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Ballmer: 'Vista is great for consumers'Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, speaks with CNET News.com's Ina Fried about Vista's critics and the European Union's regulatory rulings.
^M00:00:01 [ Music ] ^M00:00:04 >> With Vista Service Pack, there hasn't been a tremendous amount of buzz around the service packs since you guys said it's basically gonna be a collection of patch rollups. Was that a missed opportunity? Wouldn't you rather see more excitement around Vista? >> Well we have a lot of activity; certainly Vista's very popular right now in the marketplace, particularly on the consumer side and when we actually ship the Service Pack, I suspect that will be the appropriate time to continue to dial up the level of energy and excitement around that on the business side. >> And are you kind of pleased where Vista is at? I mean a lot of people have pretty much criticized it in the last few months saying instead of building momentum it seems to be getting less mind share particularly on the consumer side. >> It's certainly not true on the consumer side. I mean it's ironic we have a lot of them on the consumer side. Yes there's one or two models you can find some place in the world of PCs that don't run Windows Vista, but the machines that sell all run Windows Vista, we get a lot of consumer interest and enthusiasm around it, and as is normal with a new OS release there's emissions we're gonna have to do to continue to polish to make it more and more appealing on the business side. >> One thing you guys took off your plate was you announced that final settlement with the EU and stuff; what does settling that mean and why did it take as long as it did? >> Well we didn't settle; we're in compliance. We moved to be in complete compliance with the 2004 decision that the commission took and that's good. It's very important to us; we've been trying to comply, we're glad we were able to meet the sort of the issues that the commission laid out in terms of compliance under the 2004 decision as affirmed by the Court of First instance. The other thing we decided to do was to not appeal to the European Court of Justice. I think it's time as in most things we've had our sort of most important appellate opportunity. We got a fairly clear signal back from the Court of First Instance. I think we have to recognize that we are where we are and we're gonna work very constructively with the commission going forward. >> Do you think it sets any dangerous precedence for the industry? I mean some people have said that this will give the European courts kind of renewed--I don't know what the right verb is to go after more or to get further into regulating the technology industry. >> I'm not sort of a geo-political strategist; I'm not going to sort of speculate what it might mean to others. I think I understand what it means to us and we're moving forward. >> And last thing. Does Microsoft have any interest in sort of the enterprise software consolidation that's going on? Obviously Oracle said they want to buy BEA; they've had a strategy of pretty much gobbling up lots of companies. Is that an area where you see Microsoft needing to acquire to grow or not so much? >> I wouldn't see us buying some companies, but if we continue to do acquisitions, we'll need a large acquisition I'm not so sure. We've seen business objects in high period and Cebo [assumed spelling] and some other things and every case we had to look, and decided that we liked where we were better than where we would have gotten so we're quite happy with our position. >> What do you make of Oracle stress strategy through acquisition? >> I'm not an expert. If it works, power to 'em, if it doesn't work, it's tough but sometimes big acquisitions can make good sense and we'll have to see how they execute.