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.

Comments closed
    • NrPart
    • 11 years ago

    Hello all, 1st post here on TR 🙂

    I’ve read this and other threads carefully, as I am in the middle of a “fight” where I work.

    So, I guess that the problem is not that Vista sucks. That was in the beginning when there were the usual flamewars. After 2 years and SP1, it turns out that the situation is worse now: nobody cares anymore.

    What I have noticed, on some cases, forums, threads, etc… is that some people that are hardcore defenders of Vista, get profit out of it, are devs, cooperate closely with Microsoft, OEMs, have dedicated sites.
    On the other *[

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    q[

      • mad dog
      • 11 years ago

      I know linux and I’ve tried it; for household purposes I’d almost recommend it; however if you want productive work done FAST it simply isnt’t the solution. Maybe it’s my current level of conscience (brainwashed corporatistic thinking) or it indeed appears to me that lack of standardisation (mainly regarding program installations and library issues) is that caracterises linux.

        • kc77
        • 11 years ago

        Mad Dog what productivity software are you using as a base line for your comparison?

        • cjoki
        • 11 years ago

        …but what if windows 7 sucks too…?

        are you gonna wait on windows 8 or look at other oses like apple or linux?

          • kccboy2004
          • 11 years ago

          there simply is not a contender for Windows out there. Sure Apple is ok if you are a graphic designer or just want to email or surf the web. But Windows is the real deal. There is no choice.

      • dpaus
      • 11 years ago

      If I start counting the cost of my time, each new version of Windows has cost me tens of thousands of dollars. Hell, /[

        • no51
        • 11 years ago

        Maybe you should stop playing solitaire and start working 🙂

      • kc77
      • 11 years ago

      That exercise in fiction might have applied a decade ago, but linux (just about any auto compiling distro) can go from installation to fully usable quicker than any version of Windows, including Vista.

    • aleckermit
    • 11 years ago

    If it weren’t for DX10, Vista would not be selling at all.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      DX10 is certainly part of it but there aren’t any (?) DX10-onl games yet and DX10 performance often isn’t up to DX9 and the visual benefits are often minor at best, so it’s a small part imo and DX10 should not be overemphasized as a reason Vista sells. I’d almost say cheap RAM has as much to do with Vista (x64) sales among enthusiasts.

      Personally, when SP1 media became available, I switched from XP x64 to Vista x64. Although XP x64 worked well by the time I got it I could see the writing on the wall, some programs have Vista x64 but not XP x64 support and I had no problems with drivers myself but Vista x64 driver support is better than XP x64 even disregarding the difference when they were both equally old.

      • swaaye
      • 11 years ago

      It’s kinda hard to not get Vista if you are buying a new PC. I do wonder how their retail sales are. I don’t know of anyone who actually bought it at the store (not including OEM version.)

        • clone
        • 11 years ago

        I got Vista during an aggresive rebate campaign pre service pack 1…. got it almost for free.

        I’ve built a computer around it and having used it now for a month I’ve decided to keep using it, this hasn’t stopped me from disabling quite a bit because it’s little more than bloat and I’ve been lazy in regards to hacking the registry but it will eventually happen.

        I found once I activated the administrator account and stopped using the default one Vista hasn’t been so bad…… I used to get prompts constantly and denials in regards to program access but all that is gone and likely because I went with a brand new motherboard equipped with 8gb’s of ram on an E8400 , 850watt Silverstone PSU the transition has been reasonably smooth.

        that said unlike XP during the previous 4 years I’ve actually gotten 2 blue screens while using Vista that resulted in complete crashes which I thought would not be happening but it’s only been 2 and I suspect they were heat related, still surprising nonetheless.

        as a side note had I not gotten Vista for free I wouldn’t have considered it, I still prefer XP pro but it doesn’t support DX10 or more than 4gb’s of ram so whatever.

    • sigher
    • 11 years ago

    I have so far no reason to think windows7 isn’t a renamed vista, and as such if you don’t want vista for any other reason than not liking the name you are still out of luck,
    Still, what windows7 will be in the end remains to be seen, hope springs eternally, and their recent adcampaign shows they can switch their stance in mid-stream and adapt to third parties and customer response doesn’t it?! 😉

      • NeronetFi
      • 11 years ago

      Windows 7 = Windows Vista SE 🙂

        • Draxo
        • 11 years ago

        I prefer to call it Windows 7 ME

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    q[http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=11<]§ ); not bad at all, considering the prevalence and prolific nature of XP. Of course, M$'s ridiculously good quarterly numbers must all be related to XP, right? Or maybe they sold all their old W98 licenses to Burkina Faso or something? q[

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 11 years ago

      I don’t think people who “downgrade” are properly accounted for in those statistics.
      Most likely they count as another Vista sale.

      • stmok
      • 11 years ago

      l[

        • sigher
        • 11 years ago

        He’s a guy who uses the term ‘joe sixpack, you might as well give up on trying to reach him.

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    q[

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 11 years ago

      exactly. which is why vista fails.
      Vista screwed up compatibility with those older programs, the 64-bit version doesn’t support 16-bit installers, has less backwards compatibility than xp64, and dx10 wasn’t ported to XP.
      (98 got dx9 support, so XP should have dx10. maybe not dx11.)

      Microsoft deviated from how they normally operate, and it’s customer/software base with Vista.

      Hopefully Windows 7 will fix those mistakes.

      • stmok
      • 11 years ago

      l[< That's friggin' comical, particularly when you realize that both OS X and the Linux distro-of-the-month have far more point releases than M$ has ever had--and they crank them out like no one's business.<]l I don't own a Mac, so I won't comment for OSX. But what you've said isn't 100% true. On Linux, point releases are intentional. That's the development model of open source: "Release Early, Release Often." However, distros like Ubuntu, also offer LTS (Long Term Support) versions where the the regular desktop version is supported for 3 years, and "server" version is supported for 5yrs. (Server version is nothing but a stripped down, boot into command line solution...You can easily use that and install the necessary desktop bits and still be supported for 5 years). So for example: The current stable 8.04 release is LTS. This is supported until 2011 (desktop) and 2013 (server). The non-LTS versions (like the upcoming 8.10 release) are about 18 months support. This covers both users who want regular releases as well as those who prefer a longer support period. The advantage over Windows is that Linux (community support distros) don't charge money for each new release...And that's the point I'm making (something you've completely missed!): With each new release of Windows (or OSX?), you have to pay. Its a bonus for hardware companies if the software devs can make it so you need system upgrades. (That's what hardware makers were expecting with Vista...Except they didn't count on Vista being largely rejected by the consumer and business folks). Linux stays at $0. (And that doesn't account for the fact that I can mold and shape a distro to meet my needs). So I'm not segregated into certain markets to pay more (ie: Ultimate, Server, Cluster, etc versions). I still pay $0. Think about it over a 20 year period... I'll pay $0 on software for the whole 20yrs. How much will you pay for software? (This is legit, non-pirated software). Do you see how it adds up? When you think of it from this perspective, its no surprise MS isn't really fond of Linux or its open source model. (MS's whole fundamental business relies on the selling of software licenses. The open source concept turns that into $0).

        • Krogoth
        • 11 years ago

        q[

    • stmok
    • 11 years ago

    r[

      • willyolio
      • 11 years ago

      …and what -[

        • stmok
        • 11 years ago

        l[<...and what software company doesn't want you to keep buying newer versions of their product?<]l You don't get it do you? We're past the point of covering all the basic useful features in a desktop OS. Its done, everyone has what they need. Heck, even "user friendly" Linux distros, (the OS with the lowest market share on the desktop), has these areas covered...It just needs to polish and clean up. There's nothing left to be done. All they can do now is re-arrange existing things, make it look pretty, and sufficiently different to repeat this buying process again! Maybe once in a while, toss in a gadget or gimmick app. In due time, its going to get harder and harder to sell future versions. People will get less and less excited about new versions as they become more and more aware. l[

          • Krogoth
          • 11 years ago

          In other words, you are complaining about the symptoms of consumerism eh? I do admit that consumerism a huge social and economical problem. I am not going to open up a new can of worms on that.

          • willyolio
          • 11 years ago

          do you even know what you’re arguing, or are you just ranting?

          you’re complaining that microsoft is simply being a part of western society instead trying to spark a cultural paradigm shift away from consumerism.

          thanks.

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      Geez, the anti-M$ flames are strong with this one. 🙄

      q[

        • stmok
        • 11 years ago

        l[

          • Krogoth
          • 11 years ago

          [Facepalm]

          I know the game quite well. It seems that the OSS advocates (like yourself) like to pretend that MS is some big bad monster while their brainchild is like the second coming. If OSS is so darn good, then why businesses are so reluctant to make the big push and wean off MS? Here is a hint, OSS is no near as free as its advocates claim it to be.

          Earth to you, the mainstream crowd does not give a flying hoot on what OS runs on their system as long as it runs their mainstream stuff without an issue. [ie people who do not venture to computer enthusiast websites like TR]. I am sure very certain they are quite happy with Vista SP1 which comes with their OEM systems.

          The whole “downgrading” policy is very funny because MS wins a license sell either way. It just shows how strong of influence the rabid anti-vista crowd has on enthusiasts. You know who goes through the hassle of the downgrade licenses? Some enthusiasts (vocal, tiny minority) and Businesses (don’t care about Vista to begin with nor will care about “7”).

          I find the hardware requirements argument for Vista to be very silly. XP and W2K got the same darn flak at their original deputes. A few years later mainstream hardware caught up and nobody cared expect people who insist on running 10+ year old hardware.

          You are some very odd standards for failure if you consider Vista to a failure in any sort especially if you do not have any fiscal sake (ie major shareholder).

            • clone
            • 11 years ago

            r[

    • MarioJP
    • 11 years ago

    They only valid reason for jumping on to vista if you have more than 2 or even more than 4 gigs of ram. Vista 64 is solid,but then again i have 8gb of ram lol.

    I like vista for the most part especially that i can see all my ram

    • PRIME1
    • 11 years ago

    Ballmer skipped Vista and went straight to Ubuntu.

    It’s true, I read it on the Inq.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 11 years ago

    Steve is right: one way or another you are going to have the Vista kernel.

    You can start using the kernel now, or you can hold off on your adoption. It doesn’t matter, really. One way or another, you WILL deal with a Windows machine, using a Vista kernel, in the future.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 11 years ago

    What he’s actually saying is that Microsoft is dropping Vista like a rock, and anyone who paid 400$ for Vista Ultimate edition is SOL.

    Then Vista owners will have to pay another 400$ to get the “proper” OS.
    Don’t expect a service pack to include windows 7’s -[

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Not necessarily. 2K SP3 got a lot of the major feature updates that were standard in XP or introduced in XP SP1/2. I see no inherent reason why Microsoft can’t let Vista fade gracefully. Superficial similarities notwithstanding, this is not WinMe, which was a testbed for WDM and System Restore but was based on an entire platform architecture that had gone past ripe and was beginning to smell funny.

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      The anti-Vista FUD never ceases to amaze me.

      • no51
      • 11 years ago

      I love it when people compare retail prices of XP and Vista and forget that XP Pro retailed at $300, the same price as Vista Business at launch. In fact. This moment, Vista Ultimate is cheaper than XP Pro.
      Ultimate: $267.49 [ §[<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116473<]§ ] Business: 278.99 [ §[<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116471<]§ ] XP Pro: $269.99 [ §[<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16837116195<]§ ]

      • maroon1
      • 11 years ago

      “and anyone who paid 400$ for Vista Ultimate edition”

      Why pay 400$ when you can get for free

      You don’t have to get the original version

    • Thanato
    • 11 years ago

    So if someone just bought vista should they feel screwed? Do they now have to buy an upgrade, then go through the trouble of re-installing everything? Or should they just wait for Windows 8, which might be out a year after 7.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 11 years ago

      I’m pretty sure Microsoft is hoping Windows 7 will be like XP. Out for a long enough time that everybody buys it.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 11 years ago

        I hope that lots of the Windows 7 updates will be made part of Vista updates or a SP. I’m not too bothered by the UI but I’d feel shafted if more under the hood updates weren’t given to Vista as well.

          • Draxo
          • 11 years ago

          No Windows Vista 7 Me will have direxct X 11 so you will need to upgrade.

    • Vaughn
    • 11 years ago

    Vista runs great for me and I like office2007 i’m as happy as michael jackson in a preschool.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 11 years ago

      I /[

    • romperstomper
    • 11 years ago

    To all you people complaining about the real-estate the Office 2007 Ribbon takes up:

    MINIMISE IT

    Click on the little arrow next to the Quick-Launch bar at the top and the option is at the bottom.

    Then it takes up the same/less space than 2003.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      ooooo!

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      So it’s either big ass buttons with 1/5 the functionality of the previous version, or it is /[

        • SpikeMeister
        • 11 years ago

        Why do you have to? Stick to 2003, it’s not like 2007 offers any amazingly new functionality. I love the ribbon, and there’s no way it’s 1/5th as functional as the old stupid-ass menu system. No more hunting, just logical thinking, at least in my experience.

    • mmp121
    • 11 years ago

    So what OS does one choose when they plan on building a Nehalem Quad Core monster with more than 4GB of RAM to replace their aging P4 Northwood running XP?

    XP? waste of RAM!!!
    Vista64? Why when its about to be replaced?
    Windows 7? 2010? I’ve been using this PC since 2003!

    ARGH!

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      I would recommend a LTS release of *buntu. 🙂

      hahaha!

      • magila
      • 11 years ago

      I’ve been using XP x64 for 3 years now and haven’t had any complaints. I plan to continue using it for the foreseeable future.

      • Xenolith
      • 11 years ago

      Vista 64 if you need an OS now. Even after 7 comes out, you won’t feel screwed. Vista will be supported for many years to come.

      • just brew it!
      • 11 years ago

      Vista64 if you need full Windows compatibility. Ubuntu 8.04 64-bit edition if you don’t.

      • SpikeMeister
      • 11 years ago

      Vista x64 OEM

    • FroBozz_Inc
    • 11 years ago

    It’s the same strategy my company is going with…but….
    I’m amazed he would just state that he’s OK with it like that.. Wow.

    • Shinare
    • 11 years ago

    I wish the whole “ribbons” thing would die. I guess I’m in the minority, but I absolutely hate Office2007 because of it. I guess I’m too used to the old menus and hate change.

      • srg86
      • 11 years ago

      I too wish the whole ribbons thing would die too, it takes up too much screen real estate.

        • talktojld
        • 11 years ago

        Agreed, Ribbons suck!

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 11 years ago

        Just double click on the ‘tab’ or whatever you want to call it. That will turn it into more of a drop-down menu like you are used to.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      the thing i dislike about ribbons is that someone at microsoft determined the most frequently used features, and those are the ones that get bigger boxes.

      well, of course, i use all of the random parts of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word… so my features were almost impossible to find when my system was first upgraded.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 11 years ago

        That’s not quite true. The ribbon dynamically adjusts to your preferences and uses and stuff. Stick with it a little while and it will learn what your normal uses are.

          • eitje
          • 11 years ago

          i should have highlighted the “when my system was first upgraded” part, i guess.

          • SpikeMeister
          • 11 years ago

          Wow it does? I never noticed that.

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      Dittog{<.<}g

      • blastdoor
      • 11 years ago

      I completely agree. Would it kill them to let people use a traditional menu bar if they want? They did that for the Mac version after all.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      A cigar for you. I understand /[

      • SpikeMeister
      • 11 years ago

      I <3 ribbon interfaces

      • blitzy
      • 11 years ago

      there are some aspects of ribbons which are handy at times, but overall its no faster than a File Edit View Menu since normally you’re forced to switch between ribbons to get what you want

    • dragmor
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve been skipping Office since 2000 by using Open Office and I’ve been skipping Vista so far, I’m just not sure if its how Ballmer intends.

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    q[<#3, Vista does not suck. <]q You're clearly missing my context. Please look up the word i/[

    • no51
    • 11 years ago

    Oooh… reverse psychology. Now that Stevie B said to skip Vista, people will start adopting it. Take that Microsoft! I’ll do the opposite of whatever you say!

      • PrincipalSkinner
      • 11 years ago

      Ahahaha. That was a good one 🙂

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    Captain Obvious to the rescue.

    I was expecting Ballmer to do another crazy dance and throw office furniture at a random employee. XD

    Hell, XP for most of its life was hardly deployed in businesses until application support started to dropped for W2K.

    • Xylker
    • 11 years ago

    Dear Steve,

    Sincere thanks for your permission to ignore this release.

    Your friend,
    Xylker

    • Vasilyfav
    • 11 years ago

    Props to Balmer for admitting the benefits of Vista were not worth migrating to on a business scale.

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    Why is this news? Hell, there’s 12K people in my company, and they just finished moving to XP earlier this year. This is only news because Vista ostensibly sucks, and no one seems to remember the initial reaction to XP from users across the spectrum.

      • darksynth
      • 11 years ago

      Vista does not suck. Was it over hyped? sure. Over sold? sure. Over promised? sure. But it does not suck. I didnt make the switch on my personal box until SP1 hit. And maybe its not exactly a major upgrade for the corporate user, which is admittedly an important demographic. The black theme with the aero interface was worth the $95 the OEM version cost me.

      Seems your thinking of vista as it was in its launch state, it has come a long way since then, and just because it might not be for you doesn’t mean it sucks.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah, but XP became /[

        • no51
        • 11 years ago

        I’d argue that XP became /[

          • talktojld
          • 11 years ago

          Hate to say it, but I have my Vista 64 set up just like my XP is, and…

          It’s about the same after SP1…

          I hardly notice the difference, other than it’s a bit faster when running lots of applications.

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      I didn’t feel the same way about XP as I do with Vista. XP was a piece of cake to migrate to as was NT4 and W2K. XP had remote desktop compared to W2K which was well worth it for how we workedg{<.<}g

      • Umbragen
      • 11 years ago

      Did XP suck when it was released? I had no reason to even notice, and didn’t, until I couldn’t get drivers for Win2K anymore. By that time XP was fine. I like this Royal Noir theme too, it’s slick.

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    I’m glad to hear that Steve Balmer approves of my Windows upgrade strategy.

      • b4b2
      • 11 years ago

      yeah, same here. Once I heard windows 7 wasn’t that far off I decided to pass on vista.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    My only complaint about ribbons is that on lower-end laptops like the ungodly Latitude D530 I have at work I lose a ton of screen real estate. 1024×768 is for the dogs.

    Otherwise, ribbons are an improvement.

      • axeman
      • 11 years ago

      I find laptops with tiny 1440×900 screens almost as bad, sometimes worse. Not very many apps are designed with wide screens in mind, especially when there are so many almost-square 5:4 screens out there.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      See other posts about minimizing the ribbon…

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