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Updated: May 1, 2013 09:17 IST

Microsoft COO optimistic despite sales slump

Staff Reporter
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Kevin Turner
Kevin Turner

Kevin Turner sees cloud and touch as key focus areas

Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner believes that the PC is far from dead. In fact, he says, it is “taking a rebirth, taking the form of new devices and experiences”.

Speaking at the Microsoft Executive Forum here on Tuesday, he spoke about how the IT industry and the Redmond-based software major was going through a “transformative time”. His optimism comes in the wake of a reported slump of no less than 14 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, according to market research firm IDC.

He spoke about the cloud and ‘touch’ as key to the recently launched Windows 8 platform. The Windows 8 “touch-first OS”, Mr. Turner said, will make a huge impact in the computing space. “We see this operating system as a transformative one, and one that holds great opportunities. It brings touch to all form factors with the Surface tablet, laptops and PCs,” he added.

Besides touch computing, Mr. Turner identified cloud, social, mobile and big data as the top “inter-related megatrends” in the industry. Of these, Microsoft has big bets on the cloud, and this is an industry-wide trend as the cloud gets all-pervasive, he said.

Mr. Turner explained that the idea is to provide cloud services for every person, every device and every business segment. The company’s cloud strategy, which focuses both on the enterprise and on consumers, includes popular offerings such as Yammer, Skype and Office 365; a database platform with SQL; and business applications with Dynamics CRM and Dynamics ERP.

Microsoft announced that its R&D budget for 2013 is $10 billion to be spent on these key areas. Last year’s R&D budget was around US$9.6 billion.

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