Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, on stage this afternoon in Bellevue at an event to build buzz around its virtualization software, gave a broad introduction to the company. One thing that caught my attention: He said the company’s vision has changed. It used to be some variation of “a computer on every desk” — the original goal Paul Allen and Bill Gates set out some three decades ago.
Turner said Ray Ozzie, chief software architect, Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer, CEO Steve Ballmer and other senior leaders, created this new, broader vision statement:
“Create experiences that combine the magic of software with the power of Internet services across a world of devices.”
Anyone who has followed Microsoft’s shift toward “software plus services” will not be surprised by the updated vision statement. (And to be frank, I’m not sure how recently this update was made. I can’t recall hearing it stated explicitly, as Turner just did. He said, “This is new. This would be something you haven’t seen before from the company.” I’ll try to find out when, precisely, this new vision took effect.)
Turner said the updated vision means the company is still “anchored in software,” but software that runs across a variety of devices. He added that Microsoft wants to be “at the center” of every important piece of software.
Turner also said the company’s mission (different from vision, mind you) is still “enabling people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.”
“I actually think that’s the coolest mission statement in all of business,” Turner said.
What do you think of the (possibly) new vision statement?
Update, 2:47 p.m.: A Microsoft spokeswoman said via e-mail that the new vision statement has been in use publicly for about the past seven months, dating back at least to the company’s Mix event in Las Vegas in March. No one has a precise date of when it came into use, however, she said.