Gartner vs. Gates: The Winner Announced in January
Research powerhouse Gartner this week decided to fill in for Microsoft and
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
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.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.