Even companies with great brands suffer from setbacks from time to time. In Microsoft’s case, the release of Windows Vista was met with much criticism from industry observers, developers, and regular end users. In my opinion, much of this criticism was not fully justified by the facts. However, Microsoft faced a real risk that the value of the Windows brand would erode over time.
When a company faces this type of situation, investors want managers who are capable of admitting past mistakes as well as setting the course for improvements to repair the damage. It is good to see Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer candidly admit some of these mistakes in this video interview regarding the upcoming release of Windows 7.
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Disclosure: The author does not own shares of Microsoft.