“This fall, Microsoft is embarking on one of its biggest series of launches ever, with new versions or updates of nearly all its products and services, from Windows to Windows Phone, Office to Windows Server,” Janet I. Tu reports for The Seattle Times. “On top of that, the company is debuting its first branded computing devices: the Surface tablets.”

Tu reports, “Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, who has called this year ‘the most epic year in Microsoft history,’ sat down for an interview with The Seattle Times last week to talk about the new products and services, the state of the company and the future.”

Some snippets from Ballmer:

• You know, Windows 95 was certainly the biggest thing in the last 20 years until now. I think Windows 8 certainly surpasses it.
• Screaming loudly doesn’t work very well in our industry.

MacDailyNews Take:

• If you look at the bulk of the PC market, it would run between, say, probably $300 to about $700 or $800. That’s the sweet spot [for Surface tablet pricing].
• Just yelling loudly in any business is never going to help.

MacDailyNews Take:

Someone really should explain to Ballmer T. Clown the purpose of a microphone.

I think you always want to have a system that has a chance to recognize people who are doing a great job, a good job, and helping people who are still doing maybe even a decent job, but they’re not doing as good a job as the other folks. It helps to let those people recognize where they stand.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft’s downfall: Inside the executive e-mails and cannibalistic culture that fueled Microsoft’s lost decade – July 7, 2012

• “Q: Where do you see Microsoft’s position in five years, 10 years?” Ballmer: First of all, I’d say: pre-eminent technology company.
• We’re trying to really re-imagine the world from the ground up with Windows 8.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, the netherworld.

• You know, Windows 8 is going to do great… It’s a fantastic product.

Read more in the full interview here.

MacDailyNews Take: Let’s take a look at some reviews of Windows 8:
• Valve co-founder Newell: ‘Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space’ – July 26, 2012
• ZDNet’s Kingsley-Hughes: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is an awful, horrible, painful design disaster – June 8, 2012
• Dvorak: Windows 8 an unmitigated disaster; unusable and annoying; it makes your teeth itch – June 3, 2012
• The Guardian: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is confusing as hell; an appalling user experience – March 5, 2012