Opportunities and the Pace
of Advancement"> How about the greatest opportunities? Were still nowhere near some of the dreams of the late 90s. I mean, has e-commerce happened? Only in a very modest way. Even with digital entertainment, theres more in front of us for video and music and photos.The world of high definition is coming along and what that means, whether its business visualization, what we call 21st century documents in Windows, or just games running on Windows, high definition is a very cool thing. Broadband we can take for granted in businesses. But do we have the services where we monitor things on behalf of those users and make it easier for them to decide what they want to have in their businesses? Do they want to run their server in their business, or do they want services that provide the equivalent, and do we make it really easy to switch back and forth between those two things? No, thats just a huge opportunity and we can come forward to a corporation and tell them that we will let them save on development costs, hardware costs, communications costs and the complexity of the software stack they are managing. We will let [corporations] save, and they can use those savings to put in the wireless network so their users are always connected, get the people in the field to have the Tablet device and do business intelligence in a better way, without having to grow the IT budget a ton. There are those big opportunities. As the price of so many things is going down, packaged software can stay a small part of that slice and have this dramatic impact. I remember a few years ago seeing your presentation where a user and their family could be connected to one another and everyone else, from the doctor with their medical records and X-rays to the insurance company for approval. It seems you were ahead of the game with that vision. Are you disappointed at how long its taking to get there, and why is that? One of the moat notable speeches I gave on that was in 1990 when I used the term "information at your fingertips," which talked about Web search and automatic notification. Only a small part of what I talked about there has come true. As you said, we had the medical scenario, but thats not exactly how it works yet. We had a classroom where every student had a Tablet device. Were not there yet. Many of these things take time, but I still believe in everything I said and showed in that 1990 presentation. Microsoft has been the leader with many of those things. Some people find it ironic that in search, even though we anticipated those things, in certain implementations, Google did a good job and got out ahead: At least in one aspect were playing catch-up to them, but thats not atypical. To read more about Microsofts Web search engine technology, click here. Weve been around and had a vision of these things that has been basically correct. Some things took longer than I expected, like advances with the way medical records are shared. Some things, like Wi-Fi and USB happened faster, and we now just take them for granted. Im hoping high definition will be one of those that happens faster than expected. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Do people schedule themselves electronically or not? Its a very small minority today. Scheduling is just one scenario that as we get that right between Windows and Office, it will be very advantageous for people.