You can be sure plenty of Microsoft folks are wishing they could put a muzzle on Steve Ballmer today, as the Microsoft CEO told the audience at a Gartner Symposium that they should feel free to skip Vista and wait for Windows 7. "If people want to wait [for Windows 7] they really can," Ballmer told the assembly. You could probably hear the Windows folks groan all the way across the continent in Redmond
Microsoft has been in essence forced to continue selling Windows XP because people simply aren't upgrading to Vista. As I've written in a previous blog, it seems as if Microsoft has given up on Vista. This latest statement by Ballmer seems to back that up.
Ballmer had plenty more to say as well, and most of it probably had Microsofties cringing. He claimed that Windows 7 will be a major upgrade over Windows, rather than in essence a big service pack, as many people believe. Windows 7 will be Vista, but a lot better, he's quoted as saying, but provided few details. The Gartner analysts, though, referred to Windows 7 as Vista Service Pack 2.
And he intimated that the Microsoft buyout of Yahoo might still be on the table, despite evidence to the contrary. Microsoft spokespeople were forced to backtrack after Ballmer's statement.
Ballmer continues to suffer from foot-in-mouth disease. His act is getting very, very old. It's time to reign him in, but given that he's CEO, it's not likely anyone will do it.
Preston Gralla is a contributing editor for Computerworld, and the author of more than 35 books.