In July, Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014) drew 16,000 attendees to Washington, D.C. Microsoft uses the multi-day event to communicate its goals and vision for the coming year to its partners. One of the keynotes focused on “mobile first, cloud first” — a concept that underlies Microsoft’s vision for the digital workplace and combining workplace and life experiences.
Essentially, “mobile first, cloud first” urges organizations to move all of their business data, applications and infrastructure to the cloud and integrate mobile technology. This creates an environment in which information is accessible anywhere and at any time. In this sense, “mobile first, cloud first” extends the reliability of internal, corporate systems into your daily life.
At this point, Microsoft dominates digital workplace experiences, while Apple focuses on tools for daily life. In an attempt to expand into the life market, Microsoft is developing tools and systems that support both your productivity at work and your effectiveness at home. The goal is to help you balance your work and life through mobile devices like netbooks, tablets and smartphones.
Windows 8 is one example of this strategy. The platform hasn’t been a major success in the corporate market because it attempts to introduce touch-first design into a non-touch-first world, but it’s focused on bridging work and life through a “mobile first, cloud first” experience. Microsoft is integrating Windows 8 more closely with its mobile platforms in preparation for a seamless user experience in the future. Image this: As you walk from your home to your work desktop, you’ll be able to access the same information and use the same applications with a consistent and comfortable touch-based interface.
The WPC 2014 conference highlighted Microsoft’s plans to increase its presence in the mobile device market by reducing the cost for hardware partners to license its operating system. This holiday season, Microsoft expects to introduce internet-only operating system devices for under $200, to compete with similar devices from Apple and Google.
This is new territory for Microsoft, which is building on its corporate base and pushing for companies to change the way they deal with hardware and digital workplace experiences. This “mobile first, cloud first” concept asks companies to worry less about security and focus on the ways an individual values easy and immediate access to content more than the actual hardware where the information resides. Microsoft is calling it “the modern workplace,” and Microsoft’s sales will be based on this modern workplace and the cloud services that enable the mobile workforce of the future.
Microsoft is hoping this new model takes hold in a year, but there are still many steps to go before companies make the huge potential of the cloud a reality in the digital workplace.
Learn more about helping your organization leverage today’s digital workplace capabilities by contacting Portal Solutions.