Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer announced today that
he’s going to retire within a year, as soon as the company’s board picks a successor.
Following the announcement, he had a chat with ZDnet’s Mary Jo Foley about his tenure at Microsoft and what’s next for the company.
One nugget really stuck out though.
Ballmer said his biggest regret after all his years Microsoft was Windows Vista, a version of Windows that launched in 2007 to horrible reviews and customer headaches.
Eventually, Microsoft had to rework a lot of the kinks in Vista with Windows 7. It was a disaster.
Here’s what Ballmer told Foley about Vista:
Oh, you know, I’ve actually had a chance to make a lot of mistakes, and probably because, you know, people all want to focus in on period A, period B, but I would say probably the thing I regret most is the, what shall I call it, the loopedy-loo that we did that was sort of Longhorn to Vista. I would say that’s probably the thing I regret most. And, you know, there are side effects of that when you tie up a big team to do something that doesn’t prove out to be as valuable.
It’s an interesting answer, especially considering a lot of Microsoft critics blast the company for missing out on the modern smartphone revolution. In fact, Ballmer famously said in 2007 he didn’t think the iPhone would ever gain siginficant market share.
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