Summary: For Microsoft, 2011 was a year when its consumer products got most of the marketing and PR love. But 2012 could be a very different animal.
This past year, 2011, was one where Microsoft officials played up almost exclusively the company’s consumer-focused products and services. Just look at Microsoft’s own year in review lists and notice how many of the listings are for consumer products sold at retail. Part of this emphasis was due to Microsoft striving to position itself as a consumer-goods company. And part, I believe, was due to the fact that 2011 was an in-between year for Microsoft, as they had relatively few business-focused products ready to ship.
Despite the shortage, as Corporate Vice President of Communications Frank Shaw himself noted recently on Twitter, enterprise software can be sexy, too. (Scoble 2.0 doesn’t think so, but plenty of my readers do.)
In 2012, if the Redmondians stick to their own roadmaps, we should hear a lot more about products of interest to business users. Based on hints from 2011, here’s my Top 10 list for business products and technologies to watch for from the ‘Soft in the coming year.