Steve Ballmer Keynote - 1

The keynote is actually an interview between Guy Kawasaki (as interviewer) and Steve (as interviewee). A number of interesting points.

Regarding competing with Google

Of the four areas in which Microsoft is focused, Google is really only present in one of them (on-line ads). But the on-line ad space is expected to be the next big thing.

On why he keeps working

This is the answer that everyone should give. He:

  • Loves what he does
  • Works with smart and energetic people
  • Enjoys the challenge

From personal experience, this should be what everyone strives for.

On the place of XBox in the Microsoft world

Steve put it into perspective. XBox has 25 million users world wide who are passionate about the products that Microsoft creates. But there are 1 billion Office users. It makes sense to focus efforts on driving passions appropriately

On Web and Windows forms technologies

Microsoft is trying to blur the boundaries between Web and Forms, in terms of capabilities. Apparently 1.5 million Silverlight downloads per day. WPF currently has a broader reach because of Windows Update

On Apple's MacBook Air

"My laptop is lighter", "It's missing half the features of my laptop", "Where's the DVD?", "We'll get rid of this (the Air that Guy has) and get you a real machine"

On Vista

The number one issue for Vista is application compatibility and driver compatibility. Made choices to create a secure O/S. The result is that compatibility is hurt. As drivers and applications are updated, the compatibility issues have decreased. With SP1, the uptake in the business market will increase.

On Microsoft's Skill Set

Microsoft is trying to focus on two skill sets: consumer devices and business platforms. Most companies only attempt to create one. Microsoft is lucky enough to be able to focus on two, with a third and fourth still a possibility

On Social Networking

People will continue to use the Internet to keep in touch, to find friends, to connect with people. It is unlikely that any one company/website/technology will be able to stay on top forever.