Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, spoke on a number of Microsoft strategies at a conference in Tokyo. He touched on Microsoft’s next operating system, the company’s voice over IP plan, the new line of security products, and Microsoft’s comparison to Google in terms of search.
Voice Over IP
“We are going to enter the voice over IP market [in] the beginning of next year.”
Microsoft already has software with VOIP capabilities, but Ballmer explained that VOIP technology would be integrated across practically all of Microsoft’s flagship products, including its operating system, desktop applications, server software, email, video, and instant messaging.
Ballmer really wants Microsoft to be the “go to” solution for VOIP software. And in classic Microsoft style, if users have the feature seamlessly available to them everywhere they turn… It won’t be long until Microsoft VOIP will be the Internet Explorer of VOIP software, at least that’s what Microsoft is hoping (that is, the company hopes it will be the IE of VOIP software in the good I-own-most-of-the-market way, not necessarily the I-may-not-be-as-good-as-the-competition bad way). It’ll be interesting to see what they have to offer.
Ballmer “vowed that there would never again be such a long delay between versions of its operating system.” This is a curious statement in that, sure, the company took five years with Vista, but with the rising threat of more applications going the online route (ala Google Docs & Spreadsheets, for example), many are wondering how Microsoft might take on this rising threat. At least according to Ballmer, whatever Microsoft does, it’s going to do it faster than what it did before.
“Many customers will actually want multiple security solutions.” Of course, Symantec, McAfee, and even the European Union have had issues with Microsoft entering the security software market while trying to integrate its security software into its operating system.
Ballmer doesn’t offer much more in the way of reasoning, leaving many to wonder how “multiple security solutions” might work. After all, security software is notorious for not playing nice with the competition. Many current offerings refuse to work properly if other similar software is installed. Many times, anti-virus software simply recommends the uninstallation of the competing software. It’d be nice to know how Microsoft plans to change the industry mentality while entering the market in such a supposedly non-threatening way.
Ballmer explained that Microsoft would “continue to improve and become more competitive,” he also added that for desktop searches or corporate intranets, “I think we’re much, much stronger.”
Translation: Google rocks but let’s not get carried away. Microsoft has to be superior in the anything-to-do-with-desktop-software category and the anything-to-do-with-businesses category. That is, Ballmer hopes this is the case…