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Ballmer: 'A Lot Of Work To Do' On Vista

At an investment conference this week, Ballmer refused to be drawn into a discussion of whether Vista would ship in January.
At an investment conference this week, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer said Windows Vista developers have "a lot of work to do" before the OS releases, then blamed the press for concentrating on the Redmond, Wash. company's legal woes.

"[It's] a little early on the Vista feedback, beta feedback, a little early," Ballmer said in response to a question about Vista's release timeline at Wednesday's Sanford C. Bernstein investment conference in New York City. Ballmer was on a swing through Wall Street to update investors on Microsoft's plans for growing revenue.

Windows Vista recently went into broader testing when Microsoft released Beta 2 of the next-generation operating system to developers and IT professionals. It has promised that the general public will be able to obtain Beta 2 sometime in the next few weeks.

"We've still got a lot of work to do. We're prioritizing quality," he added. Unlike during appearances earlier in the week in Korea and Japan, Ballmer refused to be drawn into a discussion of whether Vista would ship in January, the schedule the company set in March when it delayed the OS.

"We've said what we have to say about when the thing will be delivered," said Ballmer. "But I'll tell you, at the end of the day the priority has got to be to complete with good quality."

He also said that the media doesn't appreciate how much Microsoft is juggling, and focuses too much on its legal problems.

"I think right now people just don't understand how much great stuff we have coming. I really don't," Ballmer said.

"There's still a little bit of what I would say over-fascination with all matters legal. They are important, but they are not defining of the company. We have a serious need and commitment to comply in the United States and Europe. But there seems to be, in the press the legal matters somehow get a lot of attention."

Coincidentally, on Friday the Wall Street Journal reported that talks between Adobe and Microsoft over a feature in Office 2007 that would save files in PDF format had broken down. Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, told the Journal he expected Adobe to file an antitrust lawsuit against his company in Europe.

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