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Ballmer: Stay on Windows XP and You Will Face a Backlash

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306w ago - Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is warning IT organizations that they risk provoking an end user backlash if they don't move off the Windows XP operating system.

"If you deploy a four or five-year old operating system today, most people will ask their boss why the heck they don't have the stuff they have at home," the Microsoft CEO said.

In an interview at an event to mark the extension of Microsoft's collaboration with EMC to help IT professionals improve virtualisation, security and content management, Ballmer touched on the progress of Windows 7.

He stressed that its faster performance, longer battery life and simplified security settings will be "a pretty good step forward in terms of what users care about."

For these reasons and others, Ballmer warned that, enterprises that stick with Windows XP too long risk complaints from impatient users who have been using newer computers running Vista and Windows 7 at home.

Microsoft recently revealed that it will move directly from beta 1 of Windows 7 to release candidate, implying a quicker release of the new OS than initially expected. Additionally, Microsoft announced yesterday that it will issue discounted upgrade licenses to customers moving from Windows XP to Windows 7.

Ballmer did say that it is too early in Windows 7's lifespan to "start beating the big drum," but emphasised that ease-of-use is a priority, particularly in "some of the improvements made in Vista on security." This is arguably a reference to the UAC pop-up security feature in Vista that has drawn ire from users for being annoying and inflexible.

In Windows 7, the UAC setting can be controlled by the user. For instance, the user can set UAC for "always notify me" at the most conservative level or "never notify me" if they don't want to use UAC. There are two moderate options in between that will notify users only about certain changes that take place on their computers.

According to a recent report by Forrester, Windows Vista is now powering just fewer than 10 percent of all PCs within enterprises in North America and Europe.

Nevertheless an uptick in Vista use may be on the horizon, as the report also states that 31 percent of IT decision-makers said they are beginning migrations to Windows Vista.

Ballmer admitted that compatibility issues have held Vista back. But he adds that they were a necessary evil in order for Vista to break new ground on security.

"Our enterprise customers basically are pretty happy with what we did with Windows Vista, with one notable exception, which we needed to do to improve security, which was to break compatibility," Ballmer says.

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Comments 11 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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#11 - devinbedari - 301w ago
devinbedari's Avatar
Threats...Wow. I must say I am not surprised.

I'm sticking to XP. I hate Vista. I tried Windows 7 and I wasn't impressed.
Yet I have XP and Vista, just in case.

#10 - JeffJ - 301w ago
JeffJ's Avatar
this is funny, because i do work for allot of large businesses (im a pc tech and networking/server specialist) and they all beg me to remove vista from all the PC's and install xp. so ive been getting fat payed ever since vista came out.

i think including Vista on your work pc's will cause an employee backlash not the other way around.

Ballmer is a dill weed anyways. I always get the impression he is pulling facts out of his ass every time he opens his pie hole.

#9 - WOWchamp - 302w ago
WOWchamp's Avatar
I've used every windows from 3.1 to windows 7 and I can honestly say the two best by FAR were windows 98SE and windows xp. If windows xp had vistas vast generic driver support then it might be the best windows ever designed to date.

Vista is crap. I've used it for the last 2 years and it's never done anything impressive. The only things I can note about it are how it's noticeably slower then XP, crashes more and is more complicated to do the same tasks as on XP.

However for the most part Vista has been very usable for me, if your willing to set aside the performance loss and have the know how/ be patient with the bugs/crashes.

My college university still runs XP.... so I don't think the sun has set on this OS just yet.

#8 - GSCloud - 303w ago
GSCloud's Avatar
It's sad, but I think there were quite a few people actually lined up to get vista... What's even sadder is I even considered it... thank goodness I sobered up... I think vista is "ok" on a desktop but atrocious on a laptop... Any laptop without crazy specs is pretty much gasping for life when simple things like copy and paste take like 2 minutes... the downgrade XP process that Lenovo and Dell had... a Godsend!

#7 - Somaxman - 305w ago
Somaxman's Avatar
well, it's kinda pathetic, when you have to threaten your customers to buy your new product. you know, normally they should be lining up at 3 o'clock in the morning to buy it.


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