Steve Ballmer: Microsoft is a devices and services company

By on October 10, 2012, 3:00 PM

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer released his annual letter to shareholders, customers, partners and employees yesterday and offered some guidance on what we can expect from the company over the next few years.

Most notably, the executive acknowledged that there’s a fundamental shift underway with regards to what Microsoft does and how it sees itself, noting that they’re not just a software company anymore but rather a services and devices company too.

This isn’t an overnight shift either. Despite historically relying on other companies to make hardware for their software products, Microsoft already successfully ventured into gaming hardware years ago with the Xbox 360, and less so into music hardware with the Zune, along with the cloud-based services around them.

These are areas where their partners usually aren’t directly involved, however. With the Surface announcement in June, Microsoft showed it’s not afraid to upset a few partners by building its own tablet if it feels it needs to lead the way or that others are falling short. Ballmer's emphasis suggests an increased focus in end-to-end hardware, software and services products, much like what Apple does today.

Of course, hardware partners will still be a big part of the picture to deliver a broad spectrum of Windows PCs, tablets and phones. Ballmer says “there is no way one size suits over 1.3 billion Windows users around the world,” but when it makes sense they’ll build specific devices for specific purposes.

You can read Ballmer’s letter in its entirety on Microsoft’s website.




User Comments: 14

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Guest said:

There goes the neighborhood..

Guest said:

I imagine in the near future we have a hi-tech toilet that operated (flushing for instance) from touchscreen panel with Metro menu style

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Bill Gates had a vision and built Microsoft then Steve Balmer had a vision of Apple and decided to make an Apple clone, Microapple.

ddg4005 ddg4005 said:

Says him. They're still very much software company.

psycros psycros said:

Translation: "We're trying to copy Apple and Google without <I>looking</I> like we're copying Apple and Google. Hence why everything we're producing looks even more like Frankenstein than me."

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ballmer says "there is no way one size suits over 1.3 billion Windows users around the world," but when it makes sense they'll build specific devices for specific purposes.
BullSHT!!!

After building Windows 8, which appears to be against a big majority of wishes, I will never believe that statement.

1 person liked this | avoidz avoidz said:

Thank Ballmer for turning Windows into a gaudy "app" shop. It disgusts me really.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Thank Ballmer for turning Windows into a gaudy "app" shop. It disgusts me really.
Did you say gaudy?

Lets emphasize that word! How about bold, italic, underline, and make the font red. Does it draw more attention now? I would have made the font bigger but that option is not allowed.

avoidz avoidz said:

Perhaps ghastly is a more accurate description.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

He reminds me of the bad guys from the first Iron Man movie...

Guest said:

The rise of new evil in gadget's market, careful apple, samsung, dell, hp etc etc.. you've been warned

wiyosaya said:

IMHO, about the only thing that M$ does really well in the software world is Visual Studio. To me, the rest of their software products are mediocre at best, and I blame that on trying to be everything to everyone. Adding devices and services to their "portfolio" will only push them farther on down the road on trying to be everything to everyone, and I bet that they will still only be masters at Visual Studio.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

To me, ... and I blame that on trying to be everything to everyone.
(y)(y)(y)(y)(y)

Guest said:

@ wiyosaya

What?! I think Windows is excellent (except for some POS like ME and Vista.). That's coming from someone using Macintosh and Linux in the past. It's definitely not mediocre.

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