CFO Peter Klein discusses plans for a Windows 8-Skype integration
CFO for Microsoft – Peter Klein – discusses Skype and Windows 8
At the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, Microsoft’s Chief Financial Officer – Peter Klein – answered questions from the audience and discussed Skype’s integration in Windows 8.
Goldman Sach’s financial analyst Heather Bellini, also the moderator during the talk, fielded the questions. Klein said during the talk that Microsoft thinks about its market in terms of “devices and services,” which centers around TV, phone and computers. However, he didn’t rule out tablets as a chief competitor to established devices.
There were also questions over why Microsoft is called the Windows 8 Consumer Preview just that, when it’s a beta. Klein said that the naming separated the public build from last year’s Developer Preview. Consumer Preview appeals directly to the wider public: “[Y]ou have to get … consumers along the way.”
Klein also answered a question regarding legacy apps (apps which have the ribbon interface): “there will be some cases where it will be easier for legacy applications [to run] on x86 [hardware].” However, he described this a temporary solution and not the long-term.
Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division, saying that Office 15 apps will not run in the Metro interface but in the regular desktop half of the OS.
There were, briefly, some financial questions for Klein. On Microsoft’s revenue, he said that they the company is looking at ways to increase revenue per share in search. On Bing, Microsoft’s search engine and competitor to Google, Klein said search had been the “most leveraged” activity as they chase Google.
When talking about Skype, Klein said the purchase of the company would provide a “compelling set of experiences” for every device that uses it. He went on to say that Microsoft have been thinking about integrating software-wide, from e-mail to video, along with their services such as Xbox Live, as a way of bringing all of their devices together.
Klein also added that Skype plays into Microsoft’s cloud services: “having that in voice and video is super compelling.”
Cisco recently lodged an appeal against Microsoft’s Skype acquisition with the European Commission, wanting open video standards.