It’s not every day that you hear the CEO of a major corporation admit that they wasted time on a product. But Steve Ballmer did just that when talking about Windows Vista. Ballmer stated that “We tried too big a task and in the process wound up losing thousands of man hours of innovation," according to Thinq.co.uk. All of those man hours resulted in a 5 year wait for the follow up to the rock solid platform that is still widely used today, Windows XP.
While Vista itself was not a bad product, it was plagued with delays and because of these delays consumers were expecting a product with the stability of Windows XP. The immediate bad press that followed the launch of Vista was debilitating to the long term success of the product. Also, Apple launched a successful “Mac VS PC” advertisement campaign and publicly called out all of the flaws with Vista. Couple this with an Intel/Microsoft “Vista Capable” campaign that assured consumers that certain PCs were ready for the new OS when, in fact, they were not, because of pressure from Intel, and you have the breeding ground for a product failure.
Windows 7 made good on Microsoft’s line of operating systems and is being widely adopted worldwide. But Ballmer’s recognition that they wasted time on Vista by taking on a task to big is one of the few times you will hear the CEO discredit Windows Vista.
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