back to article Ballmer mixed on Windows 7's success

Steve Ballmer's been giving out mixed messages on the likely impact of Windows 7 on Microsoft and PC sales. With just over two weeks to go before Windows 7 is officially released, Microsoft's chief executive has reportedly played down the operating system's expected fillip on PC sales. "There will be a surge of PCs but it will …

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Elephant / room

Perhaps MicroShaft is losing money because, y'know, its products are and have always been the most despicably awful excuses for technology ever to be vomited onto the world?

This company makes utter, utter crap and the only reason it has been so successful is that most people don't know any better than to use it. That, and IT managers are cowardly, spineless dullards who enjoy torturing themselves with rubbish software.

My only regret is that short of the end of the world, no recession could be bad enough to send these hateful cretins out of business, so successful have they been at seeping their risible products out into the world. It's a sad reflection on humanity that they have been able to do this. "Crappy software that doesn't work and that you have to pay through the nose for? Hell yes, we'll take it!"

Ballmer must wake up every day and thank every god he can think of that he is so rich when he knows, like we all do, that he's just a fat, sweaty, bald used car salesman who knows precisely zero about technology, peddles the crappiest products in the history of the universe and is a laughing stock amongst anyone who has even the faintest idea about good products and how to make them.

What a turd.

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Anyone waiting for Win7?

A spike in sales due to W7 is based on the assumption that anyone is actually delaying PC purchases waiting for W7.

Does anyone know anyone that's actually doing that? For the last few months all Vista PCs sold here in NZ have included an offer of a free W7 upgrade when it ships. That's been a ploy to prevent the dreaded overhang.

Thus, it looks very unlikely that W7 is going to be anything to write home about.

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Gates Horns

Windows 7 is going to be good

In a few years we'll all be using it in the office and MS will be announcing Windows 8 (7.1)

That is what will happen, although my sentiment lies with AC - Elephant / room.

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Grenade

@ A/C Elephant room?

Really? How old are 12?

So is SQL server worse than MYSQL? I think not.

Was Windows 95 worse than Unix when it come to ease of use. I think not. The only other rival was a Mac, which at the time was roughly double the price of a pc and was only really used in publishing.

Visio (yes I know it wasn't MS), still waiting for a decent rival to that.

i.e, yes sorry to say, mid i.e was better than the bloated POS known as Navigator (ask your mom).

You see you dumb ass your probebrly a) either going to spout some shite how great Unbuntu is compared to XP (try Using linux from 2002, good luck!).. In fact Unbuntumay not have existed if for not MS. After all hard core Linux guys like the cmd line, not the GUI, so we'd all still be mounting / unmounting our cd's and typing in 10 lines of text just to get it to play an audio cd.

You see (and I was an Atari fan boy well until 98 came out). Without MS we'd

a) either be using Mac's costing £5000 or be stuck in Unix CMD line hell.

In the last few years they lost focus and just kept on whacking on features and doing knee jerk security slap on, instead of making it what it was known for in the mid years and that is ease of use.

But you keep spouting off your crap, after all, the OS you have written is so much better.

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Gates Halo

W7

Standard MacroBloat vitriol aside, by all the accounts i've read W7 is actually shaping up to be decent and XP is starting to feel a bit creaky. I have absolutely no intention of ever buying a Mac and i'll probably only ever use Linux on a netbook or as a server so for my standard box Windows, for better or worse, is where i'm at.

I'm sure i'll garner some hate for daring to appear supportive of M$, but i counter that by saying opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got one :)

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FAIL

i am posting this

from my macbook - laughing at you windoze users

hope your W7 is everything you hope for

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Light at the end of the tunnel?

No it's the last train to irrelevance.

Microsoft know that the business model that has been so lucrative for so long has reached the end of it's life. Users lock in and the constant upgrade cycle only worked when the old version was badly flawed and no-one else could fix it. By a mixture of legal manipulation and technical incompetence they have managed to hold back innovation to get a few more cycles than they should have done but the truth is XP was acceptable. Yes W7 is good but is it worth the upgrade cost?

This is Balmer admitting that the golden age is over and Microsoft cannot plan on being able to use the vast and constant profits form Windows and Office to stifle competition and leverage its market. Microsoft works on monopoly positions, viable alternatives exist now and these can be used as a bargaining tool to drive down the price large corporates pay even if they never intended using them. They know that in the future they must to compete on an even playing field, no wonder Balmer is such an angry man.

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FAIL

In reality...

Windows 7 is nothing more than Service Pack 2 for Viruses Intruders Spyware Trojans & Adware

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Waiting

Well, faced with the choice of a PC now, and the pain of an upgrade later, or just waiting for W7 to come pre-installed, I'd choose the latter. Not only is it less effort for me, I'll know that the vendor has done all the leg-work with getting W7-suitable hardware and drivers installed.

So I'd expect a spike in demand - or rather, some kind of extended peak, since I for one will probably wait until after Christmas.

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Troll

@AC (First post)

Woo wooo! Here comes the troll train!

MS succeeded because it marketed itself well and it had vendor support. Mac is making headway, but their hardware is priced outside of mainstream purchasing. Linux is still eating the scraps because it's too damn hard to get working properly in the first place. If Linux could get itself as easy to configure as Windows (I.E. It does it for you!) it'd be mainstream overnight.

By appealing to the nerds / enterprise, Linux fails to deliver to the consumer.

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Gates Horns

Wait

If I was buying a new computer, I'd certainly wait, if only to avoid having anything to do with Vista. I'm not expecting great things of 7 (still using Win98 and 2k, thanks) but it must be an improvement - mustn't it..?

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Anonymous Coward

NO TITLE

Earth to Balmer.

1. Vista was crap. It was slow and clunky. Some may think this was planned to help improve PC sales.

2. My 5 yo PC running XP is good enough for everything but gaming. Why buy a new one.

3. Windows 7 is not bad, but not a reason to upgrade my systems.

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Grenade

Loss?

"Microsoft reported its first ever losses during its last fiscal year"

I don't think Mircosoft has ever reported a headline loss. Yes, it missed its targets and revenue declined in some sectors, but it is still a hugely profitable company.

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Go

@Elephant / room

Go on, AC, stop beating about the bush and tell us what you really think!

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Anonymous Coward

Windows 7 is suprisingly good

Although I switched to Mac and use Linux on a daily basis, I ran a recent RC for 6 months and yep, it's good - but good as in better than Vista and good as in about as good as XP.

Anyone ranting about how bad microsoft products are, isn't that sound of mind, or is just trolling. Yes, they have made some very bad products and product versions in the past, but they do actually turn out some pretty decent stuff. You can't keep on top of the curve just by bullying and savvy marketing alone - at some point, your products do have to offer some worth.

The way I see it, Windows 7 is what Vista *should* have been, a worthy successor to Windows XP that'll make countless millions very happy and a few thousand get up on soap boxes to rant how rubbish it is - thing is, nobody is listening this time...

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Leading edge

I usually try to stay one major Windows version behind, but am afraid it will have to be two when Windows 7 comes out.

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FAIL

flippet

If I remember correctly Microsoft did not report a "first ever loss" last fiscal year, but reported its forst ever reduction in profits. there's a pretty freakin' big difference!!

And to the first poster... just grow up

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Re: Elephant / room

Come on, no need to be so shy, tell us what you REALLY think!

Always amazes me that people get SO angry over zeros and ones. Step outside AC. Take some deep breaths. Look around. Maybe try speaking to another human.

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Anonymous Coward

@A/C Elephant/room

Has sir forgotten to take his pills this morning?

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Linux

Setting Expectations Low=CEO operations 101

Then basking in all the 'glory' when sales exceeds expectations. It will probably have a positive effect on their share price (and thus his personal wealth) which has been somewhat weak in the recent past

Then the Microsoft PR machine will burst into action and trumpet the 'success' from the top of every building, tree & mountain.

I'd fully expect them to say that Linux still has less than 1% of market share and that Vista was a success (it probably was if you use some stats but the general perception says otherwise) and Apple is as irrelevant as ever.

Tux as I certainly won't be using Windoze 7 in anger.

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Balmer vs reality

I know Mr. Balmer pulls a lot of weight within the company, but from our point of view: does anything he says actually mean anything?

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Anonymous Coward

@Charles Manning

Actually, I've recommended my clients who are thinking of buying a new PC wait until Win7 is officially released - it's cheaper for my customers that way.

If they got a Vista PC now with the "Free" upgrade, they would have the extra expense of paying the ridiculous postage and handling costs, plus extra for me to do the upgrade when the Win7 media arrives.

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Upgrade vouchers could spoil the party

As Charles rightly pointed out, most PCs with Vista on them sold in the past few months have an upgrade voucher. So Microsoft will have to deliver large quantities of Win7 disks without actually making any money, though I'm not aware about who in the end pays for the upgrade (th OEM? hardly ...)

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Re: Elephant/Room

Not bad, just a more less polish needed to reach "Flame of the Week" standards.

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Have Win7 already and its good

Win7 is basically Vista on a diet and the rough edges smoothed. It very responsive, the desktop is pleasant to use and so far it works exactly like it should. I think Microsoft have done a decent job of addressing the faults levelled at Vista.

The installer deserves a lot of praise. I upgraded over Vista and the experience was obscenely smooth. It managed to preserve all my apps, shares, desktop and settings from Vista except for one game DRM driver.

I don't know if it should be called a new Windows OS, or whether its Vista 1.5 but it works. I would have no objection buying a new machine with it on, even a netbook. I'm less certain there is any reason to upgrade from an earlier version of Windows. Despite Microsoft's claims, I very much doubt if you replaced XP on a machine that Windows 7 would offer comparable performance.

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Two different subjects, not mixed messages

The quotes are referring to two different areas: how W7 will affect new PC Sales and how it will effect Microsoft's profits. To give two different answers to different questions isn't exactly sending mixed messages. Last time I checked there are ways to get Windows 7 that don't involve the purchasing of a new PC so it's not exactly impossible for a surge in MS OS sales to only result in a minor increase in new PC sales.

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I'm mixed on it too

I upgraded all of the Macs in my household with the purchase of a very reasonably priced Snow Leopard family pack - a whole £26 from Amazon.

I have a handful of MCE machines that I'd like to upgrade to W7 - they're all over the base spec and MCE 2005 is very clunky, but at £80 for a single licence or £120 for the "Family" it doesn't look like it will be worth my while.

Oh, and before anyone jumps in to tell me that I should install something else I should like to point out that I have almost 30 years experience and *you* don't know my requirements or who will be using the machines. I am aware of my options and what they will cost in time and/or money.

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Paris Hilton

10 years of ignoring Google?

MSN and MSN Live Search were targeted at Google but failed so they change the name of MSN Live Search to BING( Bing Is Not Google ) and it's said that Microsoft or better yet, Ballmer ignored Google for 10 years? How long ago did Ballmer say he was going to F'en kill Google because another Microsoft employee was quiting to go work for Google? Wasn't it about 5 years ago?

comments like that actually put Ballmer in a good light because it makes it seem like the gloves are off and this is the first fight and it'll be a good one. But in fact, it's an old fight and Microsoft has been failing badly.

Paris because Microsoft is like Paris, all fluff and no substance.

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Ty
Jobs Halo

Hmmm

Strange how M$ lost money whilst "overpriced crApple" had one of the most profitable years in history huh?

Wakey wakey people. If you can't see that the dark ages of IT are coming to and end then you shouldn't even be allowed to go near a computer.

Windows Mobile 6.5? Zune HD? Vista?

Mediocrity. Not good enough.

Apple shares at a 52 week high - almost tripling this year.

Goodbye Microsoft. It's not been a pleasure.

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Alert

Maybe people are

just content to keep with XP. I am. There'll always be a section of society who want the latest gizmo. No doubt they'll be the ones who, upon reading the words "with Windows 7 we're doing a great job! I think the product is pretty fine!" will immediately and collectively loose control of their 'front bottoms' and spend some more cash.

Each to their own. I'm not a fan of any OS, it's manufacturer, gizmo or purveyor of gizmos. Seems a bit of a waste of time and effort.

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WTF?

can't help but feel the urge to respond to A/C as well

your comment strikes as coming from someone who is a MAC evangelist, i've been in a few MAC/PC flamewars and your flame looks remarkably similar to the ones i read back then (mind you, i'm not anti-MAC, anti-Linux or anything like that, i just like a good bout of trolling every now and then).

my personal experience as an IT professional with Microsoft products haven't always been good, but in general i think MS cranks out decent software. i love windowsXP, i manage Exchange 2003 and 2007 environments and have experience with other MS server platforms. i can't follow you when you say they only make crap, some products do suck, but in general it pretty much does what it says on the box.

frustration, or just trolling?

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N2

Windows 7?

Im sure it will be wonderful, once youve got over the fact it wont really do anything more than your last PC, Im sure that sales of screen cleaner will go through the roof as we cant wait for that touch screen functionality, Ive no idea how weve managed without it.

& come first of January it will be so last year as Microshaft try to convince us Windows 8 will be 'the next best thing' otherwise known as Windows 7.1.

@ chr0m4t1c - bargain for Snow Leopard, do Apple users have more lead in their pencil as the family pack has five licenses to M$s 3? :D

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Pint

Still bashing vista

Nothing wrong with Vista at all, all those bashing it are spineless bandwagon jumpers, sorry but the truth hurts :) Reminds me of the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand thing, or the Brasseye Paedo edition - most people who are complaining haven't even seen it.

Windows 7 is excellent and am looking forward to mine being delivered in a couple of weeks.

When it comes to a media centre, Windows beats Mac on all fronts.

When it comes to application availability, Windows beats Mac on all fronts.

When it comes to hardware and having some choice over it, Windows beats Mac on all fronts.

But keep flogging that dead horse you losers.

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I'm posting this from my W7 Laptop

and laughing at all you Apple fanbois.

It's just an OS for Pete's sakes, not a lifestyle choice! Use your computer to run the programs of your choice and get on with your own life without evangelising to others. Let others do their own thing.

FYI Win7 is definitely not a Fail7. A lot of non Windows users will have to enjoy humble pie, with or without CoolwHip.

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Grenade

Riiiiiiight.......

@ Elephant / Room

Daaaaamn, did Gates & Ballmer bully you at school or something???

@ Ty

"Strange how M$ lost money whilst "overpriced crApple" had one of the most profitable years in history huh?"

Yeah yeah, coz we're all flocking to get Snow Leapord on our Wintel boxes now aren't we? And besides, iFones, iPlods and iManks are ALL hideously overpriced, M$ incompetence notwithstanding.

@ Ole Juul

The problem with Ballmer is that when Gates was in charge oeveryone knew that M$ was a deadly leviathan, whereas Ballmer make me think of an 8 year old with a rocket launcher!

@AC 07:31

Here, Here, have a beer!

@AC 07:37

"from my macbook - laughing at you windoze users" - I'm on my PC laughing at your proprietary, overpriced laptop you'll have replaced twice before my next upgrade! Ho hum

@Matt 89

I'd agree with that comment you and most others have made, Win 7 (even RCs) is a bloody good OS but most of the praise us fans have for it kinda gets lost when you DO / WILL realise that it's not much more than Vista R2.

I think that about covers it for now, flame retardant jacket...Check, steel-capped Troll-kickers...Check, Pint....Check!

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Stop

@AC 07:31

"Was Windows 95 worse than Unix when it come to ease of use. I think not. The only other rival was a Mac, which at the time was roughly double the price of a pc and was only really used in publishing"

There where lots of alternatives to Windows when if first arrived, GEM for instance, Windows was far from the best of the bunch and wasn't really of merchantable quality until Windows 3.11 came along. By the time Win95 was out Microsoft had killed them all off with a combination of skilful marketing and questionable business practices.

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Cost Benefit - the five factor

It costs to upgrade your systems, upgrade apps that will no longer run under W7, upgrade your servers and upgrade AD to work with W7 *and* retrain staff to use the new user interfaces on apps, printing etc.

The benefit is well a very minor improvement in memory usage. For one (small) client this may result in getting his desktops down to one crash a day - XP has roughly four crashes per day across ten production machines, however running XP under VMware eliminates the crashes altogether and provides hot/virtual desking options for those members of staff that peridocially telework.

The rule used to be that unless an upgrade saved you five times what you spent on it then you did not bother. Apart from large scale operations, I cannot see the advantage of a W7 upgrade.

Jacqui

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Anonymous Coward

Does Windows 7 use the registry?

If it does then within 6 months the darn thing will be running at a crawl and home users will be encountering all the same problems that they get on XP and Vista.

Someone needs to invent .ini files.

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Badgers

@DrXym

I have also been running it now for a while, and there has been a very noticeable performance increase from xp to w7. I originally dual booted with XP but after weeks of not getting w7 to fail i decided to bin the xp install altogether.

You are right though it is more of a fista v1.5 then a new os, after 2 weeks of using fista i ended up binning it in favour of good ole reliable xp. So in that respect m$ has 'fixed' a lot of the core issues that made fista so damned awful.

After Fista i wanted to hate this, i wanted it to fail, i wanted some reason to justify staying on a xp/linux dual boot.... but i cant in all honesty say i havent been impressed, because i have been. As far as the windows platform goes this is a good stable enviroment for the 'average' pc user. And runs surprisingly well on old hardware.

Sadly there are gonna be those who will say how rubbish it is, but you have to ask if these people have actually tried it. Or atleast approach it with an open mind.

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Anonymous Coward

Can Win7 replace XP?

That is the only question I care about. If it will give me multi-head, media centre and a few other "niceties" that my XP does (which runs pretty much sweet as a nut) then I may well consider upgrading.

Linux is not an option (not because I can't use it, but because it does not meet my needs) and would cost the same anyway (I'd have to buy a new printer).

My big concern with Win7 is that it will be a royal pain to use (Windows 2008 drives me nuts), slower than XP, not provide anything I don't already have and the software I need won't run (Virtualbox, Checkpoint Securemote etc).

So until XP becomes unusable, or the Linux crowd get their act together, I think I'll stick with XP thanks.

For the Linux fanbois: Yeah, go on, flame me. Tell me that not being able to get multi-head working smoothly is all my fault. Very well done. You are part of the problem, not the solution.

The fact is that there are some things that *SHOULD* be super-simple ("This is my primary display, it's 1680x1200; this is my secondary display, it's a TV at 800x600. Oh, and I don't want either screen to scroll around") but aren't or are actually impossible on Linux (like the scenario I just gave).

Then you have to try and get Myth running, fart around with black magic to get listings...urgh.

Too much feckin' hassle.

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meh

Windows 7 is a great operating system it delivers everything windows vista should have and is fast stable and as a gamer I use it as my operating system of choice on all my pcs.

As a gamer I also therefore cant even consider mac or linux as a main os because their software support for what I want to use my computer for most of the time is sadly lacking.

OSX is not without its issues as an os anyways, I used it on my work computer (along side a windows box and a linux shell). The value of an OS is only really determined by the uses the user wants to get from it.

If I bought a mac to play games on id be paying over the odds for the hardware spec, to find id have to boot camp it just to get the things to run.

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OSX

I've been running the Win7 final beta for a while (64bit).

Personally I think MS should have released it as 64bit only.

However it really is time Apple release OSX as a standalone package and not tied to their own overpriced hardware. It might actually make MS and the linux community truely innovate

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Big Brother

Ballmer Icon Long Overdue claims report

Big Brother closest relative say boffins

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Headmaster

no more ammo

Balmer knows, probably by reading through smoking remains of smashed furniture, that MS shot its one bullet per 5 years ammo with Vista.

Consequently, except for the one who has a really obsolete PC (>5 years), noone will spit off the cash for a new one, even less the ones recklessly raped by the Vista debacle, who, by now, has noticed a top-notch PC with Vista runs as a P75 under Win98.

So PC sales will remain flat and apart from the "me first" crowd, who spend all of their cash anyway on whatever new bells and whistles, the rest will just wait until W7 is proven, to envisage it as an OS.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows will go on

as long as hardware only fully runs in Windows. It's a vicious cycle. The hardware guys won't or don't support alternatives so people keep running Windows. The same is true for software. My dad wants Excel, he doesn't care about OpenOffice or whatever. I have switched them to Thunderbird for email as they switched from AOL to another ISP and no longer had the AOL portal.

I do use Linux but I'm not a hardware person, I just want all the hardware to work without patching or too much fiddling. If the O/S doesn't natively support it then a nice simple install. (nVidia does a good job). I really don't want bits to partly work. This is not the failing of Linux or the community but I don't really care.

If someone can release an O/S that does everything that Windows does then people may choose the alternative at system purchase time.

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@A/C

"Was Windows 95 worse than Unix when it come to ease of use"

What good is ease of use if the machine silently corrupts your data then blue screens?

"a) either be using Mac's costing £5000 or be stuck in Unix CMD line hell."

This will probably come as a shock to someone like you who clearly knows bugger all about unix - but unix already had a usable GUI while MS were still dicking about with the abortion known as DOS 4. And if you want to talk about decent desktop alternatives to Windows other than Mac I suggest you go read up about OS/2 and BeOS you clueless gimp.

Epic fail A/C.

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Anonymous Coward

Wahay the trolls are here!

Windows 7 is fantastic, does everything you could need and I think it will be a real killer. MS will finally get what they so richly deserve, dumping the O/S of V that shall not be spoken! WIndows 7 trial was brilliant and showed the world that MS can really pull it out when they need to!

Can't wait!

Oh by the way I don't run Windows anymore, only Mac, I just think MS have done right this time and deserve credit where it's due! Can we stop with the "crApple" thing please? I have stopped putting M$ or MicroShaft in anything about MS, I simply ask for the same respect back.

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Stop

@chr0m4t1c

I'm not bashing your choice of PC, purely questioning your point on pricing. How much more did you pay to buy the Macs in the first place? I'm guessing it was at least in the region of 200 quid extra (exponentially greater as the quality of the machine increases) for each when compared to an equal PC. I've cited it before, but I did post a comment on here somewhere ages ago, comparing my PC (which cost about 600 quid including OS and peripherals) with an equivalent Mac, and the price difference was about 800 quid. I personally think it's foolish to spend that much on hardware, but that's just an opinion, my real gripe is that I don't think you can compare the cost of the OS upgrades because there's lots of other considerations to take on board (how about the extra cost of getting Mac branded hardware to go with your PC for example?) that make the difference in upgrade price moot.

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Linux

OS is not as important as it used to be

OK, I don't speak for everyone, but I spend about 80% of my working day in a browser. NO - not looking at pron, but in the Web interfaces of our many business support tools. I check emails regularly and also do some SQL & programming development. I need to do the odd bit of graphical work and sometimes I am in VNC or an RDP session working remotely on a system elsewhere and....that's about it.

My point? Well, the desktop OS is not important for me. I am currently working on a Vista-based PC because I need to know its ins and outs to support our customers, but beyond that, all the tools I need are available in the Linux, Mac or Windows worlds - in fact, I will probably reboot soon and pop back to Fedora Linux.

Yes, there a number of OS-specific apps that I need to use, but not many (there's always Virtualbox!). It's obviously different for others that have specific AV, gaming or development needs, but I expect a serious number of people really could use any OS to do what they need - and if they could remove themselves from the MS-or-die groupthink then it all comes down to functionality and cost. I wonder if there's an OS that you can get for free...hmmm!

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are there hollidays in the UK?

Reads like all the students have to much free time at the moment.

Windows installs itself and does anything for you? Last time I installed Vista Business on a standard PC, two weeks ago, I had to provide drivers for the ATI 4890 and the S-ATA RAID.

Win7, we are MSDN subscribers, does a better job, but still not that perfect. Especialy in the Ultimate 64bit Version I use on my Desktop, Asus P5k-EPU with C2Q 6600 and ATI 3870.

Apple Laptops are overpriced? Hm, a HP Compaq with specs close to my Macbook Pro, save the 7 hours battery life and the dual grafics cards, is a bit more expensive with Vista Ultimate 64 on it.

Oh, I forgot, your plastic Acer is 1/3rd the price, of cause, and fish&chips is gourmet food.

Unix command line only? Linux had a GUI in 1993! SCOs OpenDeskop was better suited to run PC Games in 1993, I should know, I had Wincommander in SCO Merge running faster than natively under Win95 in 1995 on the same Box.

Lack of applications in everything but Windows, sorry, which applications?

I need X11 and BASH and remote access for my work, Linux and OSX come with that out of the box, for Windows it's pricey and/or a lot of work.

SQL Server better then MySQL? Somewhat, from a performance point of view MySQL beats the shit out of MS SQL Server, replication and hotbackup have been in MySQL for quite some years now and MS is still catching up.

Coming from REAL RDBMs like Informix and Oracle, both MS SQL and MySQL are nice but nothing I would put big workloads on.

A datacenter ready MS SQL Setup makes a Sun/HP/IBM Unix box look cheap.

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