Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer used his Convergence keynote to reiterate that Windows is coming to a variety of devices beyond the traditional PC.
CEO Steve Ballmer used his April 11 keynote at the Convergence conference in
Atlanta to reiterate his company's movement to the cloud, and to suggest that
Windows will indeed find its way onto devices other than the traditional PC.
are more than 1 billion Windows PCs in the hands of customers around the world
today, and in January we announced that the next version of Windows will
support system-on-chip architectures from Intel, AMD and ARM," Ballmer told the
audience. "So, whatever device you use now or in the future, Windows will be
systems from companies such as Qualcomm, Nvidia and Texas Instruments currently
power a wide range of popular mobile devices, including tablets. In theory, SoC
support would allow some version of Windows to appear on those devices,
although Microsoft remains tight-lipped about details of any next-version
April, bloggers Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott, in a series of postings on
Rivera's Within Windows
dissected what they call an early build of "Windows 8," which includes some
features-including a lock screen with an icon for power management-seemingly
designed for portable devices.
comments echo earlier ones he made at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in October
2010, in which he hinted that the company's software running on smartphones
fell under the same "Windows" umbrella as the desktop-and-laptop version. At
the time, he also characterized "the next release of Windows" as Microsoft's
. Despite its longtime hegemony of the operating-system market,
Windows faces a number of challenges in coming years: from an increasing
emphasis on the cloud, which takes various functions traditionally restricted
to a local drive and places them online, and from mobile-based operating
systems such as iOS and Google Android, which have risen in prominence as
people use their smartphones and tablets more and more for daily computing.
version of Windows that embraces both the traditional, desktop-bound paradigm
and the newer, mobile-centric one would help counter both those threats. In the
meantime, Microsoft has been very loudly proclaiming its "all in" cloud
strategy, particularly with regard to business applications.
no mistake, when it comes to the cloud, Microsoft's all in," Ballmer told the
audience gathered at the Convergence conference. "Every one of our products
will be engineered to deliver the full benefits of the cloud."
part of that effort, Microsoft is planning to release the next versions of its
enterprise-resource planning applications on the cloud-based Windows Azure platform.
At the conference, the company also provided a glimpse of Microsoft Dynamics AX
2012, an ERP application whose beta is due this month. Microsoft Dynamics AX
2012 includes Unified Natural Models, a library of business processes for
real-world situations, and enhanced business intelligence capabilities for
discovering fresh insights in data.
this year, Microsoft released Dynamics CRM Online, a cloud competitor to
similar offerings from the likes of Salesforce.com and Oracle. It is also
planning a wide release of Office 365, the cloud-subscription version of its