Frank Shaw Defends Microsoft At #D11


Frank Shaw is a former Marine & Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft and probably has one of the toughest jobs at Microsoft. He is essentially the official spokesperson for Microsoft and defends the company on a daily basis while simultaneously trying to improve its image. When Julie-Larson Green and Tami Reller recently fumbled in interviews, it was Frank’s job to hit back at the blogosphere. Given the circumstances I thought he did a remarkable job of fighting against those tried to compare Windows 8 to ‘New Coke.’

This year Microsoft decided not have an official presence at the ‘All Things Digital’ conference run by Apple lover Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. However, they did send Frank Shaw to keep tabs on the conference (and maybe Steven Sinofsky too). He put up a blog post about his experience there:

On one hand, looking around the conference, there were iPads and other tablets as far as the eye could see. On the other hand, (as I noted in a tweet), most of the people around me were using their iPads exactly as they would a laptop – physical keyboard attached, typing away, connected to a network of some kind, creating a document or tweet or blog or article. In that context, it’s hard to distinguish between a tablet and a notebook or laptop. The form factors are different, but let’s be clear, each is a PC.

[…] I come away with one overriding impression: Wow, there’s a LOT of growth opportunities for Microsoft, given the breadth and depth of our devices and services portfolio.

As an example, there has been a lot of conversation here about Apple TV and even Google’s television efforts, but very little said about the market reality – where we have sold more than 76 million Xbox consoles, where we have 48 million active Xbox LIVE members and where 42 percent of Xbox LIVE subscribers in the U.S. are watching an average of an hour of television and movies on their Xbox each day, or more than 30 hours of digitally distributed television and movies a month, or where one industry pundit thinks Steve Jobs’ dream device has arrived, and it’s made by Microsoft. As Farhad’s story documents, just last week, we showed off a pretty sweet device that does some amazing stuff with TV, not to mention being one heck of a gaming console.

The same disconnect exists for the work we’ve done in growing out the Office 365 subscription business, in delivering ever more value with Windows Azure, in bringing together Skype and Lync in interesting ways and so on.

When you strip away all the post-PC rhetoric, maybe we’re all saying the same thing – the future is about killer devices connected to amazing cloud services. That’s the future Microsoft is embracing, and that’s the future that everyone here at the D Conference is excited about.”


I’ve seen a couple blog posts quoting Mr. Shaw, saying that he said iPads are PCs too. I think they completely missed the point he was making. Take the time to read his full blog post, it’s well worth it. Also, follow him on twitter, @fxshaw, he subtweets quite a lot.

Source: The Official Microsoft Blog

  • Iain Simpson

    very well said and I just said the same thing last night, we have all these devices tablets, smartphones, notebooks, laptops, pc’s, and you know what they are all PERSONAL COMPUTING DEVICES no matter how you look at it, its just natural evolution of the product. So all these morons stating its the death of the PC or speak stupid stuff like ipads are killing the PC’s or smartphones are killing the PC just think at what and how these smaller devices operate.

    • khingjay

      Yea they really don’t know that not only did Windows 7 in itself sold 3x more than any other OS on the planet but it also sold more devices a year than any other OS. Microsoft is a step away from reigning supreme in their vision.

  • Emmanuel Mac Donald

    Well said. the whole post, from both of you. I look around at school and people have there thin ipad with as much key board and weight as a PC. Windows really has the right idea because it seems they will have 7 inch fully functioning, fully multitasking computing in hand. And I am sorry but that is not on the market right now. And I own and Ipad.

  • Bugbog

    It’s really funny how Microsoft is doing really well in spite of the “it’s dead & irrelevant” meme that’s perpetuated by the tech blog’s!

    As has been observed, prior to the Surface, all tablets had (and still have) either heavy, clunky keyboard/cover attachments or are thin, but detached.

    Microsoft has innovated (yes, not used lightly), in that they have created, not only a highly versatile software platform with myriad interface options (to get even better with 8.1 Blue), but also crafted superb hardware to go along with it! For all the “tech pundits” at the conference using their clunky, put together devices, nothing compares!