In the latest SEC filing, Microsoft discussed about the industry trends. They have mentioned that technology industry is dynamic and highly competitive, with frequent changes in both technologies and business models. Microsoft is trying to push the boundaries of what is possible through a broad range of research and development activities that seek to identify and address the changing demands of customers, industry trends, and competitive forces.
They see significant opportunities for growth by investing research and development resources in the following areas:
• Digital work and life experiences.
• Our cloud operating system.
• Our devices operating system and hardware.
Read the excerpt from Microsoft’s SEC filing below,
Digital work and life experiences
We believe we can significantly enhance the digital lives of our customers using our broad portfolio of communication, productivity, and information services. We work to deliver digital work and life experiences that are reinvented for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. Productivity will be the first and foremost objective, to enable people to meet and collaborate more easily, and to effectively express ideas in new ways. We will design applications as dual-use with the intelligence to partition data between work and life while respecting each person’s privacy choices. The foundation for these efforts will rest on advancing our leading productivity, collaboration, and business process tools including Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Bing, and Dynamics.
We see opportunity in combining these services in new ways that are more contextual and personal, while ensuring people, rather than their devices, remain at the center of the digital experience. We will offer our services across ecosystems and devices outside our own. As people move from device to device, so will their content and the richness of their services. We strive to engineer applications so users can find, try, and buy them in friction-free ways.
Cloud operating system
Today, businesses face important opportunities and challenges. Enterprises are asked to deploy technology that advances business strategy. They decide what solutions will make employees more productive, collaborative, and satisfied, or connect with customers in new and compelling ways. They work to unlock business insights from a world of data. They rely on our technology to manage employee corporate identity, and to manage and secure corporate information accessed and stored across a growing number of devices. To achieve these objectives, increasingly businesses look to leverage the benefits of the cloud. Helping businesses move to the cloud is one of our largest opportunities, and we believe we work from a position of strength.
The shift to the cloud is driven by three important economies of scale: larger datacenters can deploy computational resources at significantly lower cost per unit than smaller ones; larger datacenters can coordinate and aggregate diverse customer, geographic, and application demand patterns improving the utilization of computing, storage, and network resources; and multi-tenancy lowers application maintenance labor costs for large public clouds. The cloud creates the opportunity for businesses to focus on innovation while leaving non-differentiating activities to reliable and cost-effective providers.
With Azure, we are one of very few cloud vendors that run at a scale that meets the needs of businesses of all sizes and complexities. We believe the combination of Azure and Windows Server makes us the only company with a public, private, and hybrid cloud platform that can power modern business. We are working to enhance the return on information technology (“IT”) investment by enabling enterprises to combine their existing datacenters and our public cloud into a single cohesive infrastructure. Businesses can deploy applications in their own datacenter, a partner’s datacenter, or in our datacenters with common security, management, and administration across all environments, with the flexibility and scale they desire.
Our cloud enables richer employee experiences. We enable organizations to securely adopt software-as-a-service applications (both our own and third-party) and integrate them with their existing security and management infrastructure. We will continue to innovate with higher level services including identity and directory services, rich data storage and analytics services, machine learning services, media services, web and mobile backend services, and developer productivity services. To foster a rich developer ecosystem, our digital work and life experiences will also be extensible, enabling customers and partners to further customize and enhance our solutions, achieving even more value. Our strategy requires continuing investment in datacenters and other infrastructure to support our devices and services.
Devices operating system and hardware
With our Windows devices operating system and hardware, we strive to set the standard for productivity experiences. We aim to deliver the richest and most consistent user experience for digital work and life scenarios on screens of all sizes – from phones, tablets, and laptops to TVs and large, multi-touch displays. We are investing to make Windows the most secure, manageable, and capable operating system for the needs of a modern workforce. We are working to create a broad developer opportunity by enabling universal Windows applications to run across all device targets. We are developing new input/output methods like speech, pen, and gesture to power more personal computing experiences.
We work with an ecosystem of partners to deliver a broad spectrum of Windows devices. We also build hardware to set the standard for productivity experiences and stimulate more demand for the entire Windows ecosystem, as we do with Surface, and following the acquisition of substantially all of Nokia Corporation’s (“Nokia”) Devices and Services business (“NDS”) on April 25, 2014, phones. As consumer services and hardware advance, we expect they will continue to better complement one another, connecting the devices people use daily to unique communications, productivity, and entertainment services from Microsoft and our partners and developers. We anticipate many new mobile device categories and we anticipate experiences to emerge that span a variety of devices of all screen sizes. We will invest to be on the forefront of this innovation, focusing on dual users and their needs across work and life.