Turner attempted to provide a reality check on multiple competitive fronts. Among the highlights:
On the Cloud: "Get in and let's figure this out together," Turner told partners. "Do we have this completely figured out? No. Are we in better shape than a year ago? Absolutely."
On Google Apps: "Don't let customers get Googled," said Turner. "They're coming after us. Guns a blazing. They've won customers." But Turner listed multiple customers that have tried Google Docs, Google Apps and Google Spreadsheets, and come back to Microsoft. "We don’t want some of them, we want all the customers to experience the best of breed applications" from Microsoft.
He noted the State of Kentucky has embraced Microsoft's cloud for 700,000 seats. "We're winning in education. And we're staying after it. It will be a test of will. And we need your help."
On Bing vs. Google Search: "We don’t read your email and invade your privacy," said Turner. "We’re not snooping your WiFi. That’s not what we’re about. We don’t have a mission statement that reminds us not to do evil."
Strong words. And ironic words. Some folks have called Microsoft the Evil Empire over the years. And well-known blogger Mary Jo Foley used to pen a Microsoft-focused column titled At the Evil Empire.
On Apple Notebooks: Thanks to Windows 7, Microsoft's laptop share has risen to 92.8 percent vs. 7.2 percent for Apple, Turner claimed.
On the iPhone vs. Windows Phones: "This is a low-light for me," conceded Turner. "In the October time frame, we’re back in this game and this game is not over. There are 200 [million] smart phones being sold right now. There will be 450 million in a few years, more than double the number of today."
Turner says Windows Phone 7 will reboot Microsoft's place in the smart phone market. And Microsoft is preparing a single, free development platform to allow partners to write applications across Windows Phone 7, Windows PCs and in-home consoles.
"You will be able to use Windows Phone 7 and not have to worry about how they hold it. It looks like iPhone 4 might be their [Apple's] Vista. And I’m OK with that."
On iPads vs. Windows Tablets: "The iPad is fabulous at consumption but lousy at content creation," said Turner. "That’s a documented fact. Readers are at the far right, with the Kindles, etc. We believe there’s a sweet spot in the middle, between the PC and the readers." Turner says this fall, Windows Tablets will generate strong momentum in that sweet spot market.
On VMware vs. Microsoft Hyper-V Virtualization: "What's this VMware tax all about," quipped Turner, describing VMware's pricing. Turner says Microsoft commands 24.4 percent of the virtualization market, up about 6.1 points in recent monts. VMware stands at 48.8 percent. "We're cross-platform. We run VMware," said Turner. "They're not cross-platform."
On Linux: Turner mentioned Linux for 2 minutes or less, noting that Windows has made the highest market share gains in the history of the company.
On Oracle: Turner displayed quotes from multiple CIOs who claim they are locked in to expensive Oracle licensing agreements.
The Bottom LineTurner seemed to connect with the audience, assuring them that Microsoft remains hungry on multiple fronts. In the weeks and months ahead, watch for Microsoft to get aggressive with facts, figures and statistics. Microsoft hopes those numbers -- sales figures, market share gains, etc. -- will help to sway media, public and business perceptions in its favor.
Turner's efforts represented a strong first step today.
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