Steve Ballmer: Microsoft/Fujitsu Announcement

Remarks by Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft/Fujitsu Announcement
Tokyo, Japan
June 28, 2004

STEVE BALLMER: Thank you. It’s a real honor and privilege to have a chance to be here again with Mr. Akikusa, [Naoyuki Akikusa, Chairman of Fujitsu Limited], talking about the great work Microsoft and Fujitsu are doing together for customers around the globe. At Microsoft, we talk about our mission of empowering people and businesses to realize their full potential. And really, with our Windows Server product for the last five to six years, we’ve been moving — by ourselves and with Fujitsu — to have the product be a cornerstone for the way enterprises around the world build and deploy applications. And we are very pleased about that.

We’ve got a lot of innovation that we will bring to our Windows Server product. Some sooner, some in the so-called “Longhorn” release of Windows Server, which is very important for the dreams Microsoft and Fujitsu both have to bring Windows more and more into the mission-critical computing space.

There are two key things that we were pushed on by our enterprise customers everyday to continue our improvement. One is to make our products – in particular Windows Server — more trustworthy, secure, reliable, manageable. And the second is to make sure we are doing the work that we need to do to make sure that Windows is appropriately open and interoperable with other important computing platforms in the world. In order for us to do that, we have a lot of engineering work that we need to do ourselves, but we also need fantastic business partners who have a range of experience in high-end computing, in mission-critical systems, in interoperability in other system support.

Fujitsu is really one of our most important global partners — in terms of the work that we are trying to do to really help the largest enterprises realize their opportunities to move to mission-critical computing on Intel platform machines.

We started this alliance about four years ago. Although the two companies have certainly been working together for many, many years before that, in 2002 we expanded our alliance. We really started going after the enterprise in an important ways. There is a great set of software, middleware, and COBOL development tools from Fujitsu that we worked together to bring to the Windows platform as a part of that alliance. And as Mr. Akikusa said, we’ve really seen the results in the marketplace. I think about my own home, Washington State in the United States. And recently, with Fujitsu we won the big project developing the next generation of the licensing systems for the Department of Licensing in the State of Washington, using our .NET technologies in Fujitsu hardware and systems-integration services. It’ a very good example of the kind of high-end enterprise computing project that Microsoft and Fujitsu have really had a chance to pursue together in a strong way.

Today is an exciting day — because we’ve committed to take our global alliance to the next frontier, beyond enterprise computing to the mission-critical computing which really has been a cornerstone for Fujitsu’s business for many, many, many years, but it’s really an emerging part of Microsoft’s business. The work that Fujitsu has done on their next-generation, high-end systems, based on Intel’s Itanium processor, is really fantastic. It’s the best kind of hardware platform, not only for its power, but also for its redundancy, for its trustworthiness, its reliability. It’s really the kind of system we’ve needed at Microsoft to let Windows transition and participate in the enterprise mission-critical computing arena.

The kinds of reliability, availability and serviceability features from the hardware perspective and software that Fujitsu is building in are really quite amazing. And we are fully committed to supporting not only the hardware system, but also the chip set and particularly the Itanium processor on which it has built. Because we think Itanium is absolutely critical for high-end, mission-critical computing going forward.

We are excited about the work. We are excited about this next phase of the Fujitsu, Microsoft alliance. And I hope it absolutely will be that, in another two years, we will be able to again report great progress in helping customers around the world move to mission-critical computing using the software and hardware that comes from Microsoft and Fujitsu. Thank you very much.