In part one of CIO's interview with Microsoft EMEA boss of consumer and online, John Mangelaars, we focused on what Microsoft is doing in smartphones to fight back against Apple, RIM and Google. In part two, we roam across a bunch of subjects. Here are my (necessarily edited) highlights.
On Apple, Mangelaars said that the Cupertino company had done well to grab market share in high-end desktops and laptops but contended that with the Vista episode now history and cleaned up by the Windows 7 release, Microsoft developers will be unleashed to come up with more innovation:
"[Apple is] doing well on the PC side but Windows 7 is a blockbuster. We got it really right. For me, Windows 8 will be mind-blowing."
In terms of online services, Mangelaars said there will be springtime revs for Hotmail and Messenger while Bing will eventually evolve to become a more graphical front end to the web:
"Bing visual search [will be] pictures not blue links so when you search for a car it's a completely integrated experience. [With Bing Maps] you'll upload your own pictures so the cost [to develop] is zero and our software will stitch together images."
Mangelaars believes also that CIOs are getting closer to marketing as web analytics becomes a more powerful driver of decision making:
"The CIO's department is becoming the backbone of marketing. There's somebody on MSN, Bing, Messenger, Facebook, Google and the only place you can track them is on web analytics. We call it 'I want my cookie back!' IT has come really close to marketing. [Web analytics] is where the CIO meets the CMO and we're at the early stages of leveraging the real-time connection."
On Microsoft branding and advertising, Mangelaars, perhaps predictably, disagreed with my contention that the Seinfeld (VIDEO LINK) and 'I'm a PC' (VIDEO LINK) campaigns were each a nonsense but said the firm needed to show its ubiquity and be plain-spoken:
"Microsoft is the brand that empowers you and connects you everywhere. We need to make sure they know we've got this stuff and it's good stuff. We have to be benefit-specific so Mozilla is fast, Chrome equals apps but for private and secure it's gonna be our browser. The Windows brand is one of the most powerful in the world. There's an emotional connection so we have to explain why there's personal benefits."
As for Google spending squillions on its Chrome advertising campaign, Mangelaars took an interesting, conspiratorial angle:
"If you're Google, you need to grow your business but make sure money doesn't get thrown against search, so you attack in our backyard. [Between Microsoft and Google it will be a] Battle of the Titans for who becomes the platform of the world."
And just to show that the stakes are very high indeed, Mangelaars closed by going on the offensive against Google:
"They'll suck all of the data out of your machine. They say 'Don't Be Evil' but it's the world's biggest data collection tool."