Warc, 7 May 2014
SINGAPORE: While recognising that Microsoft is not the market leader for mobile devices, the technology firm's Asia-Pacific president has expressed confidence that it will make progress in the region with its mobility and cloud computing services.
César Cernuda told the Wall Street Journal that "the gravity of the world is shifting to Asia" and Microsoft is encouraged that adoption of cloud computing – the storage of data and programs on the internet – is "going really fast".
With Asia's growing middle-class making up a significant proportion of the region's already large population, Cernuda expected the company to benefit from the demographic trend as mobility and the internet, including cloud, come together.
"We have a strategy as a company, and it's very simple: mobility first, cloud first. There's no reason why it should be different in this region," he said, adding that the diversity of the region made a one-size-fits-all approach unsuitable.
He said Microsoft is pleased with the progress made by its new Office 365 software, which students can access for free, and wants to ensure people can use its cloud services no matter which platform they use.
Nonetheless, for all the focus on new offerings, Microsoft remained "very committed" about continuing its heavy investment in its Windows software, he said.
As Microsoft seeks to take away some of the market share for mobile devices from Apple and the Android platforms, Cernuda conceded that the company faced a potential obstacle because of its image.
When asked whether some consumers regard its products as "uncool", he accepted that Microsoft needed to do a "better job" of getting its message across to highlight that products like Skype, Xbox and Kinect are divisions of the company.
"Are people aware that Skype is Microsoft?" he asked. "Or that we have 400m users using Outlook.com […] I think we need to do a better job of telling our story."
Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff