As you’re undoubtably aware, Bill Gates is set to retire on June 27th at the ripe old age of 52. Bill’s Harvard bud, Mr. Dancin’ Steve Ballmer, also 52 and a notable fan of the developers, has been itching to take over since his appointment as CEO back in 2000. Speaking at an event on Tuesday, we now know that he intends to remain in command, “for another nine or 10 years… until my last kid goes away to college.” Still, as easy-going as the relationship appeared at D, the transition was forged in fire. In fact, the power conflict was reportedly so severe, according to the Wall Street Journal, that it “paralyzed business strategy decision that the company still wrestles with today.” The tension at least once unravelled into a public shouting match (no really, from Ballmer?) between the two. The struggle was apparently resolved in 2001 when Bill finally accepted that he was number 2, “I had to change,” says Gates. Keep in mind that Bill will continue “working” for Microsoft one day a week and serve as the chairman of the board after his so-called retirement. And with Ballmer packing up Gates with a parting quote like, “I’m not going to need him for anything. That’s the principle. Use him, yes, need him, no,” well, let’s just say things don’t seem 100% resolved.
Read — Retirement
Read — Conflict
Customers will be able to download SP1 tomorrow; retail versions will be in stores on Wednesday.
Microsoft’s long-awaited service pack for Windows Vista is reported to be heading to consumers tomorrow. The RTM version of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) was first released to testers in early February after a lengthy gestation period.
Customers will have two ways to obtain SP1: a stand-alone installer can be downloaded directly from Microsoft’s Download Center or users can get the update through Windows Update where it will be labeled as an optional update. Systems that have drivers which are currently known to be incompatible with SP1 will not be permitted to install the update.
“Customers who visit Windows Update can choose to install Service Pack 1. Any system that Windows Update determines has a driver known to not upgrade successfully will not be offered SP1,” said a Microsoft spokeswoman.
SP1 already caused problems for some testers who installed the RTM version, so Microsoft is likely trying to minimize a problematic launch for a larger consumer-based rollout — the last thing that Vista needs is more fuel added to the fire that surrounds the operating system.
Customers will be able to purchase retail-packaged versions of Windows Vista with SP1 already incorporated starting on Wednesday. Those who pick up the retail versions will also take advantage of new, lower pricing that Microsoft introduced late last month.
Microsoft dropped the prices for Windows Vista Ultimate (Full), Windows Vista Ultimate (Upgrade), and Windows Vista Home Premium (Upgrade) to $319, $219, and $129 respectively. Interestingly enough, Amazon.com offers even lower prices for the software on its site at $299.99, $194.99, and $94.99 respectively.
Hey, it’s not Microsoft’s fault that 2011 sounds like the realm of jet pack VR massage cars, but it’s certainly a long ways away any way you slice it. Contrary to previous rumors of Microsoft planning a Windows 7 release sometime in 2009, Microsoft has apparently gotten in touch with WinVistaClub and set the record straight: Windows 7 is in “planning stages,” and development will take approximately three years. Microsoft wouldn’t comment on that supposed leak we spotted last week, and of course denied any implications that development was being accelerated to make up for Vista shortcomings. We can’t help but wonder how different the OS landscape will look three years from now, with Linux rapidly reaching feature and usability parity, while Apple plugs away at OS X and cloud computing lands everywhere, but we’re sure Vista SP1 won’t be the last bid Microsoft makes at this generation.
[Via The Inquirer]
Update: Other quotes from Microsoft has the date set at 3 years from the launch of Vista, which would indeed land it around 2009, so perhaps all hope is not lost. No date is set yet, and our money is on 2010 at the earliest.