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A few days ago we reported that Steve Ballmer’s time at Microsoft had come to an end. Now, it appears that Steve Ballmer is in a nostalgic mood, as he revealed a number of interesting facts about his time at Microsoft during an interview with longtime Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley.
One of the facts that the tech community has jumped on is Steve Ballmer’s biggest regret. In an otherwise straightforward interview that featured predictable, general responses, Ballmer revealed that Microsoft fumbled the release of Vista during his tenure, saying that:
“…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.”
One of Ballmer’s biggest problems with Vista was that it tied up a big team of talented employees for a long time on a project that ultimately didn’t prove to be very valuable for the company.
Aside the forgettable Windows ME operating system, Windows Vista was Microsoft’s first major stumbling block in an otherwise long history of success. Windows Vista was plagued with problems from the start and appeared to have been released a year too early. Windows Vista problems included:
-Performance issues that made it slower than Windows XP
-Endless pop-ups from services like User Account Control
-Absurd admin account restrictions that didn’t really improve security
Almost all of these problems were first by the release of Vista’s first service pack, which took place a year after the initial release, but the negative PR train had already begun and Vista was basically doomed from the start. Steve Ballmer regrets Vista, and most people who upgraded to Vista early regret Vista.
Some other interesting interview questions include:
Q: Did Bill Gates ask Steve Ballmer to retire? A: No, “Bill respects my decision”
Q: What’s next for you now? A: “Frankly I don’t know…My whole life has been about my family and about Microsoft.”
Q: What’s the single biggest thing you are proud of at Microsoft? A: “Being…a significant part of the birth of intelligent personal computing…and that’s had such an unbelievable impact on people’s lives…I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished here.”
Really, most of the interview was dry, boring, and predictable until Foley got to the ‘biggest regret’ question, so it makes sense that the tech community jumped on that answer first.