Ballmer downplays NT 5.0

At an important trade show, the executive sings the praises and admits limitations in his company's corporate OS.

ATLANTA--Microsoft president Steve Ballmer has sometimes been compared to an evangelist, and here at one of the largest networking events of the year, the affable executive sang the praises and admitted the limitations of his company's corporate operating system, Windows NT.

Perhaps realizing the savvy nature of his audience, Ballmer quipped about delays in the forthcoming introduction of version 5.0--currently in a second test cycle--and openly discussed the limitations of an OS sometimes positioned as an alternative to more established corporate software, such as Unix.

Focusing on NT's management and reliability, Ballmer admitted that "we have a long ways to go.

"There's still a lot of issues, a lot of areas in which we can improve," he told an overflow crowd at the Networld +Interop industry trade show.

The executive then went through a laundry list of items that Microsoft is addressing to make NT more palatable for high-end tasks, covering a wide variety of features like Active Directory and IntelliMirror--functions that are now well known to the NT community, given the lengthy period that Microsoft has talked about its upgrade.

Ballmer did assert that NT is finding its way into even the largest networks due to a wide array of third-party software development. "Windows NT has emerged as an incredible riveting point for the development of business applications," he noted.

Ballmer's tempered words on NT seem to be part of an emerging trend toward reducing expectations for the long-delayed upgrade, which is now due sometime next year--likely in the second half.

As an aside, Ballmer said he had been meeting with customers this week and has not kept up with the company's legal wrangles with the federal government in Washington D.C. "I don't know much," he told the audience.

Featured Video
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

As Xbox One gets a little sweeter, HoloLens gets Xbox Live

Microsoft announces new features coming to Xbox One, including the ability to record TV shows. Also, the company opens up Xbox Live to HoloLens programmers.

by Bridget Carey