Ballmer: No Office 14 This Year


Earlier this morning Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer and CFO Chris Liddell gave their annual mid-year “strategic update” to Wall Street (read SAI’s minute-by-minute coverage) and told analysts that Office 14 “will not be this year.”

That’s in line with earlier rumours that Office 14 might slip until 2010. And interestingly, this morning Steve never mentioned the G-word (Google Apps), only talking about OpenOffice as a real competitor to the MS Office line. (Which differs from an interview Steve gave earlier this month where he acknowledged “there have certainly been accounts where they [Google Apps] show up.”)

The delay will give Google Apps more time to make inroads among Microsoft’s corporate clients. Google recently moved to hire salespeople for Apps, but Microsoft executives told SAI that Apps aren’t a threat.

What else did we hear Steve say this morning, other than his general defence of Microsoft continuing to spend?

  • Steve made fresh overtures to Yahoo (YHOO), and while insisting he wasn’t talking about an acquisition, he repeated the two companies “should figure out a way to get together” to take on Google (GOOG).
  • Without a Yahoo deal, search will be a long, slow slog for Microsoft. Microsoft jumping from 4% to 25% share in a year just isn’t reasonable to expect, Steve said.
  • Still no good answer from Steve on how Microsoft will sell the enterprise on Windows 7. Steve says corps will go to 7 when they start replacing PCs. “We have a pretty good product, and some pent-up interest, but we’ll have to see.”