Microsoft have announced four key enterprise trends that are shaping the company’s future direction and product development as well as how it will spend $7 billion in its research and development department.
In a recent briefing at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner highlighted the following priorities:
The first is businesses' growing interest in virtualisation – supporting businesses to achieve cost savings using virtualisation tools, such as Microsoft's Hyper V product. Though there are a couple of different areas where Microsoft is building out its nascent application and desktop virtualisation offerings, the company will be focusing most of its efforts in a bid to unseat market leader VMware.
The second important market trend is the rise of on-demand or software-as-a-service applications and Microsoft’s developing of new offerings in its ‘software plus services’. Turner told the briefing: "People want choice and we believe that most large customers will have a variety of business models that relate to software, and there are some bits of their information that they won't want [someone else] to host or control." For those that companies want a third-party to host, Microsoft or its partners are already or will soon be offering to host a multitude of Microsoft products and services (such as Office, Dynamics CRM, Exchange or SharePoint) on its servers.
The third area is around unified communications – providing companies with the ability to connect voice, data and video over communications devices, such as smartphones running the Windows Mobile platform and other telephony devices, and the computing desktop.
And fourth, Turner says that the "hottest area" in Microsoft is in the collaboration space and Microsoft's SharePoint server product, which offers companies the ability manage their documents, records and other content, search that content and provide other workflow and collaboration opportunities.
Taken together, these four market trends are where Microsoft will be releasing new products and solutions that will "really help [customers] solve their problems," which, he says, is exactly what they are looking for from Microsoft right now.