Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer has told financial analysts that the company will never again allow new versions of the Windows operating system to be severely delayed.
Ballmer told analysts that Microsoft would never again allow a five year gap between flagship products.
By the time the delayed Windows Vista OS launches to the general market in early 2007, it will have been over five years since the launch of Windows XP in October 2001.
Microsoft is already working on the successor to Vista, which is codenamed Vienna, but Ballmer stopped short from promising when this version of Windows will first appear.
Ballmer also used the meeting to defend Microsoft’s plan to invest $2.7bn (£1.5bn) extra on new businesses, saying the company wanted to be “more expansive and innovative”.
Microsoft's recently confirmed it was to launch its own portable music player and tunes download service to rival Apple’s iPod and iTunes offering.
The recent announcement that Bill Gates was to step down from leading the company within two years, led to some industry calls for Microsoft to do more to support its business customers.
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