Ballmer: Microsoft's a 'devices and services' company now
Network World - Stop thinking of Microsoft as just a software company; it's not anymore, according to CEO Steve Ballmer.
"It truly is a new era at Microsoft," he says in his annual letter to shareholders, and that means the company is focused on selling hardware augmented by cloud services.
"This is a significant shift, both in what we do and how we see ourselves as a devices and services company," Ballmer says in his letter.
WINDOWS 8 DEVICES: Lenovo announces new Windows 8, RT hybrid laptops/tablets
That includes both consumer products and those built for businesses, with a significant overlap that he hopes will leverage the bring-your-own-device movement to promote the use of personal devices in enterprise networks.
"Fantastic devices and services for end users will drive our enterprise businesses forward given the increasing influence employees have in the technology they use at work a trend commonly referred to as the Consumerization of IT," he says in the letter.
All of this is where Microsoft has been headed and where it needs to go, says Jim McGregor, a principal analyst with Tirias Research, particularly Internet-based services. "All applications need to move to the cloud," he says, as the company is doing with Office 365.
The need to create its own devices is not so clear, McGregor says, and might even be a risk. Historically vendors who tried to make everything from silicon to operating system to applications to devices failed. Apple, with the iPad and iPhone, has managed to make the model succeed wildly, but not by the excellence of the individual pieces, he says. "Apple may not be the very best at every one of those, but when you put it all together, you get the best solution," he says.
Microsoft is taking a run at doing that but it may take years since it is not likely to get everything right the first time. "It can be years but not a decade," McGregor says, but so long as the company remains committed to the devices and services model and shows improvement, it can succeed, he says.
Risky or not, even if the device effort fails, Microsoft is big enough and has enough resources to absorb the failure, he says.
Microsoft remains a software company whether Ballmer mentions it in his letter or not, McGregor says. "What he is saying is that we need to be in hardware; our partners have not gotten us where we need to be," McGregor says.
The Surface is an attractive device, he says, that Microsoft needed to make because it needed hardware to show off its software and services to its best advantage. "They came out with it because they weren't happy with what they were getting with their OEMs," he says.
- API Playbook: Drive API Adoption Through Developer Engagement Learn the best practices of how to engage developers, whether your goal is to attract external developers to your public APIs or improve...
- Leverage the Power of APIs to Turbocharge Your Mobile Strategy: 7 Steps to a Successful API Program In this guide, Intel® Services-which offers industry-leading API management solutions for over 150 top enterprises, including Best Buy, Netflix, Expedia, ESPN, and The...
- IDG Research Survey: Are you Paying Too Much for Your NMS? Feel like you're paying too much for network monitoring? You're not alone. This survey brief summarizes findings from research recently fielded by IDG...
- Using Packet Analysis for Quality of Experience Monitoring In this whitepaper, we will discuss what Packet Analysis is, some of the useful information it can provide, and how this info can...
- Live Webcast Master the Changing SAP Landscape with Performance Management SAP landscapes are not getting simpler. Gradually, business processes that used to be contained on a single SAP system now involve a range...
- API Management: The Key to Improving the Consumer Travel Experience Join PhoCusWright's Senior Technology Analyst, Norm Rose, as he shares his insights on how travel suppliers and intermediaries can improve industry data flow...
- Tips to Simplify Database Administration and Development Make your job easier while getting the most from the leading productivity tool for database professionals. Learn tips from Dell Software's Oracle® ACE,... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts