Back in March, Microsoft had announced that Windows 10 has surpassed 300 million active devices since its launch in July 2015 and now the company claims it is the most successful operating system till date.
Despite the initial success, Microsoft is moving away from excessive dependence on Windows to new growth areas like artificial intelligence and conversational bots. At the Build Tour event in Pune, Microsoft announced how the company is realigning its strategies on three pillars—cognitive computing, augmented reality and conversational bots.
Microsoft, which is essentially out of the mobile business, is now relying on platforms like cloud computing and Cortana intelligence suite for its next growth verticals. At the Build Tour, the consensus was strongly in favour of Windows 10. According to NetMarketShare, Windows 10 has gained lately to reach 17% of desktop platform while Windows 7 is still running on over 48% desktop devices. Technically, that might seem a small number but that market share has come in a matter of just 10 months.
Microsoft says Windows 10 users have spent over 75 billion hours using the operating system since the launch and there have been over 5 billion store visits. For Microsoft, the immediate priority is to engage more and more developers and enrich the whole gamut of Universal Windows Platform.
At Build 2016, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had said, “Our goal is to empower every developer in this world.” At the recently held Build Tour in Pune, Microsoft India GM for Developer Experience, Narendra Bhandari said, “Our goal is to provide best tools to developers and help them build great apps for cross-platform utilisation.”
The difference here is cross-platform and not Windows. In the last two years under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has opened its platform to more audience than ever. At Build Tour, the company showed how developers can build apps using Visual Studio and run Xamarin test to simulate the code on Android, Windows and iOS, all at one time.
With over 600 developers in attendance, Microsoft senior program manager Jeffrey Burttoft said, “We will
provide any of the tools developers need to a build scalable platform. Our effort will be to go out to developers wherever they are and bring them onboard with Universal WindowsPlatform.”
Microsoft, in 2016, wants consumers and developers to see Windows, Office and Azure as intelligent platforms that work together.
Microsoft, which lags Amazon’s AWS, in terms of revenue announced that over 85% of Fortune 500 companies are using its cloud services. Narendra Bhandari said over 50% enterprises in India rely on Microsoft Cloud for deploying their products or services. He further adds, “With three new data centres now operating out of India, we are poised to reach more startups than ever before.”
Microsoft is gaining ground on cloud platform but its future is totally dependent on success of its ‘Conversation as a platform’ bot framework. It differs from other AI majors by creating a platform rather than a product. Microsoft wants developers to again use its framework to build their own conversational bots.
The company already has given out APIs to developers who are building new conversational bots for superior shopping experience with multilingual support. Microsoft’s Bhandari said, “The company wants to develop a platform rather than just a product.”
Microsoft wants to do what it does best—build ecosystem. Now it wants developers to cash in just like they did when Windows 95 was announced.