Happy New Year! “Let’s Start the New Year Right”

Ah yes, the day after Labor Day — one of my favorite times of the year. It’s the start of the work (and school) new year, and it’s a great time to re-visit affirmations; re-think goals; and to re-commit oneself to the theme of the year. For me, with Microsoft’s fiscal year end at the end of June, and sales meetings through the month of July, and vacations through the month of August — I find that September is the true start of the new fiscal year. A start wherein we find ourselves two months behind…

So, as we all prefer to light our hair on fire and go screaming down the hallways, take a breath to celebrate the summer that is passing, and maybe get a little excited about the great fall and holiday season ahead. And breathe a word of thanks that winter is still quite far away.

I’ve never been more excited about the future of Microsoft. I thought it would be a good idea this morning to re-read Satya’s post from July 10 to refresh my focus: Link

Satya’s clarity of vision of our future as the Productivity and Platform company feels right — it embraces our tradition, and moves us to the future:

At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.

It’s critical to really understand the company’s worldview … we are heading to a future where every surface with which we interact will be a computing surface — even glass is going to become multi-functional: Link

So, this idea of computing ubiquity is critical to understanding the connected quality of the computing experiences which we must deliver:

We live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world. Computing is ubiquitous and experiences span devices and exhibit ambient intelligence. Billions of sensors, screens and devices – in conference rooms, living rooms, cities, cars, phones, PCs – are forming a vast network and streams of data that simply disappear into the background of our lives. This computing power will digitize nearly everything around us and will derive insights from all of the data being generated by interactions among people and between people and machines. We are moving from a world where computing power was scarce to a place where it now is almost limitless, and where the true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention.

The core strategy paragraph of Satya’s post IMO is:

Productive people and organizations are the primary drivers of individual fulfilment and economic growth and we need to do everything to make the experiences and platforms that enable this ubiquitous. We will think of every user as a potential “dual user” – people who will use technology for their work or school and also deeply use it in their personal digital life. They strive to get stuff done with technology, demanding new cloud-powered applications, extensively using time and calendar management, advanced expression, collaboration, meeting, search and research services, all with better security and privacy control. Microsoft will push into all corners of the globe to empower every individual as a dual user – starting with the soon to be 3 billion people with Internet-connected devices. And we will do so with a platform mindset. Developers and partners will thrive by creatively extending Microsoft experiences for every individual and business on the planet.

And here’s the key illustration:

Microsoft: The Productivity and Platform Company
OK — so let’s go!

To really get everyone in the mood, I’ve embedded a music video for Emma Wallace’s cover of “Let’s Start the New Year Right” by Irving Berlin. Clips include selections from “Holiday Inn” and “After the Thin Man“, which coincidentally happen to be my two favorite movies (we named our oldest daughter after Myrna Loy, the co-star of the Thin Man series with William Powell).

Emma describes herself as:

A maker of songs for those wearing rose-colored glasses, those who love life and happy endings. For persons who prefer their artists tortured, I fear I am not your cup of vodka. P.S. Genre-wise, I’d say I’m “modern ragtime.” In case you were wondering.

If you’d like a copy of the song, visit Emma’s blog at iamemmamusic.blogspot.com. Enjoy!