I am jaded. Stick to one career as long as I have and there’s plenty of opportunity to see the truth. But at the same time I am sincerely optimistic. People, after all, are people. Mistakes happen. Stupidity happens. But my Microsoft doldrums ended this year as wave after wave of innovation and leadership took the stage.
Right now, I am psyched. As a result, here are my top 10 reasons Microsoft is killing it!
10. We are motivated
I love this. Microsoft dominates the consumer and enterprise markets. But that dominance is mortal. The best business partner you could ever find is one that needs you to succeed. Microsoft’s bets on Phone, Surface, Cloud, and Windows are big! As a result Microsoft needs you, developers & implementers, to succeed. It’s the perfect storm.
9. We show love to developers
Look, I speak at many events. I think I can say this with some authority: no competitor extols and supports their developer community with the same intention and effort like Microsoft. It’s not even a race. Seriously. No community receives support, resources, and access at the rate or breadth of Microsoft communities. It’s beautiful, and I am glad to be part of it now.
8. We show love to partners
To be clear, Microsoft is out to make a profit. But consider our ~$60B income last year, and then consider that for every dollar to Microsoft, Microsoft partners make eight. Yes eight! Did you read that right? Google, Apple, Adobe, Wal-Mart – none share opportunity and wealth at our level. We could trap all that potential revenue, but we don’t. Game over!
7. The next version of Visual Studio
I don’t like to tell Java developers that I feel sorry for them. But if they get a peek at Visual Studio they feel it, too. Visual Studio is the one-stop IDE to develop desktop, phone, Xbox, cloud, office, console, web, and any other type of app for the Microsoft platform.
Visual Studio is an unparalleled IDE that can debug, test, build, collaborate, analyze, trace, profile, render, design, deploy, and even edit. The next version of Visual Studio is 2012 and it has backwards-project support, GPU tracing, advanced intellitrace, and deep TFS integration. It’s freaking awesome.
6. The next version of the .Net framework
The .Net Framework is an abstraction of the operating system. Moreover, it’s a deep library of base classes, types, handlers, and utilities that reduce lines of code and opportunities for error by the truckload. It promotes good form and advanced scenarios. The next version of the .Net framework makes complex async operations easy and has reduced its own footprint by 40%.
The framework was a big bet 10 years ago. Now it sets the standard. Making app development faster, developer lives easier, and bubbling the power and patterns of complex forms to everyday projects so more things are possible with smaller teams and smaller budgets.
5. The next version of Windows server
The most popular enterprise server in the world is Windows Server. As all product releases are lock-step this year, so is Windows Server. Now management, configuration and deployment are easier than ever. But the best part is the deep integration of on premises, virtual and cloud operations that take the friction out of transition and co-facility management.
4. The next version of Windows
Here comes Windows 8. Like server, Windows dominates its market. But like server, Windows has to continually improve and innovate to maintain its lead. With killer enterprise features, it’s the consumer-facing features that dominate the Windows 8 headlines. Windows 8 introduces a new user style, a new execution shell, a new development model, and enables more real world scenarios and hardware form factors than any other operating system on earth.
3. The modern design language (codename metro)
Windows 8 is a continuation of the UX successes of Windows Phone and Xbox. Every Microsoft platform is moving to a single visually aligned style freeing developers to create unique, touch-ready applications for the broadest reach and appeal. The design language lets us tell developers how native applications should look, letting them build apps that seamlessly fit into the whole ecosystem.
2. The surface tablet
Microsoft announced, to the amazement of many, that we will be producing our own computer – the Surface – a slate form factor with a magnetic keyboard. If you don’t think this is awesome, then you do not fully understand. With a high-end reference device, we can expect for our hardware partners to produce even better devices. That’s the goal. And high tide raises all boats, so to speak.
1. We are givers
There is so much technical leadership at Microsoft, and we dabble in so many markets. But when it all boils down to it none of this really matters. It’s just commerce. The world is countries and countries are people. Companies are people, too. How do we help people? That’s what matters.
Of course we share with our partners, but few companies on the planet donate to charity as much as Microsoft and its employees – not counting the billions from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. As our competitors rise and fall, this is the mark of greatness. It’s also a source of pride, for me.
Best of luck!