So i just watched the 2011 WPC keynote speech by Steve Ballmer and have the following analysis:

  • Ballmer started out a little manic but calmed down later
  • NO WINDOWS 8 NEWS AT ALL
  • NO WINDOWS 8 CTP
  • NO WINDOWS 8 UPDATES
  • The  Bing demos showed a lot of promise, some of the functionality has  a lot of potential.
  • The Xbox/Kinect/Voice integration shows a lot of consumer potential as well.
  • Hate to admit it but Ballmer does look like he has tremedous control over the company and looked like he knew what he was talking about. he was very good during some parts.
  • A few minor digs at Apple – no biggie
Basically the company is doing well and this event was intended to rev up partners and make them feel excited about Microsoft’s future.
They have 2 major hotspots that could make them very relevant:
  1. Bing
  2. Kinect/Xbox

There was no Windows 8 news at all.

Here’s what my big thing was.. THEY NEED TO WORK ON THEIR MESSAGING re: Windows 7 and Windows 8. It was lousy!

The truth is, now the rubber will hit the road. What do you tell customers on Windows XP? – Move to Windows 7 so you can get ready to move to 8? Move to 8 if you are ready now? You have a choice to choose between Windows 7 and Windows 8?

Customers are going to be CONFUSED and since they have real jobs to do, they don’t have time to be doing fit/gap analysis between their current environments and Windows 7 AND Windows 8.

The opportunity for consultants going forward is going to be selling solutions that help clients figure out where they need to go.

There are going to be a lot of confused businesses who are going to be dealing with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. It’s a really good time for a competitor like Apple or Google to jump in the fray.

There will never be a more confused or vulnerable time for Microsoft customers than now.

Unless the BUILD conference shows us some reason why companies HAVE to migrate to Windows 8, the Operating System landscape will be very confused for quite a while.

Bottom line – Ballmer delivered what he needed to for this conference. He also showed lots of much needed confidence that the software giant needs at this uncertain time.

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of EyeOnWindows.com, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. (www.learnabouttheweb.com) and The Redmond Cloud (https://www.theredmondcloud.com).

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