Mix08 Day 2 Keynote with The Steve Ballmer & Guy Kawasaki

Mix09 will be March 18-20 2009.

Guy Kawasaki and Steve Ballmer sitting on chairs chatting.  Guy jokes that Steve should have hired him in the past, and that it was racist that he didn’t.

Guy is asking Steve questions – some paraphrasing below.

Guy: ‘Why do you want to buy Yahoo?’

Steve: ‘… be a serious player in search and advertising…. could have got going quicker…. have a great time…. long way to go… Yahoo way to accelerate’

Guy: ‘What’s the current status of the deal?’

Steve: ‘We’ve made an offer…’

(Joke about throwing chairs and going monkey)

Guy: ‘Do you have to do Google in?’

Steve: ‘Search is a key application.  Have to have strong position in search for a strong position in online advertising.  It’s a zero sum game’

Buffering on my windows media player…. hmm.  Trying the 350kbps stream…

3 minutes missed…

Guy: ‘You’re an under dog?’ (to apple or google)?

Steve: ‘Yes… that’s a fair thing’

Guy: ‘Why don’t you sue them for anti-trust?’

Buffering… who knew Steve was so in demand.

Steve: ‘In phone we outsell Apple’ (note Microsoft doesn’t sell phone, only the OS)

Guy: ‘It will never leave this room but…. I use the Mobile Q with Windows Mobile 6.0 – I need Exchange server for my phone’

Guy: ‘Let’s talk about… bet with Facebook’

Steve: ‘Serious about online advertising.  Will get a few big platforms for ad serving… Happy to be a partner’

Guy: ‘Who negotiated it?’

Steve: Not him. ‘I’m well known not to be the world’s greatest negotiator’

Guy: ‘It was in the ashtray of your Lexus?’

Steve: ‘I’m a Ford guy…  not a huge amount of money’ (for facebook deal)

Guy: ‘What drives you?’

Steve: ‘3 things: 1  I love what we do…. jazzed about Silverlight 2… 2 Work with customers/Microsoft funnest, most energetic folks in the world… 3 I enjoy challenge… with the guys we have to compete with, can’t sit at home and work on golf game’

Guy: ‘.. huge organisation… can you describe your day?’

Steve: ‘3 types of day: 1 with customers from 7:30 to 8pm then get on plane to next city’

Guy: ‘South West airlines or a gulf stream?’

Steve: ‘Not South West’

Steve: ‘2nd type – doctor in office – every hour a meeting – exhausting…. 3rd type – think write and research – most of the time is his time to initiate things -get a view of what we should be doing’

Guy: ‘How many emails?’

Steve: ’60-70 pieces of email a day’

Guy doesn’t buy that – Steve gives out his email address – steveb@microsoft.com

Steve: ‘I’ll probably get 50 pieces because of this.  I’ve not found that human beings are not abusive’

Guy: ‘You have no secretary?’

Steve: ‘No – I wont be dealing with 60 tomorrow… I answer it or forward them….’

Guy: ‘Where’s Bill at? What is MS post-Bill’

Steve: ‘Bill transitions end of June to part-time.  Need to figure it out… Bill lucky about MS and Foundation… will do special projects after time off this summer.  Company has evolved in ways that aren’t generally appreciated.  Innovations come from people in the company.  Have such amazing people that continue to propel the place.  Notion of all-knowing…. through combined work of 5 or 6 key leaders in addition to me, Craig, Ray’

Guy: ‘Where can the stock go to get new employees?’

Steve: ‘Pitch is same as 25 years ago.  We’re recruiting the best and brightest – people that want to change the world.  People made money but they thought they wouldn’t.  No get-rich-quick notion as primary recruitment.  Google doesn’t have any new factor, nor does MS – need to go to private company – most start-ups fails’

Guy: ‘I have 4 kids – 12/14 oldest.  Went to Halo 3 roll-out.  His sons wont tournament and launch event’

Steve: ‘Way to go’

Guy: ‘My kids… they don’t know OS wars, anti-trust.  They think MS is cool company making xbox and halo – different perspective.  Seems not enough people know Microsoft does cool stuff – marketing opportunity’

Steve: ‘Opportunity it to keep making great products.  Your kids use our productivity products.  Kids grow up using PCs, communications, games.  Have to continue driving forward.  10-15 years ago was good then.  For 13/14/15 year old – what have you don’t for me lately’ … ‘Xbox users generate excitement. 20-25 million xbox users. 1 billion windows users.  Have to make sure all people fired-up’

Guy: ‘I love xbox… interface’

Steve: explains xbox live free/paid subscriptions

Guy: ‘Tell audience about silverlight – long term goal, from head of MS’

Steve: ‘As PC/Internet have grown, found we force developers/designers into fork – either easy to deploy through browser or it is rich – trying to bring things together – trying to avoid compromises – best of internet and rich PC for developer/designer – heart of .net’

Guy: ‘Some numbers?’

Steve: ‘Silverlight launched last mix.  In last year – 1.5 million downloads daily’…. ‘Have WPF on high number of desktops through Windows update’

Guy: ‘Deal with Vista? Seriously. That you get no choice of getting… wouldn’t you want one of these – Mac Book Air’

Steve: ‘Missing half the features of the PC’  Grabs Book Air to pretend smash on floor.

Guy: ‘DVDs are passe’

Steve: ‘Tell that to your kids on a long flight’

Guy: ‘You don’t sell any movies’


Guy: ‘MS has lost focus… have xbox, live, phones.  How can you do this well?’

Steve: ‘Great company moves forward or becomes less relevant.  No option of doing the same thing.  Software never wears out.  Have to constantly move forward.  Things MS has done – we have already built two skill sets – desktop and enterprise.  Going to built consumer devices and online skill set.  Apple skill set in only in consumer devices – not in enterprise, perhaps in online.

Guy: ‘Apple may say you punted on OSs’

Steve: ‘You’d be wrong…’  Jokes about EU… ‘Strength that we built two capabilities.  We will build the 3rd and 4th?  Become less relevant if you don’t move forward’

Guy: ‘Skipped Vista’

Steve: ‘Popular in consumer world.  #1 issues are on app/drive compatibility.  Made choices to enhance security.  Very little issues on that.  Made choice to hurt compatibility.  Customers let us know that was painful.  Stuff upgraded and shipped service pack 1.  Vista continues to sell strongly in consumer market’

More jokes about getting rid of Mac Book Air

Guy: ‘Firefox and IE’

Steve: ‘Firefox has presence.  We are now really investing – still have lion’s share.  Talked about ie8 – more story to be told with end-user features – will see browser innovation from us – is core for us – measure will be how well we do against other browsers’

Guy: ‘IE Mac development?’

Steve: ‘Not top on our list.  Lots of people use Mac.  Smart for us to put innovation energy on other things’

Guy: ‘MS perception on social networking?’

Steve: ‘Notion of using internet to stay in touch with friends, is not a fad.  The fundamental nature has changed forever…’ … examples…. ‘no question social networking is not a fad… any one entity has it right?… have to keep pushing’

Guy: ‘Is there thought of opening APIs like facebook app phenomem?’

Steve: ‘Sharepoint and AD have open platform.  Evaluating where we are.  Have some extensibility.  People have written apps on MSN messenger’

Guy: ‘Been working with MS a lot unbeknown to you.  It’s a different MS.  No arrogance/bullying.  Smart people.  Bit of praise.  New MS employees very different.  No reason to bullshit’…. ‘Was evil empire… nice facilities in mountain view… need more facilities like that…. see MS employees touching them’ (laughs from audience)

Guy: ‘Would like to open up to audience questions’

Audience guy: ‘Talk about Adobe’

Steve: ‘Adobe is big competitor… Silverlight vs Flex/Flash… try to give you exciting choices.  Try to get you to pick the MS alternative.  Adobe will remain important company for a long time – will support Adobe as ISV and other regards.  Appreciate Adobe pioneers for PDF.  Have Office support.  Will continue to drive interoperability’

Guy: ‘PR answer’

Audience guy: ‘How did IE get left out?’

Steve: ‘We made a set of decisions for reason I wont go back through.  Try to accomplish version of windows now known as vista, then known as longhorn.  Had everything tied to next OS after XP.  We have learned from in design process.  Important to incubate.  Had long gap.  Painfully long gap between releases of innovation.  Understand how to decouple to incubate seperately.  Some mistakes and good learning.  Now have to hussle to drive browser innovation’

Audience guy: ‘Microsoft takes over Yahoo what happens to PHP applications?  Convert to asp.net’?

Steve: ‘Would have to make final integration plans.  Shouldn’t have two of everything, search, ad, etc.  Technology from both sides.  Tech comes with infrastructure that runs it.  Some PHP apps will be in production for a long time to go.  There will be innovations.  Most of big apps on IE (anywhere) will end up being re-done.  For foreseeable wouldn’t be a PHP-shop too.  Love in new Windows Server – lots of attention to make sure PHP works well.’

Audience guy: ‘Major synergies between MS and Yahoo?  How to get through anti-trust issue?’

Steve: ‘Pass on 2nd part.  Synergy – scale (form of synergy) is advantage in search – more search is more ads is more revenue.  More ads.  They have talented engineers.  Have at least 1+1=2.5’

Audience guy: ‘Focus on Yahoo.  Congrats.  Queryless search.  Fast search – how does that shape?’

Steve: ‘Fast is company had internet and website/corporate products.  Sold off web search.  They have great for high end search on enterprise and engines that can search web sites.  Tech fantastic and team is great.  Anxious to build both ways.  Love company/people.  Great integration plan – more to say’

Audience guy: ‘About upcoming virtualisation.  Licensing scheme to compete against amazon scheme?’

Steve: ‘With hyper-v, anyone can set up web farm virtualised.  Will offer computer/storage in cloud?  Ray said we would.  Will say more later.’

Audience guy: ‘What would like to see happen with Seattle Sonics?’

Steve: ‘Will not answer’

Audience guy: ‘Silverlight gone mobile [barely].  Is there one for iphone? Plans with Danger acquisition’

Steve: ‘Want Silverlight everywhere.  Apple announced new runtime.  Want 30% of revenue.  Apple not welcoming royalty-free runtimes.  Danger – about opportunity for unique application with service components on top of Windows Mobile – service application experience – want to get in market on great set of phones’

Guy: ‘What phone do you use’

Steve: ‘Q, Black Jack, Dash, getting old’

Audience guy: ‘When going to see default for MS properties?’

Steve: ‘Will introduce it into variety of application experience – months to years.  Have same issues as other people.  Need new release of products…  No reason to move live messenger to silverlight.  All relevant ones will move to Silverlight’

Guy: ‘Want a woman’

Audience guy: ‘Love that there’s no bathroom guy.  Working with Amalgar – vision?

Steve: ‘Health only vertical that we’ve chosen to dig into deeply.  Healthcare is least well services by IT.  Made big investment with healthcare provider.  Know what we’re doing really well.  Hard road to follow.  For consumers, experimentation – have to figure out what it will take to bootstrap consumer health – management of consumer health record – complicated…. important to be on edge.  Will encourage 3rd parites’

Audience guy: ‘Bluray won – thoughts on that?  with xbox?’

Steve: ‘We don’t make drives [conveniently].  Thought HD-DVD had advantages.  We’re going to support blu-ray in important ways.  Device driver support in Windows.  Toshiba moved on.  We’ve moved on.  Will HD go over disc or internet?  It’s important to have drive now – maybe not in 5 years’

Audience guy: ‘Can you show love for web developers?’

Steve: ‘You want me to stand up?’


Steve: ‘Web developers!  Web developers.  Web developers!  If you’re buddy just gave you a buck, I want 50c for it’

Audience guy: ‘Adoption in enterprise for social networking’

Steve: ‘As with consumer, interaction in enterprise changing.  See more use of IM.  Work on Sharepoint and AD.  We know how people relate.  Let infrastructure help you find colleagues with similar interests.  Have done a little bit – will see more.  It’s an early stage today still’

Audience guy: ‘Thanks for Dream spark, Channel 8 student partner program.  Have tools – what services can you give students? Continuing plans for helping academia’

Steve: ‘Providers that would be happy to host.  Will we have some service based facility for deploying?  See answer I gave earlier.  Will it have student discount?  We’ll see’

Same guy: ‘How support students?’

Steve: ‘This is recorded.  Many ways to find this event for students that can’t afford to be here.  Not world of conferences from 15 years ago – when only way was to be there – point friends to web’

Audience guy: ‘Apple said would license ActiveSync.  Comment?’

Steve: ‘ActiveSync has been available to license for a while.  Recently announced we have licensable protocols.  Glad to see iphone participate…’

Audience guy: ‘What plans for Avenue A Razorship?’

Steve: ‘Bought aquantive (?).  Sophisticated for managing advertising.  Set of advertising networks.  Doesn’t fit per-se with rest of MS.  We run it hands of.  Avenue A is free to use whatever technology.  Owned by MS, but pretty independent so long as making financial progress.’

Guy: ‘Deep down you want to use a Mac Air.  I have friends if you want a discount.  It’s been fun.  We’ll do this again sometime’

Steve: ‘Thanks for coming to Mix’.



Mix08 Day 2 Keynote with The Steve Ballmer – Waiting…

It’s starting at 13:00 PT.  I wonder what will be announced.

So far we’ve not really heard anything new.  Sure, the Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1 runtime, tools and sdk have been released (along with a disappointing roadmap for Silverlight on Mobile, save for the Nokia involvement as some unspecified point) along with a developer/standards ie8 beta 1.

If there’s any kind of announcement, I’d expect it would be in relation to a cloud-based service.

I’d like to hear about something both cool and surprising and preferably fully-baked to download today.

Microsoft platform technologies are so community-previewed these days – using the conversation to fine tune the product – that there’s nothing that surprising any more.

I’d like to hear about something both cool and surprising and preferably fully-baked to download today.  Please?

Let’s see…

Silverlight on Mobile Devices – The disappointing Reality

Having covered the news yesterday that Silverlight will (sometime this century) be available on Windows Mobile and select Nokia Symbian devices, I’m extremely disappointed to discover a few realities.

I’ve now watched yesterday’s Mix08 T12 Session (not a great session with projector issues, drawn out introduction, boring demos and of course disappointing news).

With regard to their current (pre-CTP) implementation:

  • It’s Silverlight 1.0
  • It runs in Pocket/Mobile IE
  • It uses JScript for scripting – no .NET!!!! – so much for the closed loop now.
  • It doesn’t have a common codec; it uses the devices available codec, going against one of the selling points of Silverlight being cross-platform.
  • It runs on Mobile 6.0 – PDA and phone devices
  • It uses Windows Mobile Player on the device to play movies – you can’t have alpha blending of video – this one is fair enough I suppose.

The presentation included comments about taking out the .NET code and putting in JScript, like this was a trivial thing.

The big selling point of Silverlight 2.0 is .NET development on the desktop, browser and server, plus WPF on the desktop/browser.  This is a step back and it hasn’t even got to CTP yet.

They demo’d WPF/E (the former name for Silverlight) over two years ago at a PDC on a mobile device.  What has Microsoft been doing for 2 years with this???

Their roadmap:

  • Silverlight 1.0 for mobile CTP Q2 2008
  • Silverlight 1.0 for mobile RTW Q4 2008
  • Silverlight 2.0 for mobile CTP Q4 2008
  • Silverlight 2.0 for mobile RTW Q2 2009

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