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Bill Gates on Windows Vista “one year later”

Earlier today at the Consumer Electronics Show, I interviewed Bill Gates for this Q&A appearing Monday’s newspaper. Among other things, I tried to get a sense for his feelings about Windows Vista, one year after it was launched.

Here’s an extended version of his comments.

Q: A year ago here, you debuted Windows Vista. You’ve sold 100 million copies, but it doesn’t seem to have won the hearts and minds of the computing public as much as you would have wanted. What happened?

Gates: Well, I think a lot of people would say it was the best new product of the year in terms of the neat, new things they’re using in it.

They also have very high expectations in terms of having all the drivers there and the compatibility. There’s some of those areas where, as the year went on, we definitely did a better job on those things, and there’s a bit of a lesson learned there.

This is a very successful product. We’re very proud of it. I think you’re starting to see people talk about the things that they really enjoy in it. There’s a lot of hardware that’s taking advantage of it. We’re hard at work on the next big version of Windows, and it is the product that the industry tends to build its new applications on.

Q: Have you had any second thoughts about coming out with an operating system with such substantial hardware requirements?

Gates: No. …

Q: Things like a gigabyte of system memory.

Gates: No it runs fine on a half-gig machine.

Q: Right, Vista Basic does.

Gates: We want to take advantage of the new hardware that’s out there and the new capabilities. I wouldn’t say that the hardware requirements were a tough thing. There some things about drivers, some of the compatibility layer things, but as the year went on, all of those got into a much stronger position.

Bill Gates, Windows Vista, Anniversary, Interview, Microsoft

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