Remarks by Robbie Bach, President, Entertainment and Devices, Microsoft Corporation
Las Vegas, April 1, 2008
ROBBIE BACH: Good morning. It’s great to be here to talk to you about Microsoft’s approach to mobile experiences. And I want to pick up on a theme that Sir Richard Branson talked about through his speech, which was innovation, and I want to talk about how Microsoft and our partners are working to bring innovation across the mobile environment.
And for us that begins from a very simple premise, actually a premise from our customers, which says they want to be able to have all of their experiences wherever and whenever they want them, whether that’s something they want to do in music, something they want to do in gaming, something they want to do in video, or something they want to do in productivity.
And so for us we look to say how do we deliver that; how do we bring that to people across all of what we do, whether that’s what we do with Xbox where we have over 18 million consoles in the market, whether it’s what we’re doing in Zune in music, what we’re doing in video with Media Center and Media Room, where we’re really reaching out to people with new technical solutions that actually meet that customer’s needs and tying them together.
And, of course, the company has always been known for what we do in the productivity space with things like Office and Vista, and the work we’re doing there.
Now, when you think about that, you say, okay, so how does that relate to what we’re doing today in CTIA and mobile? And to me mobility is at the center of all of those scenarios. And the mobile phone, or mobile device I suppose I should say, is going to be the centerpiece for making that happen.
So, for Microsoft we look and we say, how do we deliver that, and it starts for us through the concept we talk about of software and services. Certainly hardware innovation is going to be a requirement across what we do in the mobile space to bring these new characteristics and new capabilities to market, but software and services are going to be the engine that drives that, both the engine for reaching out to consumers and enabling them to do these new scenarios, as well as the engine for the business to make money and grow profit, and continue to grow the great industry we’re a part of.
Obviously that involves work we’re doing with Vista on the PC, work we’re doing with our Windows Live services, and it certainly involves work we’re doing with our Windows Mobile services.
Now, if you think about mobile at Microsoft, you can’t really think just about the team in my group that produces our Windows Mobile operating system. You have to think about the people in our developer tools group that are creating development tools for the mobile platform; people in our Office group that are creating applications for the mobile platform; people who are doing work in our entertainment area to create entertainment experiences for the mobile platform. This is a company-wide effort to build the software and services necessary to fuel a revolution in how people think about what happens in the mobile space.
And Microsoft is very committed to making that happen. Whether you think about from what we do in the car to things we do all the way up into the enterprise, we are building the software and services to fuel this next generation.
Now, certainly Windows Mobile is an important part of that, and I think historically people have thought about it as being the mobile solution for people at work, and that is changing, because we know that as we go forward people are going to want to have a handset, a device that works for them when they’re at work or when they’re at leisure, when they’re in their office and when they’re at home.
So, we’re going to build on the leadership position we’ve already established in the mobile space on the work and productivity side, and expand that more broadly into the consumer space.
Today, this year, about 20 million devices will ship with Windows Mobile software on them. That puts us ahead of RIM, ahead of Apple, and in a very strong position to help drive this transition, and we’re excited about the opportunities we have to make that happen.
One key element of that strategy is the idea of choice, and I think this is what distinguishes us from others in the industry. Our approach is to give consumers the choice of the type of device: does it have a keyboard, does it not; is it touch, is it not; is it a flip phone, is it not. What they want is going to be different for different scenarios and for different people, and we are going to focus on that choice. That’s why we work with 160 operators in 55 countries around the world. That’s why there are 18,000 applications available to use on your Windows Mobile phone. And that’s why four of the top five OEMs around the world embrace Windows Mobile software on their devices.
So, this idea of choice and producing great experiences for consumers that transcend what you’re doing in productivity, what you’re doing in music, entertainment, communications, is a powerful vision for the direction we want to go.
Now, in order to do that, as I talked earlier, we have to drive a lot of innovation. And at Microsoft that’s going to span all levels of what’s going on in the mobile space. It starts at what I’ll think of as the pure infrastructure level. Work we’re doing with our PlayReady DRM technology is an example, work we’re doing with NVIDIA to improve and build graphics and chipset technologies that will make mobile phones a far better experience for people doing entertainment and graphic intensive applications. So, there’s work to do across the broad section of infrastructure in the marketplace.
There’s also significant work to do to make these devices better Web experiences. Certainly at Microsoft we’re expanding our Silverlight technology to be fabulous environment both for developers to create applications, as well as users to experience things on the Web.
And with our announcement that we’re going to support Flash Lite technology on the device, you’re going to be able to have fabulous Web experiences regardless of the underlying technology on Windows Mobile devices, and we think that’s critical to this broad connected experiences future that I discussed.
And finally, we know that there’s innovation in the services area. And in the last little over a year, Microsoft has expanded both internally in our own services capability, as well as through acquisition to speed growth and build the services capabilities that we need to deliver what our consumer are demanding from Microsoft.
That includes things like ScreenTonic for advertising solutions; Musiwave to provide entertainment solutions; Danger to provide communications software and services solutions to be able to reach out to people who want to do broad social communications and social networking activities; and finally and importantly TellMe, which brings voice, ironically, to the phone, and enables us to use voice interaction to drive the phone and enable us to have a more natural experience with the devices that we’re working with.
The combination of these innovative technologies is what is going to drive us going forward, and we see this as an opportunity to really kick start another tremendous wave of growth certainly for our business, but more importantly for our partners’ business and across the industry.
So, that leads us to the next innovation we want to announce, which today is Windows Mobile 6.1. Now, Windows Mobile 6.1 is a very important release for us on the operating system level. It does a number of things. Primarily it’s designed to make the phone simpler and easier to use when you’re using for voice, data, communications, and entertainment, because that’s actually a lot of breadth to span, and we need to continually work to make sure users can get access to the scenarios they want to complete.
So, that means a new home screen, the ability to customize that home screen, to improve navigation on that home screen so that people can get where they want quickly and easily.
It includes a new Web experience on Windows Mobile 6.1 that gives you the full desktop experience you might expect, so that you can browse Web sites whether they’ve been optimized for mobile phones or not, and you can reach out and interact with those Web sites in a very rich and deep way. And it certainly provides a platform for entertainment experiences that will be much richer than anything we’ve had before.
Now, I talked earlier about our work being about both business and about home use, and on the business side, Windows Mobile 6.1 delivers this as well. We’re delivering something called System Center Mobile Device Manager, which is designed for businesses to enable them to do a great job managing the devices that are now on their network.
Three or four years ago, most IT managers would have said, well, a phone is just a device somebody brings into the building. Now most of them think of it as a device that’s mission critical to their business. That means they have to protect the data, that means they have to manage the device, that means they have to distribute applications to it, that means it has to be a first class citizen on their network. And that’s what Mobile Device Manager is all about: bringing that solution to those IT professionals and to their users.
So, whether you’re somebody who’s looking for a better consumer experience, let’s say, or whether you’re looking for a richer and deeper business experience, Windows Mobile 6.1 is going to be a key release in the evolution of what Microsoft is providing you to enable a great solution.
What I’d like to do now is actually give you a chance to see it, and with that I’m going to introduce Derek Snyder, who’s going to take you on a demo of Windows Mobile 6.1. Derek? (Applause.)
DEREK: Thanks, Robbie.
Well, as Robbie just talked about, we do have a great new release, Windows Mobile 6.1. And I want to show you today how we’re able to use this as really a new way to constantly straddle the transitions between work and life.
The first device I’d like to show you is this Samsung Blackjack II, which is one of the devices that will be updateable by the end users to Windows Mobile 6.1.
Let’s put this up on the screen.
Now, Windows Mobile allows me to simplify my life, and really get in touch with the people and information I care about most. I can do that through this new home screen that Robbie talked about. It’s called the sliding panel.
Now, what I have here is the ability to at a glance always see all of the information that’s most pressing on my device. I’ve got my new missed calls, my voicemail, text messages, and new e-mails, and they light up as new things come available. So, at a glance I’m always able to see what’s going on in my life and on my phone.
So, let’s go ahead and actually click down on the directional pad. You’ll notice that we magnify that information and bring it up in a new panel. So, I’ve got a missed call here from Robbie Bach. I can click to the right and start scrolling through some of my other notifications. And then finally I can see that I’ve gotten new e-mail that’s come in as well, both from Exchange Server or some of the personal accounts I may have on my device, like Hotmail or Yahoo!
I also at a glance can always see my next appointment, and this is really critical since a lot of customers actually use these phones again for work and life. So, it’s important to see your next meeting, and we’ve got all of them for today and tomorrow showing up on the home screen.
But it’s not enough to stop there. We can make things more discoverable and really allow customers to interact with their phone in a new way, but they also have to be super easy to set up and configure.
And that’s why with 6.1 for the first time we’ve introduced a new Getting Started Center, which really makes it easy to get up and running with your phone in the first 10 minutes, the first 10 hours, and the first 10 days.
So, we can set up the date and time, we can set up our e-mail, and we allow you to do that automatically with over 2,600 different ISP settings already on the phone, so if I’m typing in any personal e-mail account, it will be automatically detected.
I can set passwords. I can set up my Bluetooth headset. And Windows Mobile 6.1 actually has the ability to automatically pair my Bluetooth headset. So, it tries all the pairing codes for me, and it’s nothing I have to think about as the customer.
We also have a number of other tutorials, including the ability to transfer your music to your phone, so you really can use this as the one phone for both work life and home life.
We also have this new music plug-in on the home screen, which allows me to scroll through and see some of the music that I have on my storage card. When I click on this, it’s automatically adding any new music on my phone, whether it’s on the device itself or on a memory card that I’ve inserted.
I also have photos. These are some photos I’ve taken with the device’s camera, and, of course, I have the ability to interact with those, set those as wallpaper. It’s all very easy and discoverable right from the home screen.
And finally, we’ve brought the most common settings right to the home screen to make it very easy to do something like, for instance, change your ring tone. I can go normal, silent, vibrate, or set it to automatic, which actually automatically sets your phone to vibrate when your calendar shows you’re in a meeting.
So, let’s take a look at how Windows Mobile 6.1 actually delivers in the productivity front as well. You’ll notice that I actually that new e-mail that was coming in as well from Katie Jordan. Just with one click from the home screen I can open that up, and it takes me directly into Outlook Mobile, which is a pocket version of Outlook, just like your PC on your phone.
So, it looks like Katie actually needs a tracking number. Well, this is a fairly common scenario. Let’s go back in my mail. It looks like I’ve actually got the order confirmation coming in here, and I can open that up.
Now, in the past it’s been awful hard to take this information and move it around. Maybe I want to take this tracking number and go ahead and track it at UPS or FedEx.com. Well, that’s been very hard on Smart Phones typically since you have to sort of write it down and copy that information over. So, wouldn’t it be great if you had copy and paste on all Windows Mobile phones? Well, that’s what we have here today. And so just with a single click it’s very easy to copy and paste that information over into a new e-mail.
But we didn’t stop there. In Windows Mobile 6.1 we actually have the ability to do a smart filter, just like we have for a while now on other Windows Mobile phones. So, with a couple keystrokes I can start typing a few letters and filter down my entire mailbox. So, I’ll search for CTIA — C-T-I-A. So, just like that I filter down my mailbox, and using that same familiar paradigm from the desktop I can actually hold the shift key and start selecting multiple messages. And now I can action on these, like delete them, or in this case move them into a sub folder.
So, this allows you to really start doing more than just reading and writing mail on your device. This is something that you can use in place of a laptop to do some more advanced triage and really move through that mail just like you would on your PC.
But we didn’t stop there. It looks like while I’ve been demoing I got a new text message in, and so let’s take a look at that.
Oh, so it looks like an old friend has sent me a text message. I guess we’ll have to open that one up. I definitely don’t want to leave him waiting.
And this actually allows us to highlight something new in Windows Mobile 6.1, which is the new threaded text messaging feature. This actually allows us very simply to have new text messages coming in and out of the device. So, when I open up that text message, you’ll see that what I’ve sent and what I’ve received have actually all come in. So, it’s very easy for me to type a quick reply, send that off to Bill, and when he sends a response he can very easily have that all come into view as well. So, this is something that’s great for customers but also great for mobile operators as this really drives up a lot of SMS usage on the phone.
So, that’s a look at Windows Mobile 6.1, and we’ll be bringing that to market over the next couple months. Obviously we’ll have a number of devices that are updateable.
But we don’t really stop there in terms of the innovation that we’re bringing to mobile devices. Let’s take a look at a new application that we’ve introduced in the last year or so called Live Search for Mobile.
Now, this application is continually getting updated. If you download it, you’re able to get new updates, get new features and functionality. It started out with maps and location; they added traffic, then they added voice so you can do voice searches, movie show times, gas prices. And in this most recent release, which is coming out this spring, we have the ability to have Web search, weather, and a new functionality called Collections.
Now, with collections I’m able to put together a list of my most common searches, so that I can quickly and easily access them on the go.
So, I’m very interested in music events that are coming up, and no matter where I am, whether I’m in Seattle or Las Vegas, I can initiate this search, find all of the music events going on in the area, and then throw them all up on a map. Now, how interesting is that?
All right, so it doesn’t stop there. A lot of customers have been asking us, well, that’s great, but how do we actually stay on top of what we’re doing on the go? How do we make sure that we’re still connecting to the world?
And so Robbie talked about how we’re licensing Flash and we’re doing a number of interesting things with mobile Internet. So, I think this is the appropriate time to show you what that work is actually coalescing to.
So, with Windows Mobile 6.1, later on this year we’ll actually ship a new version of Internet Explorer Mobile. Now, interestingly enough, over 80 percent of folks that are browsing the Internet today do so on a Microsoft browser with Internet Explorer 6 or Internet Explorer 7. And so it makes perfect sense to bring that browser to Windows Mobile, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. Let’s take a look.
So, as you can see here, I have desktop like Web browsing right on my Windows Mobile Phone. We have the ability to see the full page, not the mobile optimized page, and interact with it in all the ways that you would expect, right from a mobile device.
But this is a solution that scales. This isn’t something that’s just great on large, wide VGA or VGA screens. Let’s take a look at it on this smaller screen. You’ll see we’ve also got the ability to pan and zoom around a page. So, it’s very easy, just with a click, to move around, start zooming in, see more information, and the page just becomes alive. And so here we are on the BBC news, and that’s rendering just like you would expect on the desktop PC.
Now, the real Web experience doesn’t just stop with simple HTML, and making sure all the pages look good. You have to make sure that you support all of the industry media standards. Of course we talked about how we’re bringing Silverlight to Windows Mobile Phones. Well, we’re also bringing Adobe Flash’s technology out of the box with this new version of Internet Explorer Mobile.
So, if we put this up on the screen, you’ll see here that we actually have not an application but rather the full YouTube Web site up and running on a Windows Mobile Phone. And just like that I can start playing a video, and we’re able to play all of that Flash content right within the browser. Now, how cool is that? (Applause.) That squirrel can water-ski.
So, we’re bringing this out at the end of the year. We hope to see this on the first devices at the end of calendar year 2008.
So, we’re very excited about what we’re doing with Windows Mobile, both to simplify and enrich your lives, but at the same time keep you productive and able for you to stay on top of what’s going on in the world.
Thanks very much. (Applause.)
ROBBIE BACH: Thanks, Derek.
So, that gives you some idea of the basics of what we’re doing with Windows Mobile 6.1.
I also want to talk about an announcement we made at Mobile World Congress where we announced that Sony Ericsson would be the newest member to the Windows Mobile family.
Now, Sony Ericsson has done a fabulous job at creating great consumer devices, devices that integrate both what you think of as traditional telephone cell technology, along with music and entertainment technology, all in one package. They are continuing that tradition with a new device that will run on Windows Mobile 6.1 called the XPERIA X1.
What I’d like to do now is welcome Ramanath Bhat from Sony Ericsson on stage to show us the XPERIA Ericsson X1. Ramanath? (Applause.)
RAMANATH: Thanks, Robbie.
Sony Ericsson is excited to be part of partnering with Microsoft, and being part of this keynote.
As we saw so much talked about convergence, to address this convergence scenario, Sony Ericsson has this new brand called XPERIA. And the X1 is the first product that they’re going to announce on this brand.
If you see, this is the best looking mobile phone in the industry today. It can do everything — (laughter) — it has got everything that you need for multimedia, Web, messaging, texting. It comes in a good stainless steel packaged body. So, it can do mobile broadband and other stuff.
This is the first Sony Ericsson Windows Mobile Phone. It’s going to run all 6.1 features that Derek was just mentioning. And on top of that, we have this panel experience that I want to demonstrate.
ROBBIE BACH: That’s great. Why don’t you give us a look?
RAMANATH: Now, as you can see, what Sony Ericsson has done is when you start a Windows Mobile device, you come to this Microsoft desktop. So, with the press of a key we are taking the users right from the today screen to this cool Sony Ericsson like UI.
What each one of these panels mean is those are different experiences that are exposed on the device. So, Microsoft’s experience is one of the panels. Sony Ericsson is going to work with all our partners, our operators to make these experiences on the device. It could be Web, it could be services, it could be multimedia.
So, what a user would do is a user would, with the flip of a finger, would go to this user experience and then select one of the things that is delivered to him at that instance in time. What I’m trying to do now is I went from that Windows Mobile today screen and I’m trying to customize my desktop to an active experience that is delivered to me. Here in this case the things that are delivered to me are the RSS feeds or the weather or things that are important to me on the desktop.
So, this panel user experience is where Sony Ericsson is going to add value on top of all the cool things that we have seen on 6.1.
Thank you so much.
ROBBIE BACH: Thanks, Ramanath, appreciate it very much. (Applause.)
So, now what you see as you go through those scenarios, whether that’s the base scenarios you saw on Windows 6.1 or what you saw Ramana show on Sony Ericsson, is the tremendous power and ability for us to customize the platform and enable great new experiences. Windows Mobile 6.1 is going to offer those new experiences.
And as I said earlier, we’re going to do that with choice. So, for 6.1 that means in the United States the top five mobile operators will be offering 6.1 phones. That’s AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and Alltel.
And certainly as you go around the world there will be operators signing up as we announce these things around the world, to support 6.1 in other countries. So, that’s very exciting.
Now, specifically I want to talk about the work that AT&T has been doing, because they’ve been very committed to 6.1 from the beginning.
The Samsung Blackjack II, Motorola Q9, the AT&T Tilt and the Pantech Duo will all be supporting of Windows 6.1. Those devices are selling phenomenally well in the marketplace right now, and all those devices will work with the System Center Mobile Device Manager technology that Derek and I mentioned before.
So, you are going to have great consumer experiences, as well as the flexibility to integrate these devices in a great way into an enterprise situation, and AT&T is committed on both sides of that equation.
Likewise, Sprint has made a major commitment to us around Windows Mobile 6.1 with the HTC Mogul, the HTC Touch, the Motorola Q9, and the Samsung ACE. These devices will also all support 6.1 and 6.1 technologies.
So, you can see these are just examples, as I mentioned before. Verizon, T-Mobile and Alltel as well in the U.S. market will be joining the 6.1 parade.
This is an exciting opportunity for us to deliver great new end user capability, great new business capabilities, to our customers.
So, with that, I want to wrap up by just summarizing where we think things stand. Right now I think the mobile marketplace is at an inflection point. We say, wow, and we heard this morning about all the growth in the Windows Mobile space and all the opportunity that we’ve taken advantage of over the last 15 or 20 years. And I think and Microsoft thinks that’s just the beginning. Because the combination of great hardware design like the XPERIA X1, software and services as the key differentiator, is going to drive this industry to a much broader world than we are today.
People won’t remember mobile phones so much as phones, although that will certainly be at the center of what these devices do, but they will remember them as the next generation platform, a platform that touches everything that our customers do, and certainly everything that Microsoft works on. And Microsoft is bringing the full weight of our development teams across the company to bear on this opportunity and to continue to drive growth for us and our partners.
I think there is a tremendous opportunity for innovation to come, both on the workplace side and on the home side of the mobile market, and Microsoft is going to be there to work with our partners to support that.
Thank you very much. Have a good show. (Applause.)