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