In my posts yesterday on the Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting 2007, I focused on the concrete announcements and eschewed the high level pronouncements because frankly I was hard pressed to be sufficiently acerbic without appearing unduly negative. I don’t know that I have really resolved the quandary, but here are some thoughts on Microsoft’s new business initiatives as promulgated at FAM 2007 by Steve Ballmer, Ray Ozzie, Robbie Bach and Kevin Johnson.
Jeff Raikes, the head of Microsoft’s Business Division, got to deliver some good news at today’s Financial Analyst Meeting:
During his address at Microsoft’s Financial Analyst Meeting (FAM), Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division, announced that Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator are code complete and will release to manufacturing (RTM) tomorrow. With this milestone and launch around the corner this fall, the Unified Communications Group is one step closer to fulfilling the UC promise and helping customers streamline business communications, increase productivity and lower costs.
This means that those that want OCS 2007 can get it, while the gala launch event awaits some alignment of the marketing planets this fall. Not unexpectedly, localized versions are still being worked on, however.
It’s a little more than a year since Microsoft’s Business Division (i.e. Office) unveiled their Unified Communications product road map and now the major products are starting to roll out. The real trick is going to be to convince potential business communications customers to wade into the morass of current technologies, systems, and vendors and replace them with a unified solution from Microsoft.
Today is the 2007 edition of the big all day Microsoft dog and pony show for financial analysts called Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting (FAM) 2007. If you are so inclined, you can tune in live on the web or cherry pick the presentation materials after the fact. Since it is tightly scripted by the Microsoft PR folks, I don’t expect much in the way of revelations, but hope springs eternal.
While we are on the subject of Microsoft financial results, I was trying to put my finger on why I found Microsoft’s 4Q results so unsatisfying when I spotted (via MSFTextrememakeover) this observation from independent financial analyst Trip Chowdhry that summarizes it succinctly:
“For people who think Microsoft is still a growth story, it’s disappointing. It’s a mature company in a mature industry with declining prices,” Chowdhry added. “For people who think Microsoft is a value company, what they delivered today was quite good.”
I guess it’s just corporate middle-aged spread.