Microsoft "all in" on mobile and the cloud, roared Steve Ballmer at the WPC 2011 stage

Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference this year started with one of the coolest openings we've ever seen of a tech event. How does a troop of dressed-up-like-Japanese-businessmen dancers performing the robot sound to you? It was pretty awesome, but the most important part began when CEO Steve Ballmer started delivering his keynote.

He rallied the troops by reiterating Microsoft's commitment to the cloud once again, and basically said that partners won't have much choice but follow this "all in" transition with Windows 8, Office 365, Windows Phone, Azure and so on. Ballmer admitted that with phones they went from "very small to very small" this year which sounded pretty funny, but the situation is about to change quite a bit, he said, especially next year. The notable thing is that he didn't stop mentioning Windows Phone throughout the keynote, obviously emphasizing that the focus has shifted significantly to cloud and mobile. Moreover, all presentation slides were Metro-ified, with big Live Tiles sliding in and out.

Throughout the keynote random jabs at Apple were taken, like when demoing how the Bing platform will be open and socially integrated. The search word was Mango, and the Microsoft executive at the stage said he personally prefers this fruit better than apples. Haha. Some nice Bing integration with Facebook was shown, and new Bing Maps ideas as well, like showing up parking info, even the price. 

As for the Skype acquisition, Ballmer said it will be the start of consumerization of IT communication, a great addition to its Lync corporate messaging software. Xbox, on the other hand, will have Bing brought to it, to help you find what will become millions of entertainment titles by the end of the year. Voice search was demonstrated by a woman sitting on the couch and shouting at an Xbox to find X-Men stuff, plus live TV is also coming to the console.

Now for Windows Phone he bragged that the 20 000+ apps milestone was reached for 8 months, faster than Android or iOS. Nokia, he said, chose Windows Phone for its merits, after seeing the roadmap, and what Microsoft intends to do with it. An example of what can be done for WP via the Microsoft ecosystem was given with an AA app:

"American Airlines will soon update its application for Windows Phone, which will provide “the fastest delivery of flight information data on the planet,” according to an American Airlines spokesperson. The update will allow real-time flight status information, including gate changes and baggage claim areas, from American’s reservation system to be pushed to a cloud-based Windows Azure system, which can then push the flight status notifications directly to the application’s Windows Phone Live Tiles. American Airlines customers who download the application and pin it to Start will have instant access to their most current travel information on the top-level user interface of their phone, eliminating the need for text message, email or phone-call updates."

Windows 8 was presented again by Microsoft's Tamy Reller. She reiterated it is being built very web- and cloud-centric, running on Intel and ARM chipsets, taking full advantage of touchscreens, but working as easily with keyboards and mouse also. Nothing we didn't know already from the Windows 8 presentations last month, but more hardware and the touch-centric functionality will be shown at the Build event in two months.



1. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

Really glad I got a Samsung focus :) #teamwp7

2. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I love Microsoft's Xbox 360 & Xbox Live! If they can make a beast phone that can integrate all the best features from Xbox Live, it might strongly make me look into a Windows phone. I played with my brothers HTC Trophy & I like what I was seeing. The Windows Phone 7 OS is intuitive, fresh & very responsive. I am telling you if I can chat on Xbox Live with my friends all over the world & even voice chat with them that would seriously make me think twice about Android. I am waiting for like a quad-core Windows Phone that can play the Xbox Live games in HD like in Xbox Live. Imagine playing Limbo, Dishwasher, Shadow Complex, the HD remake of Beyond Good & Evil, the HD remake of Resident Evil 4, & the HD remake of the original Halo. Those games are way better than anything on Apple's AppStore. Plus Windows has a lot of apps in its store, all the best apps on both the AppStore & the Android Market are coming to Windows Phone 7. The phone won’t hinder me in the business side of things, I can do everything on my brother’s HTC Trophy. So productivity won’t be an issue with me. I am just waiting for that bad-a$s Windows Phone with all those feature I want, & maybe I will give Windows Phone a try. Windows has come a long way from those old Windows phones before Windows Phone 7!

3. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

I too am waiting for that bad @ss WP7 phone and then I will buy, but I am definitely already sold on WP7. All the reasons you gave for considering WP7 are icing on the cake for me, but boy will it taste good!

6. Gcombs unregistered

I have to agree on waiting for nice Verizon 4G LTE WP7 with all the bells and whistles and a 4.3 inch screen

11. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

I'm wondering if the HTC Eternity's 4.7" screen will be too big for me?

4. SemperFiV12

Posts: 949; Member since: Nov 09, 2010

MSFT gaining on 'em!!! Waiting impatiently for a WP7 (stupid contract)

5. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

I can't beleive that I am 8 months past my upgrade eligibility and still holding out for a dual core WP7 device... Stay strong brother!

8. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

guess you have to wait a lot longer WP7 software don't support dual core. Mango just supported font facing camera. So the new hardware up grade will have that and not dual core

12. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010 "This third generation Snapdragon mobile processor includes the industry’s first asynchronous SMP dual-core CPU design, delivering superior performance and power optimization for high-tier mobile devices, particularly for mobile entertainment and gaming applications. This latest addition to the Snapdragon line-up represents the next step in mobile technology, improving overall user experience, increasing system performance and further extending battery life. The MSM8x60 dual-core mobile processor and the all new AP-only option APQ8060, deliver superior 3D gaming and full 1080p HD video. The MSM8x60 processor establishes clear industry leadership over rivals with a 60% performance increase and more favourable power profile than standard SMP ARM A9 dual-core processors. Supported operating systems include Android™, Chrome, Blackberry ®, and Windows® Phone."

7. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I think I have decided to grab W7 now. Thia OS offers all those things I am excited by and want. If that master device comes out next year from Nokia or HTC, guess I just spend a little extra money. Microsoft has really learned their lessons from Windows Mobile, haven't they?

9. Dj21o

Posts: 437; Member since: May 19, 2011

My upgrade is next month, but I don't want the Arrive. Think I'm going to hold out on something that has at least a 4" screen without a a keyboard. LOVE WP7 though!!!! Some badass phones need to hit CDMA! Stop letting GSM have all of the fun!!!

10. PhoneLuver

Posts: 481; Member since: Jul 05, 2010

WP7 has tons of potential.. Let's hope they live up to it!

13. tempdogg74

Posts: 136; Member since: Jan 04, 2009

Microsoft has showed off a Samsung Galaxy S 2 Windows Mobile 7 phone running Mango today at there WORLDWIDE PARTNER CONFERENCE today as well as other phones and devices. iTS A BEAST

14. SemperFiV12

Posts: 949; Member since: Nov 09, 2010

Thats what I want! I would even skip over a Nokia or HTC made Windows Phone for that! I love the operating system, and the Trophy is pretty legit as well. However a Windows flavored GSII would be too sick! My upgrade is up in a month though... So I'll probably go with a Trophy and use my brothers upgrade for a later iteration of WP (either way all WP will move on to Mango!)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.