Interview with Steve Ballmer about Vista, services and Linux

By Justin Mann on June 5, 2006, 11:06 AM
In a heavy business-speak interview, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, talked in great depth about Microsoft's plans for software as a service, Microsoft's endeavors in partnering and the development/release of Vista. In particular, the piece about their goal for development and deployment of subscription-style software is interesting, and Ballmer makes it clear that is the direction Microsoft is heading, but at different paces for different markets. What was even more interesting, though, was the way he answered a question about the continuing delays of Vista's release:

All I said anywhere is quality, quality, quality, quality, quality. The betas are just out: Quality, quality. I get an e-mail from a customer who's says 'I'm worried about the following problem with the beta.' That's what betas are about. I say: 'don't worry. Quality, quality. We're just working on quality.'
And that continues on for another paragraph. It's hard to say the same word over and over but still have people listen, though truly we've all seen what can happen when a version of Windows is released too early (Windows 98 First Edition?). After that, he had some pretty harsh things to say about Linux adoption, even in the server market. He vehementily denies that Microsoft is losing market share to Linux, saying that they've gone down only a point and it wasn't due to Linux. He did say, however, that Microsoft is “well equipped” to come into the Linux market and “take some share”. It's clear from the rest of it that Ballmer wants to prevent Linux from expanding. Interesting interview, if a bit sketchy.

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