Remarks by Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, on April 29, 2015.
SATYA NADELLA: All right, we’ll move to the next chapter of our platform innovation, Office.
There are three core concepts in the transformation of Office to a platform.
The first one is about the user experience. We’re opening up the Office user experience for all of your applications in fundamental ways, so that your applications can show up in the context of what a billion-plus users of Office do in Office, create stuff, get stuff done, collaborate, communicate. We want you to be able to build applications that fit naturally into those contexts.
Second, we want to go beyond single applications, data APIs and data silos to a semantically rich graph of data that is available for you to be able to consume as well as extend.
And, third, we want to have the capability to reason over that rich graph and add intelligence into your application, so that not only does it drive new features, but more importantly drives engagement in your application.
So those are the three concepts that fundamentally change Office. So we want to give you a quick tour of that so that you can look at what your applications can do to exploit these capabilities. And for that I just want to introduce Rob Lefferts from our Office team to show you some of this.
ROB LEFFERTS: Hi.
SATYA NADELLA: So how about we get started by talking about how we’re moving from Office from us to Office with partners.
Let’s switch gears and look at another one. This is an add-in that we’re building partnering with SAP that makes it easy for me while I’m building a spreadsheet, like my product inventory information, to pull information directly from SAP. This is built on top of SAP Gateway for Microsoft. One of the great things about the new add-in framework is that it works across platforms.
So let’s switch over to the browser, and in Excel Online I get to see the same spreadsheet with the same great add-in experience running in both places.
SATYA NADELLA: It’s the same add-in that goes everywhere Office goes.
ROB LEFFERTS: That’s exactly right. And, in fact, let’s take a look at Excel for the iPad. And what we see is exactly what you want to have. The same solution, hosted in Excel for the iPad, showing the same add-in running for SAP, and this will be released in upcoming months. But let me just show you how I could use that to connect to SAP. I’ll click connect and it does it exactly what you want, which is connect to my on-premise SAP server, pull the content out and deliver it directly inside of my spreadsheet running on the iPad.
Let’s talk about something very different, let’s talk about making a presentation. And when I’m doing this, I of course want a constant source of high-quality professional photographs that I can integrate into my slide deck. Pick It is a relatively new company that is building just such a service, and has provided an add-in here that lets me search through the photos in their service and pastes them directly within PowerPoint. And one of the key things about this add-in model is that it’s a road map for how we’re going to do add-ins going forward.
So let’s take a look at the newest member of the Office family, Sway. This is a tool for interactive storytelling that runs great on the Web and renders beautifully mobilely, and we’ve integrated a set of services that make it easy for me to pull in content. We’ve integrated with Pick It, and we will be delivering in upcoming months — ah, live services — we will be delivering in upcoming months the exact same framework and add-in model that runs across all of the end points for Office. That’s Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.
Let’s take a look at people working in Outlook, professional users handling and managing all their email dealing with a great deal of information. They want to stay up-to-date on who are all these people that we’re talking to, and what we’re showing here is an add-in from LinkedIn that makes it easy for me to do that. It pulls the users off the To and CC line, it shows them to me directly in the context of my email. So I don’t have to leave the flow of how I’m doing my work.
Salesforce has built a very similar thing that pulls from the To and CC line, but also looks up the companies that is showing up on the mail thread, so I get to see the people and connect to them in Salesforce, but I can see the accounts, and I can drill right into the opportunities and take action from here within Outlook without leaving the flow of my work.
SATYA NADELLA: And it’s been great to be working with the Salesforce team, because they’re really exploiting all of the extensions we have across the entire surface area of Office, be it in Excel or in Outlook or in other areas, and built the business process right into the collaboration and communications infrastructure. And that’s fantastic to see.
ROB LEFFERTS: Absolutely.
Outlook is not just about mail. Outlook is also about my appointments and my calendaring, and it has all that information in a structured way. But one of the important things for me is not just being at the meeting but getting there on time. We’re partnering with Uber to build a solution that does exactly this. So here is an add-in that Uber has built that I can set an Uber ride reminder to show up ahead of time and make sure that I get to where I need to go.
As we switch over here to the iPhone, what I actually see is I’ve got a reminder from Uber saying “Slide to get a ride.” So I’ll go ahead and do that. It brings up Uber and it sets my pickup location. The cool thing is that it got my destination, because that lives in Outlook. So Outlook knew where I needed to be, and now Uber knows where I need to go.
SATYA NADELLA: Now that’s great. So that shows you how applications that you build show up throughout Office. They extend beyond any single application.
Now let’s talk a little bit about this graph. How are we building the graph and exposing the graph to developers?
ROB LEFFERTS: Yes. Let’s actually pop it open and take a look at exactly what it looks like. So this week at Build we’re announcing the preview of the Unified API Endpoint for Office 365 APIs. This builds on top of the file, mail, calendar workloads that we delivered last fall. And what it does is make it easy for developers to get to this data in a unified, consistent way.
So we’re just popping open a little API explorer tool that can show us what do some of those requests and response patterns look like. So what will you as a developer have to do in order to get access to this rich data? So what you can see is the URLs are pretty simple, graph.microsoft.com version number, and the tenant that I am connecting to.
And this will make it easy for me in this example to query Active Directory to get a list of users. I’m querying from users for a particular department, in this case operations. And what I get back is exactly what you would expect, clean, well-formatted, easy-to-understand JSON. Every developer in the room has a whole toolkit that can parse this and use it to build great solutions.
But, the point is that this is actually a graph. And so I can go from an individual user to drill into their files. All I have to do to get to the files from OneDrive for Business is stick /files on the end of the URL and from there I see data, documents coming back from OneDrive. These are just the files that the login user has permission to see.
SATYA NADELLA: And that’s the powerful concept, which is you no longer are going to different applications for different data. You’re not going to Active Directory for users and groups, and then to OneDrive for files, but you’re able to traverse the entirety of the graph with these APIs.
ROB LEFFERTS: Exactly right. In fact, speaking of groups let’s pull up another example. Office 365 has a new concept for a unified modern group that brings together the people and the documents and conversations and calendar that they’re having, and we’re exposing that through the unified API. So I can query the Active Directory for groups and I can navigate through them to find files that belong to those groups. So here we actually see you stick on a /files and it brings up the files associated with that group, again, trimmed to the logged-in user.
Now this notion of logged-in user is a really common pattern for people building solutions. So we’ve actually made it super-easy. There’s a “me” token that you can stick in your URLs to just get back the data for the logged-in user.
SATYA NADELLA: And that’s probably very important, because everything here is permissioned through the policies that you put into AD. So in some sense the “me” token gives you access for the user using the applications credentials.
ROB LEFFERTS: Exactly right, and because now I have access to my information I can go and look at my calendar, just /events on the end of the URL and that brings back appointments that are live in my Outlook calendar, and the same idea to get to messages, /messages and boom, I’m in my inbox coming from Exchange and it’s just that easy.
SATYA NADELLA: Awesome. So how about we talk about the last concept, which is how do we go from here to really building the richness of intelligence inside of your applications?
ROB LEFFERTS: Sure, so this is powered by the Office graphs and the thing about the Office graph is we’ve talked about data, we’ve talked about add-ins, and we’ve really talked about how we can use that to drive a whole other set of insights. We know who are the people, the conversations, the meeting and the organization, and what we can do with that is provide additional insights to developers. They can use that in the preview here to query the graph to get information out. And in addition we’re delivering a first-party app in the shape of Delve that actually provides me every day with information about what am I working on and helps me search and discover the content that my colleagues are using.
SATYA NADELLA: There is something funny going on? (Laughter.)
ROB LEFFERTS: I’ll keep going. (Laughter.) OK. So here I am looking at Delve and what I see is exactly what you’d expect, some cards and contacts that will help me stay up to date on what my colleagues are doing. So I see an Excel notebook that is coming out of OneDrive that lets me see here’s what my boss built, here are some KPIs, here is an attachment that lives in email, but we’ve been working with partners to imagine what will it look like when we have additional third-party signals coming to the graph, how can they get into this notification stream. What we see here are opportunities.
SATYA NADELLA: That’s a card from Salesforce?
ROB LEFFERTS: That’s exactly right. This is a card from Salesforce showing the amount, showing information about who owns the account, et cetera. I can navigate down here to information coming from Twitter, and beneath that we see information coming from Trello. So if people are collaborating in boards I can navigate directly through and get to that. And let’s actually scroll down a little bit further and what we see is a purchase order coming from Dynamics AX. That looks like a super-important one, so it’s great that Delve made it easy for me to take action on it.
SATYA NADELLA: Right. So this is no longer now information that is inside of the Office Graph that’s based on the data of our app, but people are able to extend the graph with additional edges and nodes that’s all surfacing in Delve.
ROB LEFFERTS: That’s exactly right.
SATYA NADELLA: Wonderful, thank you so much, Rob. Thank you very much.
ROB LEFFERTS: Thank you very much.
SATYA NADELLA: That gives you a flavor for how Office is fundamentally changing. In fact, there’s one other SDK that we are launching in addition to the Office Graph, which is the Web SDK for Skype, where the presence information, where the ability to embed inside of your applications video chat and messaging is now possible. So you can build a Web app, a mobile app using Skype presence information and Skype embedded inside of your app.
This fundamental change that we are making to Office, this fundamental platform shift of Office where the users, the 1 billion-plus users of Office, are available for you as developers. The semantically rich graph that is available for you to consume and extend, and to drive additional engagement through intelligence, we believe, is going to change the very fundamental nature of what Office is to becoming really a platform from us and from you together.
I know you all waited very patiently to hear about Windows. And it’s now time to talk about Windows.
Windows 10, as I said, is not just another release of Windows, it is a new generation of Windows. It is Windows built for this era of more personal computing. It’s built where mobility of the experience across devices is what is paramount, not just the mobility of the device. It’s built such that users can interact with the variety of devices that are going to be powered by Windows in the most natural of ways. It could be touch; it could be ink, speech, mouse and keyboard, or even holograms. It is also built with a foundation of trust. When we talk about more personal, it becomes even more important to know that the data that you are giving the system is being used to benefit the user. Those are the foundational things that drive more personal computing for us.
But, it’s just not that. It is a very different Windows in terms of how we deliver it, how we keep it alive. It’s a service. We want to make sure that for every developer here you have the widest vibrant user base that your applications can target.
We also have a unified platform; everything from Raspberry Pi to the holographic computer is one developer platform. That means your skills apply across all of the places Windows runs.
And lastly, it’s one unified store. That means the economic return for what you do on Windows spans the entire install base and the growing device family of Windows.
And so I’m really excited about where we are on this journey, but I am most excited about what we together are going to do in the coming year with Windows 10. Let’s roll the video.