Steve Ballmer jokes it was Bill Gates’ famous line of “a computer in every home” that got him to drop out of business school and join Microsoft more than 30 years ago. Little did he know, as technology has exploded, that would turn into a computer in every home, hand, pocket, purse and pocket book.
Speaking at the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Titans Breakfast Series Thursday at the Tysons Corner Ritz-Carlton, Ballmer, now Microsoft’s CEO, said the biggest trend in technology these days is “digital everything.”
The meat of his presentation focused on Windows 8 that will be released later this year.
“We are reimagining not just computing, but ourselves with the release of Windows 8,” Ballmer said.
He himself just did away with the last analog devices in his office: pen, paper and his white board, the last he says was the hardest to get rid of.
The event also featured a demo of Windows 8 that will be released later this year. The new operating systems aims to be “fast and fluid” with an emphasis on applications that are all cloud connected with other Microsoft devices.
“It’s a spectrum of beautiful hardware,” said Ryan Asdourian, senior product marketing manager for Microsoft and the Windows 8 demo lead. “It features the power of a laptop with the flexibility of a tablet.”
Highlights from Ballmer:
- Virginia offers competitive advantage in data center business, close to customers, resources, Ballmer said.
- Speaking of data centers, Ballmer said Microsoft measures them on power consumption.
- When it comes to big data, the key is not for people doing back end analytics, but have machines do real time analytics.
- The applications in Windows 8 will be built in Java and HTML.
- Ballmer calls Lync, Microsoft’s unified communications platform integrated into Microsoft Office, as Skype for the enterprise that includes not just face-to-face meetings, but collaboration tools like shared notes and white boarding that can cut down on the number of meetings needed.
- Microsoft does $1 billion or more each year in security research and development, but even that’s not enough: “You need good communications with customers and governments around the world as cyber security threats tend to be global problems.”
- With that said Ballmer added the security model is going to change: “Key will not be protecting device, but the info on any device”