Brad Brooks: Worldwide Partner Conference 2008

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Microsoft’s corporate vice president, Windows Consumer Product Marketing, Brad Brooks. (Applause.)

BRAD BROOKS: Good morning, Houston. Yep, since I was a young kid watching the Apollo missions, I’ve always wanted to say that.

You know, talking about little kids, I had a conversation with my daughter last night, heard her phone by bed, and we were talking about the day, having the normal conversation, “How was your day, papa?” And I said, “Well, you know, my day was pretty good, but I’m not quite happy with where I’m at for my speech tomorrow to give to some very important people.” And you know what she said to me, she said, “Don’t worry, papa, because you know the truth, and the truth makes you strong.”

You know what, truer words could not be spoken from a five-year old. There are a lot of myths out there in the marketplace today, a lot of myths around Windows Vista. What is the true story? Because we know the story is very different than what our competitors would like our customers to think. And we’ve been quiet about it. You’ve told us. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the biggest questions and most oft asked question by everybody in this audience coming in to this conference this week.

So, what are we doing about it? Well, today — today is a different day. Today, we’re making a statement. We’re drawing a line right here on this stage that we’re going to do things differently going forward. We’re going to tell our story — our story, the real Windows Vista story.

And let’s start that story, the real story, at the beginning, with the creation of Windows Vista. We had an ambitious plan. We made some significant investments around security in this product. And you know what, those investments, they broke some things. They broke a lot of things. We know that. And we know it caused you a lot of pain in front of your customers, in front of our customers. And it got a lot of customers thinking, and even yourselves and our partners thinking, “Hey, is Windows Vista a generation that I want to make an investment in?”

Well, I’ve got to tell you, you responded, because today it has changed dramatically from what we were only a few short months ago. We have incredibly broad support around applications, around hardware devices, better performance, a more reliable operating system than ever before, and I’ve got to just take a moment and say, thank you — thank you to everybody in this room, because without the effort and the commitment that you made to Windows Vista over the last year, we would not be in this spot. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

You know, SP1 is going to take it to the next level, and we’ve made a lot of progress together around this operating system, and let’s show a little bit of it in this video.

(Video segment.)

BRAD BROOKS: John is right: No one is slowing down, no one at Microsoft, nobody in this room. es, the changes did cause a lot of pain, but you know what, customers are starting to see the benefits.

The Real Windows Vista Story

Let’s bust a few myths. First of all, there’s been 20 percent fewer security problems on Windows Vista than XP in 2007. As a matter of fact — matter of fact, Windows Vista is the safest OS in terms of security vulnerabilities in its first year of operation, safer than any other commercial or Open Source OS in its launch. Now, I don’t hear Apple making claims about security around a product that is that great.

I also want to tell you about another myth around malware and security is that when you run Windows Vista you’re 60 percent less likely to get malware on your machine than if you use Windows XP SP 2.

How about IE 7? You know what IE 7 is doing right now? There are 1 million — 1 million phishing attacks every week being blocked by IE working on Windows Vista.

Now, we also know that BitLocker came out with Windows Vista, and we’ve got literally millions of customers around the world deploying BitLocker on their mobile laptops, sleeping more securely at night knowing that their data is protected and that a lost laptop is not going to cause a major business crisis.

This is the real Windows Vista story. This is the true Windows Vista story. And you know what, it’s only getting better. It is only getting better as we move forward, because Windows Vista, it’s an investment in the long term.

What do I mean by that? Well, the same architectural changes that we put in that caused the heartaches moving to Windows Vista are things that we are going to carry forward into Windows 7. And we are going to target roughly the same hardware specifications that we did when Windows Vista launched.

What does that mean for you? Make the investment now, because when you make the investment in Windows Vista, you’re not only making it for Windows Vista; it’s going to pay it forward into the next generation of the operating system that we call Windows 7.

I am very excited about this next year. And you may be looking at me, going, well, what is he excited about? Well, first of all, let me put the story in context. We’ve been here before. We know this story. Look at some of these quotes. I’m sure you’ve seen them. The funny thing is that these quotes, they’re not about Windows Vista; they’re about XP six years ago.

Now, the point I’m trying to make is that the frustrations, they’re not okay, that we’ve faced with Windows Vista, they’re not, absolutely. My point is this is not the first time that Microsoft, that we, the ecosystem, have launched an operating system into the marketplace. It was just the first time in a long time.

And you know what? We’ve faced these challenges before, and we’re going to overcome them again.

Though we had a long gap between XP and Windows Vista, it created some additional problems for us that we hadn’t had in the past. You didn’t believe we would ship, and we didn’t get enough help to you to get ready to ship that product and support it. Our collective muscles, they got a little bit flabby, but now we’re in pretty darn good shape.

The other big thing that’s different this time around is that we’ve got a pretty noisy competitor out there. You know it, I know it. It’s had an impact, been a source of frustration for you, but today, that line, we’re going to start to challenge. We’re going to get our story back out into the marketplace. Because we know the quiet majority of the millions and millions and millions of Windows Vista users out there, they’re having a pretty good experience. They’ve told us they’re pretty darn favorable with the product. And they don’t quite understand what all the fuss is about.

So, what are we going to do about it? Well, the product continues to get better every day. It didn’t stop with SP 1. John talked to you about the telemetry data that we’re getting in every day, every moment about Windows Vista. We’re using it to improve the product, to make it better, and to turn around and ship updates for the products every week to our customers through Windows Update, on a scale and a scope that is unmatched by any of our competitors, continuing to make this product better every day.

We’re also doing a couple of other things. We’re announcing a few things today. Number one, to help bust the myth that Windows Vista is not compatible with your software or devices, we’re announcing a new Web site called the Windows Vista Compatibility Center. It’s a way for any customer, a consumer or a business, to go to a very simple, easy to use Web site, and see all of the devices and all the applications that are compatible with Windows Vista.

My call to action to you, if you’re an ISV(Independent Software Vendor) or an IHV (Independent Hardware Vendor), go to that site, see that your device and your application is up there. If it is up there, update the information through our feedback forum so we can get the latest and best information to bust the compatibility myths around Windows Vista in the marketplace.

What else are we doing? Well, today, we also launched a new ad campaign. If you look at your USA Today that was in front of your door to your hotel room or the Wall Street Journal, you saw a full page ad. It was around the Windows Vista Small Business Assurance program. We have such confidence in the state of Windows Vista that we’re going to all U.S.-based small businesses and we’re offering free support, one-on-one coaching, and assistance via phone to help them go through and make the transition to Windows Vista. Kicked off today, the messages are going to start blasting the airwaves as we start to build it up, and the message is going to be pretty simple: Move to Windows Vista. The time to worry around Windows Vista is over, and move with confidence. And we will be standing by supporting you and your customers here ready to help.

Now, we’re working with these partners to get the message out, and we’re pretty excited about how small businesses are going to respond to this, because we are going to make our business customers more productive, safer, and better connected with their customers.

Now, part of this challenge, too, is also making sure you get the facts. Windows Vista has an incredibly strong business value case. We’ve been investing heavily in the tools around Windows partner solutions and assurance programs to make sure that you have the tools and content to support your customers and sell Windows Vista and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack.

Later on today, I’ve got a couple of sessions where we’re going to talk a little bit more about what those value tools are.

Now, lastly, there’s a conversation going on in the marketplace right now, and it’s just plain wrong. We have got to get back on our front foot on that line, and make sure nobody crosses it. Because you know what, Windows is us. Windows Vista is a good product.

Now, you may have heard rumors about a campaign that’s going on, and we’re making some big investments in the background. We’ve been pretty quiet about it.

Well, I’ll tell you, the rumors, they’re true. And although I’m not going to lay out this entire campaign for you right here on this stage, because I don’t want to tip our hand to the competition, no, not today, and the programs that we are announcing are just the first few drops in a big wave that’s coming over the coming weeks, and are going to hit a crescendo in the next couple of months, that we are going to get the story out.

You thought the sleeping giant was still sleeping? Well, we’ve woken up, and it’s time to take our message forward. (Applause.)

As we step back and think about the messages that you’re going to start seeing coming into the marketplace about how proud we are of Windows and Windows Vista, how proud we are of you as partners, we kind of stepped back and said, hey, what does Windows Vista stand for, what does it stand for today, and what do we want it to stand for tomorrow, what is that Windows vision?

Well, you know, when we think about it, Windows has become a language. There’s over a billion users using this product every day, millions more being added every day around Windows Vista. It’s a language bigger than Mandarin Chinese, bigger than English, and like a language, it connects people.

People move with our products and our technology between work and play, at home or on the go.

They use Windows PCs, Windows Live Services, Windows phones to connect and share ideas, to share with others.

Everyone in this room gets out of bed every day with the opportunity to create these connections. That’s what Windows started, that’s what Windows stands for today, that’s where we’re going tomorrow. Because those connections deliver results, deliver results for our customers, and deliver results for you.

How we bring that together, bringing people closer together is what Windows is all about.

Now, we’ve got a highly vocal minority out there in Apple. They kind of look at this and say, hey, you know what, you’re kind of boring with the mundane message; it’s not cool. They tell you it’s the “i-way” or the highway.

Well, you know what–we think that’s kind of a sad message. Everyone in this room knows better. We know that software that is made for this world is made to be compatible with your whole life, whether at work or at play, on home or on the go. Free the people: That is what we do, that is what we do every day–that is the value that we create for the world today.

This is what Windows will stand for. And I invite all of you, everyone in this room to participate in that journey with me, to go forward, celebrate the experience of Windows with Windows Vista today, and the vision of where Windows is going tomorrow. We need to make our collective voices heard again, starting now. Together we are going to help our customers do things that they never thought possible, because that, more than anything else, is what you, we, and Windows stand for.

Now, my ask for you is simple: Participate in the conversation. Take advantage of the programs, Windows Partner Solutions, come to the value presentations, understand the tools, know the messages. Move your customers now to Windows Vista; now is the time. And finally, remember that making the investments now with Windows Vista puts you in a great place for where we’re going next with Windows and Windows 7.

This — this is the true story of Windows Vista. It’s time for us to tell it, because as my daughter said, the truth will make us strong. Thank you. (Applause.)