Kudos to Me: Microsoft Guides Analysts Lower on Vista Outlook

My OpEd in this week’s Wall Street Journal arguing that Vista is flopping turns out to have been awfully timely. During an analyst briefing in Redmond today Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer guided analysts lower on the outlook for sales of the newly released Vista upgrade to Windows.

Here is the key Ballmer quote:

I’ve looked at some of the models and reports, et cetera, about our business and what people think it looks like, and I’m really excited on how enthusiastic everybody is about Vista.  I, too, am very enthusiastic about Vista.  But I think sometimes the enthusiasm about this great product and the excitement and the launch, people have to understand our revenue models because I think some of the revenue forecasts I’ve seen out there for Windows Vista in fiscal year ’08 are overly aggressive [emphasis mine] …

There’s more, so read the entire transcript. If you don’t find it sobering, you weren’t paying attention.

[Microsoft via Roger]


  1. I don’t entirely agree. He said ‘some analysts’ out there are way too aggressive. 15% being the highest which is too high. An analyst with 6% asked if he was too low and Ballmer said that was a ‘small number’. So you are probably in the 9-10% range which is where the good analysts are.

  2. Pretty misleading title and summation imo there Paul. He specifically guided down the highest end of expectations – not consensus. I think you’ve got a case of selective perception and are taking liberties to support your pre-existing conclusion.

  3. Bob — You really think so? While you’re literally correct, this is better characterized as a normal mysterio-fare in the dance-festival otherwise known as buy-side, sell-side relations.
    When management tells you that the highest analyst estimates are too high that is merely a convenient way of bringing down the consensus without saying the consensus is too high. The effect is the same — a lower overall consensus — but you get to blame it on the eliminated “outliers”, as opposed to telling everyone to trim their forecasts for Vista.
    Either way, the numbers will prove me right or wrong, so I’ll cheerfully a) wait it out, and b) ‘fess up or brag irritatingly if I’m proven wrong or right, respectively.