The Greater Sum
Over the past decade, the world we live in has been transformed by the Web. It connects us to nearly everything we do—be it economic or social. It holds the potential to make the real world smaller, more relevant, more digestible and more personal. At the same time, the PC has grown geometrically in power with rich applications unimaginable just a few years ago. What were documents and spreadsheets then are now digital photos, videos, music and movies. And as we edit, organize and store media, the PC has quietly moved from our desks to our laps to our mobile phones and entertainment centers—taking the Web with it each step of the way.
Software-plus-Services is the next logical step in the evolution of computing. It represents an industry shift toward a design approach that is neither exclusively software-centric nor browser-centric. By deeply and genuinely combining the best aspects of software with the best aspects of cloud-based services, we can deliver more compelling solutions for consumers, developers and businesses. Microsoft envisions a world where rich, highly functional and elegant experiences extend from the PC, to the Web, to the devices people use every day. Across the industry, Software-plus-Services is growing as a model strategy and even those claiming to deliver Web-only offerings are moving toward hybrid scenarios that involve both services and software.
"When you combine the ever-growing
power of devices and the increasing
ubiquity of the Web, you come up with a
sum that is greater than its parts."
Microsoft’s investments in Software-plus-Services are framed by three core principles. Firstly, experiences should span beyond a single device. In our world of ever-increasing devices, choice in the right computing power in the right place at the right time is paramount. UX environments that span seamlessly from the browser, to the PC, to the mobile and console need to be brought together to provide flexible yet unified experiences.
Secondly, infrastructure and solutions should extend from the server to the cloud. Cloud services developed hand-in-hand with on-premises server counterparts will deliver much needed choice to enterprise customers—enabling flexibility in developing, scaling, operating and migrating systems that are distributed between the cloud and the enterprise data center.
And lastly, tightly coupled systems should give way to federations of cooperating systems and loosely coupled compositions. With the right transparency, standards and interoperability, these small pieces of code loosely joined help developers build new applications and services out of base components—enabling agile and cost-effective development.
Microsoft has vibrant businesses on the desktop and in the enterprise, and is making sizable investments in online services and devices. As these four worlds converge, no technology vendor is better positioned to deliver on the vision of Software-plus-Services. Microsoft has multiple ways to monetize the results through the familiar model of software licensing, offering services by subscriptions, leveraging Microsoft's industry-leading advertising platform or the growing form of micro-payments known as Microsoft Points. And, Microsoft has the world’s largest and most diverse partner ecosystem, which is committed to its role in our strategy.