When one of Microsoft's head honchos speaks, its usually well worth a listen. Kevin Turner, Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer lists five epiphanies the company has had.
At Microsoft's Midmarket CIO (Chief Information Officer) Summit last week, Kevin Turner put forward the company's position on the future of Windows, among other subjects.
The mid-market (medium-sized businesses) is where Microsoft will be looking to make a lot of money early on from the new Windows and Office products as these companies can adopt new technologies and change faster than monolithic enterprises.
Microsoft's Kevin Turner, showing very bad ties are no barrier to rising up the executive ranks.
They should also emerge from the recession a little faster than their larger counterparts, making them a key target
for Microsoft. Like dominoes, Microsoft must hope that once a few tip over to upgrading to Windows 7, the rest will start to follow in a neat tidal effect. These summit events, while high level, offer an interesting perspective on what the company is trying to do. You can read the full transcript here
Turner makes a big sell for Windows Vista, explores a lot of what MS's future research will cover and mentions the current environment a lot
. Some of the main points were:
- Microsoft is hungrier than ever for feedback
You can believe this or not, but at most levels Microsoft seems to have transformed from a "we will do it our way" organization to one that is listening and responding to its customer needs.
- Customer expectations have risen
Companies today do not just buy the new version of what they have always brought before. They are investigating every option (read Linux, Macs, sticking with what they have got) and calculating savings, training costs and other factors years down the road to find the best solution for them.
Yes, it does seem like a bit of a "no s**t Sherlock" type revelation, but at least Microsoft has learned from its experience with Vista that companies aren't going to commit millions of dollars to something that offers little more than a nice coat of paint on the old feature-set.
- No economic recovery until 2011, information technology is becoming business technology
Microsoft is just one of many voices echoing the concern about an extended downturn, so perhaps changing the business name of the industry is one way to sneak some sales under the boardroom's radar by disguising computers as business tools.
- Microsoft research and design spend going up by a $1B to $9billion
Now, that is a hell of a lot of money going into finding the next big thing. Perhaps those Surface and future videos
are closer than we think, but does the bent on hardware mean that Microsoft is finally recognising the end of the OS software cash cow and entering a road of entire systems?
- "Vista today, post Service Pack 2, is the safest, most reliable OS we've ever built"
Well, this is the one phrase from the speech that is echoing around the Web (800+ comments on Slashdot
) and is the source of great debate. What it does mean though, is that Windows 7 will soon replace Vista in that respect and be a whole lot friendlier to manage.
So, do you think that his words stand up to scrutiny and, if you're in that mid-market target sector, are you convinced that the Microsoft boat is one worth catching in the immediate future, or will you be sitting on the sidelines to get a better perspective?