Steve Ballmer visits Ireland…

Microsoft Ireland held a fantastic Partner event to coincide with a visit from Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.   Or as Steve put it at the MVP summit “Bill’s Boss” 😉

During the Q&A with Steve, I asked why Media Centre Edition of Windows XP had taken so long to happen in Southern Ireland and if that would happen again with the Vista version.    Apparently the problem was simply related to setting up a local deal with the TV Providers (as usual in Ireland) and he agreed that two years was too long.   It will not happen again.   Good news!

Since I was greedy, I also asked a second question.    That was “What are Microsoft going to do to ensure that OEM’s, like Dell, sell the right version of the new Vista OS to end users who know no better?”.  Steve answered that there are two reasons this will not be an issue.   The first is that it is going to be more profitable for OEM’s to sell the “higher” version of Vista.   The second is that users will have a clear and cost effective upgrade path if they are sold a lower version.    I do hope that means that users will not be penalised because they are upgrading…

After the Q&A, I snuck out early to answer a phone call.   As I am standing there, a door opens and the smiling face of Steve is before me.   “Hi Steve”, I say.   “Hi Nick….   Nick Whittome, Small Business Server MVP right?”.   WOW, he knows my name and knows I am a SBS MVP.   (I am reminded later by my darling wife that I had a name tag on.)    But…  he did email me the following day to say it was nice to meet me…. so he must have known right??? 🙂

Thanks Steve…!    and thanks for the picture 😉

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