Consumers and Enterprise: every customer is a consumer

The other day I read something that made me think: “Microsoft earnings report show the future of the company: Enterprises first, consumers last.”

“… the way to the enterprise often first goes through consumers. But more and more, Microsoft will be a company dependent on sales to big businesses, not consumers”

Certainly we also understand acutely that there’s strong growth and strong momentum in our enterprise business.  I don’t think anyone at the company denies that, nor the success in our online, services and entertainment businesses.

But at the heart of the discussion, every customer is a consumer.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discussed this (really, I can’t, due to my NDA 😉 in my work on customer and partner satisfaction. With a nod to the article above, customers in the enterprise space are certainly influenced by their consumer experiences. (Heck, I’ve also blogged openly about my own experiences as a customer here, here and here).

Mary Jo Foley wrote in 2010 how Microsoft had “established its reputation as an enterprise software/services vendor. It’s trying to be a consumer one, too, and is spending money on retail ads, brick-and-mortar stores and viral marketing campaigns to try to gain more mind share there.”

I think she might note that today, we are a consumer company by virtue of our efforts and offerings in PCs with Windows 7, Windows Phone, Windows Live, Office, Xbox and more. All in addition to our new products like Surface, Windows 8 and now Office 2013, which illustrate how the company provides both strong platforms along with great software and services for consumers and enterprises. And certainly consumer experiences influence other decisions. Our competitors understand this, and our customers understand this. And I believe we understand this as well.

Our Enterprise team in their post earlier this month on mobile and the future entertainment about the concerted effort to help entertainment content and experiences “travel seamlessly across devices and that those devices should work together.” Groups working across many groups in Microsoft to develop and create new and innovative experiences across various consumer screens and smart devices (like TVs, Phones, PCs and Surfaces), for both consumer, enterprises, and the blurred line we see in BYOD and COIT.

In Frank Shaw’s post this week on Binary Diffusion, he writes…

“We don’t discount the challenges – the strength of our competitors, the rise of mobile computing, questions around the company’s ability to sustain growth when PC sales are slow – and I’m sure there are a few more others might add. :)”

I think I’d add we are a consumer company. Heck, Microsoft is one of the top brands period, just as I read here and read today on techvibes.

(Full disclosure: I wrote this the other night but only posted it today as I wanted to include a link)

Also available via


Shuttle rides, waiting for meetings, and other places: articles and posts I’ve read

On Shuttle rides, my WindowsPhone keeps me in touch and busy… And it tells me where my next ride is. What it allows me to do is to catch up on articles of interest and Tweet or post about what I’m reading. (And when I’m waiting in someone’s office for their meeting and I know they’re on Twitter, they can see I’m waiting for them… if they subscribe to my posts 😉 With work, I’ve had less time to blog publicly: that’s a choice, particularly as I’ve been busier than ever the last few months. (And, some would argue that unless you have something of interest to say, keep it to yourself.)

But on the last shuttle ride today, I ran into a friend from another side of the campus, who asked if I was “still keeping up that blogging thing. I enjoyed your weekly reading list.”

OK, so to kick off the blog and my Commitment to step up my game in 2013, here’s an installment of “What I’ve read” recently, and posted about on Twitter. You can find a complete list on my twitter stream and in my favourites.

Via @EverythingMS: Teenagers: Apple no longer cool, Microsoft Surface is in

Having great mentors, cabinet helps link

Several slim PCs to choose from. My wife has a sleek model from Samsung link

Via @_craigk: You can put this reality distortion field in my living room right over…there. #IllumiRoom

Via @Competia: Reading: Why entitled millennials and their enabling boomer parents just can’t quit each other link

Via @CNET: The best new gadgets at #CES in every category

Via @zephoria: I’m glad to see the @nytimes pay homage to @aaronsw’s accomplishments and struggles:

Via @guardian: The inside story of how David Bowie made The Next Day  (via @GuardianMusic)

Via @BradSmi: Spoke @enterpriseSEA event #EFCSeattle Need for change w/ #STEM edu & high-skilled immigration reform

To @tom_peters five minutes… then lather, rinse and repeat? Excellence as a habit comes with consistency and repetition link

Via @marypcbuk: Oracle must up its security game. With widespread adoption comes Spiderman levels of responsibility link

Via @ForbesTech: XBox is winning the living room wars. Here’s why.  #ForbesGreatestHits

Usually, Big Bird at an event is a plus: @deantak has five weirdest things @VentureBeat saw at #CES2013

This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For: @whitehouse comments on the Deathstar petition

Via @wmpoweruser: Evernote for Windows Phone updated, business features added

Via @SFGate: U.S. government tells computer users to disable Java.

Via @mahoekst: Windows Phone 8 security overview  Nice read! #wpnl #wpdev

The 100 Days Project and a Definition of Creativity via @erinjo

Weekend reading: make time for “The Anti Meeting Culture” by @docjamesw

Disruptive Trends to Watch in 2013 via @HarvardBiz

Via @aaronecarroll: Me over at @CNNOpinion: America flunks its health exam

I asked presenters to describe issues to their audience as if talking to a 5-yr old. Now I tell them to explain as @neiltyson would (link to the tweet)

Via @nytimesbits: Information Technology Dividends Outpace All Others

Via @On_MS_Products: Tablets started out as a consumer business priority but that’s changing quickly

Via @geekwire: Microsoft: Big possibilities for IllumiRoom technology

Via @VisualStudio: Really good Info for Windows 8 apps: a lot of icons are available out of the box –

Via @CNET: At #CES, two HP laptops do Windows 8 right  #2013CES

Via @MicrosoftEMEA: Steve Clayton shares why natural user interface is much more than touch and gesture

Via @wired: Recent Top Stories: CES Day 3: Curved TVs, Handheld Microscopes and Tablets Big and Small

Via @ryanday: More than 1/3 XBox Users Engage With Interactive Ads:  @MSAdvertising

Via @KevinRemde: TechNet Radio: Cloud Innovators: How Datacastle uses Windows Azure to Protect Business Data :

Pogue on the Microsoft Surface Pro: “it changes the game”… “a home run” –

Via @CNET: Lenovo’s 27-inch Horizon Table PC walked away with a #BOCA for best PC at #CES. Here’s why:

Via @bizspark: What’s the difference between Azure and AWS?

Via @edbott: Odd. Not a single mention of Gorilla Arm in this @pogue post:

Reading “Brussels takes tough stance on Google” in @ FinancialTimes

Reading: @clairesuddath @BW writes about something I know well and need: Rejection Therapy 😉

Via @whymicrosoft that should be: how we help #parents create a #healthy computing environment for their #kids:

Via @sylviebarak: Video: Intel’s CES press conference highlights:  via @eetimes

Via @DrRez: New Post from Lync team Blog: Client Side Recording: Lync 2013. #Lync #UC #Microsoft

Tags: articles, what I read, twitter.

Also available at


Words to live by, literally: Charles McConathy on Staying Healthy

Just back from a brief staycation (it’s so lovely in Seattle this time of year) and I found an old post with a few words from the great but late Charles McConathy. Charles was one of the first people to befriend me in the CA tech industry. He founded the very successful and admired MicroNet and was one of the most helpful and konwledgeable people I’d met. 
Charles died after a battle with colon cancer in 2004. A month or so before he died, he posted the following message on what he’d learned about staying healthy, which included this summary:
“… it is easier to avoid disease than it is to treat it. Do everything you can to protect your health.”
More from the tech point of view when I get back to the office. So little to talk about and so much time.
Scratch that, reverse… 😉

Subject: [FCP-L] OT: Oprah – September 1, 2004 Segment
Date: September 7, 2004 11:27:10 AM EDT

Do any of know how to get in touch with Oprah group to see if its possible get a tape of the September 1, 2004 segment which I think was based on Healing from the Heart with Mehmet Oz M.D. or if any of you taped it could I get a copy. I have some people I need to share it. Unlike Dr. Phil, Oprah does not offer tapes. Oprah does offer transcripts but that is not the same as a real live video. This doctor showed various organs of the body and how they get diseased and most revealing was his showing what body fat looks like and that some people might have 20 or 30 pounds in their system. I saw the above segment while in the hospital. I was was very impressed.

During my illness with colon and liver cancer I have had time to read and learn more about ways to protect one’s health. Remember it is better to pay the grocer and the gym than to pay the doctor. And it is easier to avoid disease than it is to treat it. Cancer and diabetes are rampant. Do everything you can to protect your health. It is not easy to eat right but its well worth the effort – especially when you consider that a cancer patient will run up bills between $400,000 and $700,000. I thank God I have Medicare that covers much of my costs. But now there is some new bills going through to limit the amount for cancer patients. This could leave some without medial treatment.

As you study and read about health you will find a lot of confusing information in books and on the internet. But if you continue to study you will find a thread of truth that is right for you. One group says don’t use soy products and the other might say they are great. After reading and thinking I tend go with soy products since asians have used them for years and have much less cancer than we do in the USA.

Below is a list of items that I feel can improve most people’s health…

• If you have an illness Trust in God and never give up hope – take time each day for devotion
• Stress – find ways to reduce stress – very important
• Rest – try to get two hours of your nightly sleep before midnight
• Avoid sugar, coffee, soft drinks, and snack foods – read the labels
• Exercise – at a very minimum walk a mile a day
• Lose weight if needed – be careful of low carb diets like Atkins – they might work now but could have other long term issues
• If you smoke – STOP – Cancer of the lungs is serious – as seen on the Oprah segment first hand
• Take a sack lunch to work versus going for fast food
• Get 20 to 30 minutes of sunshine each day – good for Vitamin D that helps absorption of vitamins
• Keep a window open day and night for fresh air – disease does not thrive in oxygen
• Drink pure water – try to drink 64 ounces a day of pure water – without chlorine or fluoride – I drink spring water
• Be aware of the effects of mercury in your system – avoid certain fish
• Eat more raw foods – cooked food tends to kill enzymes – try to get organically grown produce when possible
• Learn about enzymes and how important they are to your health
• Use flax seed oil on salads with lemon juice – avoid iceberg lettuce – use darker leaf vegatables
• Eat more berries and fruits such bananas, apples, apricots, peaches, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and mellon
• Include almonds, sun flower seeds, and cashews in your diet
• Use extra virgin olive oil for cooking
• Use sea salt vs table salt
• Eat less packaged and fried foods
• Drink freshly made vegetable juices – such as blends of carrot, apple, beet, celery, spinach, onion, and garlic
• Avoid or reduce animal fat in your diet – eat more fish or chicken vs beef or pork
• Use almond, soy, or rice milk vs cow milk – cow milk often has hormones and other issues
• Be very careful of the chemicals you use in your home or work
• Study your personal need of supplemental vitamins and minerals
• Have your blood tested – I go to a Natural Doctor that shows me my blood cells on a monitor – very revealing
• Learn to test your silva and urine using PH paper – easy to do – better to be 6 to 7 PH vs acidic – cancer likes acidic
• Depending on your age – get a colonoscopy every five years and regular check ups
• Learn about parasites and yeast and how they affect you
• Remember that a lot of diseases start in the colon and liver – learn how to cleanse your colon and liver
• Learn how to boost your immune system through foods, vitamins, minerals, and herbs

Try researching subjects on Google…its amazing what you can find.

Thanks for your help,

Charles F. McConathy


Link to this post:


Another look at the PC of tomorrow, in your pocket with Windows To Go

A couple of months ago, I opined about what will the PC might look like in five years, and offered a view of my son’s possible Windows PC in 2016

“The icing on this hardware cake will be the additional power outside the box. Given he’ll be connected to the most powerful servers on the planet anywhere and everywhere, the cloud will provide the real computing horsepower he needs to handle heavy computer lifting.

“So I’ll stick with my wager: off hours, my son’s primary technology consumption and communication device will be a phone… with his two PCs and cloud storage allowing him to express his creativity and manage his life. (What the phone will look like is anyone’s guess, but I do like where we’re going with the Windows Phone form factor – eventually I’ll be able to replace the contents of my slim wallet with my phone, but I’m not sure we’ll get there by 2016.)”

Today, I wanted to add to that list, primarily looked at from a consumer point of view, with a bent towards enterprises, given the announcements today on the Windows blog and live at CeBIT supporting an even smaller, more portable and affordable form factor: a USB drive.

My friend Erwin Visser from the Windows org noted how enterprise customers will be able to leverage Windows To Go, which provides a Windows 8 desktop on an external USB drive…

“… that a user can boot from any PC available at work, at home, or just about any location, with or without connectivity. It’s like having your secure corporate PC in your pocket. And this means employees will be able to do things like travel light without sacrificing productivity, IT organizations can support the “Bring Your Own PC” trend, and businesses can give contingent staff access to the corporate environment without compromising security.

“Every time I talk with customers about Windows To Go, a new scenario comes up, like how it will be helpful in situations like working from home or vacation and disaster recovery, and we expect it will be highly valuable for certain industries like military or education. I’m excited to hear how Windows To Go will be used within your organization because I truly believe it will give businesses an array of new possibilities in mobile productivity.”

Imagine besides having your phone, also having a secure corporate PC in your pocket, with the same security and management you have on your corporate Windows 7 PC today. At today’s prices – roughly $1/GB – users will have affordable yet robust systems with a huge amount of storage space, further enabled with cloud connectivity, processing and storage, all on a small form factor that operates just about anywhere.

Ars Technica wrote about Windows To Go today with a step-by-step guide on creating your own Windows 8 “mobile” alternative…

“In theory, Windows to Go could give administrators a way of creating a verified, locked-down image of the Windows 8 OS that can be given to wandering users, temporary off-site contractors, or telecommuters to allow them to connect to the corporate network with confidence from their own (or someone else’s) computer.

“So is this a potential solution for enterprises? Since this works with any USB-mountable storage, it’s certainly one way to deal with the whole bring-your-own-device conundrum companies are now facing in various ways. It would allow employees and contractors to use the hardware of their choice (as long as it’s up to the task). And by using administrative tools to do system policies and Active Directory lockdown, it’s possible to prevent users from exfiltrating data to their own systems, or infect the corporate network with the viruses they’ve downloaded to their own systems.”

Today I carry a couple of password protected USB drives (using as I noted here with Bitlocker To Go) with the files I need on the go. It won’t be long until I have the entire computer experience in my pocket.

Tags: Windows, Windows 8, Windows 7, Microsoft.

Also available via

Bookmark this on Delicious Bookmark and Share


Microsoft on standards, behind the scenes building Windows 8, and more of what I’ve read this week

A few links of interest today… a quick post as I need to get through my email. Busy week.

With Valentines around the corner, I particularly enjoyed these 16 things Calvin & Hobbes said better than anyone else via @moorehn

Thanks to Larry Hryb (aka @majornelson) we’re reminded what happens to the losing team’s championship shirts: #SuperBowl

This great news on the Microsoft Giving Campaign: Microsoft Employees Give Back in Record Fashion: US$100.5 million in 2011

My take on what the PC will look like in five years, with a nod to my son’s possible Windows PC in 2016:

Microsoft’s public statement on support for industry standards:, plus our blog post on Microsoft’s position and support for industry standards:

BuildWindows8: Good grief. We said “Media Center will definitely be part of Windows 8” in

Also from the Win8 team: Behind the scenes building Windows on ARM, “WOA”.. video demo and tons of details see post … lots to read about! 🙂

While we’re on the topic: CNET reported that Metro’s not just an interface to Microsoft. “It’s an ethos.” Here’s why it rules.

Since we’re on a roll, how about this post on Windows 8, which should be called “Alive and kicking!” 😉 via @MichaelGillett

And worth reading: “Designing Windows 8 or: How to Redesign a Religion” via @MPalermiti

Via toddbishop: Microsoft merges voice-response tech into 24/7 Inc., promises smarter self-serve calls

From Microsoft Australia: SMB Video Series: How to manage your PCs #intune

Via Forrester Research: Top customer experiences can come from unexpected places – what brands surprise you with their customer experience?

From Linda Thomas: Facebook Timeline: Disliked by the Masses

Related, @marypcbuk‘s article ‘Why Windows 8 needs architectural hygiene for WOA’ #zdnetuk

Via danah boyd: More people live alone than at any other time in history. This is good & bad. @NYTimes oped by @EricKlinenberg:

Is This Living Room Big Enough for My TV? @NYTimes has some helpful hints:

Related, this from Om Malik on why smartTVs are going to be the next net neutrality battle ground.

From Eric Ligman, Microsoft Unveils Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile #msuspartner #mspartner via @kevinmachayya

Alan Moore explains the Guy Fawkes mask, Occupy, Anonymous and anti-ACTA protests

The erudite Michael S. Kaplan blogs: The oft-repeated ‘What version of Unicode do we/will me support?’ question, Redux

Vinod Khosla: Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science – Magazine –

The average price of a home in Menlo Park has already gone up from $1.8m to $2m ahead of Facebook’s IPO

From Roger von Oech, creativity strategy: For a fresh approach: “Change Viewpoints.” Fun story at:

Via Fast Company: With “Lillyhammer” @Netflix Wants To Destroy Traditional TV, Get You “Hooked” On All-At-Once Watching by @AustinCarr

By SAI: The Least Stealthy Startup In The Valley Has Officially Launched $CSCO by @Julie188

From Techland: Study suggests that Apple mobile apps are more crash-prone than Android apps |

From VentureBeat: Dylan’s Desk: What it takes to compete with Silicon Valley

In the Wall Street Journal: Are French parents superior? This author says while American’s fret, French raise happy children without the anxiety.

Just a reminder: Google+ ‘is not a social network’ via @Telegraph. Confused with a movie of the same name

Via Bruce Temkin: Thinking about a Chief Customer Officer role within your company? Check out my new post: #cx custexp

Cisco’s Vision: Top 5 Future Technology Trends

Harvard Biz Review: America’s Next Top Engineer: She Needs Your Models

Via Dare Obasanjo: the difference between solving problems in real life versus school – #programming

How can we capitalize on #cloud computing to strengthen the #EU economy? from Microsoft Europe

More on Kinect for Windows: Game on for commercial use

Tarran Vaillancourt, Why I love #Windows7 – it can help employees be more productive while achieving better work-life balance “Ohmmm” 🙂

W3C co-chair: Apple, Google power causing Open Web crisis (@stshank / CNET)

Here’s How Microsoft Could Sell Lots Of ARM Tablets To Big Companies (MSFT), via Everything Microsoft

Also courtesy Vinod Khosla: The Future of Peer Review –

From Jessica Vascellaro, With 5.2% of PC shipments and 13.9% of smartphone shipments globally here’s one way Apple wants to close the gap.

Thanks to David Aronchick for the pointer on this great essay… may you all never have this problem: How to Minimize Politics in Your Company via @bhorowitz

Steve Wildstrom reports Why Tablets are Important For eCommerce | The Daily @Techpinion

And to round it out, from @tgrumm: Hilarious – Will Ferrell introducing da Bulls

Did you see ‘Walk Off the Earth’ cover song that got 50,000,000 views AND a record deal?

Tags: articles, what I read, twitter.

Bookmark this on Delicious Bookmark and Share

Also available at