Tidbits from Steve Ballmer’s opening speech at Microsoft’s analyst meeting:
— Microsoft’s operating income is the largest of any company in the world that’s not in the oil or financial services businesses.
— By the end of Microsoft’s 2008 fiscal year next June, “there will be more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles which is to me at least a mind-numbing concept.”
— Software will no longer be Microsoft’s only core competency. The company has to build multiple business competencies, he said.
— Tech isn’t as fast as it seems. Ballmer said that one of the great misconceptions about the technology industry is that things happen overnight. He said “most successes in this business do in fact require long-term, sustained investment,” customer feedback and commitment.
— Over five years Microsoft acquired more than 80 companies.
— Microsoft’s recruiting is doing well. In the battle for the best and brightest, Microsoft is getting “90 percent of the people we go after,” he said. Last year it hired 12,800 people, including 4,022 in “core” product development positions.
— Microsoft is growing abroad, and continuing to bring talented people to Redmond. As an example, Ballmer said the company now has 1,000 Russian speakers on its campus.
— There is a big disruption going on in the software business. Over the next five to 10 years, “every piece of software — the basic core value in the way software gets created — will change” and have a service component that’s managed online.
“Were not moving to a world of thin computing. We’re moving to a world of software plus services,” he said.