Redmond, Wash. — Oct. 16, 2009
— On Oct. 19, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer heads to the sold-out Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas where he will address more than 7,000 SharePoint customers, partners and developers. PressPass caught up with Ballmer to discuss his perspective going into the event.
Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft, says that Microsoft SharePoint “unleashes a suite of capabilities that dramatically improves the way people work.”
PressPass: Starting on Monday, you are kicking off a busy week of activities for Microsoft, and your first stop is the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas. Why did you choose to begin there?
Ballmer: The SharePoint business is absolutely on fire, and I’m excited to meet with our customers, partners and developers who are driving this success. I’ll have the opportunity to catch up with customers and hear how they use SharePoint to collaborate, work together and drive intranet and external Web sites. This product has such a wealth of value that the customer, partner and developer stories are incredible.
In addition, the SharePoint community is discovering that in the same way Office delivers a valuable suite of productivity technology, SharePoint unleashes a suite of capabilities that dramatically improves the way people work — it is so much more than the sum of its parts. I find it enlightening to hear their questions and gain new insights about how SharePoint is impacting businesses all over the world.
PressPass: To date, SharePoint is one of the fastest growing server products in Microsoft’s history — what is behind this growth?
Ballmer: Businesses and consumers are facing significant challenges in today’s climate with the increase in information across numerous technologies and devices. With amplified pressures to control costs, businesses are looking for new ways to harness the increasing amounts of information in a productive and cost-effective way. That is exactly what SharePoint does — it is built as a business collaboration platform to allow people to interact with each other, with content, and with both internal and external data to increase their productivity. As a result, SharePoint helps companies deal with the ever-growing and ever-changing business landscape.
PressPass: What type of traction are you seeing with SharePoint among developers?
Ballmer: There is incredible enthusiasm among the developer community for SharePoint. We know that hundreds of thousands of developers have used the SharePoint platform in the past year, and we believe that will increase to more than 1 million developers over the next couple of years with the introduction of SharePoint Server 2010.
PressPass: What will you be announcing during your keynote at the SharePoint Conference?
Ballmer: At the conference, we will be talking about SharePoint Server 2010, which we’ve said will be broadly available in the first half of next year. During my keynote, I will show some of our key investment areas and new capabilities that will help developers rapidly build SharePoint applications, provide customers with enhanced capabilities for Internet sites, and deliver choice and flexibility between on-premises and cloud-based solutions. This will include showcasing some of the features and technologies that we are delivering in the next version of the product.
PressPass: After the SharePoint Conference, what is your next stop?
Ballmer: Next stop is the global launch of Windows 7. Our customers, partners and employees will be celebrating around the world. Windows 7 was built using the feedback and input from many of the billion Windows customers around the world, so next week will really be our chance to celebrate together.
But the day itself is not really what is most important. What is important is what Windows means for more than a billion people. We are thrilled at the incredible lineup of new PCs coming to market that will show the world the best of Windows 7.
PressPass: This week marks a significant week for Microsoft — put it all into perspective for us.
Ballmer: At Microsoft we are consistently investing for the long term, making big bets for the future. This year, you have seen the impact and results of those investments over the past few years becoming more and more visible, creating excitement and momentum across our product lines — from Windows to Xbox and from Bing and Windows phones to Office and the often unsung hero products such as SharePoint. We are firing on all cylinders.