Ballmer also sent out an executive e-mail to customers last week in which he acknowledged that with the "dramatic" changes to the user experiencefrom 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."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 todaywe look forward to the new ideas, the new businesses and the new innovations that will result," he said.
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