Peter Klein, Microsoft’s chief financial officer, spoke this afternoon in San Francisco at the Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet Conference. His remarks were webcast on Microsoft’s investor relations site.
Among the highlights of Klein’s talk, which was conducted in a Q&A format with Goldman Sachs analyst Heather Bellini:
- In response to Bellini’s question about whether Skype is being integrated into Office the same way Sharepoint was integrated into Office, Klein said: “That’s probably a good way to think about it.”
Productivity is about communication and collaboration as much as anything else, which has led to products and services such as Sharepoint and Exchange, he said. How those communication/collaboration services work with productivity and customer service offerings such as Office and Dynamics has driven Microsoft’s Business division. “Skype continues to build on that,” he said.
- In response to a question about how Lync — Microsoft’s software for corporate phone systems — and Skype will work in the enterprise, Klein said: “Think of them as amplifying each other. Lync is limited to inside the firewall” of the corporation. “Skype extends that to everyone you want to communicate with” — including customers, partners and people outside the corporate firewall. “You should think of Lync and Skype bringing together the best of both.”
- Bellini asked about what measures Microsoft will be looking at in gauging the success of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview — the public beta version of Windows 8 — that is scheduled for release Feb. 29. Klein said the company would be looking at quantitative and qualitative feedback, including responses from developers and “influentials.” There will be “a ton of listening signals that we’ll get” and the company will triangulate those, he said.
- Klein said there will be differences “on the margin” between devices running Windows 8 on Intel architecture and those running Windows on ARM but that fundamentally, the experience will be “consistent across the form factors.”
- He acknowledged that legacy apps will not be able to run on Windows on ARM but said “there will be a great experience for developing new apps across ARM and x86” and said that he expects, over time, that legacy apps will “most likely” be rewritten for ARM — “depending on the application and the company.”
- What Microsoft is trying to do overall, Klein said, is to deliver a consistent set of experiences across work and play. “Our approach is delivering very compelling set of experiences across a range of devices.”