Although there were no big “wow” announcements, there were things that caught my attention. Summary below.
Tiffani Bova, VP, Gartner Research.
We live in a world of customer experiences. However too many businesses are still trying sell the underlying product. She summed this up with a coffee analogy – even though there is free coffee all around the WPC event, people were still waiting and paying at the coffee shop.
Tony Prophet, Corp VP, Windows Marketing
(Full script can be found here – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/speeches/2014/07-16wpcprophet.aspx)
Devices with screens less than 9” will have a $0 license fee for the various Windows OSs. One of the big benefits of Android to device manufacturers has been the lack of licensing costs. This change to Windows licensing should create an explosion in Windows based devices and there is already evidence of this from announcements from Chinese handset manufacturers.
This change also explains the phasing out of the non-Windows phone OSs from Nokia (Nokia X, Asha and S40) – http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-to-discontinue-nokia-asha-and-s40-feature-phones-7000031731/
He also recognised the feedback for a more rapid update cycle across the various Windows platforms (this has also been reflected across the wider Microsoft software portfolio). However regarding the next version of Windows he was pointed in stating that “we have nothing to announce today”
Satya Nadella, CEO
(Full script can be found here – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/speeches/2014/07-16wpcnadella.aspx)
There was nothing in his keynote that he has not already said in his various speeches and written messages over the past few weeks. However a few items that were of interest or more strongly re-enforced were:
A call out to my good friend Dan Scarfe of Dot Net Solutions who was one of 3 partners highlighted during the keynote for their innovative activities – nice
It is clear that one of the key drivers for the new approach that Satya is laying out for Microsoft is that they have gone from a near monopoly position in the devices market when device = PC to where they now have a 14% share in a world where device = PC + tablet + phone etc.
At the heart of his message is that Microsoft will create the best productivity experience across all platforms with everything working seamlessly together. In the past the Microsoft organisational model based on silos with a “Darwinian” survival model in place has worked against this vision. There have been various announcements that point at the significant changes that are taking place and they are about changing culture:
- Teams to share code http://www.wpcentral.com/microsofts-nadella-wants-its-teams-share-code-each-other-and-contributed-open-source-projects
- Layoffs about culture not money http://www.citeworld.com/article/2455113/business-money/the-microsoft-layoffs-are-about-culture-not-money.html
- 18,000 layoffs – http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-layoffs-of-18000-employees-begin-7000031705/
He also made a clear statement about the need to invest in business and consumer experiences – “dual use”:
“We’re going to do the best job of being able to enable dual use. This entire notion that somehow I’ll buy my device for consumption and personal use and then I’ll give up that device for work and take another device just doesn’t work”