Microsoft CEO: next Windows release is "riskiest product bet"

By on October 23, 2010, 6:31 PM
Windows 7 might be selling like hotcakes but that's only going to make it even harder for Microsoft to top. When asked about the riskiest product bet that the software giant is currently developing, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer answered "the next release of Windows" without so much as a second of hesitation. Unfortunately, his interviewers don't ask him for an explanation, so we'll have to speculate as to why he chose Windows and not something else like Windows Phone, Xbox Kinect, or Bing.

Microsoft sells more copies of Windows than anything else. It's the most popular piece of software in the world. That alone makes it "risky" to improve on because so many people depend on it. It's interesting that Steve calls it "the next release of Windows" rather than simply "Windows 8" but then again, Microsoft makes a point of not using a product's name, or even its codename, till after the official announcement. You can watch Ballmer's most recent interview, at the Gartner Symposium in Orlando, below:

Early details on Windows 8, which is expected to arrive in 2012, leaked in June 2010 but we wouldn't classify any of them as particularly risky. Highlights included USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0 support, "instant on" booting, stereoscopic 3D, facial recognition as a security option, touch improvements for slates, and an app store.





User Comments: 14

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dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Steve Ballmer does great with interviews

Guest said:

An 'App Store' in the next Windows?

Excuse me, but we already have an App Store for Windows. It's called "The Internet".

Ever heard of it Ballmer? We don't need our hands held when purchasing programs or games. That's the beauty of Windows, you have so much selection of products. Imagine having to deal with something like Apple's app store? Ridiculous.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Well, it kinda makes sense. Win 7 will be hard to top, and look at the way Vista bit them in the a**. The next Windows issue won't fly as a paid public beta, like "the OS whose name cannot be spoken" presented itself to be. Every Windows version except Win 7, met with some serious opposition at its release.

I'm actually thinking the 2 dimensional GUI's days are numbered, if only in the minds of the public. How many people have seen "Ironman 2", and thought, "I wonder when the holographic 3D, touch interface, will become a reality". Or, God why can't we have something like that. (For those less versed in Geek Speak as a first language). I suppose that by about Windows 12, reality will have caught up with the mythology. Maybe.

At that point, we should at least be able to snap on a sensor laden headband, and control our desktop with thought.

guyver1 said:

I'd like to see the rick being Windows doing away with legacy support, a clean slate in terms of hardware/software support, that WOULD be a big risk, but one i think windows needs to make at some point.

Also 64bit ONLY, ditch 32bit

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I'd like to see the rick being Windows doing away with legacy support, a clean slate in terms of hardware/software support, that WOULD be a big risk, but one i think windows needs to make at some point.

Also 64bit ONLY, ditch 32bit

First let me say, IMHO, that you're abundantly and comprehensively wrong about this. Legacy hardware, and for that matter software support, is the only thing that keeps manufacturers honest, and universal PnP viable. Without this, they could simply design software, and hardware, to run only on the latest issue of either, forcing a complete repurchase of everything at their whim.

32 bit computing will die a natural death, no need to artificially speed it along. 64 bit computing is now fully viable, and has presented itself to the masses, who are becoming aware of it, even if they don't fully understand what it means. It's become a salable feature to them.

That said, 128 bit access is the next logical paradigm. By the time that becomes a standard, I'm sure that 32 bit machines will all have become decrepit, reaching the flea markets, if not complete EOL.

With this;

*risk
You should have just hit the edit button. This is an old joke, far from revolutionary concept humor. Reading it, it becomes "asterisk risk", and doesn't make much sense anyway.

Perhaps, "Because they have their, * "...! Might have been a bit more clever.

Guest said:

As I was listening to Ballmer his voice reminded me of a certain snl character.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcR7hr4LLQg

*boggle*

jjbeard926 said:

As long as they learned from Vista . . . and ME, and 98 and Windows Mobile and . . .

Dang! I see a trend here.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

What was wrong with Win98? (Unless you are counting 98SE as separate from 98)

Night Hacker Night Hacker said:

If they want to get their next version right and be successful, they need to get a LOT of user input on it, and remember Vista... and Me....

uttaradhaka said:

It has to be Microsoft's riskiest product because Windows 7 is the best MS operating system for about 10 years. They should have given it more time than just 3 years. They'll have to pull off something amazing to make people spend another 150 bucks on an OS after just 2 to 3 years.

Micael said:

Just like Windows 7, so long as they properly market Windows 8 i doubt it will have trouble selling, just give it a nice looking GUI and you'll have 80% of people buying it, of course we can't overlook the fact that the old spice guy is promoting it.

ruzveh said:

Yea i still believe windows has a long way to go. Why dont they improve win xp itself with more functions and features and hardware compatibility?

oasis789 said:

i dont see the value of upgrading to a new OS if the previous one works fine. maybe if you need to use dx11.

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