Microsoft admits "Vista was a less good product"

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Software giant tacitly acknowledges that Vista hurt its market share, but heaps praise on Windows 7

A Microsoft exec has admitted that "Vista was a less good product", as the launch of Windows 7 looms.

The oddly phrased comment came during an investor webcast, when Charles Songhurst, Microsoft's general manager of corporate strategy, was asked how Vista had affected the company's fortunes.

"What people underestimate is the importance of good or bad products," said Songhurst. "And sometimes your products are good, sometimes the products are bad. And I think Vista was a less good product for Microsoft."

When it's the bad products, you lose pricing power, you have a natural tendency to lose share, and your ecosystem weakens

Presumably, that means Windows 7 is more good - thankfully, he didn't phrase it that way: "Windows 7 is an extremely good product from Microsoft. It's been brilliantly developed, and I think people probably underestimate the effects of the bad products and the good products."

"When it's the bad products, you lose pricing power, you have a natural tendency to lose share, and your ecosystem weakens. When you have a good product, you gain share, you gain pricing power, and ecosystem strengthens. And 7 is one of the best products we've had in a long time," he added, tellingly.

The veiled criticism is about as close as Microsoft has come to openly criticising Vista, which was demonised by critics for its speed, size and compatibility issues.

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