Remember the good old days when Microsoft was always on the defensive, constantly touting their Windows OS and Office products as the gold line standard to beat? Those days are over and now Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has went hard on the offensive, essentially telling a crowd at the Web 2.0 Summit that Microsoft still offers the best products, even if everyone’s view of computing is shifting away from their products.
Ballmer talked about the company’s focus and poked fun at his competitors, at one point calling the very simple to use Google Android OS a program built for computer scientists, apparently hundreds of millions of people around the world who use the system with no problems are computer scientists.
Speaking with conference chairman and host John Battelle the Microsoft CEO said the company has made their social play and its called Skype. Ballmer argues that the program offers a better one-on-one personal approach to social networking, while pointing out that the programs integration with Facebook gives them an advantage over Google Hangouts.
Ballmer then continued to talk about Google, pointing out that Bing is now the number 2 search engine behind Google. Ballmer told the audience that if they used Google and Bing at different times they would end up realizing that they don’t care which system they use, while 15% of the remaining holdouts would choose Google and the other 15% would choose Bing.
Ballmer also opened up about cloud computing and said Microsoft is “winning, winning, winning, winning.” Ballmer however was quick to point out that he only means they are winning in terms of applications in the cloud which Microsoft currently views as the only area where customers particularly trust cloud computing.
Speaking about the company’s gaming platform Ballmer says Kinect will continue to be a big focus for Microsoft while mentioning deals his firm has entered into with National Geographic, Sesame Street and others. Ballmer says new features that enable gesture and voice-based search using Kinect are also on the horizon.
It’s strange to see Microsoft push so hard on the offensive, in the meantime I’ll stick to Android and iOS based mobile and tablet systems.
What areas do you think Microsoft is winning and failing in?