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Microsoft exec: Forget the past

Gregg Keizer | July 20, 2015
COO Kevin Turner says it 'feels so good … not to be yearning for something we don't have,' alluding to the retreat from a broad-based smartphone strategy.

Turner has been a highlight of past WPC keynotes because of his fiery delivery and the occasional off-message comment. There were few, if any, of the latter yesterday in the long time he was on stage, but he was very much the former.

"We have had a very, very strong year," Turner boasted near the top of his talk. "I love our new mission. It's bold, it's ambitious, it is our destination of where we're going.

"We have market momentum," Turner continued, citing a survey but not its source. "Forty-six percent said spending will increase with Microsoft. We can go get that. Right?"

Turner also touted Windows 10, the new OS slated to ship in less than two weeks.

"This will be the last monolithic release that we have that was built around the three-year cycle," Turner said of Windows 10. "It's the greatest Windows that we've ever done. The ability to keep a customer current with the latest Windows has always been our Achilles ... [but] this is Windows as a service."

One thing Turner didn't do was provide an update on his boldest statement of last year's WPC keynote, where he acknowledged that Microsoft's share of the global operating system space was just 14%. At 2014's WPC, Turner trumpeted the opportunity that Microsoft's small slice offered, and spelled out an increase in that share.

"We know we still have a lot of work to do," Turner admitted last year. "But we are making progress on this transformation. In fact, we're making really, really good progress. We want to go from 14% [device share] to 18%, from 18% to 25%, from 25% to 30%. That's the beauty of this model ... [the opportunity] is much bigger than anything we've had in the past."

Turner had pulled the 14% from Gartner, which just a week before Turner's talk had pegged Windows' share of the worldwide operating system market at 14.4%.

Trouble was, in March Gartner revised its figures to put Windows at a 13.5% share for all of 2014 -- not the 14.4% it forecast nine months prior -- and then last week predicted Windows will end 2015 in a slump, down to 13.2%.

Even so, Turner remained bullish, as was his job. "We are making progress," he said Wednesday. "[But] we have more to do."

Some things never change.


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