'

CEO Ballmer (mis)speaks, Microsoft HQ clarifies

There's something crazy about a CEO of a multibillion dollar corporation telling people one thing, and then the company having to clear up the misstatement later.

There's something crazy about a CEO of a multibillion dollar corporation telling people one thing, and then the company having to clear up the misstatement later.

This is exactly what happened with Microsoft the other day. Speaking to developers at conference in Japan on May 23 CEO Ballmer had this to say (this is from the official transcript with emphasis added):

"We're obviously hard at work on the next version of Windows. Windows 7 PCs will sell over 350 million units this year. We've done a lot in Windows 7 to improve customer satisfaction. We have a brand new user interface. We've added touch, and ink, and speech. And yet, as we look forward to the next generation of Windows systems, which will come out next year, there's a whole lot more coming. As we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8. Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors."

Wow! That's exciting stuff! Windows 8 coming in 2012 and with it a load of new hardware! I'm jazzed. Tell me more, Microsoft!

But the excitment is short-lived. Pretty soon Microsoft HQ is correcting Ballmer's 'misstatement.'

"It appears there was a misstatement. We are eagerly awaiting the next generation of Windows 7 hardware that will be available in the coming fiscal year. To date, we have yet to formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows."

Oh, OK ... that's boring. So basically we should ignore everything that the CEO 'announced' because it wasn't a 'formal announcement.' OK, right ... that makes sense ... NOT!

Confused messages don't help to keep everyone on the same page. It shouldn't be hard for a company like Microsoft to keep the message it gives out accurate and consistent.