Microsoft steps back from Ballmer's Windows 8 comments

It was only yesterday that Microsoft's CEO stated that "as we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8. Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors." But Microsoft is already backing away from the statements made and has issued a statement in response to what Ballmer publicly proclaimed.

Microsoft stated (via Infoworld.com) that "It appears there was a misstatement," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement the company issued Monday afternoon. "We are eagerly awaiting the next generation of Windows 7 hardware that will be available in the coming fiscal year. To date, we have yet to formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows."

Even though Microsoft's CEO touted the Windows 8 branding, Microsoft is not willing to commit to that branding just yet. The company is taking a cautious approach to the branding as it is typical for Microsoft to wait until closer to the product launch to actually label the new platform.

In 2008 Microsoft didn’t label Windows 7 until a few weeks before the platform actually launched. Considering Windows 8 is not expected to launch until 2012, it makes sense for the company to stick to its policy and not commit to a name branding as of yet.

Even with this type of policy, it is still interesting that the CEO of the company made the statement only to have it retracted later by a company spokesperson. 

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Ballmer is someone that can't keep a secret. Aside from the fact he also makes predictions that his own employees can't back up.

Ballmer should step down as CEO.

The only reason they are doing this is not to slow down sales of existing Windows 7 PC's, the statement made by Steve is still 100% factual as you'll see over the coming months.

People see this as a reason to dislike Ballmer? Sheesh, that's pretty tenuous.

He mentioned some things about the next version of Windows, but the name wasn't official, and they've not set an absolute date. Oh gods, shoot the man! Describing the next version of Windows as '8' is just logical (even if the final name isn't set), and describing it as coming next year is also logical (even if the final date isn't set). Sure he's the CEO, doesn't mean his comments don't need to be clarified, and I doubt doing so is something new to many companies.

Kirkburn said,
People see this as a reason to dislike Ballmer? Sheesh, that's pretty tenuous.

He mentioned some things about the next version of Windows, but the name wasn't official, and they've not set an absolute date. Oh gods, shoot the man! Describing the next version of Windows as '8' is just logical (even if the final name isn't set), and describing it as coming next year is also logical (even if the final date isn't set). Sure he's the CEO, doesn't mean his comments don't need to be clarified, and I doubt doing so is something new to many companies.

This is just another episode in the battle for power inside MS. I am not crazy about Ballmer but the guy who will most likely replace him, Mr. Sinosfky, will be a much worse CEO.

And yes I am very well aware of his previous "achievements" still he will be not be a good CEO.

Kirkburn said,
People see this as a reason to dislike Ballmer? Sheesh, that's pretty tenuous.

He mentioned some things about the next version of Windows, but the name wasn't official, and they've not set an absolute date. Oh gods, shoot the man! Describing the next version of Windows as '8' is just logical (even if the final name isn't set), and describing it as coming next year is also logical (even if the final date isn't set). Sure he's the CEO, doesn't mean his comments don't need to be clarified, and I doubt doing so is something new to many companies.


No, it's not logical for a CEO to speculate in release dates when they have officially not set one. I can buy the "Windows 8" argument since that's probably a name used internally in everyday talk, but if MS isn't prepared to announce a release date for Microsoft's by far most popular software product, the CEO shouldn't do so either. He's there on stage to represent Microsoft as a company. And this definitely includes knowing their public relations strategy as for announcing future products and release dates.

i dont see what was "so bad" about ballmer... i mean, everyone call it windows 8, he used that term because people use it. for example, "xbox will be compatible with 3d", games are in 3d.. how is that not compatible?... but people mean sterescopic, but some idiot called it 3d, and now everyone use that term which is not correct.

its like when i call almost 90% of the time "flag key" instead of "windows key". its like if people said joe belfiore did wrong for calling it "mango" because until today it was actually presented as that. i kinda hope they dont name it "windows 8" but it dont see how wrong or right is someone calling it windows 8. its what you read everywhere anyway. since it is "windows 7" its easier to continue with 8. even if that wont be the real name.

dogmai79 said,
Bill, come back!

+1
I laughed when I read how Microsoft had to retract from that statement by Ballmer. It's like he's MS's dog-on-a-leash or something, and they're responsible for him, LOL.

I laughed when I read this story. This is a perfect example of the disconnect between management and the rest of the company. It was the same at most big companies I worked for. Upper management doesn't have a clue what is going on at the lower levels. They are surrounded by sycophants.

Windows 8 looks boring so far but I'm willing to wait until it hits beta 2 or RC to decide whether I want it or not.

I laugh at Ballmer not knowing what is going on....he needs to be replaced.

Boeing 787 said,
Windows 8 looks boring so far but I'm willing to wait until it hits beta 2 or RC to decide whether I want it or not.

I laugh at Ballmer not knowing what is going on....he needs to be replaced.

i dont know how something that isnt in not even a real alpha stage would look exciting... specially since even "windows 7" hasnt been changed. and features are hidden and maybe wont even be added...

EmilyTheStrange said,

i dont know how something that isnt in not even a real alpha stage would look exciting... specially since even "windows 7" hasnt been changed. and features are hidden and maybe wont even be added...

There was something exciting at the same stage of windows 7 that isn't there for windows 8. Don't ask. It's just like that. I dare say that the metro+cloud+arm crap doesn't click on me and the rest may be feeling the same.

thartist said,

There was something exciting at the same stage of windows 7 that isn't there for windows 8. Don't ask. It's just like that. I dare say that the metro+cloud+arm crap doesn't click on me and the rest may be feeling the same.

We're going to see more features that are designed to help us, like better real time backup (a redesigned shadow copy experience), restore to factory condition, Live sync a part of the OS (cloud sync), Account roamingt for non enterprise users, More metro throughout (and UI unified further, windows 7 still uses come legacy UI elements), better task manager, better explorer (opinion based, some will hate it, but I'm sure there will be options), Tablet support, I'm guessing no media player but Zune, with WP7 support baked in (turned off by default, until you plug one in), better enterprise features, Windows store (market place, this will be very interesting, oof they can get people in general using this then I expect malware to take a dip), Gestures support for touch screen...................................loads more and they are holding out on most of the ui till its ready for beta.

It really is going to be a worthy upgrade for me, just because I value all the things I mentioned above. Choice is good

This isn't the first time Ballmer has said something and then had it retracted by MS PR. He is a really nice guy to talk to but boy does wagged get bent out of shape if they find out you talk directly to the execs

I for one do not think Windows 8 will be a mind blower.. It will be all of the same with some extra options that 85% of users will not ever need or even know anything about it for that matter.

Dusco25 said,
I for one do not think Windows 8 will be a mind blower.. It will be all of the same with some extra options that 85% of users will not ever need or even know anything about it for that matter.

If Microsoft has learned anything from Windows Vista, they will also take a lot of time to put polish on the existing features. So even if you don't use that one new feature that they added, your existing workflow will be streamlined, simpler, and easier.

Dusco25 said,
I for one do not think Windows 8 will be a mind blower.. It will be all of the same with some extra options that 85% of users will not ever need or even know anything about it for that matter.

That's what makes it good about it.

In my opinion, Windows Vista failed because it introduced too many changes at once (for example new driver model, which resulted in lots of hardware not working). But if you were to ask me today, I totally wouldn't discourage you from using Vista SP2, because it's not a bad OS in itself. People hated on XP when it was released too, and I believe that if they stuck to the 3-year release model and released Longhorn with time, XP wouldn't have time to become that popular either.

Windows 7, on the other hand, was just a polished version of what users - sooner or later - already became accustomed to. "Polished" makes users think "better" rather than "different".

Dusco25 said,
some extra options that 85% of users will not ever need or even know anything about it for that matter.
Given that 15% of the user base is a giant number of people...

sexypeperodri said,
How can the company's own CEO mess up that hard?

I was thinking the same thing. Ballmer seems to be having a lot of slips of the tongue lately.

NPGMBR said,

I was thinking the same thing. Ballmer seems to be having a lot of slips of the tongue lately.

Lately? The guy has always been a train wreck as far as I'm concerned. Slip ups, incorrect statements, narcissism, comical rants (comical to us), etc. He's a horrible front man to the company. No wonder why so many of Microsoft's own employee's have such a low approval rating for him.

Tim Dawg said,
Lately? The guy has always been a train wreck as far as I'm concerned. Slip ups, incorrect statements, narcissism, comical rants (comical to us), etc. He's a horrible front man to the company. No wonder why so many of Microsoft's own employee's have such a low approval rating for him.

Jobs first said there was no problem with the antenna, only to later say that it is a problem that all phones have, including the iPhone. Jobs said that nobody wants to read, but iBooks is magical. CEOs say things that they later need to take back all the time.

sexypeperodri said,
How can the company's own CEO mess up that hard?

Because the board of directors or stakeholders and the company's rules are more important than him.

sexypeperodri said,
How can the company's own CEO mess up that hard?
This is not a slip up. This is a corporation trying to ensure that people don't skip Windows Vista, and now Windows 7 to wait for Windows 8 because it's "coming soon."

It's incredibly unlikely that Ballmer was mistaken. Microsoft, as a company, just decided after the fact that they don't want people sitting around waiting for Windows 8. After all, my company will be transitioning to Windows 7 later in the year (slightly amusingly, considering I am not in IT and the rest of my post). How thrilled would Microsoft be to see them skip that and just go to Windows 8? It won't be so terrible for my company to watch Windows 8 come out, as we clearly are not early adopters.

sexypeperodri said,
How can the company's own CEO mess up that hard?

Steve Ballmer is destroying Microsoft slowly, the board really need to get him out of the CEO seat.

pickypg said,
This is not a slip up. This is a corporation trying to ensure that people don't skip Windows Vista, and now Windows 7 to wait for Windows 8 because it's "coming soon."

It's incredibly unlikely that Ballmer was mistaken. Microsoft, as a company, just decided after the fact that they don't want people sitting around waiting for Windows 8. After all, my company will be transitioning to Windows 7 later in the year (slightly amusingly, considering I am not in IT and the rest of my post). How thrilled would Microsoft be to see them skip that and just go to Windows 8? It won't be so terrible for my company to watch Windows 8 come out, as we clearly are not early adopters.


This is all speculation, and sounds like an odd explanation. Companies often discuss forthcoming products versions, and if they don't want to for your reason, Ballmer shouldn't have done so either. A CEO, of all people, would surely know what the company's stance on discussing forthcoming versions are. That wouldn't exactly be a minor detail in their public relations strategy.

sava700 said,
Good.. Windows 8 released next year even if at the end would be way too early!

Too earlier for what? Just cause you don't want or need an upgrade, doesn't mean others don't. Don't be so selfish.

sava700 said,
Good.. Windows 8 released next year even if at the end would be way too early!

Why? Three years between releases sounds fine to me. Not too short (like it often was in the 90s) and not too long.

Raa said,
I agree, 3 years is a bit too fast. 4 years is a good medium.

For yourself perhaps. Although if they did it every four years we'd still have people complaining. Fact is people hate change, they hate to hear about it too. If they don't want/care about a feature someone new has then they complain.

TCLN Ryster said,

Too earlier for what? Just cause you don't want or need an upgrade, doesn't mean others don't. Don't be so selfish.

Didn't say anything about being selfish..use good judgement here. Current builds are really only showing a few minor enhancements from WIndows7 that works perfectly fine. This comment I made has nothing to do with not wanting to upgrade or not needing to upgrade.

Raa said,
I agree, 3 years is a bit too fast. 4 years is a good medium.
Oh why not 5 years?

Let's make it 10 years. It has a ring to it.

No no let's do 12.

Nah 13 is good.

Uhh 13 is an unlucky number. Let's setlle on 14.

Hooray for consensus!!


Ridiculous.

Raa said,
I agree, 3 years is a bit too fast. 4 years is a good medium.

honestly it depends on when you started using windows 7. ive used it since beta but some people just changed to windows 7 so of course for them would be too fast, for me it isn't. it feels ages.

but anyway... people complain about the 3 years, if not they complain how windows interface change alot, if not they complain about windows not making their coffee in the morning... there will always be people complaining about anything no matter what. i even like how windows change ui since i like new stuff, or different stuff, like when i change my room once a month, sometimes twice.

so 3 years + new ui and new features its amazing for me. its not free but it not like... expensive as upgrade something like 3dsmax ($1,745).

sava700 said,
Good.. Windows 8 released next year even if at the end would be way too early!

You maybe missing the point of whats coming with this release, ARM support, native support for low powered devices and a clean tablet UI (for tablets) - this is needed ASAP, but obviously only when it is actually ready.

For me, I'll be jumping on it as soon as its released, for you, windows 7 is fine, either way bringing a new OS earlier than you feel is correct does you no harm - it gives choice.

Bringing a new OS out later that others feel is correct takes choice away from them, which is worse?

sava700 said,
Good.. Windows 8 released next year even if at the end would be way too early!

If it's too early for you, then don't get it. The rest of us will. Good thing you have that choice.

EmilyTheStrange said,

honestly it depends on when you started using windows 7. ive used it since beta but some people just changed to windows 7 so of course for them would be too fast, for me it isn't. it feels ages.

but anyway... people complain about the 3 years, if not they complain how windows interface change alot, if not they complain about windows not making their coffee in the morning... there will always be people complaining about anything no matter what. i even like how windows change ui since i like new stuff, or different stuff, like when i change my room once a month, sometimes twice.

so 3 years + new ui and new features its amazing for me. its not free but it not like... expensive as upgrade something like 3dsmax ($1,745).


i want new interface which should support customization without messing with system files in windows 7 u can only change wallpapers and colors a