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Ballmer: Vista SP1 Will Spark Vista In Enterprises

At CeBIT 2008, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said he believes that Vista service pack 1 will convince enterprises that now is the time for them to start migrating to the OS.

But in a press Q&A session earlier this week at Cebit 2008, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said he's not concerned over the slow pace of Vista migration in enterprises, and that he expects Vista SP1 to be a catalyst for Vista adoption.

"Enterprise adoption [of Vista] is not unlike the enterprise adoption we've seen with earlier versions of Windows," Ballmer said. "I do think the shipment of Vista SP1 is a milestone, not just because of what's in SP1, but because it will let people assess the reliability of the product."

With Vista SP1, Microsoft and third party vendors have worked tirelessly to hammer out the hardware and software compatibility issues that have dogged Vista since its release, according to Ballmer. Microsoft has also made progress by developing a services offering for companies to get their internal applications compatible with Vista, he said.

"I feel quite positive about where we are. We have a lot to do, but Vista SP1 is a major milestone," Ballmer said.

Meanwhile, Ballmer had an apparent Freudian slip when asked about the rationale behind Microsoft's recent move to cozy up to the open source community and embrace interoperability. Ballmer said these steps were taken not only because they were "neccessary for us to do under the European regime," but also because they'll be well received by customers.

The EU earlier this week handed Microsoft a $1.35 billion fine for failing to comply with a 2004 antitrust ruling.

"We did receive a fine for interoperability issues in the past, and I think it's well understood that with agreement made with EU last fall, those issues are behind us. But that is always up to the European Commission," Ballmer said.

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