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"OK, Boys, Cloud Computing Is the Plan" - Steve Ballmer

Ballmer highlighted software-plus-service, associating it with a 'platform in the cloud and delivering applications

With Microsoft mandarin Kevin Johnson bolting to Jupiter, leaving Microsoft to lick its wounds over Yahoo and reorganize, CEO Steve Ballmer sent out an all-hands e-mail to Microsoft folk encapsulating the message he delivered to financial analysts gathering in Redmond Thursday.

Ballmer highlighted software-plus-service, associating it with a “platform in the cloud and delivering applications across PCs, phones, TVs, and other devices, at work and in the home” (Microsoft’s Mesh widgetry) and promised “more about our cloud platform initiatives and the next versions of our Live and Online technologies” at the company’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) at the end of October.

He promised a “campaign to address any lingering doubts our customers may have about Windows Vista” and emphasized Microsoft’s Adobe-competitive Silverlight technology and the need to create rich client apps.

He vowed to fight Google with “persistence and tenacity” by “out-innovating Google,” spending heavily on R&D and strategic acquisitions and “reinventing search.” He said Microsoft will “introduce new approaches that move beyond a white page with 10 blue links to provide customers with a customized view of their world.”

He said “we must continue to compete against Linux in key workloads such as Web servers and high performance computing” and push “mail with Exchange, business intelligence with PerformancePoint, virtualization with Hyper-V, and databases with SQL Server.”

He also made a rare admission of concern over Apple’s increasing market share, now number three in the US, pledging to change the “way we work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises. We’ll do the same with phones — providing choice as we work to create great end-to-end experiences.”

Ah, but here you can read it for yourself.

From: Steve Ballmer
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 4:30 PM
To: Microsoft – All Employees
Subject: FY09 Strategic Update

With FY08 complete, I want to discuss my priorities for the year ahead and share my thoughts about the key strategic topics that are on everybody’s mind, including Windows, competition with Apple and Google, our software plus services strategy, and Yahoo.

I also have news about an organizational change and a transition in our Senior Leadership Team.

First, I want to thank you for your hard work and the dedication you showed during the past 12 months. FY08 was a milestone year. Our revenue jumped $9.3 billion to more than $60 billion. Operating profit grew 21 percent to $22.5 billion.

These outstanding numbers are the direct result of your commitment to the priorities I outlined last July. A lot has happened since then, but our fundamental strengths, challenges, and strategic goals remain largely the same. Therefore, my priorities are consistent with last year. In FY09 we must continue to:

1. Invest in the right opportunities;

2. Expand our presence with Windows, Office, and developers;

3. Drive end user excitement for our products;

4. Embrace software plus services; and

5. Focus on employee excellence.

By focusing on these five areas, we can continue to grow revenue, increase profit, and expand our market share. These priorities are also critical as we work to address key issues surrounding our business in the coming year:

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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