Speaking at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference last week, company CEO Steve Ballmer offered some encouraging words for customers who have waited for Windows Vista in much the same way Penelope waited for Odysseus after the end of the Trojan War. He emphasized that the interval between this new operating system and the previous XP would be well worth it due to the enhanced user interface, the increased security and privacy, and improved connectivity to hardware and applications.
“You could say in Vista’s case a long time in the making, if you want to, and I think that’s probably a fair statement, a long time in the making, but (it will be) absolutely a blockbuster release,” Ballmer said during his speech at the conference. “I think it’s probably important for me to tell our partners to rest assured we will never have a gap between Windows releases as long as the one between XP and Windows Vista; count on it. I could go through the history of how we got here; just count on it, we will never have this kind of gap again.”
Ballmer also stressed that the company was going through “the most amazing year of product innovation… essentially of all time,” which will include Vista, Internet Explorer version 7 and Microsoft Office 2007 when it’s all said and done. He also said that Microsoft is venturing into new markets such as business intelligence, portals, workflow, content management and collaboration.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Microsoft founder and former CEO Bill Gates explained to the company’s partners in that country that there is a chance—however slight—that Vista might not make it out by its revised deadline of January 2007. Gates said the company had to get the new OS “absolutely right” before its release. “If the feedback from beta tests show it is not ready for prime time, I’d be glad to delay it,” he said.