Ballmer's Five Predictions for Microsoft in 2013

At this year's Annual Shareholders Meeting, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told shareholders that Microsoft is now a "devices and services company" and added a few predictions for the coming year.

To hear Microsoft tell it, the five big trends of 2013 will be natural user interfaces, machine learning and big data, unlocking application capabilities through the cloud, social networking, and the emergence of a single unified Windows platform across PC, mobile device, server and cloud.

Here are the areas where Microsoft will lead the industry, according to Ballmer's Nov. 28 address:

"The first area is new form factors that have, increasingly, so to speak, 'natural' ways to use them -- touch, gestures, speech, pen, and handwriting.

"The second big area is making technology more intuitive and able to do what we mean and act on our behalf instead of at our command by using new technologies in the area of what we call machine learning and big data.

"Third is building and running cloud services in ways that unleash incredible new application opportunities for businesses and for individuals.

"Fourth is firmly betting and establishing one platform, Windows, on the PC, the tablet, the phone, the server, the cloud.

"And the last is really to deliver life-changing improvements to people with new scenarios that help us learn, work, play, and socialize with one another. Inventing those new applications, delivering them on these new devices, and sustaining them with the cloud will be key to our future."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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