Microsoft's Next Moves: 11 Takeaways

As Microsoft charges ahead with retiring CEO Steve Ballmer's "One Microsoft" plan, here's what customers can expect.
6. Windows XP migrations are coming along, and Microsoft is bullish on new hardware.

According to Turner, only 21% of Microsoft customers are still using Windows XP, and XP holdouts should drop to 13% by the time the OS loses official support in April. Turner also suggested new hardware could help ailing PC sales and jumpstart Windows tablet sales. He noted that Intel's new processors give OEMs the capability to build cheap, powerful, fanless devices that will "open up new form factors at new price points."

7. "One Microsoft" is more than Windows.

Turner emphasized that Microsoft is a "balanced and diverse business" that extends far beyond Windows. Windows is only the company's third biggest source of business, accounting for 25%, he said. Office takes up the biggest chunk of the pie, at 32%, while the Server and Tools division is second, at 26%. Microsoft's revenue streams are rounded out by Entertainment and Devices (13%) and by Bing and Online Services (4%).

Still, Windows revenue declined troublingly in the most recent quarter and still plays a huge role in Microsoft's portfolio. The PC market could also take a toll on Microsoft's important OEM revenue. The company is diversified and advancing, but remains tethered to some of its old methods.

8. Microsoft is already benefiting from making its own devices.

Given Microsoft's Nokia purchase and its imminent Surface event in New York City, it's clear the company intends to keep making its own devices. Turned explained that the effort is worth pursuing despite the struggles Microsoft has weathered, because making hardware helps the company to make better software. He acknowledged that some of Microsoft's partners didn't appreciate added competition from the Surface but stressed that Microsoft is still committed to working with a variety of OEMs.

9. Microsoft knows Windows Phone 8 needs to succeed.

By buying Nokia's device business, Microsoft has already shown that it's finally ready to double down on the smartphone market. Ballmer said Thursday that he regrets dedicating too few resources a decade ago to Windows phones. The attention went to Windows Vista instead.

"We have almost no [smartphone] share," Ballmer conceded before countering, "Low market share sounds like upside opportunity to me."

10. Windows RT's future might be in phablets.

A whiff of death has hung over Windows RT for months, but Microsoft VP Terry Myerson told attendees at Thursday's meeting to expect more Win RT tablets. He said the devices would proliferate as phones extend into tablets, suggesting that Win RT phablets might be in the company's pipeline, and that Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 might eventually merge.

11. Office 365 is building momentum and staving off Google.

Turner reminded attendees that Office 365 is already on pace for $1.5 billion in annual revenue. Next year, he promised, the cloud-based subscription service will "blow through" that mark.

Turner also took a customary swipe at rival Google. He said 440 of Google's corporate customers switched to Office 365 in the last fiscal year and suggested customers don't want Google snooping through their email or monitoring their Wi-Fi. It's hard to know what to make of the 440 defectors without knowing how many Office 365 customers Microsoft lost to Google, however.

Office 365's enterprise success story is well established, but CFO Amy Hood said the service is also gaining traction among consumers. She said it now has 2 million subscribers, up from 1 million in May.

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