Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has confessed his biggest regret during his stint is Windows Vista operating system. He told Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet that there are "side effects" from spending too much precious manpower on a product that failed to deliver.
Just last Friday, CEO Steve Ballmer made known of his plans to leave the company within the next 12 months. Microsoft know-it-all Mary Jo Foley managed to speak with him for 15 minutes, asking him the "usual questions" and she broached the subject of his biggest regret. He said that he regretted the launch of Windows Vista operating system the most.
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.
When Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system was launched, it was touted as the successor to the popular Windows XP OS. However, due to its prohibitive hardware requirements and costs, it failed to garner the fanfare and acceptance enjoyed by Windows XP. Another feature that tripped up Windows Vista was its poor implementation of User Account Control (UAC). It was meant to be an extra layer of security in Windows Vista; however, due to its constant prompting, many users deemed it a nuisance. This feature was later improved in Windows 7.
However, it wasn't Windows 7 that CEO Ballmer was most proud of, he said he was most satisfied with Microsoft's global influence on people's lives as they use PCs and smartphones for their computing needs. At the same time, he delivered value to the shareholders of the company. For the full transcript of ZDNet's interview with CEO Steve Ballmer, please head over here.