Wednesday07 December 2022

Ballmer Blames Vista for Windows Phone's Failure

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So you all remember Windows Vista right? It seems that Microsoft and Steve Ballmer also remember that failed OS (despite current appearances with Windows 8). In fact Steve Ballmer is using Windows Vista as an excuse for their late entry and poor performance in the mobile market. This would seem an odd thing to do as Vista was not a well thought out OS and it was one that failed for Microsoft almost as bad as Windows 8 is right now. The key problem with Vista was that Ballmer and crew tried to make the entertainment industry happy with protections against unauthorized use of movies or copying of the same.


Prior to the general release of Windows Vista in early 2007 Microsoft still had a fairly decent OS in the form of Windows Mobile. However even that far back they were trying to ruin it with the side kick and an attempt to use a different service for messaging and data. This move cost them quite a bit when their backbone service failed and users lost data. This incident happened in 2007 which is well after Ballmer’s claimed early 2000’s time line: “we were working away on what became Vista, and I wish we'd probably had our resources slightly differently deployed, let me say, during the early 2000s. It would have been better for Windows and probably better for our success in other form factors”

Microsoft had already put quite a bit of money into Windows Mobile to get it into the new service behind the Sidekick despite the fact that the iPhone was launched. Microsoft seemed to feel that the iPhone would not be a threat to their much more business oriented offering in the full version of Windows Mobile and they felt they have the consumers with the Sidekick. Then the bottom dropped out of both of those markets. It seemed like everyone wanted the iPhone or Plam’s WebOS based phone. Microsoft was too far behind in technology to compete with either of these two companies.

Which brings us back to Windows Vista; the operating system was not doing well and many consumers were intent on sticking with Windows XP. Microsoft had to make changes and fast. In something of a marathon coding session Microsoft developed and released a new operating system in the form of Windows 7 in late 2009 Perhaps Steve Ballmer was right about Windows Vista being the reason that Microsoft dropped the ball on their mobile OS, but not for the reasons he is trying to state. It was not until after the launch of Windows 7 that they put any real effort into developing a mobile OS and in late 2010 Windows Phone 7 was launched.  

In the end Steve Ballmer’s comments during his talk with financial analysts is little more than an attempt at saying: “we messed up, and we are sorry”. Ballmer’s retirement is another part of this apology to investors and to the consumers. Where Microsoft goes with their business units will determine if this apology is accepted or not.

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Last modified on Friday, 20 September 2013 21:42

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