Microsoft's Ballmer Delivers People-Ready Business Strategy

Steve Ballmer was in New York today, talking about how Microsoft will be innovating to deliver a range of new products during the next year around a new "people-ready business" strategy. In a presentation at the Microsoft Executive Business Forum, Ballmer explained how this people-ready business strategy will be a major focus for the software giant in the year to come. He emphasized the need for businesses to drive growth by empowering employees with more information and better decision-making tools.

"If you empower the people, you empower the company--it's that simple," Ballmer said. "The innovations that will come over the next 12 months squarely focus in on this very notion."

While there was no one product launch specifically addressed, Ballmer set forth several categories that this innovation and the pipeline of products will fall into.

Those categories include unified communication and collaboration, content management, business intelligence, mobility, customer management, workflow and portal, and infrastructure. Ballmer said that Microsoft has spent roughly $20 billion in R&D over the past three years to deliver the products coming in this pipeline.

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"Each of these categories are opportunities for Microsoft's business and for growth," Ballmer added.

Some of the products Ballmer did mention that will fit into these categories and drive the "people-ready business" are the new Microsoft Office 2007 product, including the Enterprise Edition, Live Communications Server technologies, the next-generation SharePoint and Windows Mobile technologies, as well as Windows Vista of course.

Ballmer said this "people-ready business" proposition is a way for Microsoft to differentiate itself from competitors and that these new categories of innovation will help drive growth for Microsoft.

"We'll spend about $500 million in sales and marketing around the various aspects of delivering this people-ready business [strategy] from the top-level message on to the way we fan that out for customers across the globe," Ballmer added.