It’s a great time to be a consumer looking for mobile solutions. By mobile, I’m referring to the whole range of products and services that give us mobility in our professional and private lives.
In the past few months, Microsoft has announced and released several exciting new products in this realm. Here’s a quick look at some of our latest developments which I am particularly excited about.
Last month we launched the brand new Windows Phone 7. It’s an entirely new experience in smartphones, which comes from a complete redesign of our phone software. The phone is designed around “hubs” that you can personalize to bring together those experiences that you care about in a customized way: your contacts, games, music and videos, documents, and social networks. With Windows Phone 7, I can personalize my start screen to have easy access to whatever I care about most because the experience is designed with the individual at the center. The software effortlessly works for me, just the way I want. We’ve gotten off to a great start with our applications Marketplace as well, with many more high quality apps in the works through Microsoft’s worldwide network of one million-plus developers.
Then there’s Kinect for Xbox 360! Kinect is a new sensor-based camera for your Xbox console that lets you use your body and your voice to control the game. There are no more controllers because YOU are the controller! The software in this device recognizes your body gestures and your voice, interpreting what you are doing in real time. It’s really good fun, a great form of exercise, and sometimes a bit embarrassing as I have found out playing Dance Central to Lady Gaga’s Poker Face with my 12 year old daughter!
But the game doesn’t have to stay at home with the big screen. Now Windows Phone 7 also allows you to leave the Xbox console behind and carry on playing games via Xbox Live on the phone. There are 25 million people using Xbox Live today making it the biggest community of online gamers in the world.
If we look at the various ways we communicate and access information, we have the telephone with a small screen, the various types of PC (laptop, netbook, tablet, etc.) with a medium-sized screen, and the TV with a big screen. Microsoft unites all these environments, allowing people to move seamlessly between them while they work or play, by tapping into the power of the cloud.
Our new beta service named Office 365 is another great example of this flexibility provided by the cloud. It allows you to take work seamlessly on Word, PowerPoint or Excel documents regardless of whether you’re on your PC at the office or on your smartphone. With Office 365, you can use your phone to create and annotate documents, hold videoconferences, and more which is great for someone like me, who is on the road often.
People say the future is mobile, but frankly when I look at the marketplace and what Microsoft has to offer today, I’d say the future has already arrived.