Who does Steve Ballmer work for?

I’ll confess, sometimes Steve Ballmer depresses me.

I just out and out fail to understand some of the things he says publicly about the products his company works so hard on.

Larry Dignan just reported on the keynote given by Steve Ballmer at the Gartner Symposium in Orlando, Florida.

What has been reported and pointed out is that in response to a question about the riskiest product bet for his company, Steve allegedly replied the “Next release of Windows.”

Now, I know that being the CEO of a multi billion dollar corporation is not easy. I also know that representing a company with products and services as diverse as Microsoft must be challenging.

My problem is that it seems that Steve continually seems to forget that people hang on his “every” word.

Everything he says needs to be calculated to enhance and not harm the company.

Why would he characterize the next version of Windows as the riskiest bet for Microsoft?

That phrase makes me very nervous. When Microsoft have things going well in a sector (Windows 7) and they start to imply that they are taking”risks” in an upcoming version, it makes a lot of people really nervous.

Why? Because that is Windows Vista language and even though Windows 7 is great, we are still not quite over Vista.

Heck, forget about me…think about all the CIO’s and business leaders who are paid to figure out whether to upgrade now or wait for the next version of Windows. Is this a sly trick to get them to run to Windows 7 now so they can avoid any potential “risks” with Windows 8?

On the other hand, maybe there are new technical and innovateive challenges that Microsoft (even now) know that they will be addressing with Windows 8.

Maybe he was just tired from the Windows Phone 7 tour and just misspoke?

Either way, I get depressed and nervous when I hear those statements.

What do you guys think?

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