Remarks by Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer
March 6, 2012
KEVIN TURNER: Well, good morning. It's great to be here, and it's great to be able to be back at CeBIT. I've been here several times, and many years before, and it's great to be back with you all. I've got some exciting things to share with you today, some things we're very excited about in the Microsoft world to be able to bring out and talk about, and showcase, and we'll get to that in just a moment.
You know, I also am very honored to be a part of this particular conference. CeBIT is very important to Microsoft. We're a big partner here, and certainly appreciate the opportunity to be able to meet with our customers and our partners, and be able to share the dialogue with our competition as it relates to technology.
I particularly love this idea of managing trust. I think trust is something that is earned, and I also think that it's an important thing for us to continue to stay focused on as a collective industry and organization both, and it's one that I'm very excited, again, to be a part of.
Before I jump into my remarks, I do want to say thank you to our customers, and thank you to our partners for being here and for allowing us this opportunity to share. Thank you for the work we do together. We've got some exciting things going on, and again we're very, very privileged to be able to have this opportunity to talk to you a little bit about what we're up to.
When you think about the Microsoft company, you know, you look at our company, 36-plus years old, and what we're up to as an organization, we're really focused on a few things. One is around this idea of having 95,000 employees, and the fact that we operate in 190 countries around the world, very, very significant for us.
You look at the research and development aspect, we're going to layer on about $9 billion, over $9 billion in research and development just this calendar year. Ladies and gentlemen, that's $3 billion plus more than the next closest technology company. So, something, again, we're very proud of that R&D culture and history that we have as an organization.
You look at the idea that we're one of the only companies on the planet that really supports consumers and enterprises from a technology perspective. Again, that's an awesome thing for us to continue to get excited about, and one that I'll share a little bit more about our plans in a moment. But, we're very excited about that opportunity.
You think about over a billion people use our products every single day, and that's, again, an awesome responsibility, and one that we're very, very excited about. And then, certainly, giving back in the communities in which we serve, we're a company and an organization that gives back hundreds of millions of dollars in software, technology, and cash to schools, and educators around the world, and not to get the credit, but because it's the right thing to do as an organization. So, I'm very proud from a company's perspective to be a part of that.
And also the business performance, we just finished our Microsoft year on June 30th this past year, and we had record earnings, record revenue, record earnings per share, and cash flow at the same time. So, the company is very strong, and we've been being very diligent so that we can continue that investment from an R&D perspective.
So, that's an overview of the Microsoft Company in a very quick capsule for you. But, make no mistake; we're very, very committed to inventing the future, and continuing to invest in R&D.
And when you think about the world of technology, and what we're up against, and where we are, clearly it's an ever-changing world right now. We're in the middle of a series of transformational shifts in things that we're seeing. We're seeing a widening ecosystem of computers; virtually any type of product can be connected to the Internet. We're seeing an explosion in data-driven devices, and this is driven by a significant increase in the number of computers and technology and devices that each and every one of us use on a daily basis throughout our everyday lives.
We're seeing more natural ways to interact with technology, including multi-touch, vision, and voice, and gestures, and speech recognition, and all the things that go along there. We're very excited about that. We're seeing light, portable, flexible and cheap displays wherever they might be useful. Social computing is taking off, and we're seeing that in many, many forums transform itself from just a few of the known social technologies to basically being integrated into all the technologies that we've come to use on a daily basis.
And then, clearly, the cloud has really been a hub for orchestrating the flow of information, and technology across our lives, and nearly infinite storage and processing capabilities, and power. We're also seeing an increasingly ubiquitous Internet with the connectivity, as well as the shift to mobile, and what's happening in the mobile front.
And I'm going to highlight a few of these trends, and the things that we're going to do as an organization to continue to focus on those. I'm going to talk about cloud in greater detail for you. I'm going to talk about the explosion of devices. I'm going to talk about the consumerization of IT. And I'm going to talk about big data, and what's happening with the explosion of information as we continue to do it. But, when we think about that $9 billion R&D investment, these are the trends that we're putting our money behind, and what we're working on, and where we're shifting the company in a very rapid way.
And make no mistake in the enterprise the job of the CIO is continuing to evolve. When you think about the pressures of consumers and end users, and for the first time in the history of technology a consumer and an end user has more capability generally in their pocket, or on their body somewhere than they have in the workplace. Never before in the history of computing has that been the case like it is today. So, the consumerization of IT, consumers bringing technology into the workplace continues to happen very, very rapidly, and that's one, again, that all companies must embrace and the shift that's happening there.
If you think about what's happening with business decision makers, and how they're under fierce competition, and what's happening is they're also under a lot of pressure to increase their productivity, no matter what company you talk about, no matter where you are, the business decision maker has a lot of competition and they've got a huge opportunity to increase their productivity.
When you think about the shifting role of the chief financial officer becoming the chief procurement officer, and scrutinizing all of the expenses and investments, including those in technology, and how that's changed the role of the CIO.
And last, but certainly not least, is if you look at both the COO and CEO positions as it relates to IT, they are applying intense pressure on the CIO to continue to innovate, to do things faster, to get the speed of the company up. And that chief information officer is shifting larger to the chief innovation officer.
And you think about the same term, in fact some companies have already adopted a CIO being the chief innovation officer versus the chief information officer. And the shift that's happening there within technology is quite profound.
But, all of that boils down to the fact that the CIO today, more than ever, has to create incredible business value. And when you look at sort of the expansion of the role, I've been a CIO for a long number of years, and many years ago. And when I first joined the IT department, it was called data processing, and the shift went to information systems, and now information technology. And if you think about what's happening there from transforming the IT environment, pushing out, enabling business excellence and strategic business leadership, there is a whole lot happening, and one that I think is very, very powerful.
And one of the first shifts that I want to talk about is the shift to the cloud. This is a Forrester quote where you can see the business opportunity as it relates to the cloud. That just simply means a lot of customers are signing up and going to the cloud. And, remember, there's more than one type of cloud. There's a private cloud, there's a hybrid cloud, and there's a public cloud, and we'll talk about all three of them, because I think there's a huge opportunity that we have a unique strategy that I want to share more detail with you, because the big bet that we've made at Microsoft is that we have a cloud that's right for every single business. Again, that's something that we're very excited about.
When you think about the Microsoft cloud story, it all starts with some common technologies, some common technologies around identity, virtualization, management, and development. And when you think about what's most important as it relates to being able to leverage that cloud, it gets back to having an Active Directory completely deployed, and making sure that you've got the right systems management in place to be able to manage that, because, as I said earlier, there is more than one type of cloud. And we're seeing a lot of up-take as it relates to the private cloud. And if you think about what people are doing in the private cloud, it's basically putting their information to work to be able to scale for global companies, or companies that are based around the world, or in disparate locations to be able to find, use, and share, and have that information where they want it, when they want it, and how they want it. And that's something, again, that's very, very exciting to us as putting businesses in control of their environment by using a cloud-enabled on premise product.
And then you think about the public cloud and we've been asked more and more to help a customer manage the platform and to be able to put things in the cloud like messaging, and email and those things to be able to really light those up from a business value standpoint.
And the No. 1 cloud that we're seeing adopted is in the hybrid area where people say there are certain pieces of data for certain sets of users that I don't want to manage. Put that in your clock. There are other pieces of data for certain sets of users that I do want to manage. I want to keep that in my file. And the ability to span both, again, get back to the importance of having Active Directory completely deployed and System Center completely deployed. And Microsoft is ready and willing to help people sign up for that. We have already signed up millions of customers around the world on our productivity solutions.
We've got tens of thousands of applications on our platform as a service in Azure. And whether it's Office 365 or CRM or Windows Intune, our desktop management software, or Windows Azure our platform as a service, we've got a cloud that we believe is right for every business. And we offer what's unique to that business, and we let the customer define what they want on the cloud. So, at Microsoft it's not, hey, use our cloud or there is no cloud service. And that's something again we think is very uniquely positioned for us in the marketplace, and we're pretty excited about where we're going in this particular space.
The world of data is also changing. So, when you think about cloud and you think about the explosion of data, one of the things that we're seeing happen very rapidly is the growing demands of end users and the availability to new types of data and basically is the explosion of devices and the explosion of the usage by individual users has put a tremendous burden on storage and new data types and this is causing a widening gap between our ability to store this vast amount of data and take that data and turn it into information and turn it into knowledge and informed decisions. Our ability to get meaningful insight and drive decision-making based on the data continues to get more and more complex. And when you think about that trend there is also an opportunity, and our opportunity that we believe in is really embracing the concept of big data. So, we have a big data approach.
A Microsoft approach to big data enables organizations to discover insights across all users and data types. Our platform supports any data, any size, anywhere, cloud or on premise and/or hybrid cloud. And there are basically four pillars to our strategy. No. 1, it's enterprise ready, simplified, a dupe set up, deployment and development integrated with Windows management and security. No. 2 it's connected to the world's data. Easy to curate internal and public data sets via our data explorer product and it offers rich models throughout integration with Azure marketplace services, including the Microsoft translator for language.
It also connects to social streams via social analytics, something that we see more and more in the big data space as important. Thirdly, it provides analytics for everyone. Complete analytics platform is what we're about at Microsoft. Familiar and easy to use business intelligence tools, built in collaboration via our SharePoint product and direct integration with Excel, something that we've seen a big demand from our customers on.
It's open and flexible, as I said earlier, it's compatible with Hadoop, choice of development tools, language and frameworks is up to the customer. It's compatible with existing data warehouse infrastructure, Hadoop connectors to SQL Server and to PDW. And deployment of choice, on premise or in the cloud is something that's very important to us, as well. And this is just the beginning of the emergence of what we're seeing on big data. And when you think about the opportunity that we have with big data, we also see an explosion as it relates to the consumerization of IT. And what we see within the consumerization of IT is the ability to have a tremendous digital work style really get married with the convergence basically of a digital lifestyle. Where people work, how they work continues to have more and more overlap between the workplace computing on the go, the home in the living room, the automobile, no matter where you may be, the ability to connect the work style is something that we believe at Microsoft we're uniquely positioned to offer.
So, we're seeing a very significant trend in this particular space. And ultimately customers have more choices, more options, more flexibility in the technology; that line between personal and professional continues to blur, and continues to have more and more overlap. And one of the things that I'm really excited about, because I've been in IT a very long time, ladies and gentlemen, and when you think about the user experiences of the past, whether it be the laptop or the smart phone, or the traditional desktop, or even the television, that user experience has always been different. Guess what, Microsoft is unifying the user experiences today. And we're very, very excited about the leap that we've made in this particular space, because we've been hard at work not incrementally changing what we do as an organization, or incrementally changing our operating systems or our already successful applications.
What we've basically done is step back and re-imagined what should it be. How do we get a consistent user experience across the smart phone, the tablet, the slate, the reader, the laptop, the rich client, and the television? And our Windows client team led by Steven Sinofsky has done an amazing job of basically re-imagining what Microsoft and Windows should be about. And one of the things that I'm really excited about is the fact that as you think about the next release of our operating system, I want you to think about an operating system with no compromises.
The things that you can think about with Windows 8 is the ability to have the power and magic and significance of what you've seen in the traditional PC across a lot of different devices. CIOs have always asked about tradeoffs and compromises. Should I have touch or should I have a mouse and a keyboard. Well, depending upon the job function in the company the answer is yes and yes. Should I have security, or should allow people to bring any device they want to work. In the past the answer was yes or no. The future is yes and yes.
Should I bring my own management across all devices? The answer is yes you definitely have to have that. And the ability to have the Windows 8 product across functionality user acceptance, security, management, touch, mouse and keyboard, has never been done before in the history of operating systems, except with Windows 8. And we're very, very excited about the potential with Windows 8 and as a customer it doesn't require you to make that compromise.
So, when you were asked in the past about should I or shouldn't I, we've replaced the “or” with an “and.” And the and is, we want to do both. We want to allow you that flexibility and give you that functionality and the security and the management. And as I said, I'm very excited about where we've taken the product and the work that our engineering teams have done to be able to bring this wonderful product to market. But, you know what, you need to be able to see. You need to be able to see the features and the functions.
So, what I would like to do right now is, I would like to bring up Erwin Visser, our senior director for Windows, to the stage, because I want him to actually show you, and show all of us, on Windows 8 why we say you don't have to compromise. Let's welcome Erwin.
ERWIN VISSER: So, good morning.
We're very excited to share Windows 8 with all of you this morning. And, as Kevin mentioned, Windows 8 is a great product, we think, for enterprises. Windows 8 is an experience that delivers no compromises. Windows 8 is an experience that your people will love, but also it delivers the enterprise-grade capabilities that IT departments will require.
Windows 8 is Windows re-imagined, from the chipsets to the UI. Windows 8 builds on everything that is great about Windows 7, but delivers a new modern platform for a next generation of hardware devices and experiences. With Windows 8 your PC experience will be fast and fluid, effortless, and builds on the great fundamentals of Windows 7, like performance, reliability, and security.
When customers ask me, what will Windows 8 do for my business? Imagine a tablet without compromises. With Windows 8 tablets, we can deliver the convenience and the mobility of a tablet but with the productivity and the power of a PC. It comes with the new Metro style UI, which is touch first, but also and fully functional with mouse and keyboard. It will run all the apps you care about, your current Windows 7 apps, your line-of-business apps, your productivity apps, but also new Metro style apps. And, important for you as business customers, Windows 8 will fit right into your current Windows 7 infrastructure, side by side.
Or imagine a new opportunity in mobile productivity. With Windows 8, we can package a corporate secure desktop on the size of a USB drive, on a USB drive, put it in your pocket, take it with you wherever you go, and use any PC for your own personal Windows 8 experience; or imagine the new level of security in operating systems that protects you from the moment you boot, and helps you stay secure whatever you do, wherever you go; these are the scenarios that Windows 8 can give value to businesses, and there is much more.
So, what I would like to do is dive in and show you some of those capabilities. When I resume this Windows 8 tablet, the first thing you will see is that the experience is re-imagined, and it's personal. It's personal because it shows a picture of my family, but it's also very important here on the left side coordinate is that before I even unlock the device, or start any applications, you see the information that is very important to me as a user. I see my appointments; I see my email; all the messages. I don't have to unlock the device to understand what I need to do, and what I need to focus on.
Unlocking the device is as easy as swiping my finger. And you see here the re-imagined logon screen. Windows 8 will support traditional passwords, but an additional cool, new, convenient way to logon through picture passwords. Picture passwords are optional. As an IT organization, you can decide that you don't use through policies, but certainly in the mobile scenario you can imagine that this is a very convenient way to logon.
To help you see what I'm doing on this device, I turned on touch points, and you can see I have to connect the noses of my kids, and poke the eye of the cheetah, and I unlock my device. And I'm now only in the start screen, and you see how fluid and fast this experience is. The start screen is the place, as a user of this tablet, where I go to find and launch all my apps, just like the Windows 7 start menu.
We see that I have my business apps here, but also my personal apps, and also my favorite content, and my favorite people with whom I communicate. The start screen in Windows 8 is not static. It's dynamic. The tiles here are alive and dynamic, and show information continuously, up to date, that is important for me. I often don't even have to start the app to make sure that I understand what I need to do, or if there's an action here that I need to take.
Just like Windows 8, the start screen is very customizable to my personal preferences. I can change the background color. I can change the apps that are showing up here. I can change the sequence of apps. It's easy for me to take an app and move it over. And I also can easily zoom out, and show me all the groups here, and even regroup the different apps across the start screen. It's very easy for me to use.
Like a lot of you, what I will do in the morning when I start my PC, or I start my workday, is that I want to be updated on the latest news. So, for that purpose, I pinned the Bloomberg site here on my start screen. And when I touch this tile, I automatically start up IE10, and go to the Bloomberg website.
IE10 is an example of a new Metro style app, and what you will see is that these apps are immersive; they are touch first, and very rich. The operating system goes out of its way to make sure that you, as a user, get maximum attention, and the full interaction with the application. Browsing through the site is as easy as using your finger. And if I see an article that I'm interested in, I can just touch it.
I can zoom in very easily, and you see that the text stays very crisp and sharp. And one of my favorite features of IE10 is that while I'm browsing through different articles, and I'm navigating this site, it's very easy for me to move forward and backwards by just swiping the screen, I'm navigating through this experience.
IE10 is one example of a Metro style app. And what I would like to show you is some other Metro style apps to give you a flavor of the innovation and the experiences that we can deliver.
I go back to the start screen, and one thing that I really like about Windows 8 is that wherever I am in my experience, whatever I'm doing, the operating system is only one swipe away. I can always swipe from the right-hand side, and what shows up is a bar with the Windows 8 charms. And these are key operating system functions, like search and share settings, but also the start menu. So, it's very easy for me to get back to the start menu, and start new apps.
Let me show you another example of a Metro style app. This is an example of Microsoft Dynamics. Microsoft Dynamics is a business app, and a great example of the richness of the information that a Metro style business app can display to its user. In this case, if I'm a person using this application, all the information that is important for me is displayed at my fingertips.
I can show you another example of an app here, Bing Finance app, showing me the latest information on the financial markets. As I'm traveling, I like to understand what currencies are doing, and what my bonus is worth here in Europe. And last, but not least, I also want to understand the temperature in Hannover as I'm traveling. And you can see it's 36 degrees here outside. I just want to assure you that you are not missing a beautiful summer day here. This is Fahrenheit, not Celsius.
Now, I have started a number of Metro style apps, it's very easy for me to navigate between them. I can just swipe on the left-hand side, and bring in the different Metro style apps. And we wanted to make it even more easy for somebody to navigate Windows 8, and that is if I swipe in and forward/backwards, very fast, you'll see that I see my latest six Metro apps here in the left-hand side of my screen. And it's very easy for me now to navigate back to the Bing Financial app.
So, we are very excited about Metro, and we think that this will spark a lot of innovation in the industry, and give opportunities for developers, ISVs, but also for our business customers to develop new innovative experiences for their employees, but also for the customers.
At the same time, when I started to talk about Windows 8 I told you that Windows 8 is a platform without compromises, and important for us is that we know that a lot of you have made significant investments over the last year in Windows 7, and we'd like to show you how you can leverage those Windows 7 investments into Windows 8. And to show you, I'm going to start the desktop.
This is a very familiar interface; you'll probably recognize it. And imagine now that I'm a sales person, and I have spent most of my time with customers today using my tablet as a mobile device. And at the end of the day, I'm going to my home office, or maybe my business office, and I can now easily dock the device and have full keyboard and mouse support. The desktop is not only important for giving support to Windows 7 apps, but also going forward to apps that need the granularity and the finer control of a mouse and keyboard as an input device.
So, I can go here, and now I'm using the mouse. I can start my Excel spreadsheets, or I have Word pinned on the taskbar, and I can easily start a document here. And one of my favorite features of Windows 7 is available here. I can easily snap two applications side-by-side, and have two documents open at the same time.
So, we wanted to further think about what Windows 8 means for re-imagining Windows, and in this case if I'm a traveling or a mobile sales person, and I have now my system docked, in my case there's probably an important Metro style app that I want to keep track of, and I want to keep updated with the latest information while I'm working on my documents. I can easily now bring in a Metro style app, dock it on the side, and you see at the same time I'm working on my documents now, I'm keeping track on the financial market.
This morning, we were just able to give you a short flavor of what Windows 8 can do for employees in your organization, and for people in general to stay productive. Hopefully we have been able to show you that Windows 8 is fast, fluid, and dynamic, but also continues to keep your employees, or people in general, give them a flexible, and powerful experience to do their work.
What I would like to do now is show you a new opportunity for mobile computing, and mobile productivity. I mentioned earlier that with Windows 8 you can pack up your corporate secure desktop and put it on a USB drive, and I would like to show you how that works in practice.
So, what I have here is an ultra book, commercial available today, running Windows 7. And you can see, it's the coolest thing; it's a Windows 7 available ultra book. And what I will do is, I will just put the USB here, I have a cable to make it a little bit easier for me to put it in, and restart the device. By restarting this ultra book what happens is that the primary hard drive built-in in the system goes offline, and the system boots from my USB drive.
This scenario is called Windows To Go. And what you will see at first is that BitLocker is asking me for a password here. You're probably familiar with BitLocker as a technology in Windows 7 to keep your corporate data secure and encrypted. We're using the technology also in Windows 8, and we're enhancing the scenarios. One thing that we really advise customers, if they think about using Windows To Go, is that always to encrypt those devices with BitLocker, because imagine this is now your hard drive and you don't want to get this hard drive, if you lose it or it gets stolen, into the wrong hands where people can use it. So, encryption technology is here very important.
You see how fast my system rebooted, and I am now in my Windows 8 environment. You recognize the same picture. I'm running the same image now on this Windows 7 PC as I did before on my Windows 8 tablet. And I can login here, and in this case it doesn't ask for a picture password because this device is not touch-enabled. And you see that my start screen starts. I'm now running full Windows 8 on this PC only using this USB device.
To show you the performance, I can start here a video. And this is an HD video stored on the USB device. And when I start it, you will see how smooth, and without glitches, it's running from the USB. One of the most-asked questions when I show customers Windows To Go is what happens if by accident the USB drive gets disconnected, like this, and you see what happens here, the system freezes, because I have now my hard drive with all my applications, my operating system, my files here in my hand. It's clearly not connected to my PC. Windows To Go gives you 60 seconds to put it back.
And when it's connected again, you'll see that the video starts or continues smoothly from the place it stopped. If I don't put this USB drive back in 60 seconds, the system will shut down automatically leaving no footprint from your corporate secure PC on this device. Clearly that's an important security requirement.
When we talked with enterprise customers in the last months about Windows To Go, they see a lot of scenarios. And think about here that contractors that are entering into your organization that bring their own device, and you want to give them secure access, people that want to work from home from their own PC, or maybe you have employees that want to bring their own device, these are scenarios where Windows To Go is a great scenario.
One other that I talked about with a customer recently was as a disaster recovery solution. When people are traveling, and they are remote from their headquarters offices in case their PC gets stolen, or lost, or is damaged, Windows To Go is a great backup solution.
So, today we were only able to give you a quick taste of the business value of Windows 8. There is much more that we want to share with you in the next coming time around how Windows 8 can deliver value in your organizations. Windows 8 delivers a no-compromise experience to our business customers, as it delivers your user experiences, that people will love and the enterprise-grade capabilities that IT departments will require.
At the start of my remarks I talked about Windows 8 as Windows re-imagined, and I mentioned that it's re-imagined form the chipset to the user interface. Today we're focused on showing you the business value of Windows 8 on X86 tablets and PCs. But, also over the last year we have demonstrated that Windows will be available on ARM-based devices, ARM-based tablets and ARM-based PCs. And those devices will also deliver a great choice to enterprises and to customers for the businesses and for their employees.
We are very excited that last week we announced the availability of the Windows beta milestone, Windows Consumer Preview in Barcelona, available for download, and I would like to advise you and encourage you to download the bits and evaluate Windows 8 in your organization as we would love to see the business value that you can add with Windows 8 in your organizations. So, thank you very much for your attention this morning and I'd like to invite Kevin Turner back on stage.
KEVIN TURNER: So, I think you'll agree, Windows 8 is unlike anything we've ever done before. And as I said, one of the really cool things about it is the engineering teams have been hard at work at stepping back and saying, where is the world going with devices and the ecosystem of computers and what's going to happen with the consumerization of IT. And the ability to have an operating system with a unified user experience from the smart phone, tablet, slates, reader, rich client, and the television has never existed before, until Windows 8.
The ability to have an operating system support both Intel X86 and the ARM system-on-a-chip architecture has never existed before. So, this is an extremely bold and ambitious move that we're making as an organization and we couldn't be more excited about Windows 8 and what's happened. In the first 24 hours of our beta that we put out last week we had over a million downloads inside 24 hours of the product. So, as you see the ability to explode the ecosystem of computers, the ability to embrace touch and people that want to use a mouse and keyboard in the traditional setup, the ability to have it span multiple architectures. The ability to have it span multiple form factors of devices now exists in the Windows 8 world. So, it's a re-imagined environment for us and we're very, very excited about the future and where it's going to be.
Some of the features, like Windows on the go that he showed there, the boot-up time, what's happening with the platform, they're just tremendous. So, again, check it out, download it, there's a lot of great applications that are already being written around Windows 8 with the Metro user interface and what's happening there. We encourage you to go check it out for yourself.
The next trend that also is related to what we've been talking about on the consumerization of IT is the ability for CIOs to manage the devices; the traditional role of being the gatekeeper for devices is now shifting. And there's no question that consumers are bringing more and more technology into the enterprise. Ultimately people want more choice, they want more options and more flexibility in the technology that they use every day. And that's created a lot of challenges for CIOs, and for the enterprise. And so what is Microsoft doing about that? The combination of ubiquitous Internet connectivity driving these continuous cloud services and innovation and end user computing devices is bringing monumental change, ladies and gentlemen, to the end user environment.
Users are experiencing these benefits and transition in a consumer context first, and then bringing those and expecting those into the workplace. And Microsoft with the help of our System Center product is helping IT departments respond effectively to this challenge, because no matter what apps and devices people use, we're building a systems management platform that allows you to manage the devices.
When you think about where we're headed as an organization, the ability to have System Center and enable this device freedom is now where we are. We have a System Center product now, ladies and gentlemen, that helps you manage not only our technology and our platform, but the other guy's platforms. And when you think about our EAS connector, so that IT can set the policy and get the visibility via a single pane of glass like they've never been able to do it before, from a system center perspective, and from a management perspective we're very excited about that.
A simplified cloud-based management solution to support virtualized environments, and endpoint protection, as well as heterogeneous devices. So, you can see, we've approached the management with System Center 2012 in a secure way from many different angles, all of which empower the CIOs to satisfy their user expectations while balancing the enterprise requirements, and the fiscal requirements that go with it.
So, as we talked about earlier, this idea of the CIOs shifting basically from where they are, an IT decision maker, to a business leader, is happening in real time. If you look at the trends, whether it's cloud or consumerization of IT and the data explosion that we talked about, you're going to notice there's one thing in common, that they're mostly being driven by end users, and the ability to get in front of them is the real challenge that we see for CIOs and for enterprises. Which is why more and more IT solutions are being built from the end user backwards, versus the business and the system out, and that's something, again, we continue to see in a very, very profound way. But, with every challenge comes opportunity.
And we believe that the CIO has never had a greater opportunity than they do today to embrace these trends, to get in front of these trends, and to make sure that they're leading these trends versus being led. And I think that when you think about the challenge of that, we think Microsoft is very well positioned to help our customers get in front of those things.
And I started today talking about the theme of this conference, which is managing trust, and certainly, ladies and gentlemen, trust is something you have to earn. You have to earn it with your customers by what you do each and every day. And so, what's not important is what we say, what is important is what we do. And Microsoft has never been more excited and thrilled to be a part of the future of technology with where it's going. We kept this Windows 8 under wraps for a very long time, but we do know Windows 8 will change the face of computing and devices whether it be for consumers or enterprises going forward. And we're going to look back on this particular operating system as one of the most, if not the most, important that we've ever had the privilege of developing.
So, from a customer's perspective, we want to work hard to continue to earn your trust. We want to work hard to continue to earn the right to be your trusted advisor.
I hope you have a wonderful conference here at CeBIT, and it's been my privilege representing Microsoft and being a part of this great event.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)