"If you deploy a four or five-year old operating system today [Windows XP], most people will ask their boss why the heck they don’t have the stuff [Vista / Windows 7] they have at home."
Not sure I buy that argument at all. Too many folks who get home machines with Vista that look for ways to get XP back. Granted, this was the story when Windows 95 came out and a lot of IT shops at the time found users had taken the OS upgrade story into their own hands. I’ve not heard from too many IT departments that have been worried about end user Vista updates on corporate machines. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft can recapture any of that Windows 95 end user excitement with Windows 7. I still recall the users lined up around the blog at the Egghead software store in Seattle the night before Win 95 launch. Have never seen anyone stand online for a Windows release since.
One additional point, I suspect that Ballmer wasn’t taking into account the number of folks whose home operating system isn’t even a PC at all but rather a Macintosh.