Looking Back and Springing Ahead

The following is a post from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft.


Last week was the official start of spring here in the Northern Hemisphere. While some folks were out doing “spring cleaning,” we used the opportunity to look back a bit at what has happened in the past season, and to look ahead at what we have coming. From where I sit, it’s busy both ways. Let’s take a look back.

First, we launched a wave of incredible devices and services to our business and consumer customers around the globe and saw growth across a number of businesses.

While we’re still in early days, the numbers are encouraging. There are new PCs and tablets in market and great apps in the Windows Store, with new ones coming every day. Windows Phone has reached 10 percent market share in a number of countries, and according to IDC’s latest report, has shipped more than Blackberry in 26 markets and more than iPhone in seven. Windows Azure has doubled its customer base with revenue growing 3X and Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition licenses have grown more than 80 percent. And last quarter, we tripled the number of Office 365 paid seats year over year.

Second, we declared a fundamental shift in our business from a software company to a devices and services company as outlined in Steve Ballmer’s letter to shareholders. My favorite example? Office 365 plus SkyDrive across my Sony Tap, Surface Pro and Windows Phone. Magic. :)

Now, the look ahead. With a remarkable foundation of products in market and a clear view of how we will evolve the company, product leaders across Microsoft are working together on plans to advance our devices and services, a set of plans referred to internally as “Blue.” - N.B. chances of products being named thusly are slim to none. And don’t start with the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” bit. :)

Our customers have already experienced the ongoing rhythm of updates and innovations over the past six months including new devices, new apps and services, better performance and new capabilities. This continuous development cycle is the new normal across Microsoft – we’ll tune everyday experiences as well as introduce bold, connected and exciting new scenarios. Our product groups are also taking a unified planning approach so people get what they want – all of their devices, apps and services working together wherever they are and for whatever they are doing. 

Today, Steve Guggenheimer announced the next Build developer conference. At Build, developers will see what’s next for Windows, Windows Server, Windows Azure, Visual Studio and more. This is just one place we’ll discuss the advances coming – another is TechEd.

See, spring isn’t just for cleaning/whacking away at things. It’s also a time to plant and get ready for summer. So…get ready!