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03 April 2014

Microsoft Build, Free Windows, and Strategy


What is Happening?

So far, focus at Microsoft’s Build developer event on the audio-driven Cortana PDA has garnered tremendous publicity. Saugatuck believes that Cortana right now provides a sexy sideshow distracting from what Saugatuck considers to be a public acknowledgement by Microsoft concerning its core strategic positioning.

In Saugatuck’s opinion, the Microsoft news this week with the greatest impact on Microsoft and IT
1352RA Figure1 markets was announcement of free Windows licensing on smaller mobile devices. This announcement puts clear and massive Microsoft internal and ecosystem emphasis on Cloud; it positions Cloud as keystone in Microsoft’s strategic business. That’s an excellent move, and at in business terms, it is much more sexy than the Cortana PDA. The move helps to push developers and users away from traditional computing devices, and reduces (and over time removes) the company’s opportunity for massive, volume-driven revenue growth in smaller, more numerous devices.

We think that this is an interesting step, an important step, but one that indicates that Microsoft is really still pursuing its traditional business model – just under a “Cloud-first” halo.

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Additional Info

  • Document Number: 1352RA
  • Document Type: Strategic Perspective
  • Research Category: Business Strategy / MGMT, Digital Business / Cloud Business, Cloud IT, Emerging Trends / Technologies, IT Vendors
  • Author: Bruce Guptill
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Bruce Guptill

Senior Vice President and Head of Research
Falmouth, MA

Saugatuck SVP and Head of Research Bruce Guptill’s research and expertise focus on the changing business of IT includes software and services, collaborative IT, web commerce, telecom, and electronic marketplaces. His work for enterprise IT and business clients includes total cost of IT ownership, and business planning for new types of IT. And his insight and guidance on IT vendor channel management, market identification and development, and buyer behavior analysis has enabled hundreds of established and startup IT providers to find, enter, and profit from new and traditional markets, while helping to guide user enterprise leaders toward optimal IT procurement and vendor management.

In addition to multiple decades of IT industry and market strategy development, Guptill holds an MBA in marketing and finance, and a BA in the psychology and business of mass media communication. Married with three children, Guptill resides on Cape Cod in southeastern Massachusetts, and is a lifelong fan of the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and the University of Connecticut Huskies.