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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-12-05 Print this article Print

Ballmer also sent out an executive e-mail to customers last week in which he acknowledged that with the "dramatic" changes to the user experience—from the new Vista Aero interface to the new Ribbon in the 2007 Office system—"comes more than a little risk." "After all, these are some of the best-known and most-used products on the planet. Windows powers 845 million computers. Office is used by more than 450 million people. Any thoughtful businessperson would think twice before tinkering with the products that people use every day to manage their work and run their businesses," he said.
What is the business case for upgrading to Vista? Click here to read more.
"So why are we making these changes? And why should you risk disrupting your business to take advantage of these new features and capabilities?" he questioned. The answer: because business has changed and new tools are required. No one questions the competitive advantages that come from the ability to communicate and collaborate instantly with colleagues and customers around the world. No one doubts that businesses benefit from access to nearly limitless information about customers, competitors, and markets, Ballmer said. "But, at the same time, no one labors under the illusion that business is any easier as a result. In todays global economy, where customers can find the best price without leaving their desks, competitive advantage can come and go in the blink of an eye," he said. Read more here about how Microsoft plans to unleash 30 new products over time on the back of the Vista wave of innovation. Microsoft is also poised to introduce over the next year new innovations such as unified communications, including VOIP (voice over IP), and performance management that utilizes cutting-edge analytics and business intelligence, which would enable businesses to achieve new levels of value from their information technology investments, Ballmer said. "Over the course of the next decade, we expect that Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system and Exchange Server 2007 will be used by well beyond 1 billion people. ... The future of business computing begins today—we look forward to the new ideas, the new businesses and the new innovations that will result," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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