Steve Ballmer says it’s okay to skip Vista

Because of the bad press surrounding Windows Vista—or simply due to longer operating system migration cycles—some businesses have decided to stick with Windows XP and only upgrade when Windows 7 comes out in 2010 (or possibly earlier). While playing up Vista’s upsides, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said at an event that he doesn’t mind businesses skipping Vista altogether.

According to ZDNet, Ballmer stated the following in response to a Gartner study that says “61 percent of respondents are thinking about skipping Vista:”

Ballmer said that Microsoft would be ready for that outcome too. Mentioning Windows 7–he quipped about the creative naming convention of using just “7”–he indicated that Microsoft would be ready for folks that want to skip Vista. In fact, he said Windows 7 would be compatible with Vista.
“Our next release of Windows will be compatible with Vista. The key is let’s get on with it. We’ll be ready when you want to deploy Windows 7.”

Ballmer went on to describe Windows 7 as “Vista, but a lot better.” He was quick to add, “It’s not minor because it’s a lot more work than a minor release. It’s a major release,” mentioning changes like “cleanness of user interface.” Windows 7 screenshots that leaked out recently have shown user interface tweaks in the control panel, the Start menu, Windows Explorer, the Windows calculator, Paint, and WordPad. The latter two apparently feature Office 2007-style “ribbons.” Windows 7 will do away with pre-loaded e-mail, photo gallery, and video editing applications, as well.

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