Gartner vs. Gates: The Winner Announced in January

Research powerhouse Gartner this week decided to fill in for Microsoft and announce the ship date for Vista. It won’t be January 2007, my friends. Now, it could be March, April, May or June (how’s that for precision?). This kinda reminds me of TV psychics: “I’m hearing a name, begins with an ‘S,’ could be a man, this person was a close relative, got sick…” Microsoft takes issue with the Gartner prediction, and in any case prefers to make its own product delay announcements.

Who is Really Running Redmond?
Fortune magazine has a terrific story about Ray Ozzie and how quickly he has been given power (like immediately!). I’m not sure if Bill Gates idolizes anyone, but he clearly has the utmost respect for Ozzie and wanted Ray to join Microsoft in the worst way for better than two decades.

It is no real surprise, then, that Ozzie is the most influential figure at Microsoft, calling more and bigger shots than Bill himself. This is great news for Microsoft and even better news for customers. Ray is a breath of fresh, brilliant air, and seems bent on getting rid of fatter and fatter clients and servers and moving processing to the network.

Redmond spoke to Ray right after he joined Bill. Read that interview here.

Long Wait for Longhorn
Longhorn server, like its little brother Vista (which used to be called Longhorn, too), is now officially late, not set to ship till late next year. Given that this server is nearly two years out, it could well slip again. The real question is whether Microsoft will use this time to make any fundamental changes. Perhaps Mr. Ozzie will take a close look at the spec sheet and send the coders back to the drawing board.

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Schwarzenegger $70 Million Richer
The government of California just won a cool 70 mil from Microsoft to settle antitrust charges. If this was a consumer class action, I’d say good luck collecting. The lawyers would get most and Redmond would keep the rest (how many times have you gotten 20 pages of paperwork to fill out to collect 27 cents as part of a suit you never even heard of?). But because this is a government case, chances are decent that at least some money will be recouped.

Ballmer Talks Cheaper Software
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer last week said the move to Web services, ad-driven applications and subscription pricing could lower prices. In particular, subscription-based software can cut down on piracy, and since more people pay for software, software can afford to charge less.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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