Ballmer Analyzes Microsoft's 'One Big' Vista Mistake
By Stacy Cowley, CRN7:39 PM EDT Mon. Jul. 31, 2006
Microsoft made one big, wrong decision that led to Vista's delays, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told financial analysts during his meeting with them last week. The company took a Big Bang approach and tried to overhaul all of its operating system's core components simultaneously, an approach that eventually led to a fiery development crash.
"We made an upfront decision that was, I'll say, incredibly strategic and brilliant and wise -- and was not implementable," Ballmer said. "We tried to incubate too many new innovations and integrate them simultaneously, as opposed to letting them bake and then integrating them, which is essentially where we wound up."
What I find interesting is that MS has made major overhauls in the past. In the mid-90s, Gates decided MS needed to be an internet company. He basically stopped the compnay and changed directions. In a few short years, IE was the dominant browser and Outlook the dominant corporate email client. Frontpage became on of the leading coding apps, and MS Instant Messenger quickly surpassed ICQ and now dominates over Yahoo! IM and AIM.
But an OS is different. It's much more complex; and everything has to be right. And Balmer isn't Gates. With the Internet shift, Gates was all about the vision of how this was going to change the world. I don't see a similar vision with the OS.