Ballmer: ‘Zune halo effect’ will help Windows Vista

“The holiday season hasn’t gone exactly as Microsoft had hoped,” Mike Ricciuti reports for CNET News.

“The much-anticipated Zune, Microsoft’s portable music player entry, has received mixed reviews, and demand has been tepid. Sure, Vista made its debut, finally, last week–but only for business customers. The Windows XP successor, more than five years in the making, didn’t make it into consumers’ hands for the all-important holiday sales season. Ditto for Office 2007, the flagship of the company’s second most-profitable product line,” Ricciuti reports.

Ricciuti reports, “CEO Steve Ballmer says he isn’t worried. Like Chairman Bill Gates, he says Zune will, over time, gain ground on Apple Computer’s iPod… Ballmer sat down with CNET News.com here to discuss life after Vista, battling the iPod, and the rising importance of mobile devices.”

Now that Vista work is more or less wrapped up–or will be soon–have resources been freed up within Microsoft (to work on things like Longhorn Server)? Ballmer: Well, we’re going to do a next version of Windows, and so one of the questions is whether we’re going to have the same number of people, fewer people, (or) whether we need more people. We’re going to have a very large team continuing to work on Windows innovation.

What happens when Apple produces a smart phone, which they probably will at some point? How does that change the equation? Ballmer: Well, their business model will look a lot more like the business model of the Trio and BlackBerry, than it does (that of) us and Nokia. Nokia is sort of having their cake and eating it, too, a little bit, with Symbian. Hey, in no business that we’re in, can we expect that other people aren’t going to enter and bring some creative ideas. We will see what Apple does.

The thing that is going to drive Apple, you know, people talk about the iPod halo. At some point, do you hope for a Zune halo effect that would help with Vista? Ballmer: Well, sure. I can’t say there is, yet. Eventually, there needs to be, will be. But we’ve got to get out and establish Zune. We think we have a great initial proposition, and we’re happy with the initial response. But we don’t fool ourselves. There’s a guy who’s got a lot of share, and we’re coming later in the day. Things boomed on the back of the iPod, so we have our work cut out.

Are you happy with the response to Zune so far? Ballmer: So far, so good. But we’re (in the) early stages.

Full article here.
Ballmer remains as delusional as ever; even more so, if that’s possible. The Zune is quickly becoming synonymous with “failure,” among other words that are not mentioned in polite company. This “Zune halo effect” business is a ridiculous as saying the Sony Bean (remember those?) will sell more Vaio laptops.

Zune has no halo. Zune leaves a stain.

Zune’s failure may in fact open a few more eyes that can see Microsoft for what it really is: a derivative company, a conniving dinosaur. Zune will help drive people to iPod and Mac OS X more than it will drive any Windows Vista adoption.

And, wow, that Ballmer can say the words “Windows innovation” with a straight face gives us the creeps.

Related articles:
Microsoft Zune plummets to 5th place in U.S. digital media player market share with 2.1 percent – December 04, 2006
Microsoft’s Zune incompatible with Windows Vista – November 14, 2006

InformationWeek: Now that Vista is the past, let’s look at the future: Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard – December 02, 2006
Microsoft’s Windows Vista and Office 2007 releases generate yawns – December 02, 2006
Dave Winer: ‘Microsoft isn’t an innovator, and never was – they are always playing catch-up’ – December 01, 2006
Microsoft’s Windows Vista vulnerable to malware from 2004 – November 30, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista developers used Apple Macs for inspiration – November 27, 2006
Microsoft’s Windows Vista is basically Microsoft’s version of Mac OS 9.3 – October 11, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista: If you can’t innovate… try to impersonate Apple’s Mac OS X – August 10, 2006
Ballmer: I’m Microsoft’s ‘primary champion of innovation’ – July 27, 2006
Microsoft botches another copy job: Windows Vista Flip3D vs. Apple Mac OS X Exposé – June 26, 2006
Windows Vista rips-off Mac OS X at great hardware cost (and Apple gains in the end) – June 13, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006
Thurrott: Microsoft going to get eaten alive over Windows Vista’s resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – March 09, 2006
NY Times’ Pogue on Gates’ CES demo: Most of Vista features unadulterated ripoffs from Apple Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
Analyst: Windows Vista may still impress many consumers because they have not seen Apple’s Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
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Microsoft’s Ballmer: It’s true, some of Windows Vista’s features are ‘kissing cousins’ to Mac OS X – September 18, 2005
PC World: Microsoft innovation – an oxymoron – September 14, 2005
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eWEEK Editor Coursey: Longhorn so far ‘looks shockingly like a Macintosh’ – April 25, 2005
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Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn will bear more than just a passing resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – April 15, 2005
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PC Magazine: Microsoft ‘Longhorn’ preview shows ‘an Apple look’ – May 06, 2004
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