Steve Ballmer: Microsoft is a Device and Service Company

Steve Ballmer: Microsoft is a Device and Service Company

By | October 11th, 2012
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Microsoft is seems to be going the Apple way by making devices for its

services all by itself and relying less on its partners.


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Last year in Microsoft’s annual report Steve Ballmer said that the full value of Microsoft’s software will be seen and felt in how people use devices and services at work and in their personal lives. It seems Microsoft is taking a slow shift from Software to “devices and service” company. In 2012 Annual report Microsoft CEO says, “This is a significant shift, both in what we do and how we see ourselves — as a devices and services company. It impacts how we run the company, how we develop new experiences, and how we take products to market for both consumers and businesses.”

This letter suggests how Microsoft has been making transition for years from a software giant to a device and service company. However, unlike Apple, Microsoft will continue to partner with hardware companies to deliver its services. This doesn’t mean that the company will stop making software. The company will be making software and platforms that drive the sale of devices, as it has done for years with Windows and Office. But its software will be delivered only as services.

Microsoft is becoming more like Apple by making devices for its services by itself and relying less on its partners. This does not mean that Microsoft will build its own Windows Phone as rumored lately. According to Ballmer, “There will be times when we build specific devices for specific purposes, as we have chosen to do with Xbox and the recently announced Microsoft Surface. In all our work with partners and on our own devices, we will focus relentlessly on delivering delightful, seamless experiences across hardware, software and services. This means as we, with our partners, develop new Windows devices we’ll build in services people want.”

Ballmer hasn’t chanted “Services, services, services” this time in front of public the way he  chanted “Developers, developers, developers” in 2006. But he did note in his letter about the future of “device and service” company and upcoming opportunities:

“It truly is a new era at Microsoft — an era of incredible opportunity for us, for the 8 million developers building apps for our devices, for the more than 6,40,000 partners worldwide and, most important, for the people and businesses using our products to reach their full potential. We see an unprecedented amount of opportunity for both this year and the long term. Although we still have a lot of hard work ahead, our products are generating excitement. And when I pause to reflect on how far we’ve come over the past few years and how much further we’ll go in the next one, I couldn’t be more excited and optimistic.”

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Chaitanya Dhruv
Chaitanya is currently pursuing his education in IT, and keeps himself occupied with the Android SDK. He hopes to build his first app soon. In his free time, he loves tweaking his gadgets. He tweets: