Gold'en Rant : Pre-announcing Windows 7 is not a great way to sell Vista

You have to applaud Microsoft's nonchalance as Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates discussed the forthcoming Windows 7 Operating System at All Things Digital event in San Francisco while the company's own Vista is struggling to convince XP owners that it is the best thing since sliced bread.

What on earth is Microsoft playing at with Vista?

Newswire reports quote Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer as saying that the operating system is "selling well," whilst at the same time, PC World and a number of other outlets are knocking out the flagship version for around 50 pounds (provided you buy a piece of hardware - wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Details of the next version of Windows - 7 - have been officially leaked to the press this last few weeks and I have to say, from what I've seen, the new operating system looks good.

Rumours are also swirling that Windows 7 may be released sooner than you might think, with an alpha prototype of the new OS being shown at this week's All Things Digital event in San Francisco.Both Ballmer and Bill Gates have acknowledged - for the first time - the public dissatisfaction with Vista before they demonstrated the user interface for Windows 7.

The effective unveiling of Windows 7 comes at a sensitive time for Microsoft and Vista, as the software giant we all love to hate is supposed working hard to move major companies onto the new OS.

But with little success. "Vista is not a failure," Ballmer said on Tuesday night.

Well, sorry guys, it is. Moreover, the strategy of unveiling Windows 7 will do absolutely nothing in terms of persuading major corporates to upgrade to Vista. Most will now hang on until Windows 7 is released, which some sources suggest could be as early as the spring of next year.

Microsoft's strategy with Vista is all over the place. This may work for consumers (just) who will muddle on through, but it's no way to treat your corporate customers who will - this week - be seething with anger and confusion.

What a way to run a software company...