Remarks by Mike Sievert, Corporate Vice President, Windows Client Marketing
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2006
July 11, 2006
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mike Sievert. (Applause.)
MIKE SIEVERT: Well good afternoon, everybody. Welcome. Thank you for your interest and your excitement and also your patience with us as we work through this morning’s session. I have the privilege of wrapping up our half-day session with an overview of Windows Vista. And really it’s an introduction to the various things that we’ll be talking about with respect to Windows Vista throughout the session throughout the week. We’ve got an enormous amount of information to share because this is a big moment for our industry, and it’s upon us. It’s time for us to get ready to learn about the value proposition, to learn about the opportunity for us as partners of Microsoft as well and how we can link each of you to the opportunities that Windows represents in your go-to-market plans as the year unfolds.
So, I’ll be talking about those things, and I thought as I would set the stage that I would begin the talk actually with a little story. And this is a story of a guy named Howard Head. Now, Howard Head was an aircraft engineer from Baltimore, Maryland. And one day, in the spring of 1947, Mr. Head went skiing. Now, Mr. Head was one of just 10,000 skiers in the United States at that time, a relatively small number. And he went up there on the mountain and he went skiing, and he had a relatively bad time. He fell down, he got hurt, and he used his intellect as an engineer, and he said, “You know, there must be a better way. There must be a different answer.” And he recognized that part of the problem was the equipment that he was using, heavy, non-edged, wooden skis that weren’t flexible enough, and he said, “Maybe I can bring about some innovation.” And he set out over the next three years to form the Head Ski Company.
And he brought to market in 1950 with the Head Ski Company the first polymer ski with aluminum edges. And what that was, was an innovation, a catalyst that sparked other innovations that grew the industry over the next 20 years 400-fold.
And that’s really what my talk is about today. It’s about innovations that serve as catalysts when they’re perfectly timed for a set of industry conditions and that lead to other innovations, which bring about explosive opportunities for everybody involved.
In Mr. Head’s case, that industry condition was a 1947 post-war world ready for recreation at historic rates, and yet being held back by the technology and the sport being held to small numbers. His innovation sparked other innovations in bindings and ski boots, ski lifts, snowmaking equipment. And suddenly, the industry over the next 20 years was 400 times bigger, four million people recreating in this way.
You know, our industry works the same way. This shows the last 20 years, we’re a 30-year old industry, but over the last 20 years, some of the things that I think are Howard Head like moments, catalysts that brought about change that were built upon one after the other to make the industry what it is today. Think about a couple of these things, first of all, 32-bit computing, the advent of the 386 chip, which made graphical computing a reality certainly made Windows a viable proposition, Windows 95 that radically transformed computing from text based to graphical user interfaces for the masses, browsing, the popularization of the HTML browser in 1996. Think about that. The Internet had been around for a short time since then, but all at once in 1996, seemingly in one year, it burst onto the world stage because of an innovation around HTML browsing that sparked other innovations that grew our industry and helped to make it what it is today.
Windows XP about reliability and about experiences helped us eliminate those blue screens of death that we all remember from the 1990s and before and brought new scenarios and new experiences to life.
And I think mobility is another one of these, whether it’s Intel Centrino technology or form factor innovations, battery life, other things that have made mobile scenarios viable. Last year, a third of global volume were in the mobile form factor, really changing the way computing is done around the world.
And so, what’s our industry condition? Because, you obviously know where I’m going with this, which is Windows Vista represents an amazing opportunity, an amazing innovation, a catalyst for other innovations that’s perfectly suited to the industry conditions as they exist today.
And so what are those conditions? Well, on the consumer side I’ll tell you that I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to assert that over the last three years, since the introduction of Windows XP, there’s been more change in how consumers use PCs than ever before in any two or three-year period in our 30-year history. Now, why could I say that? Over the 30 years, computing for consumers has largely been about document creation, document creation and editing. And since the advent of the Internet, it’s been about accessing and transacting with information. Those things, fundamentally, have been the value proposition.
What’s happened over the past two or three years? Suddenly, a digital lifestyle has emerged. People are using PCs with a much more expansive role in their lives. Think about digital photography. Where was it two or three years ago? It was an early adopter idea being exercised by a few million people around the world. Today, it’s how photography is done. Think about digital music, and it’s the same story. Think about broadband. Windows XP entered into a predominantly dial-up world. Today, we live in a predominantly broadband world, bringing about huge change, huge opportunities, but also responsibilities, because that connected broadband world is a world that’s more full of malware really and other concerns for our users. Mobility was nowhere relative to today in the consumer space a few years ago; today, more than one-third of global volume as I said. And so, massive change in what people expect and the role that they expect of a PC in their lives just over the past two or three years as this digital lifestyle has emerged.
Now, on the business side, it’s much the same way. Chris [Capossela] talked briefly about the New World of Work, how we view, as Microsoft, the world of work has changed over the past two or three years. And there are a few concepts here. First is this concept of one world of business. And, you know, we are working across geographic boundaries, we’re working across corporate boundaries more than we ever have in our past. And that changes the nature of work. CIOs have to figure out how to make secure connections for people when they connect outside their corporate environment. Mobility, the cost of mobility has to come down and the utility of it has to come up. Optimizing infrastructure so that our customers can compete on a global scale in this one world of business are all opportunities that Windows Vista is uniquely suited to solve, and I’ll show you that in just a minute.
The second trend of the New World of Work is always-on and always connected, this expectation that we’re always there and available to do work. Making mobile easier is a huge initiative in this area. Helping our customers to find and use and share information, to keep information at their fingertips is another major opportunity in an era when people are expected to be able to put their fingers on answer immediately.
And then transparent organizations, this third trend. This major trend has emerged that people in a People-Ready Business expect to have the information at their fingertips that they need to do their jobs. It seems pretty simple but that’s a relatively recent trend that the ubiquity of information available to all the people so that they can do their job is an expectation today. And yet at the same time regulatory conditions have emerged in the United States around Sarbanes-Oxley and similar legislation around the world that caused organizations, while being pressured to get that information out, to at the same time be able to assert control over that information like never before.
And so these represent the major changes in how work is being done in businesses that really tee up what Windows Vista is about for businesses.
And so let’s talk about that. The business value proposition in Windows Vista is really centered around these four concepts. And if there’s one slide that really focuses on the value proposition for Windows Vista for businesses, this is it.
We think about it in these four ways. First of all, helping our customers to find and use information. Now, that seems like a pretty simple idea but when you look at it, today most people are spending much more of their time looking for their work than they should be. People want to spend their time doing their work, not looking for their work. Windows Vista helps them do that.
IDC estimates that a typical company may spend $18,000 a year per user on recreating work that already exists somewhere in the enterprise, on finding information that exists among the thousands of files up on a share or on a hard drive. And so helping our customers instantly find what they’re looking for is a major opportunity for us, and I’m going to show you that in just a moment.
Improving security and compliance is another major issue, and this one doesn’t need a whole lot of explanation. You know and we’ve been telling you since the very beginning of the development cycle for Windows Vista that it is about the operating system fundamentals. It’s about security and reliability and helping our customers comply with regulations, helping to secure that desktop as well as to secure the data on that desktop.
Today, more than 80 percent of a company’s information resides on personal users’ hard drives. Wow, think about that for a minute, 80 percent of the data that a company has is on hard drives. I just told you about the mobility trend. Today those hard drives are walking out the door each night, and you’ve all seen the headlines, 600,000 laptops lost in the United States alone last year. You’ve seen the headlines of these major organizations that have lost hundreds of thousands of files of sensitive customer data.
We can do better as an industry to secure that data and help a customer make sure that they’re in control of their organization’s data, while making sure that the people have the information that they need to do their job in a People Ready Business. That’s what improving security and compliance is all about.
The third idea, optimizing desktop infrastructure. Now, this is about lowering the costs to operate in increasingly complex and demanding network situations. Windows Vista makes major improvements in this area with the group policy and helping our customers to implement standards so that they can have a more homogenous working environment, reduce their costs, and help increase the flexibility for users at the same time. That’s breaking down a paradox that’s existed for a while in our industry, and I’ll show you how.
And then finally, enabling your mobile workforce. You know, this is the major trend in form factors and so it brings about new challenges for CIOs and new opportunities for partners to help them solve those problems, making mobile more useful for end users, but at the same time reducing the costs and complexity that mobile introduces into a network environment. Windows Vista is perfectly suited as a solution to those things.
So these are our industry conditions. These four things represent the major value propositions of Windows Vista.
And as I demonstrate them to you, I want you to keep in mind what we view as the partner opportunities inherent in Windows Vista. And so here’s how I think about it. You know it’s these six things. These are what you should look for as throughout our talks at this conference on Windows Vista, and we’ll be going into more detail on these six things and mapping the specific value-add of Windows Vista to these opportunities that we see for Microsoft partners.
The first is pretty obvious and that’s massive footprint. As we’ve said before, we expect to ship as an industry, to see 400 million desktops over the next two years to come loaded with Windows Vista. That’s a huge opportunity. We expect this to be the fastest-adopted operating system in Microsoft’s history. And so footprint is our first obligation and opportunity that we present to you.
New markets and scenarios is the second concept that I think about, and this is about helping partners to move into adjacent markets. You know when we bring down the costs to manage a desktop, when we introduce new group policy tools or when we bring down the costs to develop rich, immersive Web applications with things like the Windows Presentation Foundation, we help our partners move into adjacent markets. I think a lot of people will move into deployment as deployment of Windows Vista becomes a major value-add opportunity for the marketplace over the next two to three years.
Premium: This is something that you’ll hear a lot from us. As I talk about the marketing for Windows Vista, you’ll hear me use that word a lot. We expect to take Windows Vista to market centered around premium scenarios. That means premium versions of Windows Vista, earning a right to have a more premium relationship as Microsoft with our customers, and it also means premium scenarios, the offerings that surround that, the hardware, the services that map to it. And so together we can bring a richer value proposition and collect pricing commensurate with that in the industry and really solve better problems for our customers.
Deepening customer relationships: You know, when that value translates to pricing for our customers, cost savings for our customers, value creation for our customers, that deepens your relationship with them. And we’ll show you ways you can pass through that value to customers and deepen the relationship as well.
Lowering costs to serve: This is about developing rich, immersive applications for less money. This is about reducing the cost to manage desktops or reducing dramatically the cost of deployment that can increase your profitability because your cost in serving customers goes down.
And then finally competing with non-genuine: This is a very important area for us, and you’ll see a lot more from us in the coming year in this area. We expect to do much more as a Windows business to help our partners to sell products based on Genuine Windows to compete with pirates. This is a major opportunity both for Microsoft and our partners. We expect to do more to make Windows more differentiated when it’s genuine, and so genuine customers get a truly different experience than non-genuine customers, as well as to make piracy harder, so that our genuine partners can do a better job competing with those that don’t play by the rules. More to come on that and I’ll talk more about that in the Value keynote as well.
And so with those things in mind, are you ready to see the product? All right. (Applause.)
So, as we get started I’m going to build on something that Kirk showed you this morning. He started off by talking about search. And it’s one of the first things, in addition to the really rich immersive experience of Windows Vista, the fidelity, the visual fidelity of Windows Vista one of the first things that people notice about it is the ubiquity of search.
Kirk showed you how easy it is to find applications. A quick search window is a universal search using a built-in indexer that is aware of the system resources, works efficiently within the resources of the system, because it’s part of the operating system, that can show you in one global place all the documents relevant to that search query right there under the Start button. Whether those documents are favorites in your IE, whether those documents are documents on your hard drive, they may be up on your share drive because you’ve done a synch partnership with your share drive, something new in Windows Vista I’ll talk about, or they may simply be contacts, typing one word of a name and getting that contact out of Outlook is that simple.
But the second concept to tell you about search in Windows Vista is that it’s context sensitive. And so what I mean by that take a look at the Control Panel. When I go into the Control Panel, of course, search is ubiquitously there like it always is, but in this case Search has been targeted just to things that are relevant to the Control Panel.
Let’s say that I want to change my desktop wallpaper, and so I’ll type wallpaper, and by the time I’m done typing there’s the way to do it right there within the Control Panel; it’s that simple. But maybe I don’t know the word wallpaper and so I type the word desktop. Before I’m done typing, there it is again changing the desktop background. I may not know that. I may type personalize and again there it is.
And so this complex Control Panel, we believe in user choice as Windows, and this complex Control Panel suddenly made simple with natural human language search that instantly puts people in touch with the commands that they want to do.
Another way to think about that is that that reduces the cost to support customers, which means you can more efficiently offer support service to your customers because Windows Vista makes it much easier for end users to find what they want.
You know, another example is the built-in Help and Support system in Windows Vista. It gets us the same opportunity. Maybe I’m an end user and I want to do something relatively obtuse. I want to go down to this icon area down here and I want it to stop hiding icons. Now, that bothers me as a user and so I want it to stop doing that. How do I find out how to set that setting?
Well, I can go into Help and Support and indicate Show All Icons, and come up with a search that gives me the solutions to that. I get a few solutions. I can click on the Show All Icons in the notification area, a rather obscure search, and there’s a couple of choices here, including having the search system just do it for me, or having it show me step by step how to do it.
Take a look at this. I just solved the problem for myself. Windows is showing me what to do. I simply go through, do the things it tells me to do click by click and I’m there. (Applause.)
And so you can see the opportunity for us to reduce the costs for our end customers by having Windows Vista solve the most obvious problems itself for our customers.
You know, if I’m doing a search and I decide to go into the Search Explorer and do a more complex search, which I can do within the Search Explorer, I just search for Frank and it’s come up with 170 items, most of them songs. I don’t want songs, and so I’ll hone it in to just documents by pressing the documents area. I could create more detailed parameters of my search here, but I can do something new. I can save that search. I can save that search and it becomes like a folder. From now on any document that comes onto my system that meets the parameters, the detailed parameters that I’ve set for that search, can be found in the Document Explorer right here under searches. And so I can go in and see all of my saved searches. It becomes a new way to think about how to categorize information.
The era of people having to remember where they put things and then go to that folder in the file infrastructure is over. Between the ubiquity of simple search and the notion of saved searches, I can instantly find what I’m looking for.
But search is only one of the concepts here. A second concept is around the visual fidelity. And what I mean by that is that Windows Vista is a more visual experience. And so here’s the way I think about it. Even today computing is so powerful, and we have thousands of documents on our systems, but we all carry around stacks of paper don’t we? We carry around stacks of paper and why do we do that? Why do we carry them in our briefcase when all those documents are in our system? Because it’s more visual. Because we can look at that stack of paper and thumb through it and see the first page on each stack and find the thing we’re looking for was a visual experience. Because Windows has always offered us a little snippet of a title of a file.
Not anymore. Now, just like as Chris showed you in the Office area, the File Explorers in Windows Vista offer a visual experience. And so my 30 documents that meet the search parameter of Frank, I can now see into them. If I click on one of the documents, I can see a preview of what’s in that document. I recognize this purple PowerPoint as being the thing I was looking for.
And so by the time I’m done typing the five letters ‘Frank’, and seeing that visual experience, I’ve instantly found what I’m looking for from throughout every file on my system and even up on the network share drives that I have permissions for. And that’s about instantly finding your work and doing your work, not spending your time finding it.
And so that idea of a visual fidelity experience certainly translates into the way we use our systems based on their power. And I don’t know about you but I have a lot of things open on my system at one time, and so I’m going to launch a bunch of windows here and I’ll show you what Windows does to make navigating through those, all those windows, much more seamless.
A couple of concepts, one is that switching between the more than 20 things I have open is sometimes a task because I’ll have a PowerPoint stack and then I see a little bit of each of the titles, right, in Windows XP of each of the PowerPoints that are open. Not anymore; I get a full visual preview of every document open on my system so that I can see right in it.
Take a look at the video preview playing down in that thumbnail. We’ve moved to a visual experience in Windows Vista. I can hit Alt-Tab, something called Windows Flip, and I can easily see a full picture of everything running in my system. I can even go straight to the desktop and clean it all up in one quick seamless move. (Applause.)
If that wasn’t quite big enough for me, I can do something new with Windows Vista that’s really exciting and it’s called Flip 3D, the Windows key combined with Tab, and take a look at this, a beautiful 3D rendering taking advantage of all that graphics rendering power inherent to Windows Vista. (Cheers, applause.)
Well that’s Find and Use information. It’s about search and the ubiquity of it and the context relevancy of it throughout the system. And it’s also about the visual experience, making computing as simple as carrying around stacks of paper.
The second concept I talked about before was improving security and compliance. And one of the major things that we’ve done in Windows Vista is called User Account Control. This is really about breaking down what have been the historical paradoxes around on one hand, our customers wanting to give their users the flexibility to do their jobs, but on the other hand then wanting to impose a homogeneous network environment and make sure that all those images stay clean to keep their costs down. And so we’re really working to break down that traditional paradox with User Account Control.
The standard mode of use will be running in something we call Standard Mode. Now, I’ve just switched to a system that’s running in Standard Mode. There are more than 500 new Group Policy Objects in Windows Vista that allow our customers or their partners serving them to set that environment just the way the customer wants it. In this case, a standard user has not been given permission to download a program from the Internet and execute it on the system. And so User Account Control recognizes that an executable that’s not permissioned has just been launched and it puts up an administrator password. Now an administrator can enter this for me remotely, I can be given a temporary permission or, if I’m doing something I’m not supposed to do in this network environment, I simply am stopped from doing it. I’ll cancel that.
Traditionally, standard users have been prevented from doing most of the most common tasks within the operating system. And again today we can give that flexibility to standard users so that they’ll run in Standard Mode and that our customers will want to adopt Standard Mode, getting the security benefits inherent in Standard Mode.
A pretty simple example of this is time setting. Now, this particular customer has determined that standard users may not change the date and time and that’s because certain line of business applications time stamp things like management approval. And so I get the same administrator password prompt. But I can, unlike previous versions, I can do something like change the time zone. I’ve just flown here from Redmond, Washington and so I’m still on the Pacific time zone and I really need to be on the Eastern time zone and so I’ll make that change, something that standard users can do if the Group Policy Objects have been set to allow me to do that.
Now we’re talking about Group Policy. I’ll pull up something called Group Policy Manager for devices, of course using that application searcher, and I get a prompt even when I’m running as an administrator, just a simple little prompt that appears some of the time. It’s a security condition that helps make sure a human being is there to give a keystroke. It’s just one little layer of protection against malware.
And so as the administrator I come in and I want to do something like protect keys, USB keys, from being used to take sensitive data out of the company. Now this sounds like a simple little matter, but in fact this is a major concern for our CIO customers, USB keys are one of the principal ways that highly sensitive data is leaving the company. And so I can specify the keys that don’t support my particular encryption protocol to be blocked.
And we’ve actually heard stories, and I don’t know if they’re true or not, of companies actually sending around people with glue guns to glue shut USB keys because this is such a major concern in the industry today. And so I can simply set — and take a look by the way on the left here, the more than 500 new Group Policy Objects that can be customized for each individual customer’s situation. I’ve pulled up something called Prevent the Installation of Removable Devices. I’m going to enable that and hit okay. And now I’ll take this USB key and plug it into the USB port and it’ll launch, it’s installing the device driver software.
And you’ll notice two things about this. The first thing you’ll notice is that it was prevented because the Group Policy has just been implemented, instantly activating it for the domain. But separately you’ll notice that the message came up in English and that’s because this is an English system. If this was a French system it would come in French. But in no case will it come up in a language that I call Redmondese, and that’s another major difference with Windows Vista is that we’ve really humanized the system throughout. And so this simply says that the device installation was prevented by policy and so that I know what happened and if I don’t agree with it I can contact my system administrator.
And so another concept that’s a major improvement in protecting a company’s sensitive data is something that’s called Windows BitLocker. Now this is an improvement that uses TPM-based hardware encryption to encrypt the whole volume of the hard drive. And so those laptops, those hundreds of thousands of laptops that you’ve all seen the headlines around, that are being lost by companies, some of them containing sensitive financial data, can now be protected from prying eyes, protected from all but the most incredibly sophisticated anti-encryption devices on a global scale, because it’s hardware based, full volume encryption. Windows BitLocker is a part of every version of Windows Vista Enterprise.
Another area around security that I want to talk about is protection from malware and the hardening of the operating system. You know, Windows Vista takes major strides to secure the operating system from malware threats and we’ve done a number of things that I don’t have time to demonstrate to you. I’ll just demonstrate one of my favorites, which is Protected Browsing Mode. IE 7, when working with Windows Vista, cordons off the browsing experience and protects the operating system from the execution of malware that may come in through the browsing experience, something that’s been a major issue for our customers over the last few years.
And so I’ll start by pulling up an e-mail. Now, this is an e-mail that came in as spam and it’s an offer for one-penny photos. And just for the purposes of the demonstration, I’m going to basically be the most gullible consumer here, because we’re going to show you how an end user, even one that does everything wrong, can be protected from malware threats by that cordoned off browsing experience. And so I’m going to go ahead, and what do you think, should I go ahead and click that spam? Click it? I’m going to click it.
So there is it, I’ve clicked it, the deed is done. What I get first of all is something that you may have seen before, which is that the bar that runs at the top that says, “This page wants to run an ActiveX Control.” I can read about it, I can get more information, but what I’m going to do because I want those one penny photos is I’m going to run that ActiveX Control. And so I’m going to run it and it says it’s from an un-trusted source and there it is. It seemingly did nothing and so I don’t know what to do next other than click here to get started. So I’m going to — what do you think? Keep going? I’m going to click here to get started.
Now, because of that ActiveX Control and the fact that I kept going, this Web site thinks that it just executed a malware threat onto my system. It thinks that it put a file into my Startup menu called evil.exe that’ll run every time I start my system. But as you see when I go down to my start menu, it’s not there and nothing, in fact, is there, my Startup menu is empty. And so where is it? Windows Vista has tricked the malware. It’s deep down in a hidden system file, a cordoned off area, I’ve put a startup here to it called the Virtualized Startup folder. And there it sits, evil.exe, safely cordoned off from the user, someplace where it’ll never do harm for user, even though they did everything wrong. (Applause.)
So that’s amazing protection, but, you know, I’m a persistent user. And so I’m just going to go ahead and keep going because I don’t think I’ve done any damage yet and so I’m going to go one more and I’m going to click here to get help. And so I’m going to click here and it says, “Do you want to run or save this file?” And as long as we’re going to be the most gullible consumer, we’ve named the file spy.exe. And so I look at that and I say, “Well I’m going to run it. I’m going to run it because I want those one penny photos.” And so I run that spyware.exe and the system’s executing spyware onto my system, but it’s stopped by Windows Defender, anti-spyware protection built into every copy of Windows Vista.
Windows Defender comes up after a long stream of my mistakes and finally stops the execution of this malware. In fact, I can’t do anything else. I can’t ex this out, I can’t go operate other things, I must deal with this window, I must either remove or ignore, and this time because it’s so obvious I remove. The spyware is persistent, it tries one more time, I remove again and despite the fact that I did everything wrong, executed ActiveX controls from un-trusted sources and even executed a file called spy.exe, my system is safe and secure thanks to Windows Vista. (Applause.) Thank you.
Let’s shift gears and talk about application compatibility and I want to show you the App Compat Toolkit. You know, we’ve done a lot more than we’ve ever done in our past to get the application compatibility tools out early in the cycle. And so the Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0 is available now in beta for our customers, and let’s see if that’s — I had it up. It’ll come up in just a second. And it’s out earlier in the cycle because our customers had a lot of questions about the compatibility profile of Windows Vista. They’re concerned particularly about user account control, they’re concerned about IE 7 and they want a very easy way to look at their entire environment and find out which applications need work as they are in the planning stage of their deployment for Windows Vista.
And so I’ll just go into the analyze section of the toolkit here, and I’ll show you how easy it is to take a snapshot of the compatibility profile of one of your customer’s environments. I’ve sent, using this tool, an agent to all of my desktops that have reported back that I have 272 applications working in my environment. Of those 272 applications I already have, because of the automation in the tool, information about 45 of those. Thirty-five have been deemed to have issues and ten are in the clear, and I have work to do on 227 of them to find out more.
And so I’m just going to go into the “With Issues” section and I’m going to learn more about why these applications have issues and how I can get more information, and I can apply some of that same approach to the 227 that I haven’t got information on yet.
And so something new here with this year’s Application Compatibility Toolkit is that it’s community connected. And what that means is it’s collecting community information about the compatibility profile of the applications that I’m using throughout my environment, through this community rating that I’ve collected by sending and receiving data. I can also add a Microsoft rating as Microsoft is busy looking at applications. I can also add a vendor rating. If you’re an ISV, it’s very important that you engage with this process and get your information about the Application Compatibility Profile of your apps up onto the system, and I’ll show you a Web site at the end of the talk where you can learn more about how to do that.
I’ll just click into one of these, I’ll go into an antivirus program from Computer Associates, because antivirus programs generally do break with the new releases of Windows, and this one’s no exception. We’ll find out that that’s been reported by the community. I’ll go into one of those reports and just learn more about it. And I’ll go into the anonymous area, and I’ll look at a posting that a community member made saying that the Windows XP version of CA eTrust Antivirus isn’t working on Windows Vista. And I’ll follow a link that’s been included and that’ll take me to a Web page where I can find out easily using this tool that in fact Computer Associates is already working with Microsoft and has a beta version of their Windows Vista Antivirus solution already available for customers.
And so I’ve been able to find out about a problem, learn more about it and go and find a solution all within this tool, before I’ve really done any app compat work on my own. And so the tool is collecting information and aggregating it for me, in addition to helping in an automated way find out whether my own applications are compatible with new features such as User Account Control and Internet Explorer 7; a major step forward for us.
I’m going to show the BDD Workbench as well, because once I’ve figured out the application compatibility profile, then it’s important that I have a more efficient way to deploy those applications out into my environment. BDD Workbench is a tool that’s a part of our solution accelerator for Business Desktop Deployment, and it includes all the information about best practices that I need to be able to plan my deployment, articles and files, best practices for Microsoft in the community that are a part of our IOI, Infrastructure Optimization Initiative, are all housed here. But I can go in and I can work with my build.
And so this is an image that I’ve begun to customize for my company called Kontoso and I can go and work with that image. I can go and get the properties, find out more about this particular image and go ahead and I want to edit the unattend file, which is the file that Windows uses when the setup process kicks off a setup of an image of Windows Vista.
Now, we’ve completely changed the file approach in Windows Vista from a sector-based image approach to a file-based imaging system. And what’s that mean? That means that I can componentize easily, using this tool, my image and manage it in a much more automated way than I’ve ever been able to do before. And so this unattend file manager shows me all the different aspects of Windows, all the components that I can personally customize because Windows has been componentized.
And so I’m going to go ahead and customize Internet Explorer, add it to the answer file, which is the set of instructions that setup uses when it renders a new image of Windows Vista, and I’m going to go ahead and customize an aspect of it. I want to set the home page for my company instead of Microsoft and so I’m going to set the default home page Kontoso.com. That’s just been changed in this image for every user that I deploy it to. I can do things like going and getting this image for every user that I deploy it to. I do things like go and get drivers right out of the box from Web sites and simply drag and drop those to the image. I can go get packages like the latest hot fixes from the Web sites and add those to the answer file, that hot fix is now a part of this image. It’ll automatically be included when the image is rendered, whether I render it here using the toolkit or whether it’s rendered by setup when this small answer file is sent down to the desktop to be used in the Windows Vista deployment.
I don’t want it to be an English desktop, I want this particular image, I’m going to send this image to all my desktops in France and so I add French to the answer file. Boom, that image is French that easily. And so for worldwide customers we’ve been able to help people get to a single image in a single image management system to be able to set up their worldwide deployments, regardless of the language that’s being used, regardless of the hardware being used, whether it spans laptops or desktops, making it very simple for our customers to plan for and to manage deployment.
All right, the last thing I’m going to show you is around mobility, and I want to show you the — oh, you’ve got to close all these dialog boxes. All right. And exit.
The last thing I want to show you is something called the Mobility Sensor, and it’s one of the many things that we’ve done in Windows Vista to help make the mobile experience easier for end users and lower costs. And so the mobility center is in one place we’ve put all the different mobile options of Windows, so that our customers can manage those things, and we’ve included some new things into the system, things like a presentation mode. You know, have you ever been in one of those situations where you’re making a presentation and, of course, your back is facing the screen and your face is facing the audience and those notifications start coming up during your presentation. And, you know, people start their instant messages with the darndest opening sentences don’t they? And so this is something that a lot of people have experienced and it’s a simple thing, a presentation mode changes my desktop background, sets the audio just the way I want it and suppresses those notifications so that I can have a professional presentation when I’m on the go. (Applause.) It’s really terrific.
Another major enhancement is something called Sync Partnerships. Now, this is really about keeping all of my files in sync, including those files that I keep up on the share, up on the network, that are my network folders. And so I can simply set up sync partnerships with those files and create an offline cache that’s automatically kept up to date every time I connect to the network. Many of you might remember moving to Office 2003 a few years ago and how incredible it was for your e-mail when suddenly your offline mode just worked right and suddenly you could sync up in offline and online work. Windows Vista brings that same mentality, that same innovation to your files on your system.
So, every time you return from an airplane and reconnect to the network, all the changes that you made are posted to your files up on the share. Your searches are all done locally because those share folders are cached locally on your relatively big hard drive on contemporary systems. And so you’re dealing with all your files as if they were local. Windows Vista takes share in a network bandwidth aware way of making sure those files are then synced up onto the network in a seamless way, making it incredibly easier for you to keep all of your files up to date without you ever thinking about it, with the exception of setting up these syncs, local caches of all of your network folders a single time; a major advancement for mobile users.
So that gives you a little sense of some of the things that we’re doing within the system around find and use information, around optimizing infrastructure, around security and compliance and around mobility. We’re going to show you more things throughout the sessions, through the event here at Partner Conference, but I wanted to give you a taste of the value proposition.
What do people think of it so far? You know, we’ve gotten great feedback from the beta 2 build, and the reason why we’ve gotten that feedback is because people have started using the product. And my request of you is that you start using the product because that’s how you’ll get your personal conviction, your personal sense for the value proposition around it.
We put beta 2 on all of your seats. For those of you that are TechNet and MSDN members, a new build will be available very shortly that’s much more contemporary even than beta 2. And, of course we’re planning our Release Candidate 1 for later is quarter.
These amazing things are what people are saying who have used that beta 2, and one of my favorites just came out the other day. It said it’s not just the best version of Windows ever, it’s the best Windows upgrade ever. In other words, it’s a bigger advance for this time than other versions of Windows have been for their time. That’s the concept of an innovation, a catalyst for innovation by others, perfectly suited to a set of industry conditions. That’s what people are saying about it.
And, you know, as we go to market, we’re going to do that in a context sensitive way. And what I mean by that is we’re going to go to market around scenarios, premium scenarios that enable value propositions not just for Microsoft but for our partners. And our value keynote today at 3:30 we’re going to go into a little bit more detail around the scenarios that we’ll take Windows to market with. These are the scenarios around consumer and small business and enterprise and mid-market. Our global campaigns have been keyed to these scenarios, and this is where you link the opportunity that we see for partners. And so that’s the main message of our value keynotes today and tomorrow at 11:30 is to focus on how we’re going to market and to link that to the value that we see for your business.
One thing I want you to take away in this talk however is that we’re committed to premium experiences. That scenarios chart I just showed you is going to be about how we highlight the premium experiences that people can have with their systems, because as I said before, we have an incredible moment in time. People are expecting more from their PCs. They’re expecting a bigger role of PCs into their lives, and so we are going to be bringing premium experiences from Microsoft linked to the premium hardware and services that our partners bring to market. You’ll see us maniacally focused on the premium versions of Windows, keying all of our marketing to that. Because you know on the hardware side of our business, average selling prices have been declining by 8 or 9 percent a year for several years. When we focus together on earnings, a more premium relationship with our customers, we can slow or even reverse that trend. That’s a specific focus of our global marketing effort for Windows Vista, focused on these SKUs.
This shows you a little bit about launch. We are in what I would call the readiness and excitement mode. We’re spending this quarter in the last building readiness, training people on the value propositions, getting our partners ready, getting our own global organization ready for this massive moment coming later this year, the launch of Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system. As many of you know, we’re targeting November for our business availability of Windows Vista and January for our general availability with OEM systems and the consumer availability of packaged products.
We’ve had those dates in place for a while as our targets and we’re in the middle of our beta process and we’re in that critical phase where we’re getting all of the great feedback and learning about the betas. The quality of the product is terrific. I’ve had a preview of our Release Candidate 1, I’m using it on my system, and the quality is fantastic.
And so we’re very excited about the launch coming, we’re committed to our target base and we’ll have more information for you as the year unfolds about the exact dates that we’ll launch around.
But, you know, following those launches is really when the fun begins because the launch is a launch moment, but the campaign that links all these scenarios and all these partner opportunities really kick in. The massive wave of marketing, and demand generation that follows the introduction of Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System.
And that’s our commitment, you know, to deliver a great product, a high quality product that people love using, to generate that massive footprint, that great demand so that people don’t just use it, they anticipate it, they like using it, they love using it and that excitement is out there and to focus our efforts on premium scenarios. That’s what you can expect from us.
Throughout this meeting I’m hoping that you engage with us. Find out more about how you can build your business. Realize your business opportunities using Windows Vista as a catalyst for your own innovations. I do believe it’s the major catalyst for the next few years of innovation in our industry. It’s a foundation on which many of the innovations in each of your companies can be built upon if you start to learn and engage with us here during this meeting.
Our value keynotes are a perfect way to do that, today at 3:30 and tomorrow at 11:30, our breakout sessions, and also our new partner site, windowsvista.com/partner, a great place designed specifically for this community to go and engage with us and find out how you can align your marketing activities.
I couldn’t be more excited. This moment that our industry has been waiting for us is upon us. Windows Vista represents a huge amount of change for us, a huge opportunity for us as an industry. Now is the time for us to engage, learn about the value propositions and get ready. I’ve had real fun talking with you about it and sharing it with you. Thanks for your excitement and interest and your patience with us throughout this morning. Thanks everybody, take care. (Cheers, applause.)