, while the landscape of real innovation kept changing around them. To "adapt", they kept adding more and more items to their extensive promised features list, and it all came crumbling down eventually when they realized that six years have gone by from their last major release and the world was not holding its breath anymore.

        Then Vista was put together by salvaging some parts and adding some shiny chrome, just to fill up the gaping void in their product line. No wonder it seems inconsistent and lacking of a coherent vision or direction--it barely had any of either.

              -dZ.

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:03AM (#32277628)

      That's pretty much the problem Vista had: No reason to use it.

      Win95 was a leap ahead. From DOS and Win3.11. Sure, it was still kinda-sorta DOS-with-some-GUI under the hood, but it was the first time that the whole "DOS stuff" was neatly tucked away, not to be seen by the average user.

      Win98 was the next big leap, a stable Win95, plus a few goodies, better networking, more out-of-the-box support for more hardware, more of everything.

      W2k was the fusion of the NT line with the 9x line, the combination of the "office" and "game" areas, stability and compatibility. Plus USB support for the NT line.

      XP was ... well, mostly flashy and gadget-y, but also much easier networking, better (and out of the box) WiFi support, smoother installation and better security (no, really. Not perfect, but certainly better).

      Vista was ... well, new. And ... well, slower. And ... well, why the heck would I wanna use it? Even if I'm just in for the eye candy, Aero is not the big leap ahead in that area (and only available in the more expensive variants no Joe Randomuser ever buys).

      • by Exitar (809068)

        What is Seven?

        • by KiloByte (825081)

          Seven is Vista with a small part of bugs fixed. There's no compelling reason to use it over XP, if you really need to use Windows.

          And you forgot about Vista's main new features: DRM, Protected Media Path, trusted computing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by LordLimecat (1103839)
        To be fair, Vista DID have a better security model, what with ASLR and UAC. Implementation wasnt really the best, but its better than XP was.
      • by Chowderbags (847952) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @10:14AM (#32278768)
        You forgot ME... I envy you for that.
    • by Cyberax (705495)

      Not exactly.

      Initially, Microsoft had a grand vision of a new operating system, built on managed technologies, declarative UI, semantic filesystem, transparent integration of different services, etc. It was a grand plan and quite innovative. Unfortunately, technology just wasn't there. .NET was in its infancy and the staggering amount of completely new interdependent modules was just too much to swallow.

      So MS had to scale back everything, and quite quickly. So Vista came out very unpolished and raw. Windows

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cgenman (325138)

      Touting Aero was a clear sign that the developers didn't understand usability. You don't get an easier-to-use system by making it prettier. You restructure your information in a way that is clear and intuitive to make an easier-to-use system. If the user still has to go to a control panel to set a preference for their e-mail client, it isn't an easy-to-use system.

      Vista broke compatibility with a lot of applications and hardware drivers, and ran slower. In exchange, the user got... another layer of confu

  • Innovation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:52AM (#32277496)

    We tried too big a task and in the process wound up losing thousands of man hours of innovation

    You wasted thousands of man-hours of innovation, but not for the reasons you think. You run a company with a long history and well-known culture of quashing real innovation (because, let's all be honest, Microsoft is big enough with enough smart people working there that real good ideas do see development - they just never seem to see release...). The development teams are so political (with the Office team at the top of the heap, as I understand it) resulting in corporate politics determining what ideas actually make it to market rather than the merits of the actual idea. How many innovative ideas have been canned by internal policy and infighting?

    Vista was a dog but let's not blame Vista for lost man-hours of innovation - look at your corporate culture and you'll find the problem.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      Vista was a dog but let's not blame Vista for lost man-hours of innovation - look at your corporate culture and you'll find the problem.

      Not a chance without major upheaval in Redmond.

      As long as Microsoft is still seen as a good investment (in other words: the stock is either growing or remaining fairly static but returning a good dividend), the investors won't make any serious effort to get Ballmer kicked out - and when was the last time you saw the incumbent CEO who presided over corporate culture going to hell making a serious effort to re-appraise something as fundamental as that? It'd mean admitting that everything he'd stood for for

  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:52AM (#32277502) Homepage Journal
    you havent whored yourselves out to music and media cartels to accommodate them with their draconian DRM wishes and user control schemes maybe ?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maxume (22995)

      So how do reconcile such nuttery with the fact that drm-free mp3s and programs like VLC work just fine on Windows 7?

      It doesn't seem all that draconian.

  • by Crashmarik (635988) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:53AM (#32277510)
    What everyone else knew in minutes
  • by rolfc (842110) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:56AM (#32277536) Homepage
    I have wasted a lot of time on Vista as well.
  • by Alien1024 (1742918) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:59AM (#32277578)

    How do you be patient?

    I can has patience? I had a patience but grammar eated it.

  • by cpscotti (1032676) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:00AM (#32277580)
    Ok.. that sure was a "waste of time" but microsoft DID get huge loads of money from people buying the SAME software twice!
    For lame windows users that was a waste of their money indeed!
  • by leuk_he (194174) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:01AM (#32277598) Homepage Journal

    Longhorn as it was called during its development scrapped some functionality during its development cycle. (It even got so much redefined that it was renamed from blackcomb to longhorn)

    One very noteworthy is that everything was supposed to run on top of winFS, a database instead of a file system. On a lot of tools this was never completed. Also there would be more diversification between server and client versions. But as you know server and client diversification OS versions in vista/server 2008 are the same as XP/server 2003 edition.

    But this just seems normal in any development process. In Unbunto you also see software tools that are no longer in the main package after a couple of years. If you knew what would be important in 4 or 5 years you could do optimal development, but the reality is that nobody can see that much in the future.

  • short memories (Score:5, Informative)

    by confused one (671304) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:01AM (#32277602)
    For those who've forgotten, the project that resulted in the Vista release was reset at least once. Remember Longhorn? From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

    Faced with ongoing delays and concerns about feature creep, Microsoft announced on August 27, 2004 that it was making significant changes. "Longhorn" development basically started afresh, building on the Windows Server 2003 codebase, and re-incorporating only the features that would be intended for an actual operating system release.

  • I dont think Windows 7 is any better than Windows Vista. Marginally faster compared to Vista but being faster than Vista is like winning special olympics, youre still a retard.

    Microsoft has no connection whatsoever with their users and thats where their real problem lies. Their users wants their OS to run their applications as good as possible and make managing the computer easy. Microsoft wants the OS to be the users primary application. Jumping up and down in your users face screaming for attention when their primary goal is using their apps arent productive.

    Until Microsofts leadership realizes their customers are their end users Windows will continue to suck as bad as ever.

    • I'm not sure what your definition of "easy" is of course.
      But pressing the winkey, start typing a name or command and pressing enter to launch about anything you can think of in Win7 is "easy" in my book.

      Yes there are shitloads of configuration options but for most users Win7 is ready to go right out of the box. They've done a really good job with that.

    • by jimicus (737525) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:33AM (#32278008)

      Microsoft wants the OS to be the users primary application. Jumping up and down in your users face screaming for attention when their primary goal is using their apps arent productive.

      Alas I've already commented in this thread or I'd mod you insightful. But this is exactly the point - it's something Apple fully understands, something that Linux vendors don't seem too sure about and something that Microsoft completely fails to understand.

      The job of the operating system is to set everything up so it works then get the hell out of the way so the user can get on with doing what they want. As soon as the OS gets in the way, it's Doing It Wrong.

      Somehow or other Microsoft's Office team does seem to have broadly figured that one out - while the new interface to Office does tend to engender feelings of "love it or hate it", at least it was developed with an understanding that people don't buy software in order to spend all day wrestling with the user interface. I would say Win7 is heading in that direction (I actually think there are quite a few significant improvements over XP, though they still haven't grasped the idea that if you can't be sure that everything will JFW, about the worst thing you can do is pretend it JFW and provide no hint anywhere as to why it patently doesn't), but still has a way to go.

    • Microsoft is faced with the necessity of branding their OS as 'new' and 'sexy', in the face of Appl's OS which is heavily advertised as 'new' and 'sexy'. Usability wise, the Apple desktop is actually a step backward from the Windows interface (but at least it has unix underneath for gearheads). Windows 7 removes some of the more egregious intrusions, but Slashdot isn't the primary customer of Windows -- the 100 million+ retail consumers deciding between a macintosh or a PC are the primary focus of the bells
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I refuse to install moonlight to watch Ballmer.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I refuse to install moonlight to watch Ballmer.

      I find myself needing to "install" some moonshine before I can handle watching Ballmer.

  • Well, DUH (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:17AM (#32277768)

    Through all the marketing hype around Vista, you heard the voice of the few reviewers that MS forgot to buy: Vista? Why bother?

    Vista was, next to Win95, the maybe most hyped OS ever. Even Apple, in all its ability to hype and market their products, could not hold a candle to the amount of time and money pumped into advertising Vista. But while the hype of Win95 came from the users, from people who never used or owned a computer but still just "had to have it", and where Apple manages to motivate its die hard users to work as their mouthpiece, Vista's hype was a lonely cry from MS alone. Partly, of course, this is due to MS being held in fairly low esteem by geeks around the globe (compared to Apple, who do have a fair amount of fans in the geek community, especially the very outspoken geek community, who fill blogs and review pages with their experience and joy they have from their latest Apple tool), but mostly it is simply due to Vista not performing well.

    First, it did not offer anything really genuinely "new". There was no "wow, look at that! Never seen that before!" part of Vista. Every piece of Apple hard- or software so far always came with something "new". Some trick, some gadget, or maybe just some neat toy that was something to talk about in your review. Even if you never used it again after the novelty factor wore off. But it was something you could talk about. Something you could write about. Something you could review and say "hey, they invented something again". No such thing for Vista. You could basically just say "Well... it looks different ... and some of the menues are different ... oh, and hey, you can now simply search for your program instead of having to look for it in the program manag... oh, wait, no, Apple did that first... Umm.. yeah, but it's new on Windows!"

    That doesn't pull people in. That's not attractive. And neither is offering the only eye candy feature (i.e. Aero) only to the upper price segments. Eye candy is what could have convinced Joe Randomuser, but he WILL NOT buy an "Enterprise" or "ultimate" edition! Talking about segmented systems, how many were there? 10 different versions? More? I don't remember, to be honest, but how should anyone but the most interested enthusiast know what version he needs? People, there's a reason why a car manufacturer only offers a handful of models per year and some extras to tack on (just to get a car analogy into the diatribe here). Because people do not want to spend hours trying to figure out what version they wanna buy! It's nice of MS to offer its users that choice, but the users don't even WANT that many choices. Even most Linux distros noticed that by now and offer a standard package that fits most users who don't want to bother sifting through the hundreds of options. Take a standard package, tack a few things you might want additionally to it and off you go!

    Vista was more a marketing blunder than a "bad" OS. Ok, granted, it wasn't the best OS or the most "expected" OS MS ever built. No, it was not the worst, that spot is still occupied by ME. If MS should learn anything from Vista, then that it's not enough to pump a few million bucks into the PR and marketing machine to make people want an OS.

  • by oldmeddler (1614805) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:20AM (#32277802)
    Maybe Ballmer should ask Mark Shuttleworth.
  • Innovation? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:40AM (#32278150)
    "We tried too big a task and in the process wound up losing thousands of man hours of innovation,"

    .

    Since when has Microsoft started to innovate? Outside of innovation in pushing the legalities of leveraging its monopoly, that is.

    Everytime I read Ballmer talking about Microsoft innovation, I come away with the opinion that he is trying more to convince himself that Microsoft actually innovates (it doesn't), than he is trying to convince others.

  • by theskipper (461997) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:50AM (#32278326)

    Microsoft wasted time on Vista and Ballmer. The fact that Apple's market cap is so close to Microsoft's now is the ultimate embarrassment. Shareholders shouldn't be happy about the lack of "innovation" through his tenure.

    And it affects us all. Even if you don't own MSFT directly, you probably have skin in the game through your 401-k, mutual funds, etc.

    He's like that nasty fart in an elevator that you really, truly want to get away from but just can't. Shareholders need to pry the door open and let in some fresh air.

  • Yawn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ledow (319597) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @10:19AM (#32278862) Homepage

    Wake me up when anything useful actually *changes* about any Microsoft OS. Last time was back in 2001 (possibly 2004 if you count XP SP2). The interface changes, the "hidden internals" change (i.e. upgrade your drivers to WDM drivers), but the way you use the damn thing doesn't. And each time it gets slower - slower to run, more demanding on resources AND, somehow, slower to navigate and use in everyday life. It also has useful features ripped out, customisability thrown out of the window, old features limited and junk thrown in.

    (Why can't I make 7 look like 2000 / XP Classic? Hell, I can move EVERY individual button, widget, dropdown and toolbar on my browser, I can change every hotkey and have it load it up in any number of different configurations at a click. I used to be able to have a good level of similar control over XP's basic interface, and even Office's, but now I can't even get rid of that stupid Start Menu at all, or put the Control Panel back how it used to be, or (now) turn off the stupid Ribbon bar? I don't *CARE* if it's faster, more efficient, etc. for some people - it isn't for me, and I'm the one using this particular computer).

    What happened to WinFS, for example? It seemed like a good idea, was the only thing that *really* got people interested in Vista and then failed to make any appearance whatsoever ever since.

    Seriously, give me a call around Service Pack 2 of the "next big OS". The one with features that I feel I could use and which would speed up my use of my computer. In the meantime, I think I'll just "struggle" along being able to boot up really quickly, customise heavily and not need a super-machine to run things that have always run fine. Until then, Microsoft's offerings are completely irrelevant to me and have been since 2001/2004.

  • by Seth Kriticos (1227934) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @10:23AM (#32278916)

    ..for their products.

    Really, ten years ago, vista was a cool word. Reminded you to the phrase "hasta la vista, baby" from a certain great move. Now you just think of a peace of shit.

    Also explorer. Half a century ago you associated with Vasco da Gamma and Christopher Columbus. Now only a crappy shell remains.

    Not to mention Windows and Word..

    They deserve eternal damnation just for these crimes.

  • by SethJohnson (112166) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @10:46AM (#32279340) Homepage Journal

    thousands of man hours wasted...

    10 developers
    40 hours per week
    12 weeks (3 months)


    = 4,800 man hours

    This is like the president of BP saying "thousands of tablespoons of oil were spilled into the Gulf of Mexico."

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @11:36AM (#32280170)

    XP 64 was a bust and you had to buy it and where not able to use the same key as 32 bit.

    Vista lets you use the same key for 32 and 64 so if had a oem system that came with 32 all you need is a 64 bit and you can use the same key.

  • by DarthVain (724186) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @12:33PM (#32281058)

    Your going to give me a free upgrade to Windows 7 then right Ballmer? No, I didn't think so. FU Ballmer!

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