Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer opened the conference. Here are my takeaways:
- Microsoft is demonstrating withdrawal symptoms as Bill Gates gets ready to leave. They sound very nostalgic of an era of monopoly
- Steve Ballmer is very passionate and aggressive - he just might mange mange to wake-up the giant
- Microsoft continues to have their head in the sand regarding the colossal failure of Windows Vista. Steve was unable to convince anyone that it was a success as they had manged to ram 150 million copies down user's throats. The truth is, in the enterprise everyone is buying vista and running XP. Microsoft needs to accept their mistake, extend XP support and go back to list and fix the issues with Vista. Microsoft is very used to being a monopoly that does not care enough about customer feedback. No wonder they have trouble executing in most areas they enter in a competitive situation.
- Windows 7 (expected to release in 2nd half of 2009) has a multi-touch experience. (Here is a Datamation article Kevin sent me). Looked V Cool. Looked cool!
- Microsoft feels proud about Windows Mobile and its success. It is v poor when compared to the iPhone and even other phones.
- Microsoft badly wants to compete with Google on Search and Advertising. My bet: Microsoft will end up buying Yahoo and not manage to make a dent in Google's leadership position. Ironically, Microsoft complains about Google's Monopoly position in search advertising. How quickly they forget that they themselves are the biggest monopoly in the technology industry.