Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer used a speech at the University of Washington to suggest that the company’s strategy moving forward will focus primarily on the cloud. Ballmer cited a number of services and platforms, including Windows Phone 7 Series and Xbox Live, as particularly cloud-centric. Microsoft faces substantial competition in its cloud-based initiatives from a number of companies, notably Google in the areas of search engines and online productivity suites, and the question remains how its desktop-centric products such as the Windows franchise will change in order to meet what Ballmer sees as the new IT reality.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer suggested during a March 4 speech at the University of Washington that, despite his company having made its fortune through desktop-based software platforms such as Windows and Office, the primary focus going forward will be on the cloud and applications derived from it.
"We shipped Windows 7, which had a lot that’s not cloud-based. Our inspiration now starts with the cloud," Ballmer said. "Windows Phone, Xbox, Windows Azure and SQL Azure … this is the bet for our company."
On the screen behind him, a logo of a cloud flashed up, superimposed against the words: "We’re all in."