Microsoft CEO apologises for Windows Vista

Microsoft’s ex-CEO Steve Ballmer recently admitted that Windows Vista was not his greatest achievement during his tenure as the head of Microsoft.

During an interview with ZDNet, Ballmer admitted that Vista, codenamed “Longhorn”, was one of his first mistakes as CEO. When asked about his regrets in his thirteen years steering Microsoft, he didn’t hesitate about the answer.

“When I look at it and I say, okay, what’s the thing that I did that I feel — that I regret the most, not just in my CEOship but my whole time here, it’s absolutely ‘Longhorn becomes Vista.’ That was the single biggest mistake I made,” Ballmer told Foley.

“Not only because the product wasn’t a great product, but remember it took us five or six years to ship it. Then we had to sort of fix it. That was what I might call Windows 7.”

Much of what made up Vista was included in Windows 7, so it wasn't completely bad.

Much of what made up Vista was included in Windows 7, so it wasn’t completely bad.

Ballmer continues to relate on how the Windows team was caught up in fixing Vista and getting it out of the gate for at least seven years. He noted that many of Microsoft’s brightest engineers and programmers were stuck with fixing Vista and figuring a way out of the mess that they had gotten themselves into.

“We wound up with a period of let’s say seven or eight years where we had the A-team tied up not driving. We did not make real progress in eight years, and there were other things those people could have been working on,” he admits. “The mistake wasn’t just an executional mistake. It was a technical strategy mistake. We tried to fight it off.”

On the Xbox division, however, Ballmer is happy with the progress the company has made in recent years despite the department not making much profit. He told ZDNet that giving the Xbox teams freedom to move, create and build the brand was the right move to make.

“What you’re trying to do is make money for the long run, not the short run,” he said. “I feel bad about how we got here on Xbox, but we’ve built a heck of an asset. And could we have built it a little cheaper, yes. But we built it. We weren’t swayed from building an important asset.”

Source: ZDNet

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  • hairyback

    So they release a terrible os, then fix it and release the fix as a new os which they charge for…. that’s MS for you.

  • daBoss

    & they wonder why ppl pirate there OS


    Vista was the stepping stone to Windows 7 which is flawless. He should rather have apologized for Windows 8.

  • AjanWin

    which is a stepping stone for windows 9


    I doubt it. Vista wasn’t half as bad as Windows 8.

  • Lanius

    Does Windows 8 lack functionality? No… It has more or less everything from Windows 7. You’re just bummed because they changed a UI and you’re too stupid to figure out how to use it.

  • Lanius

    People would pirate it even if it was perfect.. That’s how people work. Don’t be dumb


    Being called stupid by someone who doesn’t realise that Windows 8 lacks functionality in comparison to Windows 7 really hurts. (sarcasm in case you don’t detect it)

  • Lanius

    It really doesn’t… If you were such a power user then you’d be on linux from the start. You are really the one who’s lacking in …any knowledge.


    “If you were such a power user then you’d be on linux from the start.” <—- Seriously?

    Firstly, I didn't claim to be a power user, and secondly, who says I don't use linux? Do you honestly believe that using linux makes you a power user? lolz

    Anyway, I'm not smart enough to process this much of stupid. Now piss off kid, I don't have your ball.

  • Lanius

    Yup… when you’re clueless, you’re clueless… A comment made out of absolute rage. You firstly, don’t know what you’re talking about, and then you defend the garbage you’ve spoken. Shocking…

  • intrepix

    Windows ME was another OS designed to rip off people and it didn’t stop them from producing and shipping Vista which was another cash grab for an OS that was a rush to market. Instead of apologizing, how about recalling Vista and replacing it with a Windows 7 version ? I’d be willing to pay shipping if they included Win7 with SPI. Meanwhile they can shove my copy of Vista Ultimate right up their ultimates.

  • intrepix

    I have used all versions of Windows and I believe Windows 8 is functional, 8.1 is better but truth be told, I prefer Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate. Reason, I don’t want or need touch screen and aside from that it isn’t reason enough to upgrade from Windows 7. I think MS has tried to make Windows 8 so its a one size fits all scenario which includes everything they can ram the OS into. I won’t be buying any more versions of Windows until they can provide an OS with more to offer than touch screen and apps. Windows continues to be an OS in the making and the number of updates shows it but I think MS should offer an SP2 update to Windows 7 instead of moving on with their focus on 8.1

  • Lanius

    Fair enough. You raise some valid points.

  • daBoss

    changes of something being sold is higher with its success rate being higher, but idiots wont know that… Lanius?! that sounds like a dumb name.

  • Lou. G. Rection

    Nope, Vista wasn’t.

    The festering sinkhole known as Win8 was. Vista isn’t that bad, looking back from almost 10 years. So Ballmer, if you’re so bad at your job, why are you a billionaire. I’m damn good at mine, and I can barely pay the bills. Oh, wait. I’m not a sociopath.

Microsoft CEO apologises for Windows Vista

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