Speaking Thursday at Gartner's Symposium/ITxpo conference in Orlando, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told those in attendance that if people want to wait for Windows 7 and leave Windows Vista to the suckers, that's perfectly fine with him.
"If people want to wait [for Windows 7] they really can," he said. "But I'd definitely deploy 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," he added later.
Well, Steve, I can't help but agree with you on this one. Why not wait for Windows 7? All I've heard from the Microsoft camp over the past six months is how wonderful Windows 7 will be and that although its issues are being fixed, Windows Vista just won't be able to stand up to the capabilities its follow-up will offer.
Heck, I'm sure many people and companies would have liked to deploy Windows Vista, but after hearing you, Bill Gates, and the rest of the Windows team discussing Windows 7, you've made our decision simple: let's just wait for Microsoft's new operating system and forgo Vista.
I don't know about you, but all I've heard from Microsoft lately is that Windows 7 will the savior that we've all been waiting for. After discussing Vista's many compatibility and usability issues, Ballmer said at the Gartner event yesterday that Windows 7 would not only be a major release because of all the work Microsoft needs to put in to improve it over Vista, it'll be much better than Vista.
"It's not minor because it's a lot more work than a minor release. It's a major release," he said. "Windows 7 will be Vista, but a lot better."
I'm sure PC vendors like Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others will be happy to hear that. Those companies currently allow consumers that don't want to use Vista to use the pre-installed Windows XP Professional on machines instead. Why? Because vendors realize that their customers simply aren't happy with Vista and would rather work with an operating system that with the help of Service Pack 3, packs an even more appealing set of features that Vista running Service Pack 1.
Speaking of vendors, Ballmer, at the D6 conference earlier this year, said Microsoft would work closer with vendors with the release of Windows 7 and ensure that its hardware partners were releasing products that would compete on the same level with Apple.
"There's a lot in Windows 7, and our goal is to produce fantastic PCs with our hardware partners" Ballmer told Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at D6.
And considering the fact that Windows 7 should be available sometime in the beginning of 2010 -- a whopping year and a half from now -- what would justify any buying decision on the part of a company or individual that would see them deploy Windows Vista instead of waiting for Windows 7?
For some odd reason, Microsoft is intentionally working against Vista and making it abundantly clear to anyone who will listen that the future of Windows is in Windows 7, not Windows Vista. And although Windows Vista may be an attractive alternative to those looking to buy a new computer, shouldn't they take Microsoft at face value and realize that spending money on a new computer now is a waste of money if Windows 7 will be so fantastic?
I don't understand this move on any level. Microsoft has always pimped its operating systems as much as possible to squeeze every last penny out of consumers and businesses. But as we get closer to Windows 7's release, it's becoming clear that it has abandoned that strategy with Vista and is instead trying to make its current operating system look like a bridge between XP and Windows 7, even though Vista is considered a major release.
Business are loath to switch and vendors are more than happy to offer XP. Ballmer says Windows 7 will be better than Vista and Bill Gates can't stop talking about how wonderful the company's next operating system will be. Microsoft puts Windows 7's release date somewhere towards the beginning of 2010 and says that it's OK if people want to wait for Windows 7 instead of opting for Windows Vista. Meanwhile, economic conditions continue to worsen and people aren't as willing to spend money on expensive systems.
The evidence seems overwhelming: Microsoft wants us to wait for Windows 7 and forget about Windows Vista.
I guess we should do what it wants us to do. After all, it knows better than us, right?