Ballmer Dampens Vista Expectations
- By Carolyn April
Why is Steve Ballmer talking out of both sides of his mouth with respect to
After regaling the Jan. 30 launch date audience with predictions that Windows
Vista will sell five times as many copies than Windows 95 over the next three
months, and twice that of Windows XP in same time period, Ballmer reversed course
dramatically at a February financial analysts' meeting.
At that event, Microsoft's CEO attempted to reset expectations for Vista sales,
saying in particular that non-corporate (read: retail) sales will not spike
beyond fiscal '07, which at Microsoft means June 30. Here's a sample of his
"I, too, am very enthusiastic about Vista," Ballmer said. "But
I think sometimes the enthusiasm about this great product and the excitement
and the launch, people have to understand our revenue models because I think
some of the revenue forecasts I've seen out there for Windows Vista in fiscal
year '08 are overly aggressive."
So, what gives? Cynics will say this is pure stock price machinations, the
old under-promise, over-deliver scheme. But does Microsoft really see something
in the tea leaves that is causing it to throttle back on Vista sales expectations?
Might the early, less-than-enthusiastic reviews, necessary hardware upgrades
and security glitches be leading up to a less-than-stellar performance by a
product Microsoft spent nearly five years developing?
What are your early experiences with Vista and does your company plan to upgrade
anytime this year? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carolyn April is the executive editor of features for Redmond magazine.