Feeds

Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops

Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions

Mobile application security vulnerability report

WPC Microsoft’s chief salesman Kevin Turner has tried to turn his company’s crushing lateness on devices into a positive for the sake of partners and employees.

Speaking at the company’s annual partner conference, chief operating officer Turner cast mighty Microsoft as the plucky challenger with nowhere to go but grow as the world shifts from PCs to devices.

He said Microsoft is making “hard decisions” – highlighting April’s decision to let partners have Windows for free on devices smaller than nine inches.

Turner also revealed three low-priced laptops that MS hopes will take on Google’s Chromebooks.

The trio are an HP Stream priced at $199 and an Acer Apsire ES1 and a Toshiba unit – both priced at less than $249.

He also promised a 7-inch and 8-inch tablet running Windows priced at just $99 that will come out in time for Christmas.

A low-priced version of Windows 8.1 dubbed "Windows 8.1 with Bing" was revealed in May, supposedly to unleash a wave of low-priced Chromebook-like devices.

Trying to rally Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Washington DC, Turner spoke in the wake of estimates from Gartner last week that the Windows operating system was running on just 13.96 per cent of shipments of the world’s estimated 2.33 billion devices in 2013.

That covers PCs, smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks.

With one eye on Wall St, Turner told WPC:

We are beyond the ‘attach and license’ world, where we had a 90 per cent penetration of PCs… the world has shifted and evolved and we now have to measure ourselves in the total device space.

That “attach and license” business, by the way, is the business Turner has championed, as he has promoted the PC over the tablet and fatter, premium editions of Windows over slimmed-down, cheapo versions of the OS.

Regardless, Turner continued:

We have a much bigger chance to grow business, but also a new reality in which to grow.

In a world of 14 per cent device share, we have a new mindset: you have to have a challenger mindset. Everyone has to have a challenger mindset.

He called the new, cheap Windows machines “a great value proposition against Chromebooks.”

Otherwise, it was the standard Turner performance at WPC – a shopping list that talked up his company’s strengths and the claimed weaknesses of rivals.

Without naming names, Turner tried to pull Microsoft clear of the Snowden-NSA train wreck that has tarnished his company’s reputation on data and privacy.

Microsoft was one of several tech companies listed on National Security Agency slides leaked by rogue sysadmin Edward Snowden. The firms were alleged to have provided customer data to the NSA, though all denied having handed any over without a warrant.

Turner said Microsoft would “not provide any government with direct and unfettered access to customers’ data,” provide access to its encryption keys, or engineer backdoors into its product. He also said it would contest any government attempts to disclose customer content “stored exclusively in another place".

Turner claimed 785 customers had been “rescued” from Google in the last 18 months, that Microsoft is “eating VMware’s lunch” with Hyper-V, that Windows Azure added 42,000 customers during the last year and that SharePoint is a $2bn-a-year business. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.