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Latest Windows 10 News from Microsoft

Latest Windows 10 News from Microsoft

Yesterday was one of the most important days in the history of Microsoft as they finally revealed more details about the future of Windows – specifically Windows 10 and how it will work across Windows devices of all sizes and shapes.

This past decade Microsoft has taken a beating from the technology press, Apple, Google and smaller more nimble companies. Some of this negativity was certainly well deserved, but much of it was unnecessarily taken to the extreme to make Microsoft look bad no matter what.

However this past year, Microsoft has started to really come into it’s own and changed the company around into one that is clearly still very relevant in today’s world. We have seen the revolutionary Surface Pro 3, the launch of Microsoft Band, the major growth of Azure, Office365, Xbox One and other services that make up the 16, billion dollar solutions Microsoft provides.

Yesterday Microsoft took that success another step further by showcasing the flexibility, power, usability of the new Windows – Windows 10. In addition to Windows 10 Microsoft announced their latest big screen, touch friendly display called the Surface Hub and the never seen before, innovative, “virtual reality” device called the HoloLens.

There is no way I could write in depth about all that Microsoft announced yesterday, so I have decided to start compiling a list of related articles from other sites that I can reference in the future as we learn more about Microsoft’s future for Windows and Windows 10.

Windows 10

HoloLens

Surface Hub

Office 2016

IE / Spartan Browsers

Xbox One

2014 Review and 2015 Technology Predictions

2014 Review and 2015 Technology Predictions

I’m not typically one to do predictions or year end reviews, but in an attempt to try new things I have decided to compile my list for 2014 and 2015. Some things are fairly obvious and as a Windows user I’m a bit biased – but it’s all justified :)

Enjoy and hope you had a great year and a great new year!

Microsoft

  • Surface
    • Surface Pro 3 is probably the best piece of hardware and software that I have ever owned.
    • I use my SP3 as my primary computing device, it works as a desktop, laptop and tablet. I use it for intense daily needs like running Photoshop, Visual Studio, Outlook, OneNote and numerous other applications.
    • I also use it for casual use like watching movies, listening to music, browsing the web, Skyping, drawing and much more.
    • Sales of Surface Pro 3 will continue to increase in 2015 unlike the iPad
    • We’ll see the launch of Surface Pro 4 which will kickoff a massive upgrade cycle especially for businesses, but also the average consumer.
    • We’ll see Apple try to compete by launching a similar product, with a pen of it’s own.
    • I predict we will reach a point where 90% of the population will need only two primary devices a Surface Pro 3 type device and a Phone.
    • We’ll have docking stations and external monitors at home and at the office, we’ll simply dock our tablets and work and then un-dock to consume and be mobile. (I’m already doing this)
    • Very few people will need a full-blown desktop, very few will want to carry or want to pay for a desktop, a tablet, laptop and a phone.
  • Windows
    • Windows 8.1 has been a really powerful OS for my needs, I know a lot of people don’t like it – but I find it to be very stable, fast, efficient and works very well for mouse, touch and pen. Windows 8.1 has gotten a bad rap, once you use it for a couple weeks it all feels natural and logical – in my opinion.
    • Windows 8 will start to gain additional market share, despite it’s slow start, it will pick up momentum in the first 6 months 2015.
    • We’ll get our first look at Windows 10 for the “consumer” in January
    • Windows 10 will launch late summer and people are going to be ecstatic about it – anything to get them away from Windows 8.
    • Windows 10 will have massive growth through the end of 2015 and all through 2016.
    • Windows 10 will be the one OS that will truly work across ALL devices.
    • Code once, work everywhere will be a huge selling point for businesses, developers and consumers. You’d be insane not to build on top of it.
  • Windows Phone
    • Windows Phone has had a rough couple years in growth, but it is growing and is in a solid 3rd place.
    • With the failure / slow start of other devices like Amazon Phone, Tizen, Blackberry we can see just how hard it really is to grow in the phone world. The fact that Windows Phone has been able to get to 3rd place in a few short years is actually pretty impressive.
    • With the release of Windows 10, we’ll start to finally see some big growth in apps for Windows Phone.
    • Windows Phone is becoming a large enough platform that companies not porting their services to it will start catching a lot more grief from their customers.
    • We’ll finally see the launch of a “Surface Phone”, it will be a cutting edge, flagship Windows phone – unfortunately I think we’ll only get one of these a year (think iPhone, Surface Pro)
    • They will however continue to drive the cost down on lower end Windows phones to see continued growth in developing countries.
    • We’ll see a lot more OEMs building for Windows Phone as well.
  • OneDrive
    • I use OneDrive for all of my storage needs, my dependence on it will continue to grow – but only if they work out some of the kinks.
    • I love being able to access ANY of my files from my Surface, my phone, my old desktop and anywhere from the web – this has drastically changed my file management processes and increased my productivity.
    • Storage costs are going to go through the floor in 2015, they are already low, however we are not quite at the bottom.
    • The changes we have seen in Windows 10 for OneDrive are causing a lot of concern for users (including me), the way OneDrive works seems to be changing quite drastically and removing some of the useful features that power users have come to love. (Ghosted Files)
    • I am confident though that once Windows 10 actually launches the issues we are seeing in OneDrive will be a thing of the past and we’ll see it as a no-brainer move.
  • Software / Services
    • OneDrive technically could have been placed in this section, but I use it so much I wanted to keep it separate.
    • Microsoft has at least 16 Billion+ services under it’s umbrella. (Windows, Windows Server, Azure, Office, Xbox, SQL Server, System Center, SharePoint, Visual Studio, Dynamics, Online ads, Phone, Office 365, CAL, Enterprise Services, Enterprise communication software) –
    • We’ll see that the Surface line will be added to that list in 2015 as well.
    • I don’t know of any other company with such a diverse and successful ecosystem – Microsoft has set itself up to withstand technology trends as they continue to build for the long-term.
    • Azure is going to explode in 2015
    • Cortana will be integrated to as many devices / ecosystems as possible (Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, Android and iOS if they can figure out a way)
    • Bing will continue to gain market share and will also be integrated more broadly into devices
    • Microsoft has the most services on the most ecosystems, in the end Microsoft doesn’t really care about the device, they care about the user. Devices and even ecosystems come and go every year, the one thing that never leaves is the user. The more people Microsoft can get to use their services the more power they will have.
  • Wearables
    • We saw the launch of the Microsoft band in 2014, I think we’ll see an updated, more powerful version in 2015. After or around the Windows 10 launch.
    • I don’t think they will launch an actual “Smart Watch”, I think they will stick to the more fitness oriented device.
    • I DO think they should launch a true “Smart Watch”, not because I want one but I think they need to do so to stay competitive with Apple and Google in that space. If they are not in the game I think it will damage their image.
    • I personally have little interest in an actual smart watch, I have yet to see something that really shows it’s usefulness.

Apple

  • iPad
    • The iPad has seen tremendous growth since it launched, however I think it has reached it’s peak and will continue to slide in market share until it levels off in 2016.
    • With the success of the Surface Pro 3 and Android devices I have a hard time seeing the iPad having any more major growth opportunities.
    • iPad is certainly a great consumption device, it’s great for a few simple tasks, but when it comes to true productivity, efficiency and versatility it still falls short in my book
  • iPhone
    • The iPhone will continue to be a huge money maker for Apple, with the iPhone 6+ they are satisfying the needs of Apple fans who have been craving a large screen. It’s an easy, quick sell.
    • They just had a killer holiday season, so it’s pretty much all down hill from here in sales until next holiday. Android will continue to cleanup in between that time.
    • With the rise in high quality, low cost Android and Windows Phones hitting the markets, I expect iPhone users to start realizing there are other great devices out there that cost a lot less than an iPhone.
    • The iPhone luster will finally start wearing thin in the next 2 years.
  • Apple Watch
    • The Apple Watch is the next big thing people are expecting from Apple in 2015.
    • Will it be a massive success? Yes, it’s created by Apple and they have legions of people eager to buy anything at the blink of an eye. (So do Microsoft and Google users, but it’s not nearly as intense).
    • Journalists will finally say that Smart Watches are truly useful once the Apple Watch is released – despite the fact that it won’t add a whole lot of value to the general consumer.
    • It’s from Apple, so obviously it’s perfect and solves all our needs. /s
  • Software / Services
    • Apple really only has 3 or 4 Billion+ services, iPad, iPhone, App Store and laptop/desktops. While it’s impressive that the can make so much money from only a few services, I think in the long run they will struggle to grow. If just one of their services tanks, that ends up being a huge loss for them – they need to diversify more, especially into software.
    • Apple is by far the most closed ecosystem out there, this will hurt them in the next few years. People want to use software on a wide range of devices and ecosystems – Apple does not fill this need.
    • Microsoft and Google apps are very popular on Apple devices, what happens to Apple once those users realize they can use those same services on cheaper, more customized hardware?
    • Apple is partnering with IBM which will help them on the software front, however it will likely push developers a way from the platform who would rather not compete with Apple and IBM in the app store.

Google

  • Android
    • Android will go down in the history books as a case study on how to succeed. Just a few years ago it was a blip on the radar, now it leads in Tablet sales, Phone sales and it’s Chrome books are rising up the charts.
    • Android will have another solid year of growth in 2015, but it’s going to slow down, by a lot.
    • Samsung is their top OEM and currently Samsung is in a bit of a free-fall with no end in sight. Unless they or some other OEM can figure out a drastic change, Android will hit a wall.
    • Android fragmentation has been significantly reduced, which will make developers happy
  • Material Design
    • While I haven’t directly used their new design language, I do like what I see from a design / interactivity perspective.
    • They took the Modern Design Language from Microsoft and made it a bit more approachable, playful and dynamic.
    • I’d actually like to see Microsoft adopt some of the elements of Material design into their own to liven it up a bit more and to make it feel a bit more organic.
    • Material design has had a very positive reaction from the tech community in general, yet Microsoft’s Modern Design Language has not – I find this to be a bit of a slap in the face and unfair towards Microsoft.
  • Search
    • Search has been Google’s bread and butter for years, it will continue to lead in market share in 2015 but the future is looking rough.
    • Firefox didn’t renew their agreement with Google, Apple is using Bing more and more throughout it’s apps.
    • A lot of people go directly to Amazon to search / buy things, rather than through Google.
    • People are searching more and more through Facebook, Twitter, etc.
    • It will be an interesting few years for Google Search.
  • Self-Driving Cars
    • Self-Driving cars, yes please!
    • Google is leading the pack on self-driving cars, I’d love to see other big companies like Apple, Microsoft and even Amazon get into the space.
    • We’ll see significant progress in this field in 2015 and 2016, we’ll also see a lot of consumer concern over it.
    • One major accident or loss of life in a self-driving car and the media is going to go crazy. Which is really sad because the benefits out-weigh the negatives by a lot.
    • Will it be weird not having to drive yourself, yes. However, it will literally change the world. From pollution, to parking, to traffic, to gas consumption and even architecture of homes and buildings.
    • This will be a huge market one day and that day is not very far away.
  • Google Glass
    • Google Glass, the once loved accessory of Robert Scoble. (What happened to him anyway? Kind of disappeared, like Google Glass).
    • Unless Google can pull something out of a hat in 2015, I think Glass is about dead.
    • There are certainly a few industries where it makes a ton of sense to use (Medical Field), I just can’t see it being a huge consumer product.
    • It’s too big, too clunky, too invasive and too expensive to be accepted by the average consumer.
Real-time Speech and Text Translation with Skype

Real-time Speech and Text Translation with Skype

Microsoft today announced the availability to use their real-time speech and text translation service through Skype if you signed up for the preview program.

This new speech translator service will make it possible to translate between English and Spanish for the time being but additional languages will be supported in the future. Text translation will be available between 40 different languages, which is an impressive number.

The world we are living in just got a lot smaller, the possibilities for this in all areas of our lives (Work, Education, Governments and Family) will be forever life changing.

For more information, check out the source link below…
Source: http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/15/7393665/skype-translator-features

Sign Up for the preview here: http://www.skype.com/en/translator-preview/?intcmp=blogs-_-generic-click-_-skype-translator-preview-an-exciting-journey-to-a-new-chapter-in-communication

Would you rather be 80 percent productive on an iPad or 100 percent productive on a Surface Pro 3?

Would you rather be 80 percent productive on an iPad or 100 percent productive on a Surface Pro 3?

Recently I ran across this article over on GIGAOM written by Mark Crump entitled “Could I do 80 percent of my work on an iPad?

It peaked my interest because this sounded like it was going to be a nice experiment about Tim Cook’s original comment that he is able to do 80% of his work on his iPad.

Mark starts off the article by saying he is a big proponent of using iPad for productivity and wanted to truly see if he could do his job on an iPad. He goes on to break down how he spends his day working, he even has pretty pie charts and everything.

Even while throwing out his “side job” of freelance writing because really all you need for that is a word processor he breaks his job down into other tasks around his real day of Meetings, Word (writing), Excel, and Visio. Things that are not particularly difficult to do even from a phone.

In the end he concluded that he could do nearly half of his work on an iPad, the remainder he needed something better than an iPad. So even though he has relatively basic job requirements – he still could only use his iPad for half of his job. Yikes!

About halfway though his article I actually burst out laughing when I realized he literally had to sit down and break out his entire work structure, evaluate his ability to do his job on a device that he strongly encourages people to use as a productivity tool which in the end he is only able to do 50% of his job with. Do you have any idea how crazy that is!

I have a Surface Pro 3, you know how much of my job I can do on it: 100 Percent.

I don’t even have to think about it, it literally just works for my entire job – I have no doubts at all. That my friends is called NO COMPROMISES.

IPad users have to ask themselves: “What CAN I do on my iPad?”
Surface Pro 3 users ask themselves: “What CAN’T I do on my Surface?”

The wording is only slightly different but the difference in meaning is huge!

My job isn’t based around simple word processing either, my job involves large Photoshop files, Illustrator documents, Visual Studio, Expression Blend, Outlook, Office – plus numerous other apps. No Compromise.

Back to Tim Cook’s original comment saying he “can do about 80% of his work on his iPad”, I say “80% isn’t good enough, I need 100%.” – with my Surface Pro 3 it’s finally possible.

Individuals and Businesses who are trying to decide between an iPad or a Surface Pro 3 – the answer is obvious – even Tim Cook, who goes to meetings and responds to emails all day can only do 80% of his job on his iPad. Why would you compromise 20% of your productivity to a device that clearly won’t meet your needs?

Choose Surface Pro 3 and be 100% productive, streamline and only use two devices – not four.

Future of Microsoft: Satya Nadella’s FY15 Email to Employees

Future of Microsoft: Satya Nadella’s FY15 Email to Employees

On July 10th, Satya Nadella sent out a large email to all Microsoft employees outlining the future direction of Microsoft – it’s a great read and in my opinion a huge step in the right direction for Microsoft in the long-run.

What are your thoughts?

Bold Ambition & Our Core

From: Satya Nadella
To: All Employees
Date: July 10, 2014 at 6:00 a.m. PT
Subject: Starting FY15 – Bold Ambition & Our Core

Team,
As we start FY15, I want to thank you for all of your contributions this past year. I’m proud of what we collectively achieved even as we drove significant changes in our business and organization. It’s energizing to feel the momentum and enthusiasm building.

The day I took on my new role I said that our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation. I also said that in order to accelerate our innovation, we must rediscover our soul – our unique core. We must all understand and embrace what only Microsoft can contribute to the world and how we can once again change the world. I consider the job before us to be bolder and more ambitious than anything we have ever done.

We’ll use the month of July to have a dialogue about this bold ambition and our core focus. Today I want to synthesize the strategic direction and massive opportunity I’ve been discussing for the past few months and the fundamental cultural changes required to deliver on it. On July 22, we’ll announce our earnings results for the past quarter and I’ll say more then on what we are doing in FY15 to focus on our core. Over the course of July, the Senior Leadership Team and I will share more on the engineering and organization changes we believe are needed. Then, at MGX and //oneweek, we’ll come together to build on all of this, learn from each other and put our ideas into action.

Our Worldview

We live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world. Computing is ubiquitous and experiences span devices and exhibit ambient intelligence. Billions of sensors, screens and devices – in conference rooms, living rooms, cities, cars, phones, PCs – are forming a vast network and streams of data that simply disappear into the background of our lives. This computing power will digitize nearly everything around us and will derive insights from all of the data being generated by interactions among people and between people and machines. We are moving from a world where computing power was scarce to a place where it now is almost limitless, and where the true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention.

In this new world, there will soon be more than 3 billion people with Internet-connected devices – from a farmer in a remote part of the world with a smartphone, to a professional power user with multiple devices powered by cloud service-based apps spanning work and life.

The combination of many devices and cloud services used for generating and consuming data creates a unique opportunity for us. Our customers and society expect us to maximize the value of technology while also preserving the values that are timeless. We will create more natural human-computing interfaces that empower all individuals. We will develop and deploy secure platforms and infrastructure that enable all industries. And we will strike the right balance between using data to create intelligent, personal experiences, while maintaining security and privacy. By doing all of this, we will have the broadest impact.

Our passion is to enable people to thrive in this mobile-first and cloud-first world.

Our Core

Microsoft was founded on the belief that technology creates opportunities for people and organizations to express and achieve their dreams by putting a PC on every desk and in every home.

More recently, we have described ourselves as a “devices and services” company. While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy.

At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.

We think about productivity for people, teams and the business processes of entire organizations as one interconnected digital substrate. We also think about interconnected platforms for individuals, IT and developers. This comprehensive view enables us to solve the more complex, nuanced and real-world day-to-day challenges in an increasingly digital world. It also opens the door to massive growth opportunity – technology spend as a total percentage of GDP will grow with the digitization of nearly everything in life and work.

We have a rich heritage and a unique capability around building productivity experiences and platforms. We help people get stuff done. Stuff like term papers, recipes and budgets. Stuff like chatting with friends and family across the world. Stuff like painting, writing poetry and expressing ideas. Stuff like running a Formula 1 racing team or keeping an entire city running. Stuff like building a game with a spark of your imagination and remixing it with the world. And stuff like helping build a vaccine for HIV, and giving a voice to the voiceless.

This is an incredible foundation from which to grow.

“At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.”

Microsoft has a unique ability to harmonize the world’s devices, apps, docs, data and social networks in digital work and life experiences so that people are at the center and are empowered to do more and achieve more with what is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity – time!

Productivity for us goes well beyond documents, spreadsheets and slides. We will reinvent productivity for people who are swimming in a growing sea of devices, apps, data and social networks. We will build the solutions that address the productivity needs of groups and entire organizations as well as individuals by putting them at the center of their computing experiences. We will shift the meaning of productivity beyond solely producing something to include empowering people with new insights. We will build tools to be more predictive, personal and helpful. We will enable organizations to move from automated business processes to intelligent business processes. Every experience Microsoft builds will understand the rich context of an individual at work and in life to help them organize and accomplish things with ease.

Productive people and organizations are the primary drivers of individual fulfilment and economic growth and we need to do everything to make the experiences and platforms that enable this ubiquitous. We will think of every user as a potential “dual user” – people who will use technology for their work or school and also deeply use it in their personal digital life. They strive to get stuff done with technology, demanding new cloud-powered applications, extensively using time and calendar management, advanced expression, collaboration, meeting, search and research services, all with better security and privacy control. Microsoft will push into all corners of the globe to empower every individual as a dual user – starting with the soon to be 3 billion people with Internet-connected devices. And we will do so with a platform mindset. Developers and partners will thrive by creatively extending Microsoft experiences for every individual and business on the planet.

Across Microsoft, we will obsess over reinventing productivity and platforms. We will relentlessly focus on and build great digital work and life experiences with specific focus on dual use. Our cloud OS infrastructure, device OS and first-party hardware will all build around this core focus and enable broad ecosystems. Microsoft will light up digital work and life experiences in the most personal, intelligent, open and empowering ways.

“Developers and partners will thrive by creatively extending Microsoft experiences for every individual and business on the planet.”

Our CoreDigital Work and Life Experiences: We will deliver digital work and life experiences that are reinvented for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. First and foremost, these experiences will shine for productivity. As a result, people will meet and collaborate more easily and effectively. They will express ideas in new ways. They will experience the magic of ambient intelligence with Delve and Cortana. They will ask questions naturally and have them answered with insight from Power Q&A. They will conquer language barriers and change the world with Skype translator. Apps will be designed as dual use with the intelligence to partition data between work and life and with the respect for each person’s privacy choices. All of these apps will be explicitly engineered so anybody can find, try and then buy them in friction-free ways. They will be built for other ecosystems so as people move from device to device, so will their content and the richness of their services – it’s one way we keep people, not devices, at the center. This transformation is well underway as we moved Office from the desktop to a service with Office 365 and our solutions from individual productivity to group productivity tools – both to the delight of our customers. We’ll push forward and evolve the world-class productivity, collaboration and business process tools people know and love today, including Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Bing and Dynamics.

Increasingly, all of these experiences will become more connected to each other, more contextual and more personal. For example, today the Cortana app on my Windows Phone merges data from highway sensors and my own calendar and simply reminds me to leave work to make it to my daughter’s recital on time. In the future, it will be even more intelligent as a personal assistant who takes notes, books meetings and understands if my question about the weather is to determine my clothes for the day or is intended to start a complex task like booking a family vacation. Microsoft experiences will be unique as they will reason over information from work and life and keep a user in control of their privacy.

Cloud OS: Our cloud OS represents the largest opportunity given we are working from a position of strength. With Azure, we are one of very few cloud vendors that runs at hyper-scale. The combination of Azure and Windows Server makes us the only company with a public, private and hybrid cloud platform that can power modern business. We will transform the return on IT investment by enabling enterprises to combine their existing datacenters and our public cloud into one cohesive infrastructure backplane. We will enable our customers to use our Cloud OS to accelerate their businesses and power all of their data and application needs.

Beyond back-end cloud infrastructure, our cloud will also enable richer employee experiences. For example, with our new Enterprise Mobility Suite, we now enable IT organizations to manage and secure the Windows, iOS and Android devices that their employees use, while keeping their companies secure. We are also making it easy for organizations to securely adopt SaaS applications (both our own and third-party apps) and seamlessly integrate them with their existing security and management infrastructure. We will continue to innovate with higher level services like identity and directory services, rich data storage and analytics services, machine learning services, media services, web and mobile backend services, developer productivity services, and many more.

Our cloud OS will also run all of Microsoft’s digital work and life experiences, and we will continue to grow our datacenter footprint globally. Every Microsoft digital work and life experience will also provide third-party extensibility and enable a rich developer ecosystem around our cloud OS. This will enable customers and partners to further customize and extend our solutions, achieving even more value.

Device OS and Hardware: Our Windows device OS and first-party hardware will set the bar for productivity experiences. Windows will deliver the most rich and consistent user experience for digital work and life scenarios on screens of all sizes – from phones, tablets and laptops to TVs and giant 82 inch PPI boards. We will invest so that Windows is the most secure, manageable and capable OS for the needs of a modern workforce and IT. Windows will create a broad developer opportunity by enabling Universal Windows Applications to run across all device targets. Windows will evolve to include new input/output methods like speech, pen and gesture and ultimately power more personal computing experiences.

Our first-party devices will light up digital work and life. Surface Pro 3 is a great example – it is the world’s best productivity tablet. In addition, we will build first-party hardware to stimulate more demand for the entire Windows ecosystem. That means at times we’ll develop new categories like we did with Surface. It also means we will responsibly make the market for Windows Phone, which is our goal with the Nokia devices and services acquisition.

“Our first-party devices will light up digital work and life.”

I also want to share some additional thoughts on Xbox and its importance to Microsoft. As a large company, I think it’s critical to define the core, but it’s important to make smart choices on other businesses in which we can have fundamental impact and success. The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming. We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation. Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox. Xbox is one of the most-revered consumer brands, with a growing online community and service, and a raving fan base. We also benefit from many technologies flowing from our gaming efforts into our productivity efforts – core graphics and NUI in Windows, speech recognition in Skype, camera technology in Kinect for Windows, Azure cloud enhancements for GPU simulation and many more. Bottom line, we will continue to innovate and grow our fan base with Xbox while also creating additive business value for Microsoft.

While today many people define mobile by devices, Microsoft defines it by experiences. We’re really in the infant stages of the mobile-first world. In the next few years we will see many more new categories evolve and experiences emerge that span a variety of devices of all screen sizes. Microsoft will be on the forefront of this innovation with a particular focus on dual users and their needs across work and life.

“Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox.”

Our Culture

Our ambitions are bold and so must be our desire to change and evolve our culture.

I truly believe that we spend far too much time at work for it not to drive personal meaning and satisfaction. Together we have the opportunity to create technology that impacts the planet.

Nothing is off the table in how we think about shifting our culture to deliver on this core strategy. Organizations will change. Mergers and acquisitions will occur. Job responsibilities will evolve. New partnerships will be formed. Tired traditions will be questioned. Our priorities will be adjusted. New skills will be built. New ideas will be heard. New hires will be made. Processes will be simplified. And if you want to thrive at Microsoft and make a world impact, you and your team must add numerous more changes to this list that you will be enthusiastic about driving.

I am committed to making Microsoft the best place for smart, curious, ambitious people to do their best work.

First, we will obsess over our customers.

Obsessing over our customers is everybody’s job. I’m looking to the engineering teams to build the experiences our customers love. I’m looking to the sales and marketing organizations to showcase our unique value propositions and drive customer usage first and foremost.

In order to deliver the experiences our customers need for the mobile-first and cloud-first world, we will modernize our engineering processes to be customer-obsessed, data-driven, speed-oriented and quality-focused. We will be more effective in predicting and understanding what our customers need and more nimble in adjusting to information we get from the market. We will streamline the engineering process and reduce the amount of time and energy it takes to get things done. You can expect to have fewer processes but more focused and measurable outcomes. You will see fewer people get involved in decisions and more emphasis on accountability. Further, you will see investments in two new or combined functions: Data and Applied Science and Software Engineering. Each engineering group will have Data and Applied Science resources that will focus on measurable outcomes for our products and predictive analysis of market trends, which will allow us to innovate more effectively. Software Engineering will evolve so that information can travel more quickly, with fewer breakpoints between the envisioning of a product or service and a quality delivery to customers. In making these changes we are getting closer to the customer and pushing more accountability throughout the organization.

Second, we know the changes above will bring on the need for new training, learning and experimentation. Over the next six months you will see new investments in our workforce, such as enhanced training and development and more opportunities to test new ideas and incubate new projects. I have also heard from many of you that changing jobs is challenging. We will change the process and mindset so you can more seamlessly move around the company to roles where you can have the most impact and personal growth. All of this, too, comes with accountability and the need to deliver great work for customers, but it is clear that investing in future learning and growth has great benefit for everyone.

“I am committed to making Microsoft the best place for smart, curious, ambitious people to do their best work.”

Finally, every team across Microsoft must find ways to simplify and move faster, more efficiently. We will increase the fluidity of information and ideas by taking actions to flatten the organization and develop leaner business processes. Culture change means we will do things differently. Often people think that means everyone other than them. In reality, it means all of us taking a new approach and working together to make Microsoft better. To this end, I’ve asked each member of the Senior Leadership Team to evaluate opportunities to advance their innovation processes and simplify their operations and how they work. We will share more on this throughout July.

A few months ago on a call with investors I quoted Nietzsche and said that we must have “courage in the face of reality.” Even more important, we must have courage in the face of opportunity.

We have clarity in purpose to empower every individual and organization to do more and achieve more. We have the right capabilities to reinvent productivity and platforms for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. Now, we must build the right culture to take advantage of our huge opportunity. And culture change starts with one individual at a time.

Rainer Maria Rilke’s words say it best: “The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.”

We must each have the courage to transform as individuals. We must ask ourselves, what idea can I bring to life? What insight can I illuminate? What individual life could I change? What customer can I delight? What new skill could I learn? What team could I help build? What orthodoxy should I question?

With the courage to transform individually, we will collectively transform this company and seize the great opportunity ahead.

Source: Microsoft