Ballmer: Windows Live Is Top Microsoft PriorityBy Stan Gibson | Print
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Microsoft's CEO tells the Gartner audience that Windows Live is the next software paradigm.ORLANDO, Fla.Windows Live is the most important initiative at Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, told the audience at the annual Gartner Symposium and IT Expo here on Oct. 10.
"We're in a transition to software that is live. It will be click to run, like a Web site," said Ballmer. "We believe in evolving to click to run."
Windows Live is a growing collection of service add-ons for Windows. Some of the services are shipping, such as Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Expo online classifieds. Nearly a dozen services are currently in beta test on the Windows Live Ideas Web site.
Ballmer said the move to an online experience for the user does not diminish the need for powerful client systems, which are the bread-and-butter of Microsoft's software business.
Gartner analysts posed questions to Ballmer on a number of topics, particularly the forthcoming Vista release of Windows. Ballmer said the lesson his company has learned from the repeated delays that have plagued the release of Vista, once known as "Longhorn," is the need to reduce complexity in the development process.
"We learned we have to innovate and integrate, but not necessarily at the same time. There was too much new invention to be integrated," he said.
In the area of enterprise applications, Ballmer noted that Microsoft is working to release a hosted CRM (customer relationship management) service. He also said Microsoft is working on a common code base for the ERP (enterprise resource planning) products in the company's Dynamics product lineessentially what had been called "Project Green" a couple of years ago.
Ballmer also stressed that Microsoft will continue to invest in multiple core businesses: entertainment, online, enterprise and desktop. In addition, he touted the company's legendary tenacity if success does not come quickly. "The bone doesn't fall out of our mouth easily. We keep coming and coming and coming and coming and coming and coming."
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