Home » Posts tagged 'cloud computing'

Tag Archives: cloud computing

A year of healthy progress along Microsoft strategic ambitions

Microsoft Stock Price for the last 5 years — July 22, 2016:Microsoft Stock Price for the last 5 years -- 22 July, 2016 My earlier posts related specifically to this 3 years overall transition history:
– Microsoft partners empowered with ‘cloud first’, high-value and next-gen experiences for big data, enterprise social, and mobility on wide variety of Windows devices and Windows Server + Windows Azure + Visual Studio as the platform as of July 10, 2013
– Microsoft reorg for delivering/supporting high-value experiences/activities as of July 11, 2013
– An ARM-focussed Microsoft spin-off could be the only solution to save Microsoft in the crucial next 3-years period as of August 24, 2013
– Opinion Leaders and Lead Opinions: Reflections on Steven Sinofsky’s “Era of Continuous Productivity” vision as of September 1, 2013
– The question mark over Wintel’s future will hang in the air for two more years as of September 15, 2013
– Microsoft could be acquired in years to come by Amazon? The joke of the day, or a certain possibility (among other ones)? as of September 16, 2013
– Sinofsky’s ‘continuous productivity’ idea to be realised first in Box Notes as of September 21, 2013
MS FY15 NEW STRATEGIC SETUPMicrosoft is transitioning to a world with more usage and more software driven value add (rather than the old device driven world) in mobility and the cloud, the latter also helping to grow the server business well above its peers as of April 25, 2014
– Satya Nadella on “Digital Work and Life Experiences” supported by “Cloud OS” and “Device OS and Hardware” platforms–all from Microsoft as of July 23, 2014
– Steve Ballmer on leaving Microsoft, relationship with Bill Gates: “We’ve dusted-up many times”, on His Biggest Regret: “doing hardware earlier [for being] more effective in phone business” AND on Amazon: “They Make No Money.” as October 25, 2014
– The Empire Reboots — Can C.E.O. Satya Nadella Save Microsoft? | Vanity Fair, Oct 27, 2014

WPC Day 1: The Digital Transformation Opportunity from Microsoft Partner Network UK Blog as of July 11, 2016:

“Empower every person and every
organisation on the planet to achieve more”
The Microsoft Mission

At the core of today’s opening Worldwide Partner Conference keynote was ‘Digital Transformation’ aka the desire of CEO’s to use technology to change business outcomes – whether it be how they:

  • Engage their customers,
  • Empower employees to make better decisions,
  • Optimise their operations,
  • Build up the predictive power within their organisations so that every operation is intelligent,
  • Transform their products and services.

Digital Transformation = An Unprecedented Partner Opportunity

Every customer of every size business (startup to Enterprise) is not only looking to use digital technology, but to build digital technology for their own.

Digital-transformatoin-all-partner-types1-1024x530[1]

Businesses are looking to drive greater efficiency – automating processes and enhancing productivity, particularly in those areas where there are operating expenses. This poses an unprecedented opportunity for you no matter what partner type you are.

Digital Transformation Opportunity by Microsoft and Partners -- July 11, 2016Microsoft Ambitions to Drive Digital Transformation

Microsoft has three core ambitions which play a fundamental part in digitally transforming businesses:

  • Re-inventing Productivity and Business process
  • Building the Intelligent Cloud
  • Create more Personal Computing

These will be covered in more detail over the next two days keynotes, however, Satya provided some great examples of what these 3 ambitions entail.

1) Re-inventing Productivity and Business Process

This is all about removing the barriers between productivity tools and business applications. Satya focused on two key areas:

  • ‘Conversations as a Platform’: Using human language understanding personal assistants and Bots (conversational interfaces) which augment our connection with technologies. (Watch the demo 48 minutes into Day 1 Keynote)

2) Building out the intelligent Cloud

To showcase how intelligent cloud is helping transformation, Satya invited General Electric CEO, Jeff Immelt, on stage to discuss how he has digitally transformed the GE business.

Considering GE is over 140 years old, it’s a company that has embraced transformation and digital transformation. You can read more about their story and find out about Microsoft’s new partnership with GE to bring Predix to Azure, accelerating digital transformation for industrial customers.

Satya then went on to talk about ‘The next phase of building the Intelligent cloud’ with ‘Cognitive services’.  We’re seeing the beginnings of a new platform for cognitive services. Microsoft has taken decades of research from Microsoft Research encapsulating speech, computer vision, natural language text understanding, and made these available as API’s. These API’s are being used to infuse perception into apps – the ability for Apps/Bots to understand speech and see i.e. computer vision. These cognitive capabilities are capable of transforming business by bringing productivity gains. A great example of this is how Macdonalds are creating efficiency in their Drive Thru’s with speech/order recognition (Watch the demo 1 hour 10 minutes into the Day 1 keynote).

3) Create More Personal Computing

Create more personal computing was the third and final ambition covered. Satya discussed Windows 10 – an OS system spanning multiple devices from Raspberry PI to Hololens and bringing centralised infrastructure benefits and cost savings to business.

It was on the topic of Hololens, he discussed how personal computing is shaped by category creation moments. Moments where input and output change. ‘Mixed Reality’ is that moment. With Hololens its created an interface changing moment – Mixing real with virtual, enabling us to be anywhere and everywhere – fully untethered and mobile.

What followed was a great demo showcasing how Japan Airlines are using Microsoft HoloLens to change how they train flight crews and mechanics (Watch the demo 1 hour 17 minutes into the Day 1 keynote)

Mixed reality offers huge opportunities for partners with so many applications across so many sectors.

Expect more details on Digital Transformation and Microsoft’s three ambitions in WPC Day 2 and 3 keynotes.

News From WPC2016 Day 1

The three ambitions announced a year ago and the proof-points of healthy progress along them in FY16:

  1. Office 365, Dynamics 365, AppSource, and LinkedIn as all being part of one overarching strategy in Productivity and Business Process:
    – core part of an overarching strategy
    – digital transformation both for us and our partnerships with customers
  2. Significant differentiation vs. Amazon AWS in Intelligent Cloud:
    – enterprise cloud leadership
    – every customer is also an ISV
    – hyperscale-plus-hybrid approach with annuity focus enabling cloud lead conversation with customers
    – meeting cloud needs of customers where they are
  3. Windows strategy to achieve progress in More Personal Computing:
    – deliver more value and innovation, particularly for enterprise customers
    – grow new monetization through services across our unified Windows platform
    – innovate in new device categories in partnership with our OEMs

The Q1FY16 progress was presented in my Microsoft is ready to become a dominant force in cloud computing with superior cloud offerings, a Windows ecosystem under complete renewal, first signs of Surface-Lumia-Xbox successes on the market, and strong interest in technology partnerships by other industry leaders as of October 24, 2015.

Reinvent Productivity and Business Processes“, “Build the Intelligent Cloud” and “Create More Personal Computing” were the original 3 “interlocking ambitions” the Microsoft CEO talked about at Microsoft Iginite held on May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago. The proof-points of FY16 progress are shown along that list, and explained in detail by remarks from Microsoft (MSFT) Satya Nadella on Q4 2016 Results – Earnings Call Transcript as of July 18, 2016.

For more information see also:  Q4 2015 Earning Call Transcript, the 2015 Annual Report or—even better—my earlier posts indicated here under each ambition. For a deeper strategic intent underlying these ambilitions see my earlier post Julia Liuson: “Microsoft must transform from a company that throws a box with software into the market … into a company that offers pure services” published on These ambitions also became reporting segments in FY16. See Earnings Release FY16 Q1 as of October 22, 2015. The major corporate groups were also organised along these line: ASG = Application & Services Group for “Reinvent productivity and business processes” ambition, C&E = Cloud & Enterprise for “Build the intelligent cloud platform” ambition, and OSG= Operating Systems Group for “Create more personal computing” ambition.

Note that the overall strategic approach was developed 2 years ago and it was described in my post Satya Nadella on “Digital Work and Life Experiences” supported by “Cloud OS” and “Device OS and Hardware” platforms–all from Microsoft of July 23, 2014:

image.png

Here are the remarks from Microsoft (MSFT) Satya Nadella on Q4 2016 Results – Earnings Call Transcript as of July 18, 2016. for details

1. Office 365, Dynamics 365, AppSource, and LinkedIn as all being part of one overarching strategy in Productivity and Business Process:

For initial and additional details available earlier see my earlier posts:
– The first “post-Ballmer” offering launched: with Power BI for Office 365 everyone can analyze, visualize and share data in the cloud as of February 10, 2014
– OneNote is available now on every platform (+free!!) and supported by cloud services API for application and device builders as of March 18, 2014
– An upcoming new era: personalised, pro-active search and discovery experiences for Office 365 (Oslo) as of April 2, 2014
– Microsoft Azure: Marketable machine learning components capability for “a new data science economy”, and real-time analytics for Azure HDInsight service as of October 22, 2014

In fact, this last quarter, some of the most strategic announcements were all around our application platform. At our partner conference, there was a significant amount of excitement with the tools that we announced like PowerApps and Power BI, Azure functions and Flow. These are tools that our developers and system integrators and solution partners will use in order to be able to customize applications around Azure. And so to me that’s another huge advantage and a competitive differentiation for us.

1.1 Core part of an overarching strategy

The move to the cloud for our customers and for us is not just about a new way of delivering the same value just as a SaaS service. It’s really the transformation from having applications that are silos to becoming more services in the cloud where you can reason about the activity and the data underneath these services to benefit the customers who are using these services. So that’s what this notion of a graph [by Microsoft Graph] represents.

So when somebody moves to Office 365, their graph [by Microsoft Graph], their people, their relationships with other people inside the organization, their work artifacts all move to the cloud. You can connect them with all the business process data that’s in Dynamics 365, but not just in Dynamics 365 but all the applications in AppSource because business process will always be a much more fragmented market as opposed to just one market share leader by industry, by vertical, by country. And so that’s our strategy there.

And now the professional cloud or the professional network helps usage across all of that professional usage. Whether it’s in Office 365 or whether you’re a salesperson using any application related to sales, you want your professional network there. Of course, it’s relevant in recruiting, it’s relevant in training, it’s relevant in marketing. So that’s really our strategy with LinkedIn as the professional network meeting the professional cloud. And these are all part of one overarching strategy, and ultimately it’s about adding value to customers.

1.2 Digital transformation both for us and our partnerships with customers

This past year was a pivotal one in both our transformation and in our partnerships with customers who are also driving their own digital transformation. Our progress is best captured in the results of our three ambitions, starting with Productivity and Business Process. In a world of infinite information but finite attention and time, we aim to change the nature of work with digital technology. In pursuit of this ambition, we continue to add value to our products, grow usage, and increase our addressable market. Along these lines, let me start with Office 365 and then move to Dynamics 365.

In the last quarter, we advanced our collaboration tools. We launched Microsoft Planner, which helps teams manage operations, as well as Skype Meetings, which is aimed at helping small businesses collaborate. In June, we further strengthened our security value proposition with the release of Advanced Security Management.

Lastly, we continue to add intelligence in machine learning to Office to help people automate their tasks and glean insights from data. These advancements helped to drive increased usage across enterprises, small and medium businesses, and consumers. In the enterprise, Office 365 Commercial seats grew 45% year over year, and revenue grew 59% in constant currency. Also 70% of our Office Enterprise agreement renewals are in the cloud. Innovative companies like Facebook, Hershey’s, Discovery Communications, Cushman Wakefield all adopted Office 365 and now see how transformative this service can be for their own business.

We are enthusiastic about the early feedback and growth opportunity from companies using our newly released Office 365 E5, which includes powerful security controls, advanced analytics, and cloud voice. These customers tell us that they love the simplification that comes with standardizing across all of our productivity workloads.

We will continue to grow our install base and drive premium mix through offers like Office 365 E5, but they’re very, very early days of E5. And E5 value proposition across all three of the areas, whether it’s cloud voice or analytics or security are all three massive areas for us. And I would say if anything, the initial data from our customers around security is gaining a lot of traction. But at the same time, one of the things that customers are looking for is making an enterprise-wide architectural decision across all of the workloads.

We see momentum in small and medium businesses, with a growing number of partners selling Office 365, now up to nearly 90,000, a 25% increase year over year. We continue to grab share and adding over 50,000 customers each month for 28 consecutive months.

We also see momentum amongst consumers, with now more than 23 million Office 365 subscribers. Across segments, customers increasingly experience the power of Office on their iOS and Android mobile devices. In fact, we now have more than 50 million iOS and Android monthly active devices, up more than four times over last year.

Now let’s talk about progress with the other pillar of this ambition, Dynamics 365. We are removing any impedance that exists between productivity, collaboration, and business process. This month we took a major step forward with the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft AppSource. Dynamics 365 provides business users with purpose-built SaaS applications. These applications have intelligence built in. They integrate deeply with communications and collaboration capabilities of Office 365.

Dynamics 365 along with AppSource and our rich application platform introduces a disruptive and customer-centric business model so customers can build what they want and use just the capabilities they need. The launch of Dynamics 365 builds on the momentum we’re already seeing in this business. Customers around the globe are harnessing the power of Dynamics in their own transformation, including 24 Hour Fitness and AccuWeather. Overall, Dynamics now has nearly 10 million monthly paid seats, up more than 20% year over year, and Q4 billings grew more than 20% year over year.

Overall, Business Processes represent an enormous addressable market, projected to be more than $100 billion by 2020. It’s a market we are increasingly focused on, and I believe we are poised with both Dynamics 365 and Microsoft AppSource to grow and drive opportunity for our partners.

Across Office 365 and Dynamics 365, developers increasingly see the opportunity to build innovative apps and experiences with the Microsoft Graph, and we now have over 27,000 apps connected to it. Microsoft AppSource will be a new way for developers to offer their services and reach customers worldwide.

Lastly, with Office 365 and Dynamics 365, we have the opportunity to connect the world’s professional cloud and the world’s professional network with our pending LinkedIn deal. Overall, the Microsoft Cloud is winning significant customer support. With more than $12 billion in Commercial Cloud annualized revenue run rate, we are on track to achieve our goal of $20 billion in fiscal year 2018. Also, nearly 60% of the Fortune 500 companies have at least three of our cloud offerings. And we continue to grow our annuity mix of our business. In fact, commercial annuity mix increased year over year to 83%.

2. Significant differentiation vs. Amazon AWS in Intelligent Cloud 

For initial and additional details available earlier see my earlier posts:
– Windows Azure becoming an unbeatable offering on the cloud computing market as of June 28, 2013
Microsoft partners empowered with ‘cloud first’, high-value and next-gen experiences for big data, enterprise social, and mobility on wide variety of Windows devices and Windows Server + Windows Azure + Visual Studio as the platform as of July 10, 2013

– 4. Microsoft products for the Cloud OS [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, as of Dec 18, 2013, but published only on Feb 14, 2014] (was separated from the next “half bakedness” post because of its length)
– 4.5. Microsoft talking about Cloud OS and private clouds: starting with Ray Ozzie in November, 2009[‘Experiencing the Cloud’, as of Dec 18, 2013, but published only on Feb 14, 2014] (was separated from the next “half bakedness” post because of its length)
Microsoft’s half-baked cloud computing strategy (H1’FY14) as of February 17, 2014 Note that this “half bakedness” ended by the facts published in Microsoft is ready to become a dominant force in cloud computing with superior cloud offerings, a Windows ecosystem under complete renewal, first signs of Surface-Lumia-Xbox successes on the market, and strong interest in technology partnerships by other industry leaders as of October 24, 2014
– Microsoft is transitioning to a world with more usage and more software driven value add (rather than the old device driven world) in mobility and the cloud, the latter also helping to grow the server business well above its peers as of April 25, 2014
– Microsoft BUILD 2014 Day 2: “rebranding” to Microsoft Azure and moving toward a comprehensive set of fully-integrated backend services as of April 27, 2014
– Scott Guthrie about changes under Nadella, the competition with Amazon, and what differentiates Microsoft’s cloud products as of October 2, 2014
– Sam Guckenheimer on Microsoft Developer Division’s Journey to Cloud Cadence as of October 19, 2014
– Microsoft Azure: Marketable machine learning components capability for “a new data science economy”, and real-time analytics for Azure HDInsight service as of October 22, 2014
Microsoft Cloud state-of-the-art: Hyper-scale Azure with host SDN — IaaS 2.0 — Hybrid flexibility and freedom as of July 11, 2015
– Microsoft’s first quarter proving its ability to become a dominant force in cloud computing with superior cloud offerings as of Januar 27, 2015
– DataStax: a fully distributed and highly secure transactional database platform that is “always on” as of February 3, 2016
– Microsoft chairman: The transition to a subscription-based cloud business isn’t fast enough. Revamp the sales force for cloud-based selling as of June 6, 2016

Cloud Growth Helps Microsoft Beat Street in Q4 from TheStreet as of July 19, 2016 

… [0:34] and Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility [Suite]
customers nearly doubled YoY to 33,000. [0:40] …

Note that the Q1FY16 report was that “Enterprise Mobility [Suite] customers more than doubled year-over-year to over 20,000, and the installed base grew nearly 6x year-over-year“. Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) is a service available in the CSP (Cloud Solution Partner program) along with Windows Intune, Office 365, Azure and CRM Online. The reason for that very impressive growth was given by Satya Nadella in the much earlier Q2FY15 report as:

Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite is one key of product innovation that I would like to highlight given the growth and uniqueness of our offering. Microsoft offers a comprehensive solution that brings together mobile device management, mobile application management, hybrid identity management and data protection into a unified offering via EMS.

Office 365 now includes new app experiences on all phones and tablets for mobile productivity.  Further, we have released completely new scenarios. This includes Office Sway for visualizing and sharing ideas; Delve, to help search and discover content; Office 365 Groups to make it easier to collaborate; andOffice 365 Video for secure media streaming for businesses.

Finally, we continue to invest in enterprise value by integrating MDM and the Enterprise Mobility Suite into Office 365; new encryption technologies and compliance certifications; and new eDiscovery capabilities in Exchange.

Overall at the highest level, our strategy here is to make sure that the Microsoft Services i.e. cloud services be it Azure, Office 365, CRM Online or Enterprise Mobility Suite are covering all the devices out there in the marketplace. So that, that way we maximize the opportunity we have for each of these subscription and capacity based services.

2.1 Enterprise cloud leadership

Now let’s get into the specifics of the Intelligent Cloud, an area of massive opportunity, as we are clearly one of the two enterprise cloud leaders. Companies looking to digitally transform need a trusted cloud partner and turn to Microsoft. As a result, Azure revenue and usage again grew by more than 100% this quarter. We see customers choose Microsoft for three reasons. They want a cloud provider that offers solutions that reflect the realities of today’s world and their enterprise-grade needs. They want higher level services to drive digital transformation, and they want a cloud open to developers of all types. Let me expand on each.

To start, a wide variety of customers turn to Azure because of their specific real-world needs. Multinationals choose us because we are the only hybrid and hyperscale cloud spanning multiple jurisdictions. We cover more countries and regions than any other cloud provider, from North America to Asia to Europe to Latin America. Our cloud respects data sovereignty and makes it possible for an enterprise application to work across these regions and jurisdictions. More than 80% of the world’s largest banks are Azure customers because of our leadership support for regulatory requirements, advanced security, and commitment to privacy. Large ISVs like SAP and Citrix as well as startups like Sprinklr also choose Azure because of our global reach and a broad set of platform services. Last week GE announced it will adopt our cloud for its IoT approach.

Next, Azure customers also value our unique higher-level services. Now at 33,000, we nearly doubled in one year the number of companies worldwide that have selected our Enterprise Mobility Solutions. The Dow Chemical Company leverages EMS along with Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics to give its thousands of employees secure real-time access to data and apps from anywhere.

Just yesterday, we announced Boeing will use Azure, our IoT suite, and Cortana Intelligence to drive digital transformation in commercial aviation, with connected airline systems optimization, predictive maintenance, and much more. This builds on great momentum in IoT, including our work with Rolls-Royce, Schneider Electric, and others.

This is great progress, but our ambitions are set even higher. Our Intelligent Cloud also enables cognitive services. Cortana Intelligence Suite offers machine learning capabilities and advanced predictive analytics. Customers like Jabil Circuit, Fruit of the Loom, Land O’Lakes, LIBER already realize the benefits of these new capabilities.

Lastly, central to our Intelligent Cloud ambition is providing developers with the tools and capabilities they need to build apps and services for the platforms and devices of their choice. We have the best support for what I would say is the most open platform for all developers. Not only is .NET first class but Linux is first class, Java is first class. The new Azure Container service cuts across both containers running on Windows, running across Linux. So again, it speaks to the enterprise reality. .NET Core 1.0 for open source and our ongoing work with companies such as Red Hat, Docker, and Mesosphere also reflects significant progress on this front. We continue to see traction from open source, with nearly a third of customer virtual machines on Azure running Linux.

So those would be the places where we are fairly differentiated, and that’s what you see us gaining both for enterprise customers and ISVs.

On the server side, premium server revenue grew double digits in constant currency year over year. New SQL Server 2016 helps us expand into new markets with built-in advanced analytics and unparalleled performance. More than 15,000 customers, including over 50% of the Fortune 500, have registered for the private preview of SQL Server for Linux. And we’re not slowing down. We will launch Windows Server 2016 and System Server 2016 later this year.

2.2 Every customer is also an ISV

One of the phenomena now is that pretty much anyone who is a customer of Azure is also in some form an ISV, and that’s no longer just limited to people who are “in the classic tech industry” or the software business. So every customer who starts off consuming Azure is also turning what is their IP in most cases into an ISV solution, which ultimately will even participate in AppSource. So at least the vision that we have is that every customer is a digital company that will have a digital IP component to it, and that we want to be able to partner with them in pretty unique ways.

That’s the same case with GE. It’s the same case with Boeing. It’s the same case with Schneider Electric or ABB or any one of the customers we are working with because they all are taking some of their assets and converting them into SaaS applications on Azure. And that’s something that we will in fact have distribution agreements with.

And AppSource is a pretty major announcement for us because we essentially created for SaaS applications and infrastructure applications a way to distribute their applications through us and our channel. And I think it makes in fact our cloud more attractive to many of them because of that. So we look – I think going forward, you’ll look to see – or you’ll see us do much more of this with many other customers of ours.

2.3 Hyperscale-plus-hybrid approach with annuity focus enabling cloud lead conversation with customers

The focus for us is in what I describe as this hyperscale-plus-hybrid approach when you think about the current approach, which is pretty unique to us. Overall, I believe this hyperscale plus hybrid architecturally helps us a lot with enterprise customers because we meet them where their realities are today and also the digital transformation needs going forward, so that’s one massive advantage we have.

And the way we track progress is to see how is our annuity growth of our server business, and how is our cloud growth. And if you look at this last quarter, our annuity grew double digits and our cloud grew triple digits. And that’s a pretty healthy growth rate, and that’s something that by design both in terms of the technical architecture as well as the traction we have in the marketplace and our sales efforts and so on are playing out well, and we are very bullish about that going forward.

The Transactional business is much more volatile because of the macro environment, IT budgets, and also the secular shift to the cloud. The question again that gets asked is about the cannibalization. But if you look at Boeing or you look at any of the other examples that I talk about when it comes to the cloud, our servers never did what these customers are now doing in our cloud. So at a fundamental long-term secular basis, we have new growth, new workloads, and that’s what we are focused on, and that’s a much bigger addressable market than anything our Transactional Server business had in the past.

[Amy E. Hood – Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President:]
The first thing really that I think Satya and I both focus on every quarter, every month, is how much of our business are we continuing to shift to annuity and specifically to the cloud. We structure all of our motions at this company, from how we engineer to how we do our go-to-markets to how we think about sales engagement to how we do our investments, fundamentally toward that long-term structural transition in the market.

In terms of server products and services, I tend to think of it as the all-up growth. It’s really about growing the cloud, growing the hybrid, and then whatever happens in the Transactional business happens.

And so to your question on Transactional performance, there were some deals that didn’t get done in Q3 that got done in Q4, and there were some deals done in Q4 on the Office side with large companies that I’m thrilled by. But at the same time, we still will focus on those deals moving to the cloud over time. And so this volatility that we are going to see because of macro and because of budget constraints, especially on Transactional, we will focus on because we expect excellent execution and have accountability to do that in the field. But our first priority, every time, is to make sure we are focused on annuity growth and digital transformation at our company, which is best done through that motion.

In terms of the sales motion they are absolutely incented more towards cloud versus Transactional going into this year.

I do believe that every conversation that we’re having with customers is cloud-led. That cloud-led conversation and making a plan for customers to best change and transform their own business certainly is a far more in-depth one than on occasion is required by long-time Transactional purchasers, especially in Office, as an example, because what we’re talking about now is really pivoting your business for the long term.

And so I’m sure there are examples where that has elongated the sales cycle, for good reason. But I would generally point back and say most of these are driven at the structural level, which is – structurally over time, on-premises Transactional business will move to the cloud or to a hybrid structure through an annuity revenue stream.
[END BY Amy E. Hood]

2.4 Meeting cloud needs of customers where they are

The position that we have taken is that we want to serve customers where they are and not assume very simplistically that the digital sovereignty needs of customers can be met out of a fewer data center approach. Because right now, given the secular trend to move to the cloud across all of the regulated industries across the globe, we think it’s wiser for us and our investors long term to be able to meet them where they are. And that’s what you see us. We are the only cloud that operates in China under Chinese law, the only cloud that operates in Germany under German law. And these are very critical competitive advantages to us.

And so we will track that, and we will be very demand driven. So in this case we’re not taking these positions of which regions to open and where to open them well in advance of our demand. If anything, I think our cycle times have significantly come down. So it will be demand-driven, but I don’t want to essentially put a cap because if the opportunity arises, and for us it’s a high ROI decision to open a new region, we will do so.

3. Windows strategy to achieve progress in More Personal Computing

For initial and additional details available earlier see my earlier posts:
– Windows Embedded is an enterprise business now, like the whole Windows business, with Handheld and Compact versions to lead in the overall Internet of Things market as well as of June 8, 2013
– How the device play will unfold in the new Microsoft organization? as of July 14, 2013
– With Android and forked Android smartphones as the industry standard Nokia relegated to a niche market status while Apple should radically alter its previous premium strategy for long term as of August 17, 2013
– Windows [inc. Phone] 8.x chances of becoming the alternative platform to iOS and Android: VERY SLIM as it is even more difficult for Microsoft now than any time before as of August 20, 2013
– Leading PC vendors of the past: Go enterprise or die! as of November 7, 2013
– Xamarin: C# developers of native “business” and “mobile workforce” applications now can easily work cross-platform, for Android and iOS clients as well as of November 15, 2013
Microsoft is transitioning to a world with more usage and more software driven value add (rather than the old device driven world) in mobility and the cloud, the latter also helping to grow the server business well above its peers as of April 25, 2014
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is the ultimate tablet product from Microsoft. What the market response will be? as of May 21, 2014
Windows 10 Technical Preview: Terry Myerson and Joe Belfiore on the future of Windows as of October 1, 2014
– The Era Of Sub-$90 Windows 8.1 Phones in U.S. as of October 3, 2014
– Windows 10 is here to help regain Microsoft’s leading position in ICT as of July 31, 2015
– Microsoft and partners to capitalize on Continuum for Phones instead of the exited Microsoft phone business as of June 5, 2016

We have increased Windows 10 monthly active devices and are now at more than 350 million. This is the fastest adoption rate of any prior Windows release. While we are proud of these results, given changes to our phone plan, we changed how we will assess progress. Going forward, we will track progress by regularly reporting the growth of Windows 10 monthly active devices in addition to progress on three aspects of our Windows strategy:

3.1 Deliver more value and innovation, particularly for enterprise customers

We continue to pursue our goal of moving people from needing Windows to choosing Windows to loving Windows. In two weeks, we will launch Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which takes a significant step forward in security. We are also extending Windows Hello to support apps and websites and delivering a range of new features like Windows Ink and updates to Microsoft Edge. We expect these advances will drive increased adoption of Windows 10, particularly in the enterprise, in the coming year. We already have strong traction, with over 96% of our enterprise customers piloting Windows 10.

3.2 Grow new monetization through services across our unified Windows platform

As we grow our install base and engagement, we generate more opportunity for Microsoft and our ecosystem. Bing profitability continues to grow, with greater than 40% of the search revenue in June from Windows 10 devices. Bing PC query share in the United States approached 22% this quarter, not including volume from AOL and Yahoo!. The Cortana search box has over 100 million monthly active users, with 8 billion questions asked to date.

We continue to drive growth in gaming by connecting fans on Xbox Live across Windows 10, iOS, and Android. Just this quarter we launched our Minecraft Realm subscription on Android and iOS. Overall engagement on Xbox Live is at record levels, with more than 49 million monthly active users, up 33% year over year. At E3 we announced our biggest lineup of exclusive games ever for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. And we announced Xbox Play Anywhere titles, where gamers can buy a game once and play it on both their Windows 10 PC and Xbox One. We also announced two new members of the Xbox One console family, the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio.

The Windows Store continues to grow, with new universal Windows apps like Bank of America, Roku, SiriusXM, Instagram, Facebook, Wine, Hulu, and popular PC games like Quantum Break.

3.3 Innovate in new device categories in partnership with our OEMs

Our hardware partners are embracing the new personal computing vision, with over 1,500 new devices designed to take advantage of Windows 10 innovations like Touch, Pen, Hello, and better performance and power efficiency.

Microsoft’s family of Surface devices continues to drive category growth, and we are reaching more commercial customers of all sizes with the support of our channel partners. We recently announced new Surface enterprise initiatives with IBM and Booz Allen Hamilton to enable more customer segments. Also in the past year, we grew our commercial Surface partner channel from over 150 to over 10,000.

Lastly this quarter, more and more developers and enterprise customers got to experience two entirely new device categories from Microsoft Surface Hub and Microsoft HoloLens. While we are still in the early days of both of these devices, we are seeing great traction with both enterprise customers and developers, making us optimistic about future growth.

Advertisements

Microsoft chairman: The transition to a subscription-based cloud business isn’t fast enough. Revamp the sales force for cloud-based selling.

See also my earlier posts:
– John W. Thompson, Chairman of the Board of Microsoft: the least recognized person in the radical two-men shakeup of the uppermost leadership, ‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Satya Nadella on “Digital Work and Life Experiences” supported by “Cloud OS” and “Device OS and Hardware” platforms–all from Microsoft, ‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 23, 2014

May 17, 2016John Thompson: Microsoft Should Move Faster on Cloud Plan in an interview with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang on “Bloomberg West”

The focus is very-very good right now. We’re focused on cloud, on the hydrid model of the cloud. We’re focused on the application services we can deliver not just in the cloud but on multiple devices. If ever I would like to see something change, it’s more about pace. From my days at IBM [Thompson spent 28 years at IBM before becoming chief executive at Symantec] I can remember we never seemed to be running or moving fast enough. That is always the case in the established enterprise. While you believe that you’re moving fast in fact you’re not moving as fast as a startup.

June 2, 2016: Microsoft Ramps Up Its Cloud Efforts Bloomberg Intelligence’s Mandeep Singh reports on “Bloomberg Markets”

If you look at their segment revenue 43% from Windows and hardware devices. That part is the one where it is hard to come up with a cloud strategy to really kind of migrate that segment to the cloud very quickly. The infrastructure side is 30%, that is taken care of, and the Office is the other 30% that they have a good mix. That is really the other 43% revenue they have to figure out how to accelerate that transition to the cloud.

Then Bloomberg’s June 2, 2016 article (written by Dina Bass) came out with the following verdict:

Microsoft Board Mulls Sales Force Revamp to Speed Shift to Cloud 

Board members at Microsoft Corp. are grappling with a growing concern: that the company’s traditional software business, which makes up the majority of its sales, could evaporate in a matter of years — and Chairman John Thompson is pushing for a more aggressive shift into newer cloud-based products.

Thompson said he and the board are pleased with a push by Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella to make more money from software and services delivered over the internet, but want it to move much faster. They’re considering ideas like increasing spending, overhauling the sales force and managing partnerships differently to step up the pace.

The cloud growth isn’t merely nice to have — it’s critical against the backdrop of declining demand for what’s known as on-premise software programs, the more traditional approach that involves installing software on a company’s own computers and networks. No one knows exactly how quickly sales of those legacy offerings will drop off, Thompson said, but it’s “inevitable that part of our business will be under continued pressure.”

The board members’ concern was born from experience. Thompson recounts how fellow director Chuck Noski, a former chief financial officer of AT&T, watched the telecom carrier’s traditional wireline business evaporate in just three years as the world shifted to mobile. Now, Noski and Thompson are asking whether something similar could happen to Microsoft.

“What’s the likelihood that could happen with on-prem versus cloud? That in three years, we look up and it’s gone?” Thompson said in an interview, snapping his fingers to make the point.

Small, but Growing

Nadella has said the company is on track to make its forecast for $20 billion in annualized sales from commercial cloud products in fiscal 2018. Still, Thompson said, the cloud business could be even further along, and the software maker should have started its push much earlier. Commercial cloud services revenue has posted impressive growth rates — with Azure product sales rising more than 100 percent quarterly — but the total business contributed just $5.8 billion of Microsoft’s $93.6 billion in sales in the latest fiscal year.

Thompson praised the technology behind smaller cloud products, such as Power BI tools for business analysis and data visualization and the enterprise mobile management service, which delivers apps and data to various corporate devices. But the latter, for example, brings in $300 million a year — just a sliver of overall annual revenue, which will soon top $100 billion, Thompson said.

The board is examining whether Microsoft has invested enough in its complete cloud lineup, Thompson said. It’s not just about developing better cloud technology — it’s a question of how the company sells those products and its strategy for recruiting partners to resell Microsoft’s services and build their own offerings on top of them. Persuading partners to develop compatible applications is a strong point for cloud market leader Amazon.com Inc., he said.

Thompson declined to be specific about what the company might change in sales and partnerships, but he said the company may need to “re-imagine” those organizations. “The question is, should it be more?” he said. “If you believe we need to run harder, run faster, be less risk-averse as a mantra, the question is how much more do you do.”

Cloud Partnerships

Analysts say Microsoft should seek to develop a deeper bench of partners making software for Azure and consultants to install and manage those services for customers who need the help. Microsoft is working on this, but is behind Amazon Web Services, said Lydia Leong, an analyst at Gartner Inc.

“They are nowhere near at the same level of sophistication, and the Microsoft partners are mostly new to the Azure ecosystem, so they don’t know it as well,” she said. “If you’re a customer and you want to migrate to AWS, you have this massive army that can help you.”

In the sales force, Microsoft’s representatives need more experience in cloud deals — which are generally subscription-based rather than one-time purchases — and how they differ from traditional software contracts, said Matt McIlwain, managing director at Seattle’s Madrona Venture Partners. “They haven’t made enough of a transition to a cloud-based selling motion,” he said. “It’s still a work in progress.”

Microsoft declined to comment on the company’s cloud strategy or any changes to sales and partnerships for this story, and director Noski couldn’t be reached for comment.

One-Time Purchases

The company’s dependence on demand for traditional software was painfully apparent in its most recent quarterly report, when revenue was weighed down by weakness in its transactional business, or one-time purchases of software that customers store and run on their own PCs and networks. Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood in April said that lackluster transactional sales were likely to continue.

Microsoft’s two biggest cloud businesses are the Azure web-based service, which trails top provider Amazon but leads Google and International Business Machines Corp., and the Office 365 cloud versions of e-mail, collaboration software, word-processing and spreadsheet software. Microsoft’s key on-premise products include Windows Server and traditional versions of Office and the SQL database server.

Slumps like last quarter’s hurt even more amid the company’s shift to the cloud, which has brought a lot of changes to its financial reporting. For cloud deals, revenue is recognized over the term of the deal rather than providing an up-front boost. They’re also lower-margin businesses, squeezed by the cost of building and maintaining data centers to deliver the services. Microsoft’s gross margin dropped from 80 percent in fiscal 2010 to 65 percent in the year that ended June 30, 2015.

“This business growing incredibly well, but the gross margin of that is substantially lower than their core products of the olden days,” said Anurag Rana, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “How low do they go?”

‘Different Model’ [of doing business for subscription-based software]

It’s jarring for some investors, but the other option is worse, said Thompson.

That’s a very different model for Microsoft and one our investors are going to have to suck it up and embrace, because the alternative is don’t embrace the cloud and you wake up one day and you look just like — guess who?” Thompson doesn’t finish the sentence, but makes it clear he’s referring to IBM, the company where he spent more than 27 years, which he says is “not relevant anymore.” IBM declined to comment.

The pressure is good for Microsoft, Thompson said — pressure tends to result in change.

“You can re-imagine things when you’re stressed. It’s a lot easier to do it when you’re stressed because you feel compelled to do something,” Thompson said. “I see a lot of stress at Microsoft.”

The Dawn of the SoC 2.0 Era: The TSMC Perspective

From its companion post The Dawn of the SoC 2.0 Era: The ARM Perspective

futureICT - Cortex-A Roadmap Strategy -- April-2015

Source of the slide: ARM Cortex系列核心介绍 (Core ARM Cortex Series Introduction, 52RD, April 13, 2015)

Regarding TSMC itself the April 8 conclusion in TSMC Outlines 16nm, 10nm Plans article by EE|Times is:

“It’s not completely clear who is ahead at 16/14 but I think TSMC is making a major commitment to trying to be ahead at 10,” Jones said. “If that happens and TSMC has closed the gap with Intel, the issue is then if TSMC’s 10 and Intel’s 10 are the same,” he said.

Background from the April 14, 2015 TSMC Symposium: “10nm is Ready for Design Starts at This Moment” article in Cadence Communities Blog:

The 10nm semiconductor process node is no longer in the distant future – it is here today, according to presenters at the recent TSMC 2015 Technology Symposium in San Jose, California. TSMC executives noted that EDA tools have been certified, most of the IP is ready or close to ready, and risk production is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Here are some more details about 10nm at TSMC as presented in talks by Dr. Cliff Hou, vice president of R&D at TSMC (right), and Dr. BJ Woo, vice president of business development at TSMC (below left). At the TSMC Symposium, speakers also introduced two new process nodes, 16HHC and 28HPC+ (see blog post here).

According to Woo, TSMC is not only keeping up with Moore’s Law – it is running ahead of the law with its 10FF offering. “We have done a lot more aggressive scaling than Moore’s Law demands for our 10nm technology,” she said. A case in point is the fully functional 256Mb SRAM with a cell size that is approximately 50% smaller than the 16FF+ cell size. She called this an “exceptional shrink ratio” that goes beyond traditional scaling.

And it’s not just SRAM. The 10FF node, Woo said, can scale key pitches by more than 70%. Combine that with innovative layout, and 10nm can achieve almost 50% die size scaling compared to 16FF+. “And this is very, very aggressive,” she said.

After noting that the 16FF+ already provides “clear performance leadership,” Woo said that 10FF offers a 22% performance gain over 16FF+ at the same power, or more than 40% power reduction at the same speed. This comparison is based on a TSMC internal ring oscillator benchmark circuit. For the Cortex-A57 test chip used to validate EDA tools, the result was a 19% speed increase at the same power, and a 38% power reduction at the same speed.

New features in 10FF include a unidirectional (1D) layout style and new local interconnect layer. These features help 10FF achieve a 2.1X logic density improvement over 16FF+, whereas normally TSMC gets about a 1.9X density boost for node migration, Woo said. In addition to the density improvement, the 1D Mx architecture can reduce CD (critical dimension) variation by 60%, she said.

And an already remarkable quote from April 12, 2015 TSMC Symposium: New Low-Power Process, Expanded R&D Will Drive Vast Innovation: TSMC Executive article in Cadence Communities Blog:

Hock Tan, CEO of Avago, described a symbiotic relationship between TSMC and his company that led to a super high-density switch for a networking customer, implemented in 16FF+. The switch has 96 ports, each running 100G Gbps, and drawing less than 2W each. That enables, in a next-generation data center, the tripling of a switch performance to more than 10 Tbps.

Moreover, according to the April 12, 2015 TSMC Symposium: New 16FFC and 28HPC+ Processes Target “Mainstream” Designers and Internet of Things (IoT) article from Cadence Communities Blog:

16FFC is a “compact” version of the 16nm FinFET+ (16FF+) process technology that is now in risk production at TSMC. It claims advantages in power, performance, and area compared to the existing 16FF+ process, along with easy migration from 16FF+. It can be used for ultra low-power IoT applications such as wearables, mobile, and consumer.

28HPC+ is an improved version of the 28HPC (High Performance Compact) process, which is itself a fairly recent development. Late last year 28HPC went into volume production, and it provides a 10% smaller die size and 30% power reduction compared to TSMC’s earlier 28LP process. 28HPC+ ups the ante by providing 15% faster speed at the same leakage, or 30-50% reduction in leakage at the same speed, compared to 28HPC.

TSMC also provided updates on other processes on its roadmap, which includes the following:

  • High Performance – 28HP, 28HPM, 20SoC, 16FF+
  • Mainstream – 28LP, 28HPC, 28HPC+, 16FFC
  • Ultra Low Power – 55ULP, 40ULP, 28ULP, 16FFC (16FFC is in both mainstream and low power categories)

In connection with that remember the September 29, 2014 announcement:
TSMC Launches Ultra-Low Power Technology Platform for IoT and Wearable Device Applications

TSMC (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) today announced the foundry segment’s first and most comprehensive ultra-low power technology platform aimed at a wide range of applications for the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable device markets that require a wide spectrum of technologies to best serve these diverse applications. In this platform, TSMC offers multiple processes to provide significant power reduction benefits for IoT and wearable products and a comprehensive design ecosystem to accelerate time-to-market for customers.

TSMC’s ultra-low power process lineup expands from the existing 0.18-micron extremely low leakage (0.18eLL) and 90-nanometer ultra low leakage (90uLL) nodes, and 16-nanometer FinFET technology, to new offerings of 55-nanometer ultra-low power (55ULP), 40ULP and 28ULP, which support processing speeds of up to 1.2GHz. The wide spectrum of ultra-low power processes from 0.18-micron to 16-nanometer FinFET is ideally suited for a variety of smart and power-efficient applications in the IoT and wearable device markets. Radio frequency and embedded Flash memory capabilities are also available in 0.18um to 40nm ultra-low power technologies, enabling system level integration for smaller form factors as well as facilitating wireless connections among IoT products.

Compared with their previous low power generations, TSMC’s ultra-low power processes can further reduce operating voltages by 20% to 30% to lower both active power and standby power consumption and enable significant increases in battery life — by 2X to 10X — when much smaller batteries are demanded in IoT/wearable applications.

“This is the first time in the industry that we offer a comprehensive platform to meet the demands and innovation for the versatile Internet of Things market where ultra-low power and ubiquitous connectivity are most critical,” said TSMC President and Co-CEO, Dr. Mark Liu. “Bringing such a wide spectrum of offerings to this emerging market demonstrates TSMC’s technology leadership and commitment to bring great value to our customers and enable design wins with competitive products.”

One valuable advantage offered by TSMC’s ultra-low power technology platform is that customers can leverage TSMC’s existing IP ecosystem through the Open Innovation Platform®. Designers can easily re-use IPs and libraries built on TSMC’s low-power processes for new ultra-low power designs to boost first-silicon success rates and to achieve fast time-to-market product introduction. Some early design engagements with customers using 55ULP, 40ULP and 28ULP nodes are scheduled in 2014 and risk productions are planned in 2015.

“TSMC’s new ultra-low power process technology not only reduces power for always-on devices, but enables the integration of radios and FLASH delivering a significant performance and efficiency gain for next-generation intelligent products,” said Dr. Dipesh Patel, executive vice president and general manager, physical design group, ARM. “Through a collaborative partnership that leverages the energy-efficient ARM® Cortex®-M and Cortex-A CPUs and TSMC’s new process technology platform, we can collectively deliver the ingredients for innovation that will drive the next wave of IoT, wearable, and other connected technologies.”

“Low power is the number one priority for Internet-of-Things and battery-operated mobile devices,” said Martin Lund, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the IP Group at Cadence. “TSMC’s new ULP technology platform coupled with Cadence’s low-power mixed-signal design flow and extensive IP portfolio will better meet the unique always-on, low-power requirements of IoT and other power sensitive devices worldwide.”

CSR has an unequalled reputation in Bluetooth technology and has been instrumental in its progression, including helping to write the Bluetooth Smart standard that is meeting the demands of today’s rapidly evolving consumer electronics market,” said Joep van Beurden, CEO at CSR. “For many years, CSR has closely collaborated with TSMC, and we are pleased to demonstrate the results of that collaboration with the adoption of the 40ULP platform for our next generation of Bluetooth Smart devices including products for markets like smart home, lighting and wearables that are enabling the growth of the Internet of Things. Our solutions simplify complex customer challenges and help speed their time to market by allowing them to design and deliver breakthrough low power wireless connected products on these powerful new platforms.”

“The imaging SoC solutions of Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited bring the best balance between high imaging quality and low power consumption, to meet the significant demand from our customers and the electronics market,” said Tom Miyake, Corporate Vice President, at System LSI Company of Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited. “We welcome that TSMC is adding the 28ULP technology to its successful 28nm platform. We believe this technology will provide our SoCs with the key feature: low power consumption at low cost.”

Nordic Semiconductor has been a pioneer and leader in ultra-low power wireless solutions since 2002, and with the launch of its nRF51 Series of Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) in 2012 the company established itself as a leading vendor of Bluetooth Smart wireless technology,” said Svenn-Tore Larsen, CEO of Nordic Semiconductor. “We have been collaborating closely with TSMC on the selection of process technology for our upcoming nRF52 Series of ultra-low power RF SoCs. I am happy to announce that we have selected the TSMC 55ULP platform. This process is a key enabler for us to push the envelope on power consumption, performance and level of integration of the nRF52 Series to meet the future requirements of Wearable and Internet of Things applications.”

“Built on TSMC’s Ultra-Low Power technology platform and comprehensive design ecosystem, Realtek’s Bluetooth Energy Efficient smart SoC, BEE, supports the latest Bluetooth 4.1 specification featuring Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and GATT-based profiles,” said Realtek Vice President and Spokesman, Yee-Wei Huang. “BEE’s power efficient architecture, low power RF, and embedded Flash are ideal both for the IoT and for wearable devices such as smart watches, sport wristbands, smart home automation, remote controls, beacon devices, and wireless charging devices.”

Silicon Labs welcomes TSMC’s ultra-low power initiative because it will enable a range of energy-friendly processing, sensing and connectivity technologies we are actively developing for the Internet of Things,” said Tyson Tuttle, Chief Executive Officer, Silicon Labs. “We look forward to continuing our successful collaboration with TSMC to bring our solutions to market.”

“Synopsys is fully aligned with TSMC on providing designers with a broad portfolio of high-quality IP for TSMC’s ultra-low power process technology and the Internet of Things applications,” said John Koeter, Vice President of Marketing for IP and Prototyping at Synopsys. “Our wide range of silicon-proven DesignWare® interface, embedded memory, logic library, processor, analog and subsystem IP solutions are already optimized to help designers meet the power, energy and area requirements of wearable device SoCs, enabling them to quickly deliver products to the market.”

As well as the ARM and Cadence Expand Collaboration for IoT and Wearable Device Applications Targeting TSMC’s Ultra-Low Power Technology Platform announcement of Sept 29, 2015:

ARM® and Cadence® today announced an expanded collaboration for IoT and wearable devices targeting TSMC’s ultra-low power technology platform. The collaboration will enable the rapid development of IoT and wearable devices by optimizing the system integration of ARM IP and Cadence’s integrated flow for mixed-signal design and verification, and their leading low-power design and verification flow.

The partnership will deliver reference designs and physical design knowledge to integrate ARM Cortex® processors, ARM CoreLink™ system IP, and ARM Artisan® physical IP along with RF/analog/mixed-signal IP and embedded flash in the Virtuoso®-VDI Mixed-Signal Open Access integrated flow for the new TSMC process technology offerings of 55ULP, 40ULP and 28ULP.

“TSMC’s new ULP technology platform is an important development in addressing the IoT’s low-power requirements,” stated Nimish Modi, senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Cadence. “Cadence’s low-power expertise and leadership in mixed-signal design and verification form the most complete solution for implementing IoT applications. These flows, optimized for ARM’s Cortex-M processors including the new Cortex-M7, will enable designers to develop and deliver new and creative IoT applications that take maximum advantage of ULP technologies.”

“The reduction in leakage of TSMC’s new ULP technology platform combined with the proven power-efficiency of Cortex-M processors will enable a vast range of devices to operate in ultra energy-constrained environments,” said Richard York, vice president of embedded segment marketing, ARM. “Our collaboration with Cadence enables designers to continue developing the most innovative IoT devices in the market.”

This new collaboration builds on existing multi-year programs to optimize performance, power and area (PPA) via Cadence’s digital, mixed-signal and verification flows and complementary IP alongside ARM Cortex-A processors and ARM POP™ IP targeting TSMC 40nm, 28nm, and 16nm FinFET process technologies. Similarly, the companies have been optimizing the solution based around the Cortex-M processors in mixed-signal SoCs targeting TSMC 65/55nm and larger geometry nodes. The joint Cortex-M7 Reference Methodology for TSMC 40LP is the latest example of this collaboration.

For the above keep in mind The TSMC Grand Alliance [TSMC, Dec 3, 2013]:

The TSMC Grand Alliance is one of the most powerful force for innovation in the semiconductor industry, bringing together our customers, EDA partners, IP partners, and key equipment and materials suppliers at a new, higher level of collaboration.

The objectives of the TSMC Grand Alliance are straightforward: to help our customers, the alliance members and ourselves win business and stay competitive.

We know collaboration works. We have seen it in the great strides our customers and ecosystem members have made through the Open Innovation Platform® where today there are 5,000 qualified IP macros and over 100 EDA tools that supports our customers’ innovation and helps them attain maximum value from TSMC’s technology.

Today Open Innovation Platform is an unmatchable design ecosystem and a key part of the Grand Alliance that will prove much more powerful. Looking at R&D investment alone, we calculate that TSMC and ten of our customers invest more in R&D than the top two semiconductor IDMs combined.

Through the Grand Alliance TSMC will relentlessly pursue our mission and collaborate with customers and partners. We need each other to be competitive. We need each other to win. Such is the power of the Grand Alliance.

[Some more information is in the very end of this post]

A related overview in Kicking off #ARMWearablesWK with an analysts view of the market post of November 17, 2014 of ARM Connected Community blog by David Blaza:

Today as we kickoff ARM Wearables Week we hear from Shane Walker of IHS who is their Wearables and Medical market expert.

Shane’s take on this market is that it’s for real this time (there was a brief Smartwatch wave a few years ago) and will continue to be a hot growth sector through 2015. One of the great benefits of talking with analysts like Shane is they help you think through what’s going on and bust a few myths that may have found their way into our thinking. For example I asked Shane what the barriers to growth were and he carefully and patiently pointed out that Wearables are growing at a 21% CAGR already and will hit $12b in device sales this year (without services, more on that later in the week).  So this is not an emerging or promising market, it’s here and growing at an impressive rate. By 2019 Shane’s estimate is that it will hit $33.5b in device sales and services are increasingly going to factor into the wearables experience (Big Data is coming!).

Shane breaks the Wearables market down to 5 major categories:

  1. Healthcare and Medical
  2. Fitness and Wellness
  3. Infotainment
  4. Industrial
  5. Military

I’m glad he did this for me because wearables are incredibly diverse and this week you are going to see some category defying products here such as smart Jewelry where does that fit?

Below you can see a table chart that Shane was willing to share that shows his estimate for market size and units sold, the main learning for me is how much of this market is healthcare related. Also attached below are details on what services IHS offer in the Wearables market or you can find them here.

futureICT - World Market for Wearable Technology - Revenue by Application -- IHS-November-2014

attached is: Wearable Technology Intelligence Service 2014.pdf  [IHS Technology, November 17, 2014]

Note the following table in that:
futureICT - Wearable Technology Data Coverage Areas by IHS

More information:
– A Guide to the $32b Wearables Market [IHS Technology, March 11, 2015]
– which has a free to download whitepaper:
Wearable Technology: The Small Revolutions is Making Big Waves

Brief retrospective on the SoC 1.0 Era

futureICT - Shipments of TSMC Advanced Technologies Q1'2009 - Q1'2015

Detailed Background from TSMC’s quaterly calls

Q1 2015:

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO
[update on new technology]

The continuous demand of more functionality and integration in smartphones drives for more silicon content. We expect smartphones will continue to drive our growth in the next several years.

In the meantime, we see IoT appears us — present us new growth opportunities. The proliferation of IoT not only will bring us growth in the sensor, connectivity and advanced packaging areas, the associated application and services, such as big data analytics, will also further our growth in the computation space, including application processor, network processor, image processor, graphic processor, microcontroller and other various processors. That was the long-term outlook.

I’ll update some of our 10-nanometer development progress. Our 10-nanometer technology development is progressing well. Our technology qualification remains in Q4 this year.

Recently we have successfully achieved fully functional yields of our 256-megabit SRAM. Currently we have more than 10 customers fully engaged with us on 10-nanometer. We still expect to have 10-nanometer volume ramp in fourth quarter 2016 and to contribute billing in early 2017.

This technology adopts our third-generation FinFET transistor and have scaling more than one generation. Its price is fully justified by its value for various applications, including application processor, baseband SoC, network processor, CPU and graphic processors. Its cost and price ratio will comply to our structural profitability considerations.

As for new technology development at TSMC, I’d like to start with — to update you our 7-nanometer development. We have started our 7-nanometer technology development program early last year. We also have rolled out our 7-nanometer design and technology collaboration activity with several of our major customers. Our 7-nanometer technology developments today are well in progress.

TSMC’s 7-nanometer technology will leverage most of the tools used in 10-nanometer, in the meantime achieve a new generation of technology value to our customers. The 7-nanometer technology risk production date is targeted at early 2017.

Now I would like to give you an update on EUV. We have been making steady progress on EUV. Both our development tools, we have two NXE 3300 have been upgraded to the configuration of 80 watt of EUV power, with an average wafer throughput of a few hundred wafers per day. We continue to work with ASML to improve tool stability and availability. We also are working with ASML and our partners on developing the infrastructure of EUV, such as masks and resists.

Although today the process on record of both 10-nanometers and 7-nanometer are on immersion tools, with innovative multiple patterning techniques, we will continue to look for opportunity to further reduce the wafer cost and simplify the process flow by inserting EUV layer in the process.

Now I’d like to give you an update of our recently announced ultra-low-power technologies. We have offered the industry’s most comprehensive ultra-low-power technology portfolio, ranging from 55-nanometer ULP, 40-nanometer ULP, 28-nanometer ULP, to the recently announced 16 FFC, a compact version of 16 FinFET Plus, enable continual reduction of operating voltage and power consumption. Today more than 30 product tape-outs planned in 2015 from more than 25 customers.

This 55- and 40-nanometer ULP will be the most cost-effective solution for low- to mid-performance wearable and IoT devices. The 28 ULP and 16 FFC will be the most power-efficient solution for high-performance IoT applications. In particular, our 16 FFC offers the ultra-low-power operation at a supply voltage of 0.55 volts, with higher performance than all of the FD-SOI technologies marketed today.

Lastly I’ll give you an update of our recent IoT specialty technology development. We have developed the world’s first 1.0-micron pixel size 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor, with stacked image signal processor, which was announced in March by our customer for the next-generation smartphone. Secondly, we continue to drive the best low resistance in BCD [Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS for DC-to-DC converter: together with Ultra-High-Voltage (UHV) technology for AC-to-DC converter—are the key to enable monolithic integrated PMIC design] technology roadmap, from 0.18 micron to 0.13 micron and from 8-inch to 12-inch production for wireless charging and fast wired charging of mobile devices. We continue to extend our 0.13 BCD technology from consumer and industrial applications to automotive-grade electrical system control applications.

Lastly, recently we have started production in foundry’s first 40-nanometer industrial embedded Flash technology that was started from November last year. And this technology recently passed automotive-grade qualification, that was in March, for engine control applications.

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

I will update you the 28-nanometer, 20 and 16 FinFET status and also our InFO business.

First, 28-nanometer. This is the fifth year since TSMC’s 28-nanometer entered mass production. 28-nanometer has been a very large and successful node for us. Our market segment share at this node has held up well and is in the mid-70s this year. We expect this to continue in year 2016. In comparison, this is better than what we had in the 40-nanometer node.

The demand for 28-nanometer is expected to grow this year due to the growth of mid- and low-end smartphones and as well as the second-wave segment, such as radio frequency, circuit product and the Flash controllers that migrate into this node.

However, due to some customers’ inventory adjustments, which we believe is only going to be for the short term, the demand for 28-nanometer in the second quarter will be lower than our previous quarter, resulting in 28-nanometer capacity utilization rate to be in the high-80s range. But we expect the utilization rate of the 28-nanometer to recover soon and to be above 90% in the second half of this year.

While we are in the mass production, we also continue to improve the performance of our technology. Last year we have introduced our 28-HPC, which is a compact version of 28-HPM. For the purpose of helping 64-bit CPU conversion for mid- to low-end market, this year we further improved the 28-HPC to 28-HPC Plus. For comparison, 28-HPC Plus will have 18% power consumption — lower power consumption at the same speed or 15% faster speed at the same kind of power.

As for the competitive position, we are confident that we will continue to lead in performance and yield. So far we do not see there is a very much effective capacity in High K metal gate at 28-nanometer outside TSMC. And since we have already shipped more than 3m 12-inch 28-nanometer wafers, the learning curve has given us an absolute advantage in cost.

Now let me move to our 20 SoC. TSMC remains the sole solution provider in foundry industry for 20-nanometer process. Our yield has been consistently good after a very successful ramp last year. But recently we have observed customers’ planned schedule for product migration from 20 nanometer to 16 FinFET started sooner than we forecasted three months ago.

As a result, even we continue to grow 20-nanometer business in the second quarter of this year, our earlier forecast of 20-nanometer contributing above 20% of total wafer revenue this year has to be revised down by a few points to a level about the mid teens. That being the case, we still forecast the revenue from 20-nanometer will more than double that of year 2014’s level.

Now 16 FinFET. The schedule for 16 FinFET high-volume production remains unchanged. We will begin ramping in the third quarter this year. And the ramp rate appeared be faster than we forecasted three months ago, thanks to the excellent yield learning that we can leverage our 20-nanometer experience and also due to a faster migration from 20-nanometer to 16 FinFET.

In addition to good yield, our 16 FinFET device performance also met all products’ specs due to our very good transistor engineering. So we believe our 16 FinFET will be a very long-life node due to its good performance and the right cost. This is very similar to our 28-nanometer node.

We are highly confident that our 16 FinFET is very competitive. As we’ve said repeatedly, combining 20-nanometer and 16-nanometer, we will have the largest foundry share in year 2015. And if we only look at 16-nanometer alone, we still can say TSMC will have the largest 16- or 14-nanometer foundry share in year 2016.

Now let me move to our InFO business update. The schedule to ramp up the InFO in second quarter next year remains unchanged. We expect InFO will contribute more than $100m quarterly revenue by next year, fourth quarter next year, when it will be fully ramped.

Right now we are building a new facility in Longtan, that’s a city very near to Hsinchu, where our headquarters are, for ramping up InFO. Today a small product line is almost complete and it’s ready for early engineering experiment. This pilot line will be expanded to accommodate the high-volume ramp in year 2016.

Andrew Lu – Barclays – Analyst

… I think Mark presented at the Technology Symposium in San Jose mentioned that 16 FinFET versus competing technology is about 10% performance better. So can you elaborate what’s 10% performance better? If our die size is larger than our competitors, how can we get the 10% performance better?

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

In the conference we talked about 16 FinFET Plus. That is our second-generation FinFET transistor. In that we improved our transistor performance a great deal. According to our information, that transistor speed, talk about speed at fixed power, is higher than the competitor by 10%. That’s what I meant. …  Because of the transistor structure, transistor engineering.

Andrew Lu – Barclays – Analyst

Compared to competing — is the competing the current competitor’s solution or the next-generation competitor’s solution? For example, LPE versus LPP or something like that?
Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO
The fastest one. The fastest.
Andrew Lu – Barclays – Analyst
Their best one?
Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO
Yes.

Dan Heyler – BofA Merrill Lynch – Analyst

My second question is relating to 20-nanometer. Here you certainly have a lot of growth in 16, with customers taping out aggressively, especially next year. Given your high share at 28, how do you keep 28 full? You obviously have a lot of technology there. Customers will move forward.

So I’m wondering, could you elaborate on new areas that are actually creating new demand at 28, such that you can continue to grow 28 next year. And do you think you can grow? I think previously you said maybe hold it at current levels even with 16 growing. So just maybe revisit that question.

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

To answer the question, I think the high-end smartphone will move to 16 FinFET. However, the mid- to — and lower-end smartphones will stay in the 28-nanometer because that’s very cost effective. And mid- and low-end smartphone continues to grow significantly. So that will give a very strong demand on 28-nanometer. In addition, we still have a second-wave product, like RF and Flash controller, as I use as an example, move into 28-nanometer.

So summing it up, I think the 28-nanometer’s demand continue to grow while we move into the 16 FinFET for high-end smartphone.

Michael Chou – Deutsche Bank – Analyst

As Mark has highlighted your EUV program, Does that imply you may consider using EUV in the second stage of your 16-nanometer — 10-nanometer ramp-up, potentially in 2018 or 2019? 

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

Yes, we always look for opportunity to insert EUV in both 10-nanometer and 7-nanometer. The EUV technology provides not only some cost benefit, but also simplify the process. That means you can replace multiple layers with one layer that helps your yield improvement. So there’s opportunity both in quality and cost always exist so long as EUV’s productivity comes to the threshold point.

And in — as you noticed on 10-nanometer, our capacity build will largely done in 2016 and 2017. So 2018 will be inserted, if inserted, will be combined with some other tools upgrade, some tool upgrade to 7, for example, and replaced by the EUV tools. In that node it will not be a fresh capacity build with EUV at that time because that’s a little bit late in the schedule for the 10.

7-nanometer, of course it will be higher probability adopting EUV. And the benefit will be bigger because the 7-nanometer has a lot of multiple layers, quadruple, even multiple patterning layers, thus EUV can be more effective in reducing the cost and improve the yield, for example. So that’s our current status.

But today EUV is still in the engineering mode. The productivity, as you heard, will still have some gaps for practical insertion of the technology. So we’re still working on that, in that mode. And we have — although we have one-day performance up to 1,000 wafer per day, but I was talking about average still a few hundreds. And we need to get to more than 1,000 to consider a schedule to put it into the production.

Randy Abrams – Credit Suisse – Analyst

As you go to fourth quarter, how broad is the customer base? Is it a single key product or are you seeing broadening out of 16 FinFET as you ramp that in fourth quarter?

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

… As for the second half, we think, first of all, the inventory adjustment will largely complete towards the end of second quarter.

We think the end market of smartphone is still healthy growth this year. Therefore the second half will resume the growth. And, more importantly, our 16 FinFET technology will start to ramp in the second half. So that will contribute a lot of growth, more than the 20-nanometer shipment reduction. So those two factors.

Roland Shu – Citigroup – Analyst

My first question is on given the fast ramp of 16-nanometer, so are we going to see meaningful revenue contribution for 16 in 3Q?

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

We ramp up in third quarter this year, but it’s many layers of process, plus about one month is back-end. So in 3Q we expect just the revenue just very minimum.

Bill Lu – Morgan Stanley – Analyst

This is a follow-up to Randy’s question. But I’m going to go over some numbers with you first before I ask the question, which is we did the math. I don’t think these are exactly right. But over the last five years we’ve got IDM zero growth, fabless 8%, but system houses above 20%, right. So system houses, I’m excluding memory, just the system LSI, the logic portion. I think that might be slightly conservative.

Now that’s a pretty big change. And I’m wondering how you should think about that, how you should — if you look at TSMC addressing the system houses versus the fabless customers, if you look at, for example, your market share, if you look at your margin for the system houses versus the fabless, how do you think about that?

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

Yes. Indeed, in the past five years the system houses sourcing and foundry business to us has a much higher growth rate, as you quoted. But remember, that came from a very small base. Okay? But we welcome system house sourcing because we consider them are fabless too, fabless companies, the companies without fabs, bring business to us.

It’s not necessarily the margin has to do with what type of company sourced. It has to do with our value to that company and also the size, the size of the business. If the business is bigger, of course the — we probably can enjoy a slightly — a little bit better price. So it depends on the size of the business, less dependent on what company, system company or non-system company’s business.

Steven Pelayo – HSBC – Analyst

For the last three years or so, TSMC’s been growing 20%, 30% year-on-year revenue growth rates. First quarter 50% year on year. But to Bill’s question there, it does look like in the second half of the year, if I play around with your full-year guidance and what you’re doing, low single-digit year-on-year growth rates. And if we exclude maybe 16-nanometer, above 16-nanometer, maybe it’s flat to down. Is that the new industry? What are we talking now for industry growth rates for both the semi industry and in the foundry market this year?

90 days ago you suggested the semi market was going to grow 5% this year with foundries growing 12%. In light of your new guidance, in light of what it looks like you’re going to have very slight year-on-year growth rates in the second half of the year, what do you think that means for the overall industry?

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

We think the semiconductor growth this year currently is indeed we adjusted down from 5% earlier to 4% at this time. Yes. We think it’s really due to the macroeconomic situation around the world today. And therefore the foundry market — foundry growth rate will adjusted down too. We are looking at about 10% range. So that’s why we revised our view on the current semiconductor growth.

Brett Simpson – Arete Research – Analyst

My question on 10-nanometer, I know it’s still 18 months away from ramp-up, but can you talk about how fast this ramp might scale relative to 20-nanometer or 28-nanometer?

And as you ramp up 10-nanometer for high-end smartphones, would you expect low-end smartphones to start migration from 28 with 16 FinFET in 2017?
Elizabeth Sun – TSMC – Director of Corporate Communications
… Your question seems to say that if we ramp 10-nanometer in the future, which will be targeting the high-end smartphone, will the low-end smartphone be migrating from 28-nanometer into 16-nanometers.
Brett Simpson – Arete Research – Analyst
And  just to add to that, Elizabeth, how quickly will 10-nanometer scale up relative to the scaling of 20-nanometer — the ramp-up of 20-nanometer and 28? Will it be as fast?
Elizabeth Sun – TSMC – Director of Corporate Communications
So the profile of the 10-nanometer ramp, will that be steeper than the profile of the 20 or the 28-nanometer?

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

Okay. The first part of the question has to do with 10-nanometer ramp for the high-end smartphone, will the mid/low-end move to 16? I think we — this is up to our customers’ product portfolio. We definitely know a lot of customer is looking at 28-nanometer to use — to do as the low end. But the specification, the smartphone processor specification changes constantly. So what portion of that product will move to 16-nanometer? We think definitely there are some portion, but how a big portion really depends on their product strategy.

On the 10-nanometer ramp, I wouldn’t say it’s bigger. But at least it’s similar scale of our ramp as we do in 16 and as we do in 20.

Brett Simpson – Arete Research – Analyst Great.

Thank you. And let me just have a follow-up here. There’s been a lot of talk in the industry about one of your larger customers [Qualcomm] planning to introduce a new application processor on both Samsung’s 14-nanometer process as well as your 16 FinFET for the same chip later this year. And we haven’t really seen a single chip get taped out on two new processors at the same time before in the industry. So my question, how does this really work between the two foundries? Does it mean that that one customer can adjust dynamically, month to month, how they allocate wafers between you and Samsung? Or am I — or how might this work?
Elizabeth Sun – TSMC – Director of Corporate Communications … So your question seems to say that there is a customer that appeared to be working with two different foundries on the 14 and 16-nanometer node. And the products are about to arrive. You would like to understand how this customer will be allocating month by month the — what’s the production or the orders with both of the two foundries. Is that your question?
Brett Simpson – Arete Research – Analyst
Yes, that’s right. Whether they can move around dynamically how they allocate wafers. That’s right.

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

Well my answer is very typical. Our 16 FinFET is really very competitive. And we did not know that customer going to — how they’re going to allocate. I cannot even make any comment on that.

Gokul Hariharan – JPMorgan – Analyst

First of all on 16-nanometer, since Dr. Wei mentioned that next year a lot of demand on entry-level to mid-end smartphone is still going to stay at 28-nanometer, could you talk about your visibility for second-wave demand for 16-nanometer? 

What is the visibility that you have? Is it going to be really strong? Because you mentioned that a lot of the cost-sensitive customers would still stay on 28, at least for next year.

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

For 28-nanometer I said mid to low end this year that, and next year probably, that smartphone will stay in 28-nanometer because it’s very cost-effective and performance-wise is very good. For 16 FinFET I think that people will start to move with their product plan and some of the mid-end smartphone will move into 16-nanometer. That’s for sure.

In addition to that, we also see improving our 16 FinFET ultra-lower-power Mark just mentioned. And that will have a lot of application. And every product, lower power consumption is one of that advantage.

And so that would be our second wave of 16 FinFET.

Dan Heyler – BofA Merrill Lynch – Analyst

… So on 16, this FinFET Compact which is getting introduced, when would we expect to see that in volume production?

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

FFC? That will be ready next year. And we expect that high-volume production starts probably two years later. That’s year 2017. 2018 will reach the high volume.

Dan Heyler – BofA Merrill Lynch – Analyst

Okay. So is there a — so the cost-down version for mid-end phones FinFET that you alluded to, plus low power, when is that available?

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

Probably in 2017 second half.

Q4’2014:

Lora Ho – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – SVP and CFO

During the fourth quarter, the strong 20-nanometer ramp was mainly driven by communication-related applications. As a result, communication grew 18% sequentially and the revenue contribution increased from 59% in the third quarter to 65% in the fourth quarter. As for other applications, computer grew 7%, while consumer and industrial declined 21% and 11% respectively.

On a full-year basis, communication increased 39% and represented 59% of our revenue. The major contributing segments included baseband, application processors, image processors and display drivers. Another fast-growing application in 2014 was industrial and standard, which grew 30% year over year. The growth was mainly driven by increasing usage of power management ICs, near-field communications and audio codec within the mobile devices.

By technology, 20-nanometer revenue contribution started with a very small number in the second quarter, jumped to 9% in the third quarter and reached 21% in the fourth quarter. Such unprecedented ramp cannot be achieved without seamless teamwork with our customer, the R&D and operational people in TSMC.

On a full-year basis, 20 nanometer accounted for about 9% of our full-year wafer revenue. Looking forward, we are confident that 20 nanometer will continue its momentum to contribute 20% of the revenue for the whole year 2015.

Meanwhile, customer demand for our 28-nanometer wafers remained strong. Accordingly, these two advanced technologies, 20 nanometer plus 28 nanometer, represented 51% of our fourth-quarter total wafer revenue, a big increase from 43% in the third quarter.

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President and Co-CEO

Now I’ll give you a few words on 10-nanometer development update. Our 10-nanometer technology development is progressing and our qualification schedule at the end of 2015, end of this year, remains the same. We are now working with customers for their product tape-outs. We expect its volume production in 2017.

On the new technology development in TSMC, I’ll begin with beyond 10 nanometer I just talked about. We are now working on our future-generation platform technology development, with separate dedicated R&D development teams. These technologies will be offered in the 2017-to-2019 period. We are committed to push forward our technology envelope along the silicon scaling path.

In addition to the silicon device scaling, we are also working on the system scaling through advanced packaging to increase system bandwidth, to decrease power consumption and device form factors. Our first-generation InFO technology has been qualified. Currently we are qualifying customer InFO products with 16-nanometer technology. And it will be ready for volume ramp next year, 2016. We are now working on our second-generation InFO technology to supplement the silicon scaling of 10-nanometer generation.

On the other side, in addition to the recently announced 55ULP ultra-low power technology, 40ULP, 28ULP technologies for ultra-low power application, such as wearable and IoT, we are also working on 16ULP technology development. This 16ULP design kit will be available in June this year. It will be just suitable for both high-performance and ultra-low power or ultra-low voltage, less than 0.6-volt applications.

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President and Co-CEO

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I’ll update you on 28, 20, 16-nanometer status and the InFO business.

First on 28 nanometer. Since year 2011, we started to ramp up 28-nanometer production. Up to now we have enjoyed a big success in terms of a good manufacturing result and, most importantly, the strong demand from our customers. This year we expect the success will continue.

Let me give a little bit more detail, first on the demand side. The demand continues to grow, which are driven by the strong growth of mid- and low-end 4G smartphones, as well as the technology migration from some second-wave segments, such as the radio frequency, hard disk drive, flash controller, connectivity and digital consumers.

Second, on the technology improvement, we continue our effort to enhance 28-nanometer technology by improving the speed performance while reducing the power consumption. 28HPC, 28 ultra-low power technology are some examples.

So to conclude the 28-nanometer status, we believe we can defend our segment share well because of excellent performance and performance/cost ratio and our superior defect density results.

Let’s talk about the 20 SoC business status. After successfully ramp up in high volume last year, we expect to grow 20-nanometer business more than double this year due to high-end mobile device demand, which were generated by our customers’ very competitive products. Our forecast of the 20-nanometer business, as Lora just pointed out, will contribute 20% of the total wafer revenue. That remains unchanged.

Now on 16-nanometer ramp-up. We expect to have more than 50 product tape-outs this year on 16-nanometer. High-volume production will start in third quarter, with meaningful revenue contribution starting in fourth quarter this year. In order to stress again what our Chairman already mentioned, that combining 20 nanometer and 16 nanometer we expect to enjoy overwhelming market segment share.

Last, I will update on the InFO business. The traction on InFO is strong. We have engaged with many customers. And a few of these customers are expected to ramp up in second quarter next year. Right now we are building a small pilot line in a new site to prepare for high-volume production next year. Also we expect this InFO technology will contribute sizeable revenue in 2016.

Dan Heyler – BofA Merrill Lynch – Analyst

…. I guess as we look at your pie chart on your slide with communications and computer being amazingly only 9% of your revenue, and, say, 10 years ago that chart was much, much different, with computer being the biggest. As we look at computer opportunities going forward, I think to some extent there’s maybe a sense of a little bit of disappointment in that we don’t see ARM necessarily in PCs yet. We haven’t really necessarily seen that ecosystem come through in the server business. And big data being such an important trend going forward, with compute growing about 15% per year, I’m wondering what TSMC is doing or what your view of that opportunity will be in the future as a potential growth driver.

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Chairman

Server is one of them, Mark. Well there’s IoT actually also, and just don’t forget that mobile actually we think has a few more years to run yet. Really the TSMC silicon content in the average phone is actually increasing, which is something that is not recognized by a lot of people, because everybody says that the weight, the gravity is shifting to the middle level, lower-level priced phones. But according to our data, and we have kept track of it for quite a long time, the average of TSMC silicon content in the average phone is actually increasing.

So — and look, we still look for over — I think the number we have is that by 2019 there’ll be 2b phones manufactured. It is — I think last year it was, what, 1.3b? I think, yes, 1.3b. 1.3b to 2b. And, well, and the average TSMC silicon content per phone is increasing. And the number of phones is going up. So that’s by no means a — it’s still there. It’s still a growth engine.

And then IoT, I think we talked about IoT before, and now we are certainly not oblivious to the server possibility. So why don’t I ask Mark to talk about the server and maybe C.C. will talk a little about the IoT.

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President and Co-CEO

Okay, Dan. I’ll just respond to you on the server part. Chairman talked about the area we’re mostly focused on, phone, today. And that would drive — give us growth momentum in the next several years.

On server, we work with the product innovators around the world. And such a field definitely we’ll not lose in our radar screen and theirs. And TSMC has been, over the years, developed our technology to suit for high-power computing.

And from 65, 40, 28 to 16 nanometer, we continuously improve our transistor performance. And today we believe our 16 FinFET Plus transistor performance probably is the top of — is one of the top of the world. It’s well suitable, well capable of doing the computing tasks.

And actually before server, and there are several supercomputers around the world, in US and in Japan, already powered by our technology, doing the weather forecasting, whether the geo exploration applications today. And on the server, on ARM in particular, we have very close partnership with ARM in recent years. And ARM is a very innovative company. They produce CPU core and new architecture every year. And we reached our leading-edge technology very early with ARM and to design their leading-edge CPU cores. And that will continue and several of our customers are taking advantage of that.

Yes, in the past it’s been getting into slower as expected. That’s because the software ecosystem is slower to come. And — but actually a lot of the server companies, system company is continuing investing in this ecosystem. Linux-based ecosystem is coming very strong too. So I think the trend will continue. And we will, with our customers, get into these segments in the next — in the near future. Yes.

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President and Co-CEO

For the IoT, that would be a big topic right now in the whole industry. All I want to say is that we are happy to share with you that, a long time ago, we already focused on our specialty technology, which are the CMOS image sensor, MEMs, embedded Flash, all those kind of things. Today we add another new technology, ultra-low power, into it. And that will be the basis for the IoT technology necessary in the future. We believe that when the time comes and IoT business becomes big, TSMC will be in a very good position to capture most of the business. That’s what I share with you. Thank you.

Randy Abrams – Credit Suisse – Analyst

… And the follow-up question on profitability. If you could give a flavor on structural profitability for 2015 and some of the flavor for 20, how quick that may get to corporate margins, and for 16, because it’s an extension, whether that could be near corporate margins as that comes up. And if you could give a comment on the inventory at current levels, if there’s any — if that will stay at these higher levels from the WIP you’ve been building or if that may come back down to a different level.

Lora Ho – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – SVP and CFO

Randy, you have multiple questions. I recall you asked for the structural profitability. That’s you first question, right? From what we can see now, we are quite confident we can maintain equal or slightly better structural profitability, standard gross margin versus 2014.

For the 20-nanometer and 16-nanometer ramping, how would that affect corporate margin? I have said in last July it usually takes seven or eight quarters for any new leading-edge technology to get close to the corporate average. So for 20 nanometer, it will take eight quarters. So we believe — so 20 nanometer start to sell in second quarter 2014, and we expect by first quarter 2016, that’s eight quarters, it will be at corporate average level.

For 16, we are going to mass produce this product. It will follow the similar trend. 16 nanometer will be based on the feature of 20 nanometer, so the margin will start to be higher. But it will also follow the similar trend. It takes seven quarters to reach to corporate average. So say we plan to mass produce 16 FinFET in third quarter 2015, so by first quarter 2017 you will get close to corporate average. So there will — before that there will be still small dilutions. For this year, the dilution will be 2 to 3 percentage points. And the last year, the second half will be 3 to 4 percentage points and very low in 2016.

Donald Lu – Goldman Sachs – Analyst

… Chairman, about six months ago you gave us a comment on your estimate on TSMC’s market share in FinFET in 2015, 2016, 2017. So has that changed?

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Chairman

… Donald’s question was I said — actually I looked up my statement at that time, July 16 of last year. I said on the subject of 16 and 20, 16-nanometer and 20-nanometer technology, I said that — I actually made three statements.

The first statement was that because we started 16 a little late, our market share in 2015, our 16-nanometer market share in 2015 will be smaller than our major largest competitor’s.

The second statement I made was that we started 16 late because we wanted to do 20. And so if you combine 20 and 16, our major competitor, who will be slightly ahead of us this year on the 16, he has very little 20. Almost no 20 at all. And if we combine 20 and 16, our combined share in this year will be much higher than that competitor’s.

The third statement I made is that in 2016 we will have much larger share in just 16 nanometer than that competitor.

All right. First I want to say that I, at this time, stand on those statements. In fact, I now will add a couple of statements. The statements I will add are — that’s fourth statement now. Okay? When we have a larger share of just 16 alone in 2016, the 16 market will also be much larger than this year, 2015. So, yes, we’re slightly behind. We have a smaller market share in 2015 in a smaller market. Next year we will have a larger share, in fact much larger share, in a much larger market, 16.

So — and another statement I want to make is that I’m, at this point, very, very comfortable with all those statements that I have made on July 16 last year and the statements that I have added today. I’m very comfortable. I don’t know whether I answered your question or not, Donald.

Donald Lu – Goldman Sachs – Analyst

Yes. How about 2017, if –?

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Chairman

What? Well, 2017, the share is going to continue. We’re not going to lose the leadership on 16 market share once we recapture that in 2016. It’s going to continue 2017, 2018. And also both 20 and 16 are going to live longer than you might think now. Well 28, for that matter, will also live longer than you’d think.

Michael Chou – Deutsche Bank – Analyst

… Can we say your 16-nanometer market share in 2016 will be quite similar to your dominance in 28 nanometer, given that your 20 nanometer is the only provider? So the apple-to-apple comparison should be 28 to 16 nanometer.
Elizabeth Sun – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Director of Corporate Communications
So market share in 16 nanometer in 2016, will that be the same as our market share at 28 nanometer, I would say, back in 2013, 2014?
Michael Chou – Deutsche Bank – Analyst Yes

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Chairman

Well, no, I don’t think so, because 28, of course we were virtually sole source. And 16, we already know we’re not. There’s at least one major competitor and then there’s another one that’s just eager to get in. I don’t mean that first competitor’s accessory, I mean another one.

Brett Simpson – Arete Research – Analyst

My question is around 28 nanometer. You’re running a large capacity at 28 nanometer at the moment. So can you share with us what your capacity plan is for 28? As you migrate more business to 20 nanometer and below over the next couple of years, do you intend to convert 28-nanometer capacity to lower nodes, or do you think you can keep the existing 28-nanometer capacity running full going forward.
Elizabeth Sun – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Director of Corporate Communications
All right. Let me repeat Brett’s question so that people here can hear it better. Brett’s question is TSMC’s 28-nanometer capacity is very large. As our technology migrates to more advanced nodes, such as 20 and 16, in the next few years, what will be our plan on capacity of the 28 nanometer? Will we still have large demand to utilize those capacities or we need to do some changes?

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Chairman

Every — in every generation we worry a lot about the conversion loss we will suffer when we convert the equipment of that — the existing capacity of that generation to the capacity of the next generation. Now, so we do two things. First, we try to minimize that conversion loss. And since we’ve been living with the problem for so long now, I think we’re getting to be pretty good at it. So the conversion loss from one generation to another is normally in the low single digit, low middle single digit. Now the second thing we try to do is, and I think we actually have been doing it perhaps even more successfully than the first thing. The first thing was to try to minimize the conversion loss. The second thing we try to do is we try to prolong the life of each generation. And I was saying just five minutes ago that I think that the life of 28 nanometer may be longer than a lot of people think. And I mean it. Actually we’re still making half-micron stuff. And we try to prolong the life of every generation as we continue to migrate to advanced technologies. And 28 is certainly a generation that we want to prolong the life of.

Bill Lu – Morgan Stanley – Analyst

My first question is on 28 nanometers. If I look at your capacity this year versus 2014, how much is the increase in capacity?

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Chairman

High teens. High teens actually.

Gokul Hariharan – JPMorgan – Analyst

… First, I had a question on there’s been a lot of controversy about cost per transistor, whether Moore’s law — the economics of Moore’s law are slowing down. Your competitor Intel has put out a very emphatic statement saying that until 7 nanometer they’re seeing that continuing at the same pace as before. But there has been a lot of noise from the fabless community in the last couple of years that at 20 nanometer or at 16 nanometer there is a potential slowdown.

Could we have TSMC’s version now that you’re pretty much ready to start 10 nanometer and thinking already about 7? That’s my first question.
Elizabeth Sun – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Director of Corporate Communications
So, all right. Let me repeat. Gokul, your question is mainly on the comments on cost per transistor. Some of the other players, I think you’re referring to Intel, who has made comments that they do see the cost per transistor to continue into 7 nanometer and so they can handle the economics of the Moore’s law. Whereas, on the other hand, fabless companies begin to complain about not seeing enough economics, starting with 20 nanometer. So what is TSMC’s statement regarding this economics issue?

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President and Co-CEO

Let me answer this question. The cost of transistor continues to go down. And by scaling mostly is — everybody knows, nobody I think has refused that statement — we see the cost of transistor continues going down in a constant rate. And in going forward, the cost of transistor going down probably at slightly slower rate. That’s the argument. But it really depends on companies. And for some companies simply do not have the technological capabilities. And today, further going down the Moore’s Law technology developments, just a few. And we — as far as whether those costs can — is — can get enough returns, and of course that has to do with how much that technology brings value to the product where they command the price. And today we see certain segments will continue to need that type of system performance to get enough return. So this is the reason we committed to push the system scaling.

Roland Shu – Citigroup – Analyst

Just a 10-nanometer question to C.C. Since, C.C., you said we are expecting to volume production of 10-nanometer in 2017. But I remember in the past two quarters actually our goal was to pulling in 10-nanometer mass production by end of 2016. So are we pushing out the 10-nanometer mass production schedule a little bit on that?

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President and Co-CEO

Let me explain that, because 10 nanometer, the mask layers is about 70 to 80. So you’ve got to start in 2016 to have output in 2017. So what I’m talking about is 2017 is to start to have revenue.

Q3 2014:

Lora Ho – TSMC – SVP & CFO

By technology, after two years of meticulous preparation we began volume shipments of 20-nanometer wafers. The revenue contribution went up from 0% to 9% of the third quarter wafer revenue. This is the fastest and the most successful ramp for a new technology in TSMC’s history.

Mark Liu – TSMC – Co-CEO


On 10-nanometer development, our 10-nanometer development is progressing according to plan. Currently we are working on early customer collaboration for product tape-outs in 4Q of 2015. The risk production date remain targeted at the end of 2015.

Our goal is to enable our customers’ production in 2016. To meet this goal, we are getting our 10-nanometer design ecosystem ready now. We have completed certification of over 35 EDA tools using ARM’s CPU core as the vehicle. In addition, we have started the IP validation process six months earlier than previous nodes with our IP partners.

We are working with over 10 customers on their 10-nanometer product design. The product plans show wide range of applications, including application processors, baseband, CPU, server, graphics, network processor, FPGA and game console. Our 10-nanometer will achieve industry-leading speed, power and gate density.

C.C. Wei – TSMC – Co-CEO


Next, I’ll talk about the 16-nanometer ramp and competitive status. In 16-nanometer, we have two versions, 16 FinFET and the 16 FinFET Plus.

FinFET Plus has better performance and has been adopted by most of our customers. 16 FinFET we began the risk production in November last year and since then have passed all the reliability qual early this year. For the FinFET Plus, we also passed the first stage of the qualification on October 7 and since then entered the risk production. The full qualification, including the technology and product qual, is expected to be completed next month.

So right now we have more than 1,000 engineers working on ramp up for the FinFET Plus. On the yield learning side, the progress is much better than our original plan. This is because the 16-nanometer uses similar process to 20 SOC, except for the transistor. And since 20 SOC has been in mass production with a good yield, our 16 FinFET can leverage the yield learning from 20 SOC and enjoy a good and smooth progress. So we are happy to say that 16-nanometer has achieved the best technology maturity at the same corresponding stage as compared to all TSMC’s previous nodes.

In addition to the process technologies, our 16 FinFET design ecosystem is ready also. It supports 43 EDA tools and greater than 700 process design kits with more than 100 IPs. All these are silicon validated. We believe this is the biggest ecosystem in the industry today.

On the performance side, compared with the 20 SOC, 16 FinFET is greater than 40% speed faster than the 20 SOC at the same total power or consumes less than 50% power at the same speed. So our data shows that in high-speed applications it can run up to 2.3 gigahertz. Or on the other hand, for low-power applications it consumes as low as 75 miniwatts per core.

This kind of a performance will give our customer a lot of flexibility to optimize their design for different market applications. So far we expect to have close to 60 tape-outs by the end of next year.

In summary, because of the excellent progress in yield learning and readiness in manufacturing maturity and also to meet customers’ demand, we plan to pull in 16-nanometer volume production through the end of Q2 next year or early Q3 year 2015. The yield performance and smooth progress of our 16 FinFET, FinFET Plus further validate our strategy of starting 20 SOC first, quickly follow with the 16 FinFET and FinFET Plus. We chose this sequence to maximize our market share in the 20-, 16-nanometer generation.

Next, I’ll talk about 28-nanometer status. We had strong growth in second quarter on 28-nanometer. And the business grew another quarter and accounted for 34% of TSMC’s wafer revenue in third quarter. On the technology side, we continue our effort to improve yield and tighten the process corners, so that our customer can take advantage of these activities and shrink their die size and therefore reduce the cost.

Let me give you an example. On 28LP, the polysilicon gate version, we now offer a variety of enhanced processes to achieve better performance. We also offer a very competitive cost so that our customers can address the mid- to low-end smartphone market. In addition to the 28LP, we also provide a cost-effective high-K metal gate version, the 28HPC for customers to further optimize the performance and the cost. Recently, we added another 28-nanometer offering we called 28 Ultra Low Power, for ultra low power applications obviously. We believe this 28ULP will help TSMC customers to expand their business into the IoT area.

In summary, we expect our technology span in 28-nanometer node will enhance TSMC’s competitiveness and ensure a good market share. We also expect the strength of the demand for our 28-nanometer will continue for multi years to come. In response, we are preparing sufficient capacities to meet our customers’ future demand.

Q2 2014:


Morris Chang – TSMC – Chairman

Now a few words on 20-nanometer and 16-nanometer progress. In the last two and half to three years, 28-nanometer technology has driven our growth. In the next three years, 20 and 16-nanometer technologies are going to drive our growth; 28 in the last two and half to three, 20 and 16 in the next three.

After two years of meticulous preparation, we began volume shipments of our 20-nanometer wafers in June. The steepness of our 20-nanometer ramp sets a record. We expect 20-nanometer to generate about 10% of our wafer revenue in the third quarter and more than 20% of our wafer revenue in the fourth quarter. And we expect the demand for 20-nanometer will remain strong and will continue to contribute more than 20% of our wafer revenue in 2015. It will reach 20% of our total wafer revenue in the fourth quarter of this year and it will be above 20% of our total wafer revenue next year.

The 16-nanometer development leverages off 20-SoC learning and is moving forward smoothly. Our 16-nanometer is more than competitive, combining performance, density and yields considerations. 16-nanometer applications cover a wide range including baseband, application processors, consumer SoCs, GPU, network processors, hard disk drive, FPGA, servers and CPUs. Volume production of 16-nanometer is expected to begin in late 2015 and there will be a fast ramp up in 2016. The ecosystem for 16-nanometer designs is current and ready.

A few years ago, in order to take advantage of special market opportunities, we chose to develop 20-SoC first and then quickly follow with 16-nanometer. We chose this sequence to maximize our market share in the 20/16-nanometer generation. As the 20/16 foundry competition unfolds, we believe our decision to have been correct.

Number one, in 20-SoC, we believe we will enjoy overwhelmingly large share in 2014, 2015 and onwards.

Number two, in 16-nanometer, TSMC will have a smaller market share than a major competitor in 2015. But we’ll regain leading share in 2016, 2017 and onwards.

Number three, if you look at the combined 20 and 16 technologies, TSMC will have an overwhelming leading share every year from 2014 on.

Number four, in total foundry market share, after having jumped 4 percentage points in 2013, TSMC will again gain several percentage points in 2014. This is the total foundry market share covering all technologies. After having increased 4 percentage points last year, TSMC will gain another several percentage points this year.

Now a few words about 10-nanometer. The 10-nanometer development is progressing well. The 10-nanometer speed is 25% faster than the 16-nanometer. The power consumption is 45% less than 16-nanometer and the gate density is 2.2x that of the 16-nanometer. Power is 25% faster. Did I say power? I meant speed. Speed is 25% faster, power is 45% less, gate density 2.2 times more, all compared with 16-nanometer.

We work closely with our key customers to co-optimize our 10-nanometer process and design. We expect to have customer tape outs in the second half of 2015.

William Dong – UBS – Analyst

Good afternoon Mr. Chairman. I guess — we keep talking about technology. I guess the question I want to ask is that with all this rush to continue to push down technology roadmap, to go down to 16, to 14 and to 10 nanometer, what are our thoughts about what’s driving this demand? As we move toward, for example, Internet of Things, is there such a requirement to keep pushing on the technology front to actually have enough, sufficient demand to keep driving it down?

Morris Chang – TSMC – Chairman

Well, if the cost is low enough — cost is very much a part of the equation. If the cost is low enough, the demand will increase because we can see a lot of applications that are just waiting there. Of course I’m talking about the mobile products, but I’m also talking about Internet of Things, so wearables and so on, so on, Internet of Things. The applications are just waiting there for better, for faster speed and lower power and higher density ICs. Cost is definitely in the equation.

So, yes, when you ask will the demand be there. If we can get the cost down to an acceptable level, demand will be there. And of course that’s why — that’s how things like EUV come into the question. Nobody has asked about that yet. We actually were prepared to answer that with the same answer that we gave you last time, by the way, that we are still planning to — there’s still a possibility to use EUV on one, one or two — or just one layer in the 10 nanometer, yes. One layer, one layer in 10 nanometer and 7 I think is, of course, an even better candidate.

Dan Heyler – BofA-Merrill Lynch – Analyst

Hopefully this question simplifies and doesn’t complicate things. Just to make sure I understand this share loss thing, so basically what you’re saying is the share loss at 16, these are customers that are choosing to skip 20? Is that how should I think of this that these are not any — are any of these customers that are currently 20 that are going to 16 next year or is this all people that are choosing to skip 20?

Morris Chang – TSMC – Chairman

Well, first of all, I want to question the word share loss. I don’t consider there is share loss because just like 32/28 we had zero share in 32. But then we were very successful in 28. The two really belong to the same generation. And 20 and 16 also belong to the same generation. So, yes — and share loss means that you start with something and then you lose it, it becomes less. Well, this year nobody has — everybody has zero share, okay. And I am just saying that we will start on 16, we will start with a lower share than we did with 20 or 28. We start with a lower share than we did with 20 or 28. And then we’ll get back to a high share in 2016. I’m just arguing with him, but he did have a question; what was that?

Dan Heyler – BofA-Merrill Lynch – Analyst

Or just simply are your — are these customers moving to 16, are these the ones that have currently been on 20 or are these the guys that have skipped because the debate in the industry is should we go straight to 16 and skip 20. So are these customers that have basically been at 28 and are skipping 20 and going straight to 14 at your competitor?

Morris Chang – TSMC – Chairman

Mainly because our customers wanted it sooner. We got in a little late, as I said; our customers wanted it sooner. So that’s why we’re starting — and we’ll catch up only a little later.

Michael Chou – Deutsche Bank – Analyst

Chairman, regarding the 16/20 nanometer, could we say your total market share in 16 and 20 nanometer will be similar to 28/32 for the corresponding period? Can we say that?


Morris Chang – TSMC – Chairman

The combined 20 — I just ran an analysis just a couple of weeks ago, so I know exactly the answer to your question. The combined 20/16 market share in the first two years of its existence, which is this year and next year — well, I guess I have to add in 2016 — the combined — our combined 20/16 share in 2014, 2015 and 2016 will still be greater than our combined share of 32 and 28 in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Q1 2014:


Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President & Co-CEO

Then I cover the updates on 16 FinFET, 16 FinFET plus and our 10 FinFET. First, we have two general offers for customers, 16 FinFET and 16 FinFET plus. 16 FinFET plus offers 15% speed improvement, the same total power, compared to 16 FinFET. More importantly, 16 FinFET plus offers 30% total power reduction at the same speed, compared to 16 FinFET.

Our 16 FinFET plusmatches the highest performance among all available 16-nanometer and 14-nanometer technologies in the market today. Compared to our own 20 SoC, 16 FinFET plus offers 40% speed improvement. The design rules of 16 FinFET and 16 FinFET plus are the same; IPs are compatible.

We will receive our first customer product tapeout this month. About 15 products planned for 2014, another about 45 in 2015. Volume production is planned in 2015. Since 95% tools of 16 and 20 are common, we will ramp them in the same gigafabs in TSMC. 16 FinFET yield learning curve is very steep today and has already caught up with 20 SoC. This is a unique advantage in TSMC 16-nanometer.

For 10 FinFET, 10 FinFET offer TSMC’s third generation FinFET transistor, designed to meet the power and the performance requirement of mobile computing devices. 10 FinFET will offer greater than 25% speed improvement, the same total power, compared to 16 FinFET plus. More importantly, 10 FinFET offer greater than 45% total power reduction at the same speed, compared to 16 FinFET plus.

10 FinFET will offer 2.2X of density improvement over its previous generation, 16 FinFET plus. So, currently, 10 FinFET development progress is well on track, but risk production will be in 4Q 2015. Above are the key messages on three items.

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President & Co-CEO

…  I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the two topics with you; namely, the 20 SoC ramp and TSMC’s advance assembly solution to our customer. First, I will brief you on the status of 20 SoC ramp.

Let me recap what we had said in the last meeting here. We started 20 SoC production in January this year and by fourth quarter of this year, the 20 SoC will account for 20% of the quarterly revenue — wafer revenue. And for the whole year of 2014 we expect 20 SoC will be about 10% of our total wafer revenue of the year of 2014, of course. All these expectations remain the same today.

Now, there are some major achievement I would like to share with you. First, on the ramping speed. 20 SoC by far is the fastest ramping in TSMC’s history. Of course, this fast ramp is to meet customers’ strong demand. And I believe this production of 20 SoC in TSMC represents one of the largest mobilization in semiconductor history. Let me share with some numbers, so you can have a snapshot on this ramp.

In about one year’s time we have built a manufacturing team of 4,600 engineers and 2,000 operators in two fabs; Fab 14 in Tainan and Fab 12 in Hsinchu. More impressively, in the same time period, close to one thousand engineer has been relocated among TSMC’s fabs in Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan. All these are prepared for the 20 SoC’s ramp-up. This magnitude of mobilization, I believe, is not an easy job. We move people around that show our strength in manufacturing and this highly mobilization is not moving the tool or just a handful around. We’re talking about we’re moving the engineer and operator among TSMC’s fabs. In the meanwhile, we have installed more than 1,500 major tools for this 20 SoC ramp.

Of course, the faster ramp has done with a very good device reliability and a very good wafer defect density. Without those, the fast ramp will make no sense. Now how important are these 20 SoC ramp? Well we knew that 28 nanometer provided the engine of TSMC’s profitable growth in the years of 2012 and 2013 and similarly, we expect 20 SoC will provide the engine of TSMC’s profitable growth in year 2014 and 2015.

Now let me switch gear to advanced assembly technologies. The purpose of — for us to develop advanced assembly technology is to provide our customer a better performance and a lower power consumption, while at a lower cost as compared to the previous assembly solution. For example, we have developed CoWoS and CoWoS has been developed to connect two dies or more dies together to have a very high performance and a very low power consumption and today CoWoS is in a small volume production already. However, the cost structure of CoWoS has made CoWoS only suitable for some very high performance applications and the products. To address the cost structure issue and for those mobile — very large volume mobile devices, we have developed a derivative technology called InFO; that stands for integrated fan-out.

InFO will have significant lower cost as compared to CoWoS and at the same time, InFO also can have the same capability to connect multiple dies together just as the CoWoS did. Currently, we’re working with major customers and the InFO, to incorporate this structure into their future product. We have delivered many functional dies to our customers already and the process optimization are ongoing.

In fact, we are very excited about TSMC’s advanced assembly technology development as we’re building a innovative solution for our customers product, which requires high performance, lower power consumption and at a very reasonable cost structure.

Michael Chou – Deutsche Bank – Analyst

I don’t know, C.C. Wei, could you give us more color on the advanced packaging you just mentioned. What’s the difference between this one and CoWoS?

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President & Co-CEO

The difference between the InFO and the CoWoS is actually the geometry to connect multi-dies together. In the CoWoS, actually we are using very small geometry, actually 65 nanometers of geometry to connect the multi-dies together. In InFO, we’re using the larger geometry, which are still technical confidential information. But the cost is much, much lower.

Brett Samson – Arete Research – Analyst

Just had a quick question. Can you give us a sense within the 28 nanometer nodes, how does that split between poly-SiON and high-K and how do you think this might trend through this year?
Elizabeth Sun – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Director, Corporate Communications
So Brett’s question is what is really the mix between poly-SiON, that is our 28 LP, versus our high-k metal gate and what is going to be the trend with respect to that kind of mix throughout this year?

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President & Co-CEO

Allow me to answer that. Our 28 nanometer high-k metal gate has three options, 28HP, 28HPM and 28HPC. And this year these 28 high-k metal gate technology will be about 85% of the overall 28 nanometer in terms of the wafer.

Dan Heyler – Bank of America Merrill Lynch – Analyst

… I want to follow up on this InFO, this is quite interesting. Could you just maybe elaborate a bit more on what exactly are you going to be attaching, so which devices are we talking about in terms of what – with CoWoS it was pretty much PLD [Programmable Logic Devices, like Altera] companies were there and others, some baseband. So what devices are you attaching on the initial generation between the different chips? And second part of that question would be what kind of — how many customers do you expect to manage to have in this area, because you start peddling lots of devices and lots of customers it gets really complicated, you start to look more like an OSAT [Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test]. So I wonder if this is going to be a pretty small group of high volume products? And finally on — as you attach — are you actually doing a chip attach or will you be doing only the wafer level activity and will you be having — working with the OSATs to do the actual chip attach?

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President & Co-CEO

Dan, to answer your question, the InFO actually we’re right now working on application processor together with memory dies. That’s good enough for you. I cannot say anything more than that. We’re working with mobile product customers and we did not — we expect very high volume, but we did not with many, many customers as current status. We’re working on the wafer level process, stacking die, and couple of them, we’re able to do the complete line all here.

Q4 2013:


Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – Chairman

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Today, our comments are scheduled as on the slide on your left. First, I’m very glad to have the opportunity to introduce our new top management team.

I’d first start with Lora, although I think everyone knows Lora well. Lora has a bachelor’s degree from Chengchi University, a master’s degree from National Taiwan University, both degrees in finance. She worked for Cyanamid, Wyse, Thomas & Betts and TI-Acer before she joined TSMC in 1999. And she has been TSMC’s CFO since 2003.

Next, Dr. C. C. Wei. C. C. has a bachelor’s degree from Chiao Tung University and a Ph. D. from Yale University, both in electrical engineering. C. C. worked for TI, SGS, Chartered before joining TSMC in 1998. C. C. has been Senior VP of Operations, Senior VP of Business Development, Co-COO, and in the Co-COO job CC was successively responsible for R&D and Operations. Now C.C. is President and Co-CEO.

C.C. is 60 years old and I should add that Lora is 57 years old.

Mark Liu; Mark has a B.S. from National Taiwan University and a Ph. D. from Berkeley, both in electrical engineering and computer science. Mark worked for Intel, Bell Telephone Labs before joining TSMC in 1993. And at TSMC he has been VP, Senior VP of Operations and he was also a Co-COO, and all the time he was Co-COO he was responsible for our sales, marketing and planning.

And now Mark and C.C. are Presidents and Co-CEOs of the Company. Mark is 59 years old.

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – President & Co-CEO
[about the technology aspects of TSMC’s growth engine]

Good afternoon everybody. I am C.C. Wei and I will give you the update of our 28-nanometer high-K metal gate version. Let me recap the history. We started 28-nanometers volume production in year 2011 mainly on the 28LP, the oxynitride version. And since then the business continued to grow. So last year, we had tripled 28-nanometers of business versus year 2012. That in this year, year 2014, the business for 28-nanometer will continue to grow at least by another 20%, and all the increase are coming from the 28-nanometers high-K metal gate version, which is we name it 28HPM.

Let me add more color to it. We expect we’re going to have about more than 100 tape-outs from about 60 customers in this year in 28HPM. Now you may ask it why? Why there are so many products that were designed on this technology? One of the main reason I can give it to you is the performance, the superior performance. For example, 28 HPM compare with the 28LP that will gain another 30% of the speed at the same kind of power consumption, or you can say that at the same power consumption — at the same speed, you will consume 15% less power. And everybody knows that the power consumption in the mobile device is very important. That’s why we think we have a very high, good business on the 28 HPM.

Now, furthermore, after the 28HPM, we also offer 28HPC, which is a low-cost version of the 28HPM. The 28HPC is developed to meet the customers’ demand to compete in the mid-to-low-end smartphone market. We expect that this 28HPC will have a very strong demand in the next two years. That’s what we have.

Okay, let me give you some information on the competition to explain why we are so confident on this 28 nanometers high-K metal gate business. If you still remember that long time ago, we mentioned about gate-first and gate-last. Still remember that terminology? All right. So, simply to say that gate-last version will give you better performance and a better process control. As a result, all our customers will enjoy using the gate-last versions that technology to have a higher or better performance than other products which are designed with a different approach.

In addition to that I’ll say that because of the better process control and TSMC’s manufacturing excellence, we have a much better yield than our competitor, so that our customer will enjoy the lower die cost. That’s what we have. And that’s why we explained that our confidence that the 28 nanometers business continue a very good business for us.

Now, let me switch the gear to 20-SoC. That’s another exciting news that we have, I want to share with you. 20-SoC is a technology that we developed to enable TSMC’s customer to lead in the mobile device market. And this technology we are believe in this year, next year, well I have a very good business to capture. So, what is the status now of the 20-SoC? We have two fab, Fab 12 and Fab 14 that complete the qual of 20-SoC. And as a matter of fact, we started production. We are in volume production as we speak right now. So, it’s in the high-volume production as we are speaking right now.

Let me add more information to that. First, there are more than $10 billion had been committed to build capacity. Second, we have more than 2,500 engineers and 1,500 operators right now in manufacturing, doing the 20SoC volume production. The ramping rate will be the fastest one in TSMC’s history. Using the ramping rate, you can get the hint of the business, how big the business is.

Another fact to share with you, we have probably — at the end of this year, we have more than dozens of tape-out from about a dozen customers that they are producing the 20SoC product, okay? You may ask, good business, how about the competition? If you have a very strong competition, you might — cannot have too much of confidence on the future. Let me talk about the competition.

I’m very confident that our 20SoC is the highest gate density in volume production at 20 nanometers node. And please remember that; highest gate density and a high volume production. I don’t see any company today can claim on this kind of production and with this kind of gate density at this time, nobody. And most of our competitors, to be frank with you, they’re not even into this game yet. So we are confident to have a good business that will contribute to TSMC’s revenue — wafer revenue by probably around 10% this year. And with that I conclude my presentation and thank you for your attendance.

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – President & Co-CEO
[about TSMC’s competitiveness versus Intel and Samsung]

I will start this topic by update you our recent development status of our 16-FinFET technology. 16-FinFET technology has been a very fast paced development work in TSMC and we have achieved the risk production milestone of 16-FinFET in November 2013, November last year. And this month, we should pass the 1,000 hours so-called the technology qualification. So the technology is ready for customer product tape-out.

Our 16-FinFET yield improvement has been ahead of our plan. This is because we have been leveraging the yield learning of 20SoC. Currently 16-FinFET SRAM yield is already close to 20SoC. And with this status we are developing an enhanced transistor version of 16-FinFET plus, with 15% performance improvement. It will be the highest performance technology among all available 16 and 14 nanometer technology in 2014. The above progress status is well ahead of Samsung.

Let me comment on the Intel’s recent graph shown in their investor meetings, showing on the screen. We usually do not comment on other company’s’ technology, but this is — because this has been talking about TSMC technology and as Chairman said, has been misleading. To me it’s erroneous, based on outdated data. So I like to make the following rebuttal.

futureICT - 2013--Intel Is Committed to Press Ahead on Density - Enables a 'Transistor Like' Lead in Density

2013: Intel Is Committed to Press Ahead on Density – Enables a “Transistor Like” Lead in Density

futureICT - Jan-2014--Density Comparison by TSMC vs Intel 2013 statement

January 14, 2014: Density Comparison by TSMC vs. Intel’s 2013 statement at its Investor Meeting

On this view graph, the vertical axis is the chip area on a log scale. Basically this is compared at chip area reduction. On the horizontal axis, it shows four different technologies; 32/28, 22/20, 14/16-FinFET and 10-nanometer. 32 is Intel technology and 28 is TSMC technology. So is the following three nodes; the smaller number 20, but on 14-FinFET is Intel, 16-FinFET is the TSMC. On the view graph shown at Intel investor meeting, it is with the grey plots showing here. The grey plots shows the 32 and 20 nanometer, TSMC is ahead of the area scaling, but however, with 16, the data, grey data shows a little bit uptick. And following the same slope, go down to the 10 nanometer. What’s the correct data we show on the red line, that’s our current TSMC data. The 16, we have been volume production on 20 nanometer, as C.C. just mentioned, this is the highest density technology in production today.

We took the approach of significantly using the FinFET transistor to improve the transistor performance on top of the similar back-end technology of our 20 nanometer. Therefore, we leveraged the volume experience into volume production this year, to be able to immediately go down to 16 volume production next year, within one year. And this transistor performance and innovative layout methodology can improve the chip size by about 15%. This is because the driving of the transistor is much stronger, so that you don’t need such a big area to deliver the same driving circuitries.

And for the 10 nanometer, we haven’t announced it, but we did communicate with many of our customers that that will be the aggressive scaling of technology we’re doing. And so, in the summary, our 10 FinFET technology will be qualified by the end of 2015. 10 FinFET transistor will be our third generation FinFET transistor. This technology will come with industry’s leading performance and density. So, I want to leave this slide by 16 FinFET scaling is much better than Intel said, but still a little bit behind Intel.

However, the real competition is between our customer’s product and Intel’s product or Samsung’s product. TSMC’s Grand Alliance; that is the alliance of us, our customers, EDA, IP, communities and our supplier is the largest and the only open technology platform for the widest range of product innovations in the industry today. As for the tape-out of our 16 FinFET, more than 20 customer product tape-outs on 16 FinFET technology is scheduled this year already. They include wide range of applications; baseband, application processors, application processor SoCs, graphics, networking, hard disk drive, field programmable array, CPUs and servers. Our 16 FinFET technology captured the vast portion of products in the semiconductor industry.

We’ve been actively working with our customer’s designer on this since last year. TSMC’s speed and productization of the customer’s product and our ability to execute for a short time-to-market for a customer are far superior than Intel and Samsung.

Lastly, I would comment on the mobile products. With this 16 FinFET technology and the innovations of processor architecture and various IP from our customers, we are confident that this planned, 16 FinFET mobile product, which is going to tape out to us, will be better than Samsung’s 14 nanometer and better than Intel’s 14 SoC. Thank you very much.

Roland Shu – Citigroup Global Markets – Analyst

… Is the 16-plus is improving from the design you were saying or this is just for the performance enhancement or are we going to consider to change our 16-plus to — even to the — same as the 14-nanometer? …

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – President & Co-CEO

16 FinFET-plus is a transistor enhancement. For the design — back-end design rule are similar to 16 FinFET, therefore designer can design on 16 FinFET and re-characterize, upgrade their product performance. This transistor, as I mentioned, also can reduce the cell size, standard cell size, and with the enhanced performance transistor. That’s the way to reduce the chip size. So we do not intend to change the naming. I mean this is engineering, this is the word — this is the name that we chose earlier based on the physical consistent number and we do not intend to change name.

Randy Abrams – Credit Suisse – Analyst

My first question on the management structure now with the Co-COOs promoted to Co-CEOs. If you could talk about how the responsibilities would change with their promotion to Co-CEO? And for yourself, Dr. Chairman, how will your activities change versus before this move? So if you could talk about the roles for each of the different Co-CEOs and yourself now.

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – Chairman

We started with President and the Co-CEO in November, and it has been now two months. And if you ask me now, has my life changed in the last two months? My answer is no. It has not changed. But I think that my effort, my time has been spent more on the coaching aspects. I think that — I do believe that I do more coaching. If I spend 100 hours and — I now perhaps spend 20 hours of the 100 hours on coaching, whereas in the past, I’d probably spend only 5 or 10 hours of the 100 hours on coaching.

Now, actually, this is an overseas call, is this correct? Yes. So let me just explain very briefly what the Taiwan law and customs are in relation to a Chairman’s authority and responsibility. Basically, by both law and custom, the Chairman of a company has the ultimate authority and responsibility, basically. However, he may delegate his authority and responsibility to the President. He may also take it back anytime. He can delegate any and all, any or all of the responsibilities to the President. And now these two gentlemen, their titles is President and co-CEO. President comes first. They are, in a very legal sense, Presidents. Now the co-CEO is basically a Western term. And then in the United States, a CEO usually bears the final ultimate responsibility and authority as a Chairman in Taiwan does. In the US, it’s the CEO. Now — so my role in the future is really to convert these two gentlemen from the Taiwan sense President to the US sense CEO, and it will be a gradual process.

Donald Lu – Goldman Sachs – Analyst So Chairman, (spoken in foreign language).

First question is, I want to ask the Chairman, how would you — are you satisfied with the transition so far and also, how the two Presidents would share their work? Are they still rotating or not? And (multiple speakers) but probably not now. And maybe give us some details about how the Company is run. And I have a follow-up question on competition.

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – Chairman

All right. I am quite satisfied with the transition. And these two gentlemen; Mark is now responsible for sales, marketing, strategic planning, business development, and yes, information technology and materials management, all those. And C.C. is responsible for operations, all the operations, and he is also responsible for specialty technology R&D. Specialty technology incidentally accounts for 25% of our total business. So now, Donald, your other question is whether they’re going to rotate. My plan currently is, I don’t plan it that way, I don’t plan it that way right now. However, I deem it’s a pretty flexible thing. Tomorrow, I may take one part of Mark’s and give it to C.C. or vice versa. But I’m not considering rotation, per se. Yes, does that answer your first question?

Donald Lu – Goldman Sachs – Analyst

… Okay, since we are already doing it, why don’t you give us more color? 16-nanometer, for example, are we saying that in terms of die size, performance, our product will be very similar to Intel’s 40-nanometer FinFET? And also, Mark commented that for the FinFET tape-outs, specifically there’s a CPU and server chips, and can we say that TSMC’s CPU and server chips will have the similar physical performance as Intel’s products today?

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – Chairman

Well, I think, Donald, we have already given everybody enough information on our 16-FinFET. I think that if we keep giving more, we would be helping our competitors who have picked on us. And so, now, we do stand on what we said. We are going to — our Grand Alliance will out-compete Intel and Samsung. Our Grand Alliance on the 16-FinFET will out-compete. By that I don’t mean that we’ll completely exclude them, no, no, no. We can’t do it. We won’t be able to do that. But our Grand Alliance, with us as foundry supplier, will capture a large share of the 16-nanometer. You agree with that don’t you?

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – President & Co-CEO

The fabless companies in China are very aggressive approaching leading-edge technologies. To tell you, our 16-FinFET this year, already some of the fabless companies will be using it in tape-outs. So, I think all those fabless companies’ subsidy will propel them into the leading-edge technology more.

July 20, 2013: TSMC takes on rivals with Grand Alliance strategy, says Chang [Global Data Point] by TMC News

(Global Data Point Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) chairman and CEO Morris Chang, at a July 18 investors conference, talked about the importance of the foundry’s close ties with customers and ecosystem partners, and described how TSMC has formed a “Grand Alliance” with EDA, IP, software IP, systems software and design services providers.

TSMC has been competitive against fellow pure-play foundries, said Chang. In the face of rising competition from IDMs, TSMC with its ability to deliver cutting-edge technologies and advanced manufacturing capacity is also able to outshine the rivals, Chang indicated.

With the industry moving towards sub-20nm technologies, Chang believes that TSMC will become more capable of fending off rivals like Samsung Electronics and Intel. “Now in this new era of competition, the competition is not between foundries. It is not between foundries and IDMs. It is between ‘Grand Alliances’ and IDMs,” Chang pointed out.

Chang named ARM, Imagination, Cadence and Mentor as some of TSMC’s IP and EDA partners.

TSMC’s so-called “Grand Alliance” seems like an expansion of its Open Innovation Platform (OIP), which was announced in 2008. TSMC’s OIP is a business strategy aiming to provide integrated services from design to manufacturing to testing and packaging. According to TSMC, the platform is to bring together the thinking of customers and partners under the common goal of shortening design time, minimizing time-to-volume and speeding time-to-market.

In addition, Chang noted that TSMC’s 28nm process technology is on track to triple in wafer sales in 2013. TSMC made 29% of its NT$155.89 billion (US$5.18 billion) revenues from selling 28nm chips in the second quarter of 2013.

Chang also reiterated TSMC’s plans that 20nm technology will begin volume production in early 2014, followed by volume production of 16nm FinFETs within one year.

MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy for devices, wearables and IoT

After what happened last year with MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC [this same blog, ]. The last 10 years’ strategy was incredible!

MediaTek - The Next 10 years Enablement NOWEnablement is the crucial differentiator for MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy, as much as it was for the one in the last 10 years. Therefore it will be presented in details below as follows:

I. Existing Strategic Initiatives

I/1. MediaTek CorePilot™ to get foothold in the tablet market and to conquer the high-end smartphone market (MediaTek Super Mid Logo and MediaTek Helio Logo are detailed here)
I/2. MediaTek’s exclusive display technology quality enhancements
I/3. CorePilot™ 2.0 especially targeted for the extreme performance tablet and smartphone markets

II. Brand New Strategic Initiatives

II/1. CrossMount: “Whatever DLNA can plus a lot more”
II/2. LinkIt™ One Development Platform for wearables and IoT
II/3. LinkIt™ Connect 7681 development platform for WiFi enabled IoT

MWC 2015: MediaTek LinkIt Dev Platforms for Wearables & IoT – Weather Station & Smart Light Demos

MediaTek Labs technical expert Philip Handschin introduces us to two demonstrations based on LinkIt™ development platforms:
-Weather Station uses a LinkIt ONE development board to gather temperature, humidity and pressure data from several sensors. The data is then uploaded to the MediaTek Cloud Sandbox where it’s displayed in graphical form.
-Smart Light uses a LinkIt Connect 7681 development board. It receives instructions over a Wi-Fi connection, from a smartphone app, to control the color of an LED light bulb.

II/4. MediaTek Labs Logo: The best free resources for Wearables and IoT
II/5. MediaTek Ventures Logo: to enable a new generation of world-class companies

III. Stealth Strategic Initiatives (MWC 2015 timeframe)

III/1. SoCs for Android Wear and Android based wearables

Before these details let’s however understand the strategic reasoning for all that!
March 5, 2015: MediaTek CMO Johan Lodenius* at MWC 2015

MediaTek appoints Johan Lodenius as its new Chief Marketing Officer [press release, Dec 20, 2012]

MediaTek's Brand New World - The Big Picture -- MWC2015

MediaTek's Brand New World - Device Evolution -- MWC2015

MediaTek's Brand New World - Business Evolution -- MWC2015MediaTek's Brand New World -- MWC2015

MediaTek - Enabling a Brand New World

Next here is also a historical perspective (as per my blog) on MediaTek progress so far:
– First I would recommend to read the “White-box (Shanzhai) vendors” and “MediaTek as the catalyst of the white-board ecosystem” parts in the Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now for Nokia, soon for Microsoft, Intel, RIM and even Apple! Feb 21, 2011 post of mine in order to understand the recipe for its last 10 years success ⇒ Johan Lodenius NOW:
MediaTek was the pioneer of manufacturable reference design
– Then it is worth to take a look at the following posts directly related to MediaTek if you want to understand the further evolution of the company’s formula of success :

MediaTek on Experiencing the Cloud

#2 Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement — UPDATED with MT6588/83 coming in Q4 2012 and 8-core MT6599 in 2013 (The MT6588 was later renamed MT6589). On the chart below of the “Global market share held by leading smartphone vendors Q4’09-Q4’14” by Statista it is quite well visible the effect of MT6575 (see from Q3’12 on) as this enabled a huge number of 3d Tier or no-name companies, predominantly from China to enter the smartphone market quickly and extremely competitively (and Nokia’s new strategy to fail as well)
Global market share held by leading smartphone vendors 4Q09-4Q14 by Statista#6 MT6577-based JiaYu G3 with IPS Gorilla glass 2 sreen of 4.5” etc. for $154 (factory direct) in China and $183 internationally (via LightTake)
#13 MediaTek’s ‘smart-feature phone’ effort with likely Nokia tie-up
#16 UPDATE Aug’13: Xiaomi $130 Hongmi superphone END MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery
#24 Eight-core MT6592 for superphones and big.LITTLE MT8135 for tablets implemented in 28nm HKMG are coming from MediaTek to further disrupt the operations of Qualcomm and Samsung
#42 MediaTek MT6592-based True Octa-core superphones are on the market to beat Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-based ones UPDATE: from $147+ in Q1 and $132+ in Q2
#67 MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC
#93 Phablet competition in India: $258 Micromax-MediaTek-2013 against $360 Samsung-Broadcom-2012
#128 MediaTek’s 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 octa-core SoC MT8752 is launched with 4G/LTE tablets in China
#205 Now in China and coming to India: 4G LTE True Octa-core™premium superphones based on 32-bit MediaTek MT6595 SoC with upto 20% more performance, and upto 20% less power consumption via its CorePilot™ technology
#237 Micromax is in a strategic alliance with operator Aircel and SoC vendor MediaTek for delivery of bundled complete solution offers almost equivalent to cost of the device and providing innovative user experience
#281 ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips

As an alternative I can recommend here the February 2, 2015 presentation by Grant Kuo, Managing Director, MediaTek India on the IESA Vision Summit 2015 event in India:

– MediaTek Journey Since 1997
→ Accent on the turnkey handset solution: 200 eng. ⇒ 30-40 eng., time-to-market down to 4 months
→ Resulting in MediaTek share with local brands in India of 70% by 2014
 The Next Big Business after Mobile
 Partnering for New Business Opportunity
 Innovations & Democratization
→ Everyday Genius and Super-Mid Market

I. Existing Strategic Initiatives

I/1. MediaTek CorePilot™ to get foothold in the tablet market and to conquer the high-end smartphone market
(MediaTek Super Mid Logo and MediaTek Helio Logo are detailed here)

July 15, 2013:
Technology Spotlight: Making the big.LITTLE difference

MediaTek 2014 Market PerformanceNo matter where the mobile world takes us, MediaTek is always at the forefront, ensuring that the latest technologies from our partners are optimized for every mobile eventuality.

To maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture, MediaTek has delivered the world’s first mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC) – the MT8135 – with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP), featuring MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology.

ARM big.LITTLE™ is the pairing of two high performance CPUs, with two power efficient CPUs, on a single SoC. MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology uses HMP to dynamically assign software tasks to the most appropriate CPU or combination of CPUs according to the task workload, therefore maximizing the device’s performance and power efficiency.

In our recently produced whitepaper, we discussed the advantages of HMP over alternative forms of big.LITTLE™ architecture, and noted that while – HMP overcomes the limitations of other big.LITTLE™ architectures, MediaTek’s CorePilot™ maximizes the performance and power-saving potential of HMP with interactive power management, adaptive thermal management and advanced scheduler algorithms.

To learn more, please download MediaTek’s CorePilot™ whitepaper.

Leader in HMP

As a founding member of the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation, MediaTek actively shapes the future of heterogeneous computing.

HSA Foundation is a not-for-profit consortium of SoC and software vendors, OEMs and academia.

July 15, 2013:
MediaTek CorePilot™ Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology [whitepaper]

Delivering extreme compute performance with maximum power efficiency

In July 2013, MediaTek delivered the industry’s first mobile system on a chip with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing. The MT8135 chipset for Android tablets features CorePilot technology that maximizes performance and power saving with interactive power management, adaptive thermal management and advanced scheduler algorithms.

Table of Contents

  • ARM big.LITTLE Architecture
  • big.LITTLE Implementation Models
  • Cluster Migration
  • CPU Migration
  • Heterogeneous Multi-Processing
  • MediaTek CorePilot Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology
  • Interactive Power Management
  • Adaptive Thermal Management
  • Scheduler Algorithms
  • The MediaTek HMP Scheduler
  • The RT Scheduler
  • Task Scheduling & Performance
  • CPU-Intensive Benchmarks
  • Web Browsing
  • Task Scheduling & Power Efficiency
  • SUMMARY

Oct 29, 2013:
CorePilot Task Scheduling & Performance

Mobile SoCs have a limited power consumption budget.

  • With ARM big.LITTLE, SoC platforms are capable of asymmetric computing where by tasks can be allocated to CPU cores in line with their processing needs.
  • From the three available software models for configuring big.LITTLE SoC platforms, Heterogeneous Multi-Processing offers the best performance.
  • MediaTek CorePilot technology is designed to deliver the maximum compute performance from big.LITTLE mobile SoC platforms with low power consumption.
  • The MediaTek CorePilot MT8135 chipset for Android is the industry’s first Heterogeneous Multi-Processing implementation.
  • MediaTek leads in the heterogeneous computing space and will release further CorePilot innovations in 2014.
(*) The #1 market position in Digital TVs is the result of the acquisition of the MStar Semiconductor in 2012.

Feb 9, 2015 by Bidness Etc:
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) To Lose Market Share: UBS

UBS expects Mediatek to gain at Qualcomm’s expense this year

Eric Chen, Sunny Lin, and Samson Hung, analysts at UBS, suggest that Mediatek will control 46% of the 4G smartphone market in China in 2015. Last year the company had a 30% market share. Low-end customers, as well as high-end clients that are switching to Mediatek MT6795 from Snapdragon 800 will help Mediatek advance.

“We believe clients for MT6795 include Sony, LGE, HTC, Xiaomi, Oppo, Meizu, TCL, and Lenovo, among others. With its design win of over 10 models, we anticipate Mediatek will ship 2m units per month in Q215 and 4m units per month in H215. That indicates revenue will reach 14% in Q215 and 21% in H215, up from 3% in Q115,” reads the report.UBS also said that Mediatek will witness a 20% increase in its revenue and report 48% in gross margin in 2015. Earnings are forecasted to grow 21%.

“We forecast MT6752/MT6732 shipments (mainly at MT6752 of US$18-20) to reach 3m units per month in Q215, up from 1.5m units per month in Q115,” read the report*.

My insert here the Sony Xperia E4g [based on MT6732] – Well-priced LTE-Smartphone Hands On at MWC 2015 by Mobilegeeks.de
* From another excerpt of the UBS report: “In the mid-end, UBS believes China’s largest smartphone manufacturers from LenovoGroup (992.HK) to Huawei will switch from Qualcomm’s MSM 8939 [Snapdragon 615] to Mediatek’s MT 6752 because of Qualcomm’s “inferior design.” ” 

Further below in the section I/2. there will be an image enhancement demonstration with an MT6752-based Lenovo A936 smartphone, actually a typical “lower end super-mid” device sold in China since December just for ¥998 ($160) — for 33% lower price than the mid-point for the super-mid market indicated a year ago by MediaTek (see the very first image in this post).

July 15, 2014 by Mobilegeeks.de:
MediaTek 64-bit LTE Octa-Core Smartphone Reference Design “In Shezhen MediaTek showed off their new Smartphone Reference Design for their LTE Octa-Core line up. The MT6595 and MT6795 are both high end processors capable of taking on Qualcomm in terms of benchmarks at a budget price.

July 15, 2014 by Mobilegeeks.de:
MediaTek: How They Came To Take on Qualcomm?

Brief content: When I found out about the MediaTek press conference, I immediately picked up a ticket and planned to spend a few days in one of my favorite cities on earth, Shenzhen. MediaTek is one of the fastet growing companies in mobile. But where exactly did this Taiwanese company come from?
Back in 1997 MediaTek was spun off from United Micro Electronics Corporation which was Taiwan’s first semi conductor company back in 1980 and started out making chipsets for home entertainment centers and optical drives. In 2004 they entered the mobile phone market with a different approach, instead of just selling SoCs they sold complete packages, a chip with an operating system all ready baked on, they were selling reference designs.
This cut entire heavily manned teams out of the process and more importantly reduced barriers for entry, small companies sold phones under their own brand. This is why most people have never heard of MediaTek, they merely enabled the success of others. Particularly in emerging markets like China.
With Feature phones peaking in 2012 and Smartphones finally taking over the top spot in 2013, they had to move on, it took them longer then they should have, regardless, they are here now. MediaTek is applying the same strategy for dominating the Feature Phone market to low and mid range Smartphones. They are already in bed with all the significant emerging market players like ZTE, Huawei & Alcatel. And getting manufacturers on your side works for gaining market share when carriers don’t have much control. Unsubsidized handsets make people purchase more affordable devices.
Despite its enormous success in the category where the next Billion handsets are going to be sold, they have yet to make a name for themselves in the West. Fair enough, being known for cheap handsets will create challengers to entering the high end market. But that hasn’t stopped them from coming out with the world first 4G LTE Octa core processor. And they even set up shop in Qualcomm’s backyard by opening an office in San Deigo. Which is a pretty big statement, especially when you take into consideration that MediaTek is bigger than Broadcom & Nvidia.
But as they push into the US, Qualcomm seeks to gain a foothold in China. So let’s take a closer look at that because this race has less to do with SoC’s than it does with LTE. MediaTek’s Octa-core processor with LTE put Qualcomm on alert because they always had to lead when it came to LTE. I found some stats on Android Authority from Strategy Analytics in Q3 2013 66% of their cellular revenue came from LTE, which MediaTek claimed second place at 12%, and Intel in third with 7%. Qualcomm even has a realtionship with China Mobile to get their LTE devices into the hands of its local market.

Even still, it is a numbers game and if MediaTek’s SoC performance is at the same level as Qualcomm’s mid range SoC offering but at a lower price, it won’t take MediaTek to catch up. But even on a more base level, let me tell you about a meeting that I had in Shenzhen with Gionee I asked about developing on Qualcomm vs MediaTek. They said, MediaTek will get back to you within the hour, Qualcomm will get back to you the next day, and when I mentioned Intel they just laughed.

Consumers might find it frustrating that MediaTek takes a little longer to come out with the latest version of Android, but the reason is that they are doing all the work for their partners. When you’re competing with a company that understand customer service better than anyone else right now, it’s going to be hard not to see them as a real threat.

MediaTek Introduces Industry Leading Tablet SoC, MT8135

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – July 29, 2013 – MediaTek Inc., (2454: TT), a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its breakthrough MT8135 system-on-chip (SoC) for high-end tablets. The quad-core solution incorporates two high-performance ARM Cortex™-A15 and two ultra-efficient ARM Cortex™-A7 processors, and the latest GPU from Imagination Technologies, the PowerVR™ Series6. Complemented by a highly optimized ARM® big.LITTLE™ processing subsystem that allows for heterogeneous multi-processing, the resulting solution is primed to deliver premium user experiences. This includes the ability to seamlessly engage in a range of processor-intensive applications, including heavy web-downloading, hardcore gaming, high-quality video viewing and rigorous multitasking – all while maintaining the utmost power efficiency.

In line with its reputation for creating innovative, market-leading platform solutions, MediaTek has deployed an advanced scheduler algorithm, combined with adaptive thermal and interactive power management to maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture. This technology enables application software to access all of the processors in the big.LITTLE cluster simultaneously for a true heterogeneous experience. As the first company to enable heterogeneous multi-processing on a mobile SoC, MediaTek has uniquely positioned the MT8135 to support the next generation of tablet and mobile device designs.

“ARM big.LITTLE™ technology reduces processor energy consumption by up to 70 percent on common workloads, which is critical in the drive towards all-day battery life for mobile platforms,” said Noel Hurley, vice president, Strategy and Marketing, Processor Division, ARM. “We are pleased to see MediaTek’s MT8135 seizing on the opportunity offered by the big.LITTLE architecture to enable new services on a heterogeneous processing platform.”

“The move towards multi-tasking devices requires increased performance while creating greater power efficiency that can only be achieved through an optimized multi-core system approach. This means that multi-core processing capability is fast becoming a vital feature of mobile SoC solutions. The MT8135 is the first implementation of ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture to offer simultaneous heterogeneous multi-processing.  As such, MediaTek is taking the lead to improve battery life in next-generation tablet and mobile device designs by providing more flexibility to match tasks with the right-size core for better computational, graphical and multimedia performance,” said Mike Demler, Senior Analyst with The Linley Group.

The MT8135 features a MediaTek-developed four-in-one connectivity combination that includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM, designed to bring highly integrated wireless technologies and expanded functionality to market-leading multimedia tablets. The MT8135 also supports Wi-Fi certified Miracast™ which makes multimedia content sharing between devices remarkably easier.

In addition, the tablet SoC boasts unprecedented graphics performance enabled by its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU from Imagination Technologies. “We are proud to have partnered with MediaTek on their latest generation of tablet SoCs” says Tony King-Smith, EVP of marketing, Imagination. “PowerVR™ Series6 GPUs build on Imagination’s success in mobile and embedded markets to deliver the industry’s highest performance and efficient solutions for graphics-and-compute GPUs. MediaTek is a key lead partner for Imagination and its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU cores, so we expect the MT8135 to set an important benchmark for high-end gaming, smooth UIs and advanced browser-based graphics-rich applications in smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Thanks to our PowerVR™ Series6 GPU, we believe the MT8135 will deliver five-times or more the GPU-compute-performance of the previous generation of tablet processors.”

“At MediaTek, our goal is to enable each user to take maximum advantage of his or her mobile device.  The implementation and availability of the MT8135 brings an enjoyable multitasking experience to life without requiring users to sacrifice on quality or energy. As the leader in multi-core processing solutions, we are constantly optimizing these capabilities to bring them into the mainstream, so as to make them accessible to every user around the world,” said Joe Chen, GM of the Home Entertainment Business Unit at MediaTek.

The MT8135 is the latest SoC in MediaTek’s highly successful line of quad-core processors, which since its launch last December* has given rise to more than 350 projects and over 150 mobile device models across the world. This latest solution, along with its comprehensive accompanying Reference Design, will like their predecessors fast become industry standards, particularly in the high-end tablet space.

* MediaTek Strengthens Global Position with World’s First Quad-Core Cortex-A7 System on a Chip – MT6589 [press release, Dec 12, 2012]

See also: Imagination Welcomes MediaTek’s Innovation in True Heterogeneous Multi-Processing With New SoC Featuring PowerVR Series6 GPU [press release, Aug 28, 2013]

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Announces MT6595, World’s First 4G LTE Octa-Core Smartphone SOC with ARM Cortex-A17 and Ultra HD H.265 Codec Support

MediaTek CorePilot™ Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology enables outstanding performance with leading energy efficiency

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 11 February, 2014 – MediaTek today announces the MT6595, a premium mobile solution with the world’s first 4G LTE octa-core smartphone SOC powered by the latest Cortex-A17™ CPUs from ARM®.

The MT6595 employs ARM’s big.LITTLE™ architecture with MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology to deliver a Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) platform that unlocks the full power of all eight cores. An advanced scheduler algorithm with adaptive thermal and interactive power management delivers superior multi-tasking performance and excellent sustained performance-per-watt for a premium mobile experience.

Excellent Performance-Per-Watt
  • Four ARM Cortex-A17™, each with significant performance improvement over previous-generation processors, plus four Cortex-A7™ CPUs
  • ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture with full-system coherency performs sophisticated tasks efficiently
  • Integrated Imagination Technologies PowerVR™ Series6 GPU for high-performance graphics
  • Integrated 4G LTE Multi-Mode Modem
  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE with data rates up to 150Mbits/s downlink and 50Mbits/s uplink
  • DC-HSPA+ (42Mbits/s), TD-SCDMA and EDGE for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • 30+ 3GPP RF bands support to meet operator needs worldwide

World-Class Multimedia Subsystems

  • World’s first mobile SOC with integrated, low-power hardware support for the new H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, in addition to Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9
  • Supports 24-bit 192 kHz Hi-Fi quality audio codec with high performance digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) to head phone >110dB SNR
  • 20MP camera capability and a high-definition WQXGA (2560 x 1600) display controller
  • MediaTek ClearMotion™ technology eliminates motion jitter and ensures smooth video playback at 60fps on mobile devices
  • MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

First MediaTek Mobile Platform Supporting 802.11ac

  • Comprehensive complementary connectivity solution that supports 802.11ac
  • Multi-GNSS positioning systems including GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS
  • Bluetooth LE and ANT+ for ultra-low power connectivity with fitness tracking devices

World’s First Multimode Wireless Charging Receiver IC

  • Multi-standard inductive and resonant wireless charging functionality available
  • Supported by MediaTek’s companion multimode wireless power receiver IC

“MediaTek is focused on delivering a full-range of 4G LTE platforms and the MT6595 will enable our customers to deliver premium products with advanced features to a growing market,” said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

“Congratulations to MediaTek on being in a leading position to implement the new ARM Cortex-A17 processor in mobile device”, said Noel Hurley, Vice President and Deputy General Manager, ARM Product Division. “MediaTek has a keen understanding of the smartphone market and continues to identify innovative ways to bring a premium mobile experience to the masses.”

The MT6595 platform will be commercially available by the first half of 2014, with devices expected in the second half of the year.

Sept 21, 2014:
MediaTek CorePilot™ Technology

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Launches 64-bit True Octa-core™ LTE Smartphone SoC with World’s First 2K Display Support

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – July 15, 2014 – MediaTek today announced MT6795, the 64-bit True Octa-core™ LTE smartphone System on Chip (SoC) with the world’s first 2K display support. This is MediaTek’s flagship smartphone SoC designed to empower high-end device makers to leap into the Android™ 64-bit era.

The MT6795 is currently set to be the first 64-bit, LTE, True Octa-core SoC targeting the premium segment, with speed of up to 2.2GHz, to hit the market. The SoC features MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology providing world-class multi-processor performance and thermal control, as well as dual-channel LPDDR3 clocked at 933MHz for top-end memory bandwidth in a smartphone.

The high-performance SoC also satisfies the multimedia requirements of even the most demanding users, featuring multimedia subsystems that support many technologies never before possible or seen in a smartphone, including support for 120Hz displays and the capability to create and playback 480 frames per second (fps) 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion videos.

With the launch of MT6795, MediaTek is accelerating the global transition to LTE and creating opportunities for device makers to gain first-mover advantage with top-of-the-line devices in the 64-bit Android device market. Coupled with 4G LTE support, MT6795 completes MediaTek’s 64-bit LTE SoC product portfolio: MT6795 for power users, MT6752 for mainstream users and MT6732 for entry level users. This extensive portfolio allows everyone to embrace the improved speed from 4G LTE and parallel computing capability from CorePilot and 64-bit processors.

Key features of MT6795:

  • 64-bit True Octa-core LTE SoC* with clock speed up to 2.2GHz
  • MediaTek CorePilot unlocks the full power of all eight cores
  • Dual-channel LPDDR3 memory clocked at 933MHz
  • 2K on device display (2560×1600)
  • 120Hz mobile display with Response Time Enhancement Technology and MediaTek ClearMotion™
  • 480fps 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion video feature
  • Integrated, low-power hardware support for H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9, as well as for graphics-intensive games and apps
  • Support for Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150Mbps/50Mbps), as well as modems for 2G/3G networks
  • Support for Wi-Fi 802.11ac/Bluetooth®/FM/GPS/Glonass/Beidou/ANT+
  • Multi-mode wireless charging supported by MediaTek’s companion multi-mode wireless power receiver IC

“MediaTek has once again demonstrated leading engineering capabilities by delivering breakthrough technology and time-to-market advantage that enable limitless opportunities for our partners and end users, while setting the bar even higher for our competition,” said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.  “With a complete and inclusive 64-bit LTE SoC product portfolio, we are firmly on track to lead the industry in delivering premium mobile user experiences for years to come.”

MT6795-powered devices will be commercially available by the end of 2014.

*  Instead of a heterogeneous multi-processing architecture, the MT6795 features eight identical Cortex-A53 cores. 4xA53 + 4xA57 big.LITTLE was unofficially before.
See also: The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on [this same blog, Dec 23, 2013]

MediaTek Launches MT6735Mainstream WorldModeSmartphone Platform

By adding CDMA2000, MediaTek accomplishes WorldMode modem capability in a single platform and meets wireless operator requirements globally; putting advanced yet affordable smartphones into the hands of consumers

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 15 October, 2014 – MediaTek today announced a new 64-bit mobile system on chip (SoC), MT6735, incorporating the modem and RF needs of wireless operators globally.  By offering a unified mobile platform, MediaTek is enabling its customers to develop on the MT6735 and sell mobile devices globally, thereby creating significant R&D cost savings and economies of scale in manufacturing.  The MT6735 builds upon MediaTek’s existing line-up of mainstream LTE platforms by adding the critical WorldMode modem capability.

The MT6735 incorporates four 64-bit ARM® Cortex®-A53 processors, delivering significantly higher performance than Cortex-A7 for a premium mobile computing experience, driving greater choice of smart devices at affordable prices for consumers. As projected, MediaTek sees a continued consolidation of smartphones into a very large mid-range, termed by MediaTek as the “Super-mid market”.

“The MT6735 is a breakthrough product from MediaTek,” said Jeffrey Ju, SVP and General Manager of Wireless Communication at MediaTek. “With CDMA2000, we offer global reach, driving high performance technology into the hands of users everywhere. We also strongly believe that as LTE becomes mainstream in all markets, the processing power must be consistently high to ensure the best possible user experience. That’s why 64-bit CPUs and CorePilotTM technology are standard features across all of our LTE solutions.”

“MediaTek wants to make the world a more inclusive place, where the best, fully-connected user experiences do not mean expensive,” said Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer for MediaTek. “We are committed to creating powerful devices that accelerate the transformation of the global market and strive to put high-quality technology in the hands of everyone.”

The MT6735 platform includes:

Next-Generation 64-bit Mobile Computing System

  • Quad-core, up to 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors with MediaTek’s leading CorePilot multi-processor control system, providing a performance boost for mainstream mobile devices
  • Mali-T720 GPU with support for the Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 APIs and premium graphics for gaming and UI effects

Advanced Multimedia Features

  • Supports low-power, 1080p, 30fps video playback on the emerging video codec standard H.265 and legacy H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording
  • Integrated 13MP camera image signal processor with support for unique features like PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
  • Display support up to HD 1280×720 resolution with MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

Integrated 4G LTE WorldModeModem & RF

  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink)
  • 3GPP Rel. 8, DC-HSPA+ (42 Mb/s downlink, 11 Mb/s uplink), TD-SCDMA and EDGE are supported for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rev. A
  • Comprehensive RF support (B1 to B41) and the ability to mix multiple low-, mid-, and high bands for a global roaming solution

Integrated Connectivity Solutions

  • Supports dual-band Wi-Fi to effortlessly connect to a wide array of wireless routers and enable new applications like video sharing over Miracast
  • Bluetooth 4.0, supporting low-power connection to fitness gadgets, wearables and other accessories, such as Bluetooth headsets

MT6735 is sampling to early customers in Q4, 2014, with the first commercial devices to be available in Q2, 2015.

March 4, 2015:
LTE WorldMode with MediaTek MT6735 and MT6753, now ready for the USA market and worldwide!

ARMdevices.net (Charbax): MediaTek now supports worldwide LTE with the 64bit MT6735 quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 and the 64bit MT6753 octa-core ARM Cortex-A53. This is LTE Cat4, they claim to be 10-15% faster in single SIM mode and 20-30% faster with dual-sim support compared to perhaps a Qualcomm LTE Worldmode. They also claim to use less power than competitor for standby, 3G and LTE mode. Many LTE Telcos around the world have already certified support for these new MediaTek LTE parts, with support on Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Three, Deutsche Telekom, China Unicom, China Mobile, Telefonica, Verizon and AT&T. This LTE Worldmode processor is a big deal for MediaTek as it opens up the USA market for them, where MediaTek previously didn’t have much support for American telecoms as MediaTek’s previous 3G and LTE solutions mainly was working outside of the USA.

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Releases the MT6753: A WorldMode 64-bit Octa-core Smartphone SoC

Complete with integrated CDMA2000 technology that looks to meet the needs of the high-end smartphone market worldwide 

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015 – MediaTek, today announced the release of the MT6753, a 64-bit Octa-core mobile system-on-chip (SoC) with support for WorldMode modem capability. Coupled with the previously announced MT6735 quad-core SoC, the new MT6753 is designed with high performance features for an ever more demanding mid-range market.

Reinforcing MediaTek’s commitment to driving the latest technology to customers across the world, the MT6753 SoC will be offered at a price that creates strong value for customers, especially as it comes with integrated CDMA2000 to ensure compatibility in every market. The eight ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors and Mali-T720 GPU helps to ensure customers can meet graphic-heavy multimedia requirements while also maintaining battery efficiency for high-end devices.

“The launch of the MT6753 again demonstrates MediaTek’s desire to offer more power and choice to our 4G LTE product line, while also giving customers worldwide greater diversity and flexibility in their product layouts”, said Jeffrey Ju, Senior Vice President at MediaTek.

The MT6753, which is compatible with the previously announced MT6735 for entry smartphones, also enables handset makers to reduce time to market, simplify product development and manage product differentiation in a more cost effective way. MT6753 is sampling to customers now, with the first commercial devices to be available in Q2, 2015.

Key Features of MT6753 include:

Next-Generation 64-bit Mobile Computing System

  • Octa-core, up to 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors with MediaTek’s leading CorePilot multi-processor technology, providing a perfect balance of performance and power for mainstream mobile devices
  • Mali-T720 GPU with support for the Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 APIs and premium graphics for gaming and UI effects

Advanced Multimedia Features

  • Supports low-power, 1080p, 30fps video playback on the emerging video codec standard H.265 and legacy H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording
  • Integrated 16MP camera image signal processor with support for unique features like PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
  • Display support up to HD 1920×1080 60fps resolution with MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

Integrated 4G LTE WorldModeModem & RF

  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink)
  • 3GPP Rel. 8, DC-HSPA+ (42 Mb/s downlink, 11 Mb/s uplink), TD-SCDMA and EDGE are supported for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rev. A
  • Comprehensive RF support (B1 to B41) and the ability to mix multiple low-, mid-, and high bands for a global roaming solution

Integrated Connectivity Solutions

  • Supports dual-band Wi-Fi to effortlessly connect to a wide array of wireless routers and enable new applications like video sharing over Miracast
  • Bluetooth 4.0, supporting low-power connection to fitness gadgets, wearables and other accessories, such as Bluetooth headsets

January 2015: MediaTek leaked smartphone roadmap (note the MT67xx scheduled for 4Q 2015 and using 20nm technology, as well that the new smartphone SoCs, except the very entry 3G with Cortex-A7, are based on Cortex-A53 cores while still using 28nm)
See also: The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on [this same blog, Dec 23, 2013]

MediaTek leaked smartphone SoC roadmap -- Jan-2015
The availability dates shown above are for the first commercial devices!

MediaTek rebranding the high-end smartphone SoC family into MediaTek Helio Logo(starting with the MT6795 now denominated as Helio X10), after the Greek word for sun, “helios”:

March 12, 2015:
MediaTek Helio explained by CMO Johan Lodenius at MWC 2015

MediaTek rebranding the high-end smartphone SoC family into Helio

March 5, 2015:
MediaTek SVP Jeffrey Ju introducing the new Helio branding for premium (P) and extreme (X) performance segments of the smartphone SoCs at MWC 2015


I/2. Then continues with the presentation of MediaTek’s exclusive display technology quality enhancements (click on the links to watch the related brief videos):
MiraVision picture quality enhancement
SmartScreen as “the best viewing experience across extreme lighting conditions”
120Hz LCD display technology for a whole new experience (vs. the current 60Hz used by everyone)
– Super-SlowMotion, meaning 1/16 speed 480fps video playback (world’s first)
Instant Focus, meaning phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) technology on mobile devices cameras
– preliminary information on the new high-end Helio SoC with the new Cortex-A72 relying on 20nm technology, MiraVision Plus and their 3d genaration modem in 2nd half of 2015 (so it is quite likely the MT67xx mentioned in the above roadmap)

Note that 3d party companies are providing additional imaging enhancements to the device manufacturers, like the ones demonstrated by ArcSoft for the Lenovo Golden Warrior Note 8 TD-LTE (A936) at MWC 2015. Designed with Chinese (TD) and global market capabilities in mind, and available there from Dec’14 for ¥998 ($160) it is based on the MT6752 octacore which is providing the ARM Mali™-T760 GPU. ArcSoft is exploiting the GPU Compute capabilities for the additional imaging features shown in the video below:


I/3. CorePilot™ 2.0 especially targeted for the extreme performance tablet and smartphone markets

MediaTek To Redefine the Android Tablet Industry with world-first ARM® Cortex®-A72-based tablet SoC – MT8173

Revolutionary new 64-bit ARM processor ramps up tablet performance and battery life for heavy content Android users

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015 – MediaTek today announced the first tablet system-on-chip (SoC) in a family that features an ARM® Cortex®-A72 processor, the industry’s highest-performing mobile CPU. The Quad-core MT8173 is designed to maximize the benefits of the new processor and greatly increase tablet performance, while extending battery life to ensure a premium tablet experience. The MT8173 meets the growing demand for 4K Ultra HD content and graphic-heavy gaming by everyday mobile computing device users.

The MT8173 is designed with a 64-bit Multi-core big.LITTLE architecture that combines two Cortex-A72 CPUs and two Cortex-A53 CPUs, extending performance and power efficiency further. MT8173 boasts a six-fold  increase in performance compared to the MT8125 released in 2013. MT8173 offers up to 2.4GHz performance, supporting OpenCL with the deployment of MediaTek Corepilot® 2.0, and enables heterogeneous computing between the CPU and GPU. The SoC also ensures the ultimate in display clarity and motion fluency on 120Hz display, promising smooth scrolling with crystal clarity as compared to a normal 60Hz display.

“MT8173 highlights the significant shift in how mobile devices, such as Android tablets, are used and, with the combination of ARM’s latest technology, we are delivering a platform that answers the growing demand for improved mobile multimedia performance and power usage.  By presenting CPU specs that outperform any other device currently on the market, we are bringing PC-like performance to tablet form factor, reinforcing MediaTek’s continued commitment to deliver premium technology to everyone across the globe.” said Joe Chen, Senior Vice President of MediaTek.

“MediaTek has been a strong adopter of ARM big.LITTLE processing architecture, extending it with CorePilot, to deliver extreme performance, while maintaining power efficiency,” said Noel Hurley, General Manager, CPU group, ARM. “Decisively and quickly incorporating the second-generation of our 64-bit technology into a market-ready product, underscores the partnership between ARM and MediaTek.”

The MT8173 platform features:

True Heterogeneous 64-bit Multi-Core big.LITTLE architecture up to 2.4GHz

  • Features ARM Cortex®-A72 and ARM Cortex®-A53 64-bit CPU
  • Big cores and LITTLE cores can run at full speed at the same time for peak performance requirement
  • Performance of up to 2.4GHz

Imagination PowerVR GX6250 GPU

  • Supports OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL for future applications
  • Delivers 350Mtri/s and 2.8 Gpix/s performance
  • Provides uncompromised user experience for WQXGA display at 60fps

Comprehensive Multimedia Features

  • 120Hz mobile display
  • Ultra HD 30fps H.264/HEVC(10-bit)/VP9 hardware video playback
  • WQXGA display support with TV-grade picture quality enhancement
  • HDMI and Miracast support for multi-screen applications
  • 20MP camera ISP with video face beautify and LOMO effects

Security hardware accelerator

  • Supports Widevine Level 1, Miracast with HDCP
  • HDCP 2.2 for premium video to 4k TV display

MT8173 is available for customers now, and will be featured in the first commercial tablets in second half of this year. MT8173 is being demonstrated at 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain at MediaTek’s booth – Hall 6, Stand 6E21 

MediaTek CorePilot 2.0 technology

March 5, 2015:
MediaTek CTO Kevin Jou on CorePilot 2.0 at MWC 2015


Then continues with the presentation of the new:
– MT8173 with the world’s first Cortex-A72 in the “big” role
– worldmode modem technology with LTE category 6

CrossMount technology as the “not yet another DLNA solution, as it does whatever DLNA can plus a lot more


II. Brand New Strategic Initiatives

Feb 27, 2015:
II/1. CrossMount
Unite your devices: Open up new possibilities

Technology makes it easy to share the things we love, but only when we use it in a certain way.

Making a video call just needs a smartphone with a camera, for instance, but what if you want to talk using the big screen on your HDTV? And what happens when you want to watch video from your set-top IPTV box on your tablet when you’re lying in bed — and use your smartwatch as a remote control?

With technology playing an increasingly important part in our lives, these are the kind of problems we can expect to face every day. And they’re the kind of problems MediaTek solves with CrossMount.

MediaTek CrossMount is a new standard for sharing hardware and software resources between a whole host of consumer electronics.

Based on the UPnP protocol, CrossMount connects compatible devices wirelessly, using either a home Wi-Fi network or a Wi-Fi Direct connection, to allow one to seamlessly access the features of another.

So you can start watching streaming video on the living room TV, for example, then switch it to your tablet when you move to another room, or use your TV’s speakers for a hands-free phone call with your smartphone. The possibilities are endless.

The CrossMount Alliance for MediaTek partners, customers and developers makes developing CrossMount applications as easy as possible, many brands and developers are already on board.

CrossMount will be available in late 2015 for MediaTek-based Android devices

MediaTek Introduces a New Convergence Standard for Cross-device Sharing with CrossMount

Fast and easy sharing of content, hardware and software resources enable multiple devices to combine and act together as a single, more powerful device

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015– MediaTek today announced CrossMount – a new technology that simplifies hardware and software resource sharing between different consumer devices. Designed to be a new standard in cross-device convergence, the CrossMount framework ensures any compatible device can seamlessly use and share hardware or software resources authorized by the user. CrossMount is an open and simple-to-implement technology for the wide ecosystem of MediaTek customers and partners that opens the possibilities for multiple devices effectively working as one or sharing applications and hardware resources.

CrossMount defines its service mounting standard based on UPnP protocol, and can be implemented primarily in Android and Linux as well as other platforms. CrossMount works through simple discovery, pairing, authorization and use between devices of both hardware and software resources across smartphones, tablets and TVs. Communication between devices is achieved directly between devices via home gateways (Wireless LAN) or peer to peer (Wi-Fi Direct). Discovery and sharing are granted through an easy software implementation that allows all Wi-Fi capable devices to share resources without the need for cloud servers.

“Consumers have adopted a wide array of Internet-connected devices at home, in schools and workplaces, CrossMount sets the new standard for easy cross-device interaction and resource sharing.  We are particularly keen to open up this innovation to our wide ecosystem of customers and partners around the world, unleashing their imagination to create new immersive experiences that further enrich peoples’ lives” said, Joe Chen, Senior Vice President, MediaTek.

With CrossMount enabled devices, for example, viewers can simply pair their TV sound to their smartphone earphones or use their smartphone microphone as a voice controller to search content on their smart TV.  This is a breakthrough in user experience as the CrossMount standard means several devices can act as one together rather than simply share content.

“CrossMount is a lot more than mirroring from phone to TV – as has already been developed within the industry”, added Joe Chen. “CrossMount goes the extra mile with hardware and software capability sharing between smart devices, thereby creating many useful and more complex use cases, such as mounting a smartphone camera to a TV and enabling the TV for video conferencing session.”

To further drive the adoption of CrossMount as an industry standard, MediaTek is establishing the CrossMount Alliance to bring its wide ecosystem of partners and customers together and explore new possibilities to drive the technology forward. CrossMount will be open for developers to further expand the ability for innovative and new applications to be created, potentially changing the way we use and share devices and content. Chang-hong, Hisense, Lenovo and TCL are the first MediaTek customers to support CrossMount.

CrossMount will be made available to MediaTek customers and partners in the third quarter for Android-based smartphone, tablet and TV products, with devices expected on the market by end of this year.


II/2. LinkIt™ One Development Platform for wearables and IoT

March 20, 2015: MediaTek Labs – IoT Lab at 4YFN Barcelona

See how MediaTek Labs supported the winning team, Playdrop, who took advantage of the MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development board to build an innovative water monitoring and control system prototype. Playdrop was just one of the competitors at IoT Lab, where developers from all over the world formed new teams and had less than two days to ideate, create business cases and working prototypes for the Internet of Things (IoT).
You can also hear from VP of MediaTek Labs, Marc Naddell, about how our development platforms will be supporting more developers on their journey into Wearables and IoT devices.

To find out more about MediaTek Labs & our offerings:
LinkIt ONE development platform: http://labs.mediatek.com/one
MediaTek Cloud Sandbox: http://labs.mediatek.com/sandbox
Get the tools you need to build your own Wearables and IoT devices, register now:http://labs.mediatek.com/register

Feb 18, 2015: What is MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE Development Platform?

MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development platform enables you to design and prototype Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, using hardware and an API that are similar to those offered for Arduino boards.

The platform is based around the world’s smallest commercial System-on-Chip (SoC) for Wearables, MediaTek Aster (MT2502). This SoC works with MediaTek’s energy efficient Wi-Fi and GNSS companion chipsets also. This means you can easily create devices that connect to other smart devices or directly to cloud applications and services.

To make it easy to prototype Wearables and IoT devices and their applications, the platform delivers:

  • The LinkIt ONE Software Development Kit (SDK) for the creation of apps for LinkIt ONE devices. This SDK integrates with the Arduino software to deliver an API and development process that will be instantly familiar.
  • The LinkIt ONE Hardware Development Kit (HDK) for prototyping devices. Based on a MediaTek hardware reference design, the HDK delivers the LinkIt ONE development board from Seeed Studio.

Key features of LinkIt ONE development platform:

  • Optimized performance and power consumption to offer consumers appealing, functional Wearables and IoT devices
  • Based on MediaTek Aster (MT2502) SoC, offering comprehensive communications and media options, with support for GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth 2.1 and 4.0, SD Cards, and MP3/AAC Audio, as well as Wi-Fi and GNSS (hardware dependent)
  • Delivers an API, to access key features of the Aster SoC, that is similar to that for Arduino; enabling existing Arduino apps to be quickly ported and new apps created with ease
  • LinkIt ONE developer board from partner Seeed Studio with similar pin-out to the Arduino UNO enabling a wide range of peripheral and circuits to be connected to the board
  • LinkIt ONE SDK (for Arduino) offering instant familiarity to Arduino developers and a easy to learn toolset for beginners

LinkIt ONE SDK                                                      LinkIt ONE HDK

MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE Development Platform

LinkIt ONE architecture

Running on top of the Aster (MT2502) and, where used, its companion GNSS and Wi-Fi chipsets, the LinkIt ONE developer platform is based on an RTOS kernel. On top of this kernel is a set of drivers, middleware and protocol stacks that expose the features of the chipsets to a Framework. A run-time Environment then provides services to the Arduino porting layer that delivers the LinkIt ONE API for Arduino. The API is used to develop Arduino Sketches with the LinkIt ONE SDK (for Arduino).

MediaTek LinkIt ONE architecture*MT3332 (GPS) and MT5931 (WiFi) are optional

Hardware core: Aster (MT2502)

The hardware core for LinkIt ONE development platform is MediaTek Aster (MT2502). This chipset also works with our Wi-Fi and GNSS chips, offering high performance and low power consumption to Wearables and IoT devices.

MediaTek Aster (MT2502)Aster’s highly integrated System-on-Chip (SoC) design avoids the need for multiple chips, meaning smaller devices and reduced costs for device creators, as well as eliminating the need for compatibility tests.

With Aster, it’s now easier and cheaper for device manufacturers and the maker community to produce desirable, functional wearable products.

Key features

  • The smallest commercial System-on-Chip (5.4mm*6.2mm) currently on the market
  • CPU core: ARM7 EJ-S 260MHz
  • Memory: 4MB RAM, 4MB Flash
  • PAN: Dual Bluetooth 2.1 (SPP) and 4.0 (GATT)
  • WAN: GSM and GPRS modem
  • Power: PMU and charger functions, low power mode with sensor hub function
  • Multimedia: Audio (list formats), video (list formats), camera (list formats/resolutions)
  • Interfaces: External ports for LCD, camera, I2C, SPI, UART, GPIO, and more

MediaTek Aster (MT2502) vs the competition

Get started with the LinkIt ONE development platform

Nov 12, 2014: MediaTek Labs – LinkIt workshop presentation


MediaTek Labs technical expert Pablo (Yuhsian) Sun provides an overview of the LinkIt Development Platform, in this presentation recorded at XDA:DevCon. Pablo describes what LinkIt is and discusses why its capabilities — such as support for Wi-Fi, SMS, Groove peripherals, and more — make it the ideal, cost effective tool for prototyping wearable and IoT devices. He also covers the LinkIt ONE board, offering an in-depth look at its hardware, introduced the APIs, and shows you how software is developed with Ardunio and the LinkIt SDK. Link to additional resources are also provided. If you haven’t used the LinkIt development platform, this video provides you with all the basics to get started.

MediaTek Launches LinkIt™ Platform for Wearables and Internet of Things

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – June 3, 2014 – MediaTek today announced LinkIt™, a development platform built to accelerate the wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) markets. LinkIt integrates the MediaTek’s Aster System on Chip (SoC), the smallest wearable SoC currently on the market. The MediaTek Aster SoC is designed to enable the developer community to create a broad range of affordable wearable and IoT products and solutions, for the billions of consumers in the rising Super-mid market to realize their potential as Everyday Geniuses.

Key features of MediaTek Aster and LinkIt:

  • MediaTek Aster, the smallest SoC in a package size of 5.4×6.2mm specifically designed for wearable devices.
  • LinkIt integrates the MediaTek’s Aster SoC and is a developer platform supported by reference designs that enable creation of various form factors, functionalities, and internet connected services.
  • Synergies between microprocessor unit and communication modules, facilitating development and saving time in new device creation.
  • Modularity in software architecture provides developers with high degree of flexibility.
  • Supports over-the-air (OTA) updates for apps, algorithms and drivers which enable “push and install” software stack (named MediaTek Capsule) from phones or computers to devices built with MediaTek Aster.
  • Plug-in software development kit (SDK) for Arduino and VisualStudio. Support for Eclipse is planned for Q4 this year.
  • Hardware Development Kit (HDK) based on LinkIt board by third party.

“MediaTek is now in a unique position to assume leadership by accelerating development for wearables and IoT, thanks to our LinkIt platform,” said J.C. Hsu, General Manager of New Business Development at MediaTek.  “We are enabling an ecosystem of device makers, application developers and service providers to create innovations and new solutions for the Super-mid market.”

Eric Li, Vice President, China’s Internet giant said, “Baidu provides a wealth of services for its users on our Internet portal, and our offerings will enable MediaTek-powered devices to do much more than they already can. The IoT is inter-connecting devices, and we’re connecting people with information via such devices. Our partnership with MediaTek will bring both of us closer to our respective goals.”

Gonzague de Vallois, Senior Vice President of Gameloft, another one of MediaTek’s ecosystem partners, said, “The wearable devices era is a fascinating one for a game developer. Proliferation of devices equipped with all sorts of different sensors and measured information from human body are creating possibilities for us to develop games that are played differently and in ways that were never imagined before. We are pleased to be a partner of MediaTek, who is enabling the wearable devices future for us to continuously bring innovative games to gamers around the world.”

The launch of LinkIt is a part of MediaTek’s wider initiative for the developer community called MediaTek Labs™ which will officially launch later this year. MediaTek Labs will stimulate and support the creation of wearable devices and IoT applications based on the LinkIt platform. Developers and device makers who are interested in joining the MediaTek Labs program are invited to email labs-registration@mediatek.com to receive a notification once the program launches. For more information and ongoing updates, please go to http://labs.mediatek.com.

Oct 30, 2014:
LinkIt ONE Plus Version from SeedStudio (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/LinkIt-ONE-p-2017.html)


Jan 3, 2015:
II/3. What is MediaTek LinkIt™ Connect 7681 development platform?

There is an increasing trend towards connecting every imaginable electrical or electronic device found in the home. For many of these applications developers simply want to add the ability to remotely control a device — turn on a table lamp, adjust the temperature setting of an air-conditioner or unlock a door. This is where the MediaTek MT7681 comes in.

MediaTek MT7681

MediaTek MT7681 is a compact Wi-Fi System-on-Chip (SoC) for IoT devices with embedded TCP/IP stack. By adding the MT7681 to an IoT device it can connect to other smart devices or to cloud applications and services. Connectivity on the MT7681 is achieved using Wi-Fi in either Wi-Fi station or access point (AP) mode.

In Wi-Fi station mode, MT7681 connects to a wireless AP and can then communicate with web services or cloud servers. A typical use of this option would be to enable a user to control the heating in their home from a home automation website.

To simplify the connection of an MT7681 chip to a wireless AP in Wi-Fi station mode, the MediaTek Smart Connection APIs are provided. These APIs enable a smart device app to remotely provision a MT7681 chip with AP details (SSID, authentication mode and password).

In AP mode, an MT7681 chip acts as an AP, enabling other wireless devices to connect to it directly. Using this mode, for example, the developer of a smart light bulb could offer users a smartphone application that enables bulbs to be controlled from within the home.

To control the device an MT7681 is incorporated into, the chip provides five GPIO pins and one UART port. In addition PWM is supported in software, for applications such as LED dimming.

MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 development platform

To enable developers and makers to take advantage of the features of the MT7681, MediaTek Labs offers the MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 development platform, consisting of an SDK, HDK and related documentation.

For software development MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 SDK is provided for Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu Linux. Based on the Andes Development Kit, the SDK enables developers to create firmware to control an IoT device in response to instructions received wirelessly.

For IoT device prototyping, the LinkIt Connect 7681 development board is provided. The development board consists of a LinkIt Connect 7681 module, micro-USB port and pins for each of the I/O interfaces of the MT7681 chip. This enables you to quickly connect external hardware and peripherals to create device prototypes. The LinkIt Connect 7681 module, which measures just 15x18mm, is designed to easily mount on a PCB as part of production versions of an IoT device.

Key Features of MT7681

  • Wi-Fi station and access point (AP) modes
  • 802.11 b/g/n (in station mode) and 802.11 b/g (in AP mode)
  • Smart connection APIs to easily create Android or iOS apps to provision a device with wireless AP settings
  • TCP/IP stack
  • Firmware upgrade over UART, APIs for FOTA implementation
  • Software PWM emulation for LED dimming
  • Firmware upgrade over UART, APIs for FOTA implementation

Jan 15, 2015:
II/4. Join MediaTek Labs

MediaTek Labs Logo: The best free resources for Wearables and IoT

Get the tools and resources you and your company need to go from idea to prototype to product.

Register now to get access to:

  • MediaTek SDKs
  • MediaTek hardware reference designs
  • Comment posting in our active developer forum
  • Private messaging with other MediaTek Labs members
  • Our solutions catalog, where you can share your project privately with MediaTek to unlock our support and matchmaking services

MediaTek Labs gives you the help you need to develop innovative hardware and software based on MediaTek products. From smart light bulbs, to the next-generation fitness tracker and the exciting world of the smartwatch, you can make your journey with our help.

As a registered Labs member you’ll be able to put your project in front of our business development team, who’ll help you find the partners you need to get you on the road to success. We’re here to help guide you through the exciting possibilities offered by the next wave in developer opportunities: Wearables and IoT.

MediaTek Labs is free to join:

Register today!

About MediaTek Labs

MediaTek is a young and entrepreneurial company that has grown quickly into a market leader. We identify with creative and driven pioneers in the maker and developer communities, and recognize the benefits of building an ecosystem that fosters your talents and your efforts to innovate.

MediaTek Labs is the developer hub for all our products. It builds on our track record for delivering industry-leading reference designs that offer the shortest time-to-market for our extensive customer and partner base.

MediaTek Launches Labs Developer Program to Jumpstart Wearable and IoT Device Creation

Unveils LinkIt™ platform; simplifies the development of hardware and software for developers, designers and makers

TAIWAN, Hsinchu — Sept 22, 2014 — MediaTek today launched MediaTek Labs (http://labs.mediatek.com), a global initiative that allows developers of any background or skill level to create wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The new program provides developers, makers and service providers with software development kits (SDKs), hardware development kits (HDKs), and technical documentation, as well as technical and business support.

“With the launch of MediaTek Labs we’re opening up a new world of possibilities for everyone — from hobbyists and students through to professional developers and designers — to unleash their creativity and innovation,” says Marc Naddell, vice president of MediaTek Labs. “We believe that the innovation enabled by MediaTek Labs will drive the next wave of consumer gadgets and apps that will connect billions of things and people around the world.”

The Labs developer program also features the LinkIt™ Development Platform, which is based on theMediaTek Aster (MT2502) chipset. The LinkIt development Platform is the one of the best connected platforms, offering excellent integration for the package size and doing away with the need for additional connectivity hardware.  LinkIt makes creating prototype wearable and IoT devices easy and cost effective by leveraging MediaTek’s proven reference design development model. The LinkIt platform consists of the following components:

  • System-on-Chip (SoC)MediaTek Aster (MT2502), the world’s smallest commercial SoC for Wearables, and companion Wi-Fi (MT5931) and GPS (MT3332) chipsets offering powerful, battery efficient technology.
  • LinkIt OS — an advanced yet compact operating system that enables control software and takes full advantage of the features of the Aster SoC, companion chipsets, and a wide range of sensors and peripheral hardware.
  • Hardware Development Kit (HDK) — Launching first with LinkIt ONE, a co-design project with Seeed Studio, the HDK will make it easy to add sensors, peripherals, and Arduino Shields to LinkIt ONE and create fully featured device prototypes.
  • Software Development Kit (SDK) — Makers can easily migrate existing Arduino code to LinkIt ONE using the APIs provided. In addition, they get a range of APIs to make use of the LinkIt communication features: GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

To ensure developers can make the most of the LinkIt offering, the MediaTek Labs website includes a range of additional services, including:

  • Comprehensive business and technology overviews
  • A Solutions Catalog where developers can share information on their devices, applications, and services and become accessible for matchmaking to MediaTek’s customers and partners
  • Support services, including comprehensive FAQ, discussion forums that are monitored by MediaTek technical experts, and — for developers with solutions under development in the Solutions Catalog — free technical support.

“While makers still use their traditional industrial components for new connected IoT devices, with the LinkIt ONE hardware kit as part of MediaTek LinkIt Developer Platform, we’re excited to help Makers bring prototypes to market faster and more easily,” says Eric Pan, founder and chief executive officer of Seeed Studio.

Makers, designers and developers can sign up to MediaTek Labs today and download the full range of tools and documentation at http://labs.mediatek.com.

Mar 2, 2015:
MediaTek Labs Partner Connect

Taking any Wearables or IoT project beyond the prototype stage can be a daunting prospect, whether you’re a small startup or an established company making its first foray into new devices.

To make the path to market easier, MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will help find you the partners you need to make your idea a reality. The program includes some of the world’s best EMS, OEM and ODM companies, as well as distributors of MediaTek products and suppliers of device components. But the real benefit comes from our MediaTek Labs experts, who will work with you to match your requirements with the right partner or partners.

Getting started is simple. Once you have registered your company on MediaTek Labs, submit your Wearables or IoT project to our confidential device Devices Catalog. And it doesn’t matter where you are in the development process — perhaps you have an early prototype running on a LinkIt development board or have full CAD and BOM for your product — our experts can help. Simply select the “Seeking Partner” option when you submit your device for review by MediaTek Labs and, once approved, one of our partner managers will review your requirements and get to work finding the right partners for you.

Designers and developers

Our design partners can assist with specific expertise in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer aided design (CAD), industrial design, regulatory compliance testing, software and more. Whether you’re looking for specific expertise to assist with a single aspect of your project or want a turnkey solution that delivers the vision of your prototype directly to manufacturing, these partners can help.

Manufacturers

From the late stages of development, where you need batches of production prototypes, through low volume pilot runs for consumer testing and marketing, to full production these partners can help. From your designs they’re able to turn your Wearables or IoT idea into a commercial consumer or enterprise product. They’ll do this employing the latest in manufacturing technology, from flexible facilities that can adapt to your needs as you find success in the market.

MediaTek distributors

If you have your own manufacturing facilities or partner and are looking to source MediaTek chipset modules in volumes beyond retail, these partners will be able to help you. In addition to providing for your volume requirements, they’ll also provide additional technical information and support to ensure you make optimal use of MediaTek chipsets in your product and manufacturing process.

Component suppliers

This group of partners will be able to assist you from prototype to production: from selecting the components for your pre-production prototypes through to production run quantities of specific components. Batteries, sensors, screens and much more can be supplied by these partners, from evaluation batches to production quantities delivered to your manufacturing facility or manufacturing partner.

MediaTek Labs Launches New Partner Program to Help Bring Wearables and IoT Devices to Market Faster

MediaTek Labs Partner Connect provides matchmaking for developers and partners in support of MediaTek LinkIt™

SPAIN, Barcelona March02, 2015 – As part of its global developer initiative, MediaTek today announced MediaTek Labs Partner Connect at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The new supply chain partner program will help developers of Wearables and IoT devices design and launch their products based on MediaTek LinkIt by matching them with members of MediaTek’s extensive network of partners.

Today’s launch complements existing development platform offerings from MediaTek Labs and aims to reduce time to market for developers of new Wearables and IoT devices:

  • MediaTek LinkIt is a portfolio of development platforms – currently consisting of MediaTek LinkIt ONE and MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681– for Wearables and IoT, offering a broad range of connectivity options and the software and hardware development kits (SDKs, HDKs from Seeed Studio and Modules from AcSiP) needed for makers to create their own devices powered by MediaTek chipsets.
  • MediaTek Cloud Sandbox (also launched today) is a complimentary cloud-based IoT platform and playground to store, display and remotely access IoT device data during prototyping.
  • MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will assist registered developers of MediaTek Labs in finding appropriate supply chain partners to help with design, development and manufacturing, sourcing of MediaTek chipset based modules and other key components. MediaTek ODM partners have available off-the-shelf reference designs to rapidly serve developers with different design capabilities.

“Taking any Wearables or IoT project beyond the prototype stage can be a daunting prospect, whether you’re a small startup or an established company making its first foray into new devices”, said Marc Naddell, VP of MediaTek Labs. “To make the path to market easier, MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will help developers find the partners they need to make their ideas a reality”.

To gain access to Partner Connect matchmaking services, Labs member companies submit their Wearables or IoT projects to the Labs confidential Device Solutions Catalog and select the “Seeking Partner” option. MediaTek Labs will then help evaluate the business case and technical feasibility of the device, and, once vetted and approved, a partner manager will get to work finding the right partners in MediaTek’s network.

MediaTek Labs Partner Connect is the latest initiative to expand the company’s 17-year legacy of working closely across a wide ecosystem of TV, phone, tablet, navigation, router, gaming and multimedia customers. Over the years, MediaTek has provided efficient, turnkey solutions that give these clients a cost-effective and rapid time to market for their new devices and has taken many start-ups from humble beginnings to established, global enterprises. Now MediaTek is extending partner network to developers and makers in the Wearables and IoT space through MediaTek Labs Partner Connect.

To hear more about MediaTek Labs and see live demos of its unique offerings for developers, visit MediaTek’s booth at Mobile World Congress – Hall 6, Stand 6E21. To learn more about MediaTek Labs Partner Connect, visit http://labs.mediatek.com/partners.

Mar 2, 2015:
Introduction to MediaTek Cloud Sandbox

When prototyping Wearables and IoT devices, you may want to collect, sort and visualize the data captured by your prototype. You may also want to test how your device could be controlled remotely and make these features available to testers and collaborators.

To save you from having to find and pay for cloud services, MediaTek Cloud Sandbox offers you a free service that you can use to quickly prototype your planned cloud implementation.

Using a RESTful API you collect data from your devices, which you can view in a powerful web-based dashboard. The dashboard offers a range of display and graphing options. Then you can control your Wearables and IoT devices by issuing commands from the dashboard. In addition, a complementary smartphone app lets you review collected data and control your devices from anywhere.

Key Features

  • Define Wearables and IoT prototype device data and other properties
  • Define data types such as geo-location, temperature, humidity and more
  • Create multiple devices from one profile
  • Push and Pull data between a device and the sandbox using a RESTful API
  • Remotely control devices using states, such as switch-state and more
  • Visualize data graphically
  • Receive notifications when data are collected or changed
  • Manage and control remotely, using the complementary mobile app
  • Create reports about prototypes and collected data
  • Perform FOTA firmware updates
  • Control access to data and devices with granular security control
  • Includes full API reference, FAQ and set of tutorials

Access MediaTek Cloud Sandbox

MediaTek Labs Helps Simplify Wearables and IoT Development with Free Cloud Service

MediaTek Cloud Sandbox accelerates device prototyping by offering developers a complimentary cloud service to host prototype-device data

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 2, 2015 – MediaTek Labs, today announced general availability of its new Cloud Sandbox data platform to better help developers bring their ideas to life for the Internet of Things (IoT). The new service, which is free to all registered MediaTek Labs members globally, offers convenient storage of and access to data from wearable and IoT devices during prototyping.

“MediaTek recognizes the importance of a cloud-based IoT platform and playground to service developers and makers who are prototyping wearable or IoT devices”, said Marc Naddell, VP of MediaTek Labs. “With this complimentary offering from MediaTek Labs, IoT developers no longer need to set up and manage their own web server or source third-party cloud platform services. Instead they can focus on their IoT device prototyping and value proposition, accelerating the time from solution ideation to prototype and proof-of-concept”.

A considerable challenge for developers in the early stages of device creation is not only the management of large amounts of data but also a convenient and simple way to visualize the data and demo prototypes to collaborators. MediaTek Cloud Sandbox helps solve this with a variety of invaluable features , including:

  • Data storage and visual charting
  • Data monitoring with notifications
  • Device remote control
  • Firmware upgrades over-the-air (FOTA)
  • RESTful API support, TCP socket connection
  • Web or mobile app based access

MediaTek Cloud Sandbox (MCS) will be on display in MediaTek’s booth at Mobile World Congress – Hall 6, Stand 6E21 – with three compelling demonstrations, including:

  1. Wine Brewer – A MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development board implementation that won first prize in ITRI Mobilehero 2014 competition in Taiwan.
  2. Weather Station – A LinkIt ONE development board implementation that gathers and pushes real-time temperature, humidity and pressure data to MCS, and is able to have its fan controlled from MCS and the MCS companion mobile app.
  3. MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 demo – A LinkIt Connect 7681 development board implementation and its companion mobile app to demonstrate real-time LED color control.

MediaTek Labs was launched in September 2014 and continues to provide developers, makers and service providers with SDKs, HDKs and documentation, as well as technical and business support. To learn more about MediaTek Cloud Sandbox and get access , visit http://labs.mediatek.com/mcs .


MediaTek Ventures Logo
II/5. MediaTek Ventures launches to enable a new generation of world-class companies

MediaTek Allocates US$300m to Invest in New Business Opportunities

SPAIN, Barcelona March1, 2015 – MediaTek, today announced the launch of MediaTek Ventures – a new strategic investment arm within the company.  Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, MediaTek Ventures will initially invest in startups in Greater China, Europe, Japan and North America, with a US$300m reserve.

MediaTek Ventures will actively invest into innovative startups in semiconductor-system-and devices, Internet infrastructure, services and IoT, with the goal of creating a collaborative ecosystem around MediaTek’s corporate objectives in communication, computing, online media and analytics.  Investments will include all stages of funding with a disciplinary approach focused on value creation.  Through MediaTek Ventures, the company is seeking to extend its 17 year heritage of innovation to the broader electronics value-chain, diversify product solutions, and monetize opportunities with the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“We will not constrain ourselves to any single region in pursuit of innovation and excellence. Through MediaTek Ventures, a new generation of world-class companies will be empowered. We are excited to enable entrepreneurs and start-ups in achieving their dreams and fostering companies that have the potential to create value to end-users around the world and solve the world’s biggest problems”, said David Ku, Chief Financial Officer, MediaTek.

Further details on the company’s investment strategy and roadmaps will be made available in the second half of 2015.

Entities interested in investment by MediaTek should send proposals to: ventures@mediatek.com. For more information, please visit www.mediatekventures.com.

March 5, 2015: MediaTek CFO David Ku on MediaTek Ventures at MWC 2015

MediaTek Ventures - Mission and current investment amount

MediaTek Investment Focus

MediaTek Cross-Platform Synergy and User Experience

MediaTek Geographic Focus

III. Stealth Strategic Initiatives (MWC 2015 timeframe)

III/1. SoC for Android Wear and Android based standalone wearables

Note that this initiative is also for the standalone Android based wearables (i.e. working with no reliance on an Android based smarthone) as shown by the new production line of MediaTek’s lead and pilot partner Burg Wearables: Android 4.4 based Smart 3G & WiFi WatchPhones of 55g weight (and up), 10mm depth (and up) [this same blog, March 15, 2015]

Charbax: Best of MWC: MediaTek MT2601 Smartwatch and Smart Glass!!

MediaTek launches their MT2601 Android Wear ready (soon) Smartwatch platform, and also they show off their Kopin micro LCD Smart Glass solution on MediaTek Aster MT2502. In my opinion, these are the best looking Smartwatch and Smartglass at Mobile World Congress 2015. The Smartwatch that MediaTek is showing is designed by GoerTek and it runs Android 4.4 for now but Android 5.0 with Android Wear UI is coming soon for the MT2601 platform according to MediaTek. MediaTek MT2502 is running an ARM11 core to run the MediaTek LinkIt OS while MediaTek MT2601 is a dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 to run a full Android Lollipop with Android Wear soon supported! This is perhaps the optimal low cost Smartwatch and Smart Glass solution for the market, finally available from MediaTek, with soon to come Lollipop thus Android Wear supported.

Specs of the GoerTek MediaTek MT2601 Smartwatch:
– 1.5” circular TFT LCD 320×320
– IPX7 waterproofing
– BT/BLE, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G cellular supported
– Android 4.4 OS (Lollipop Android Wear soon!)
– PPG heart-rate sensing
– Built-in microphone and speaker

Remark: This GoerTek smartwatch uses the same MediaTek technology than the WatchPhones from Burg Wearables. The software technology is however quite better on the latter ones.

MediaTek Introduces MT2601 in Support of Google’s Android Wear Software

Higher energy efficiency and reduced component count of MT2601 in relation to competition translate into significant cost, size and usage time benefits

Las Vegas – Jan. 6, 2015 – MediaTek, a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its MT2601 System on Chip (SoC) for wearable devices based on Google’s Android Wear software. By enabling Android Wear on MT2601, MediaTek is offering a comprehensive platform solution for device makers to implement their own hardware and software, and introduces a multitude of possibilities in Android Wear devices for the fast-growing consumer class globally.

The MT2601 packs a robust set of features in its small size with 41.5 percent fewer components and lower current consumption when compared with other chipsets in the market. Its design advantages translate into lower bill of materials (BoM) costs, smaller printed circuit board (PCB) size and longer battery life, which in turn yield fashionable wearable devices with long usage times and affordable prices.

The MT2601 includes 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A7, ARM Mali-400 MP GPU, and supports qHD display resolution. The MT2601 interfaces with a whole host of external sensors and the wireless connectivity SoC MT6630 for Bluetooth – all in a PCBA footprint of less than 480 mm2. This small PCB size meets the design requirements of the widest variety of wearable devices in sports and fitness, location tracking, and various other categories. MediaTek is a strong supporter of Android Wear and will continue to evolve MT2601 to align with the Android Wear road map.

“The MT2601 has an incredibly small die size and is highly optimized for cost and power performance. The platform solution, comprised of MT2601 integrated with Android Wear software, will fuel the maker revolution and empower the application developer community worldwide to create a broad range of innovative applications and services,” said J.C. Hsu, General Manager of New Business Development at MediaTek.

The MT2601 is in mass production now and ready for inclusion in Android Wear devices.

Mediatek Announces MT6630, World’s First Five-in-One Combo Wireless Connectivity SOC for Mobile Devices

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 25 February, 2014 – Mediatek today announced MT6630, the world’s first five-in-one combo wireless system-on-a-chip (SOC) to support full featured smartphones, tablets and other premium mobile devices.

The MT6630 dramatically reduces the component count and eBOM while improving ease-of-design for manufacturers by eliminating external low noise amplifiers (LNAs) and integrating the Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz power amplifiers (PAs), Bluetooth PA, and transmit-receive (T/R) switch into a PCBA footprint less than 65 mm2.

Key features

  • Dual-band single-stream 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with 20/40/80MHz channel bandwidth
  • 802.11v time of flight protocol support and management engines to enable higher accuracy of indoor positioning via Wi-Fi
  • Advanced support for Wi-Fi Direct Services and Miracast™ optimization for easier pairing, increased robustness, advanced use-cases and lower power
  • Bluetooth 4.1 with Classic, High-Speed and Low-Energy support, and ANT+ for compatibility with the latest fitness tracking, health monitoring and point of information devices and applications
  • Concurrent tri-band reception of GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS with industry leading sensitivity, low power, positioning accuracy, and the longest prediction engine
  • FM transceiver with RDS/RBDS
  • Integrated engines and algorithms for full concurrent operation and co-existence, including industry-leading throughput during LTE transmission

MT6630 delivers full concurrent operation of all 5 systems operating at maximum compute intensity with no degradation compared to single-system operation while offloading the mobile device CPU for design ease and extended battery life.

As a focus on low power and digital home convergence, the MT6630 uses a configurable PA architecture to save current at commonly used power levels, including those used for Miracast™ Wi-Fi Direct services. MT6630 implements advanced co-existence techniques, including for LTE to deliver industry-leading throughputs. MT6630 also supports Wi-Fi diversity for premium smartphones and tablets to improve antenna angle sensitivity and handheld scenarios.

“MT6630 makes it simple for manufacturers to bring mobile devices to market with sophisticated wireless features, lower power and uncompromised performance,” said SR Tsai, General Manager of MediaTek’s Connectivity Business Unit. “MT6630 furthers MediaTek’s focus to deliver the best experiences across the digital home and mobile applications by using its unique leadership position in digital TV host processors, smartphone platforms, and connectivity.”

The small-footprint design is available in 5 x 5mm WLCSP (Wafer Level Chip Scale Package) or a 7 x 7mm QFN (Quad Flat No-Leads) and requires only 44 components, which is around half that of other integrated wireless solutions.

Mediatek MT6630 is sampling now and complements the recently announced MT6595 octa-core SOC with LTE for premium mobile devices. The first commercially available devices to use MT6630 are expected in the second half of 2014.

Then there is a MediaTek Protea platform for Android based wearables:

For mobile networking the optional parts of the Protea have the following characteristics:
– 2G Quad Band GSM (900/1800/850/1900)
– 3G Mono Band WCDMA (2100 or 1900) GPRS, EDGE, HSDAP, HSDAP+


Potential generic tags when clustered (selected ones are in blue):

#1 CLUSTER:
strategy: 671,000,000
business development“: 164,000,000
time to market“:  70,200,000
ecosystem: 53,200,000
marketing strategy“: 34,500,000
business strategy“: 25,800,000
rebranding: 6,750,000
strategy development“: 5,720,000
market strategy“: 1,430,000
developer program“: 751,000
strategic investment“: 609,000
corporate objectives” 526,000
partner ecosystem“: 397,000
design partners“: 439,000
supply chain partners“: 331,000
investment focus“: 364,000
reduce time to market“: 305,000
business development strategy“: 417,000
strategy development process“: 268,000
ecosystem partners“: 177,000
innovative startups“: 159,000
enable entrepreneurs“: 39,300
semiconductor market“: 244,000
smartphone strategy“: 77,700
strategic reasoning” 58,200
semiconductor vendors“: 49,000
SoC market“: 28,800
chip strategy“: 17,000
SoC vendors“: 11,300
“semiconductor strategy”: 9,280
“SoC strategy”: 4,330
“fabless strategy”: 3,840
“MediaTek strategy”: 616

#2 CLUSTER:
SoC: 238,000,000
quad-core“: 60,700,000
octa-core“: 2,660,000
smartphone chip“: 207,000
mobile SoC“: 63,400
smartphone SoC“: 43,700
SoC family“: 35,500
tablet SoC“: 23,500
SoC market“: 28,700
smartphone SoC market“: 14,200
SoC vendors“: 11,300
system on a chip“: 733,000
system on chip“: 625,000
fabless semiconductor“: 323,000
“fabless semiconductor vendors”: 4,890

#3 CLUSTER:
smartphone market“: 964,000
“phone market”: 632,000
“high-end”: 159,000,000
high-end market“: 425,000
LTE-Smartphone“: 605,000
“high-end phone”: 221,000
high-end smartphone“: 444,000
high-end smartphone market“: 67,900
“premium phone”: 356,000
premium smartphone“: 348,000
“premium smartphones”: 94,400
premium market“: 467,000
superphone: 435,000
superphones: 264,000
“superphone market”: 4,640
super-mid“: 177,000
“super-mid market”: 5610
“super mid-range”: 5570
mid-range“: 61,000,000
mid-range smartphone“: 400,000
“mid-range smartphones”: 153,000
“mid-range market”: 89,500
mid range smartphones: 2,460,000
best mid range android phone: 15,800,000
android phone“: 30,200,000
android smartphone“: 13,800,000

#4 CLUSTER:
tablets: 578,000,000
Android tablet“: 22,200,000
Android tablets“: 15,100,000
tablet market“: 919,000
premium tablet“: 152,000
high-end tablet“: 111,000
tablet chips“: 26,000
“high-end tablet market”: 8,450
“premium tablet market”: 8,050

#5 CLUSTER:
64-bit“: 135,000,000
forefront of technology“: 8,740,000
“64-bit computing”: 411,000
extreme performance“: 630,000
CPU+GPU“: 1,010,000
heterogeneous computing“: 312,000
“Heterogeneous System Architecture”: 60,100
“Heterogeneous Multi-Processing”: 42,800
“heterogeneous computing with OpenCL”: 15,400
big.LITTLE“: 863,000
“ARM big.LITTLE”: 95,800
“big.LITTLE Architecture”: 22,400
“big.LITTLE computing”: 18,400
“big.LITTLE cluster”: 16,600
multi-core processing“: 153,000
GPU compute“: 92,300
display technology“: 1,070,000
HDTV: 84,200,000
“power efficiency”: 819,000
premium mobile computing“: 762,000
“premium mobile computing experience”: 17,800
LTE: 170,000,000
“LTE World Mode”: 3,220
“LTE WorldMode”: 2,280
“LTE with CDMA”: 3,660
integrated CDMA2000“: 13,400
development platform“: 928,000
reference design“: 940,000
cloud computing“: 114,000,000

Satya Nadella on “Digital Work and Life Experiences” supported by “Cloud OS” and “Device OS and Hardware” platforms–all from Microsoft

Update: Gates Says He’s Very Happy With Microsoft’s Nadella [Bloomberg TV, Oct 2, 2014] + Bill Gates is trying to make Microsoft Office ‘dramatically better’ [The Verge, Oct 3, 2014]

This is the essence of Microsoft Fiscal Year 2014 Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call(see also the Press Release and Download Files) for me, as the new, extremely encouraging, overall setup of Microsoft in strategic terms (the below table is mine based on what Satya Nadella told on the conference call):

image

These are extremely encouraging strategic advancements vis–à–vis previously publicized ones here in the following, Microsoft related posts of mine:

I see, however, particularly challenging the continuation of the Lumia story with the above strategy, as with the previous, combined Ballmer/Elop(Nokia) strategy the results were extremely weak:

image

Worthwhile to include here the videos Bloomberg was publishing simultaneously with Microsoft Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call:

Inside Microsoft’s Secret Surface Labs [Bloomberg News, July 22, 2014]

July 22 (Bloomberg) — When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella defined the future of his company in a memo to his 127,100 employees, he singled out the struggling Surface tablet as key to a future built around the cloud and productivity. Microsoft assembled an elite team of designers, engineers, and programmers to spend years holed up in Redmond, Washington to come up with a tablet to take on Apple, Samsung, and Amazon. Bloomberg’s Cory Johnson got an inside look at the Surface labs.

Will Microsoft Kinect Be a Medical Game-Changer? [Bloomberg News, July 22, 2014]

July 23 (Bloomberg) — Microsoft’s motion detecting camera was thought to be a game changer for the video gaming world when it was launched in 2010. While appetite for it has since decreased, Microsoft sees the technology as vital in its broader offering as it explores other sectors like 3d mapping and live surgery. (Source: Bloomberg

Why Microsoft Puts GPS In Meat For Alligators [Bloomberg News, July 22, 2014]

July 23 (Bloomberg) — At the Microsoft Research Lab in Cambridge, scientists track animals and map climate change all on the off chance they’ll stumble across the next big thing. (Source: Bloomberg)

To this it is important to add: How Pier 1 is using the Microsoft Cloud to build a better relationship with their customers [Microsoft Server and Cloud YouTube channel, July 21, 2014]

In this video, Pier 1 Imports discuss how they are using Microsoft Cloud technologies such as Azure Machine Learning to to predict which the product the customer might want to purchase next, helping to build a better relationship with their customers. Learn more: http://www.azure.com/ml

as well as:
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 vs. MacBook Air 13″ 2014 [CNET YouTube channel, July 21, 2014]

http://cnet.co/1nOygqh Microsoft made a direct comparison between the Surface Pro 3 and the MacBook Air 13″, so we’re throwing them into the Prizefight Ring to settle the score once and for all. Let’s get it on!

Surface Pro 3 vs. MacBook Air (2014) [CTNtechnologynews YouTube channel, July 1, 2014]

The Surface Pro 3 may not be the perfect laptop. But Apple’s MacBook Air is pretty boring. Let’s see which is the better device!

In addition here are some explanatory quotes (for the new overall setup of Microsoft) worth to include here from the Q&A part of Microsoft’s (MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella on Q4 2014 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, Jul. 22, 2014 10:59 PM ET]

Mark Moerdler – Sanford Bernstein

Thank you. And Amy one quick question, we saw a significant acceleration this quarter in cloud revenue, or I guess Amy or Satya. You saw acceleration in cloud revenue year-over-year what’s – is this Office for the iPad, is this Azure, what’s driving the acceleration and how long do you think we can keep this going?

Amy Hood

Mark, I will take it and if Satya wants to add, obviously, he should do that. In general, I wouldn’t point to one product area. It was across Office 365, Azure and even CRM online. I think some of the important dynamics that you could point to particularly in Office 365; I really think over the course of the year, we saw an acceleration in moving the product down the market into increasing what we would call the mid-market and even small business at a pace. That’s a particular place I would tie back to some of the things Satya mentioned in the answer to your first question.

Improvements to analytics, improvements to understanding the use scenarios, improving the product in real-time, understanding trial ease of use, ease of sign-up all of these things actually can afford us the ability to go to different categories, go to different geos into different segments. And in addition, I think what you will see more as we initially moved many of our customers to Office 365, it came on one workload. And I think what we’ve increasingly seen is our ability to add more workloads and sell the entirety of the suite through that process. I also mentioned in Azure, our increased ability to sell some of these higher value services. So while, I can speak broadly but all of them, I think I would generally think about the strength of being both completion of our product suite ability to enter new segments and ability to sell new workloads.

Satya Nadella

The only thing I would add is it’s the combination of our SaaS like Dynamics in Office 365, a public cloud offering in Azure. But also our private and hybrid cloud infrastructure which also benefits, because they run on our servers, cloud runs on our servers. So it’s that combination which makes us both unique and reinforcing. And the best example is what we are doing with Azure active directory, the fact that somebody gets on-boarded to Office 365 means that tenant information is in Azure AD that fact that the tenant information is in Azure AD is what makes EMS or our Enterprise Mobility Suite more attractive to a customer manager iOS, Android or Windows devices. That network effect is really now helping us a lot across all of our cloud efforts.

Keith Weiss – Morgan Stanley

Excellent, thank you for the question and a very nice quarter. First, I think to talk a little bit about the growth strategy of Nokia, you guys look to cut expenses pretty aggressively there, but this is – particularly smartphones is a very competitive marketplace, can you tell us a little bit about sort of the strategy to how you actually start to gain share with Lumia on a going forward basis? And may be give us an idea of what levels of share or what levels of kind unit volumes are you going to need to hit to get to that breakeven in FY16?

Satya Nadella

Let me start and Amy you can even add. So overall, we are very focused on I would say thinking about mobility share across the entire Windows family. I already talked about in my remarks about how mobility for us even goes beyond devices, but for this specific question I would even say that, we want to think about mobility not just one form factor of a mobile device because I think that’s where the ultimate price is.

But that said, we are even year-over-year basis seen increased volume for Lumia, it’s coming at the low end in the entry smartphone market and we are pleased with it. It’s come in many markets we now have over 10% that’s the first market I would sort of say that we need to track country-by-country. And the key places where we are going to differentiate is looking at productivity scenarios or the digital work and life scenario that we can light up on our phone in unique ways.

When I can take my Office Lens App use the camera on the phone take a picture of anything and have it automatically OCR recognized and into OneNote in searchable fashion that’s the unique scenario. What we have done with Surface and PPI shows us the way that there is a lot more we can do with phones by broadly thinking about productivity. So this is not about just a Word or Excel on your phone, it is about thinking about Cortana and Office Lens and those kinds of scenarios in compelling ways. And that’s what at the end of the day is going to drive our differentiation and higher end Lumia phones.

Amy Hood

And Keith to answer your specific question, regarding FY16, I think we’ve made the difficult choices to get the cost base to a place where we can deliver, on the exact scenario Satya as outlined, and we do assume that we continue to grow our units through the year and into 2016 in order to get to breakeven.

Rick Sherlund – Nomura

Thanks. I’m wondering if you could talk about the Office for a moment. I’m curious whether you think we’ve seen the worst for Office here with the consumer fall off. In Office 365 growth in margins expanding their – just sort of if you can look through the dynamics and give us a sense, do you think you are actually turned the corner there and we may be seeing the worse in terms of Office growth and margins?

Satya Nadella

Rick, let me just start qualitatively in terms of how I view Office, the category and how it relates to productivity broadly and then I’ll have Amy even specifically talk about margins and what we are seeing in terms of I’m assuming Office renewals is that probably the question. First of all, I believe the category that Office is in, which is productivity broadly for people, the group as well as organization is something that we are investing significantly and seeing significant growth in.

On one end you have new things that we are doing like Cortana. This is for individuals on new form factors like the phones where it’s not about anything that application, but an intelligent agent that knows everything about my calendar, everything about my life and tries to help me with my everyday task.

On the other end, it’s something like Delve which is a completely new tool that’s taking some – what is enterprise search and making it more like the Facebook news feed where it has a graph of all my artifacts, all my people, all my group and uses that graph to give me relevant information and discover. Same thing with Power Q&A and Power BI, it’s a part of Office 365. So we have a pretty expansive view of how we look at Office and what it can do. So that’s the growth strategy and now specifically on Office renewals.

Amy Hood

And I would say in general, let me make two comments. In terms of Office on the consumer side between what we sold on prem as well as the Home and Personal we feel quite good with attach continuing to grow and increasing the value prop. So I think that’s to address the consumer portion.

On the commercial portion, we actually saw Office grow as you said this quarter; I think the broader definition that Satya spoke to the Office value prop and we continued to see Office renewed in our enterprise agreement. So in general, I think I feel like we’re in a growth phase for that franchise.

Walter Pritchard – Citigroup

Hi, thanks. Satya, I wanted to ask you about two statements that you made, one around responsibly making the market for Windows Phone, just kind of following on Keith’s question here. And that’s a – it’s a really competitive market it feels like ultimately you need to be a very, very meaningful share player in that market to have value for developer to leverage the universal apps that you’re talking about in terms of presentations you’ve given and build in and so forth.

And I’m trying to understand how you can do both of those things once and in terms of responsibly making the market for Windows Phone, it feels difficult given your nearest competitors there are doing things that you might argue or irresponsible in terms of making their market given that they monetize it in different ways?

Satya Nadella

Yes. One of beauties of universal Windows app is, it aggregates for the first time for us all of our Windows volume. The fact that even what is an app that runs with a mouse and keyboard on the desktop can be in the store and you can have the same app run in the touch-first on a mobile-first way gives developers the entire volume of Windows which is 300 plus million units as opposed to just our 4% share of mobile in the U.S. or 10% in some country.

So that’s really the reason why we are actively making sure that universal Windows apps is available and developers are taking advantage of it, we have great tooling. Because that’s the way we are going to be able to create the broadest opportunity to your very point about developers getting an ROI for building to Windows. For that’s how I think we will do it in a responsible way.

Heather Bellini – Goldman Sachs

Great. Thank you so much for your time. I wanted to ask a question about – Satya your comments about combining the next version of Windows and to one for all devices and just wondering if you look out, I mean you’ve got kind of different SKU segmentations right now, you’ve got enterprise, you’ve got consumer less than 9 inches for free, the offering that you mentioned earlier that you recently announced. How do we think about when you come out with this one version for all devices, how do you see this changing kind of the go-to-market and also kind of a traditional SKU segmentation and pricing that we’ve seen in the past?

Satya Nadella

Yes. My statement Heather was more to do with just even the engineering approach. The reality is that we actually did not have one Windows; we had multiple Windows operating systems inside of Microsoft. We had one for phone, one for tablets and PCs, one for Xbox, one for even embedded. So we had many, many of these efforts. So now we have one team with the layered architecture that enables us to in fact one for developers bring that collective opportunity with one store, one commerce system, one discoverability mechanism. It also allows us to scale the UI across all screen sizes; it allows us to create this notion of universal Windows apps and being coherent there.

So that’s what more I was referencing and our SKU strategy will remain by segment, we will have multiple SKUs for enterprises, we will have for OEM, we will have for end-users. And so we will – be disclosing and talking about our SKUs as we get further along, but this my statement was more to do with how we are bringing teams together to approach Windows as one ecosystem very differently than we ourselves have done in the past.

Ed Maguire – CLSA

Hi, good afternoon. Satya you made some comments about harmonizing some of the different products across consumer and enterprise and I was curious what your approach is to viewing your different hardware offerings both in phone and with Surface, how you’re go-to-market may change around that and also since you decided to make the operating system for sub 9-inch devices free, how you see the value proposition and your ability to monetize that user base evolving over time?

Satya Nadella

Yes. The statement I made about bringing together our productivity applications across work and life is to really reflect the notion of dual use because when I think about productivity it doesn’t separate out what I use as a tool for communication with my family and what I use to collaborate at work. So that’s why having this one team that thinks about outlook.com as well as Exchange helps us think about those dual use. Same thing with files and OneDrive and OneDrive for business because we want to have the software have the smart about separating out the state carrying about IT control and data protection while me as an end user get to have the experiences that I want. That’s how we are thinking about harmonizing those digital life and work experiences.

On the hardware side, we would continue to build hardware that fits with these experiences if I understand your question right, which is how will be differentiate our first party hardware, we will build first party hardware that’s creating category, a good example is what we have done with Surface Pro 3. And in other places where we have really changed the Windows business model to encourage a plethora of OEMs to build great hardware and we are seeing that in fact in this holiday season, I think you will see a lot of value notebooks, you will see clamshells. So we will have the full price range of our hardware offering enabled by this new windows business model.

And I think the last part was how will we monetize? Of course, we will again have a combination, we will have our OEM monetization and some of these new business models are about monetizing on the backend with Bing integration as well as our services attached and that’s the reason fundamentally why we have these zero-priced Windows SKUs today.

Microsoft BUILD 2014 Day 2: “rebranding” to Microsoft Azure and moving toward a comprehensive set of fully-integrated backend services

  1. “Rebranding” into Microsoft Azure from the previous Windows Azure
  2. Microsoft Azure Momentum on the Market
  3. The new Azure Management Portal (preview)
  4. New Azure features: IaaS, web, mobile and data announcements

Microsoft Announces New Features for Cloud Computing Service [CCTV America YouTube channel, April 3, 2014]

Day two of the Microsoft Build developer conference in San Francisco wrapped up with the company announcing 44 new services. Most of those are based on Microsoft Azure – it’s cloud computing platform that manages applications across data centers. CCTV’s Mark Niu reports from San Francisco.

Watch the first 10 minutes of this presentation for a brief summary of the latest state of Microsoft Azure: #ChefConf 2014: Mark Russinovich, “Microsoft Azure Group” [Chef YouTube channel, April 16, 2014]

Mark Russinovich is a Technical Fellow in the Windows Azure Group at Microsoft working on Microsoft’s cloud platform. He is a widely recognized expert in operating systems, distributed systems, and cybersecurity. In this keynote from #ChefConf 2014, he gives an overview of Microsoft Azure and a demonstration of the integration between Azure and Chef

Then here is a fast talk and Q&A on Azure with Scott Guthrie after his keynote preseantation at BUILD 2014:
Cloud Cover Live – Ask the Gu! [jlongo62 YouTube channel, published on April 21, 2014]

With Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise group

The original: Cloud Cover Live – Ask the Gu! [Channel 9, April 3, 2014]

Details:

  1. “Rebranding” into Microsoft Azure from the previous Windows Azure
  2. Microsoft Azure Momentum on the Market
  3. The new Azure Management Portal (preview)
  4. New Azure features: IaaS, web, mobile and data announcements

[2:45:47] long video record of the Microsoft Build Conference 2014 Day 2 Keynote [MSFT Technology News YouTube channel, recorded on April 3, published on April 7, 2014]

Keynote – April 2-4, 2014 San Francisco, CA 8:30AM to 11:30AM

The original video record on Channel 9
Day 2 Keynote transcript by Microsoft


1. “Rebranding” into Microsoft Azure from the previous Windows Azure

Yes, you’ve noticed right: the Windows prefix has gone, and the full name is now only Microsoft Azure! The change happened on April 3 as evidenced by change of the cover photo on the Facebook site, now also called Microsoft Azure:

image

from this cover photo used from July 23, 2013 on:

image

And it happened without any announcement or explanation as even the last, April 1 Microsoft video carried the Windows prefix: Tuesdays with Corey //build Edition

We can’t believe he said that! This week, Corey gets us in trouble by spilling all sorts of //build secrets. Check it out!

as well as the last, March 14 video ad: Get Your Big Bad Wolf On (Extended)

Go get your big bad wolf on, today: http://po.st/01rkCL


2. Microsoft Azure Momentum on the Market

The day began with Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise group, touting Microsoft progress with Azure for the last 18 months when:

… we talked about our new strategy with Azure and our new approach, a strategy that enables me to use both infrastructure as a service and platform as a service capabilities together, a strategy that enables developers to use the best of the Windows ecosystem and the best of the Linux ecosystem together, and one that delivers unparalleled developer productivity and enables you to build great applications and services that work with every device

  • Last year … shipped more than 300 significant new features and releases
  • … we’ve also been hard at work expanding the footprint of Azure around the world. The green circles you see on the slide here represent Azure regions, which are clusters of datacenters close together, and where you can go ahead and run your application code. Just last week, we opened two new regions, one in Shanghai and one in Beijing. Today, we’re the only global, major cloud provider that operates in mainland China. And by the end of the year, we’ll have more than 16 public regions available around the world, enabling you to run your applications closer to your customers than ever before.
  • More than 57 percent of the Fortune 500 companies are now deployed on Azure.
  • Customers run more than 250,000 public-facing websites on Azure, and we now host more than 1 million SQL databases on Azure.
  • More than 20 trillion objects are now stored in the Azure storage system. We have more than 300 million users, many of them — most of them, actually, enterprise users, registered with Azure Active Directory, and we process now more than 13 billion authentications per week.
  • We have now more than 1 million developers registered with our Visual Studio Online service, which is a new service we launched just last November.

Let’s go beyond the big numbers, though, and look at some of the great experiences that have recently launched and are using the full power of Azure and the cloud.

Titanfall” was one of the most eagerly anticipated games of the year, and had a very successful launch a few weeks ago. “Titanfall” delivers an unparalleled multiplayer gaming experience, powered using Azure.

Let’s see a video of it in action, and hear what the developers who built it have to say.

[Titanfall and the Power of the Cloud [xbox YouTube channel, April 3, 2014]]

‘Developers from Respawn Studios and Xbox discuss how cloud computing helps take Titanfall to the next level.

One of the key bets the developers of “Titanfall” made was for all game sessions on the cloud. In fact, you can’t play the game without the cloud, and that bet really paid off.

As you heard in the video, it enables much, much richer gaming experiences. Much richer AI experiences. And the ability to tune and adapt the game as more users use it.

To give you a taste of the scale, “Titanfall” had more than 100,000 virtual machines deployed and running on Azure on launch day. Which is sort of an unparalleled size in terms of a game launch experience, and the reviews of the game have been absolutely phenomenal.

Another amazing experience that recently launched and was powered using Azure was the Sochi Olympics delivered by NBC Sports.

NBC used Azure to stream all of the games both live and on demand to both Web and mobile devices. This was the first large-scale live event that was delivered entirely in the cloud with all of the streaming and encoding happening using Azure.

Traditionally, with live encoding, you typically run in an on-premises environment because it’s so latency dependent. With the Sochi Olympics, Azure enabled NBC to not only live encode in the cloud, but also do it across multiple Azure regions to deliver high-availability redundancy.

More than 100 million people watched the online experience, and more than 2.1 million viewers alone watched it concurrently during the U.S. versus Canada men’s hockey match, a new world record for online HD streaming.

RICK CORDELLA [Senior Vice President and General Manager of NBC Sports Digital]: The company bets about $1 billion on the Olympics each time it goes off. And we have 17 days to recoup that investment. Needless to say, there is no safety net when it comes to putting this content out there for America to enjoy. We need to make sure that content is out there, that it’s quality, that our advertisers and advertisements are being delivered to it. There really is no going back if something goes wrong.

The decision for that was taken more than a year ago: Windows Azure Teams Up With NBC Sports Group [Microsoft Azure YouTube channel, April 9, 2013]

Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager of digital media at NBC Sports Group discusses how they use Windows Azure across their digital platforms


3. The new Azure Management Portal (preview)

But in fact a new way of providing a comprehensive set of fully-integrated backend services had significantly bigger impact on the audience of developers. According to Microsoft announces new cloud experience and tools to deliver the cloud without complexity [The Official Microsoft Blog, April 3, 2014]

The following post is from Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft.

On Thursday at Build in San Francisco, we took an important step by unveiling a first-of-its kind cloud environment within Microsoft Azure that provides a fully integrated cloud experience – bringing together cross-platform technologies, services and tools that enable developers and businesses to innovate with enterprise-grade scalability at startup speed. Announced today, our new Microsoft Azure Preview [Management]Portal is an important step forward in delivering our promise of the cloud without complexity.

image

When cloud computing was born, it was hailed as the solution that developers and business had been waiting for – the promise of a quick and easy way to get more from your business-critical apps without the hassle and cost of infrastructure. But as the industry transitions toward mobile-first, cloud-first business models and scenarios, the promise of “quick and easy” is now at stake. There’s no question that developing for a world that is both mobile-first and cloud-first is complicated. Developers are managing thousands of virtual machines, cobbling together management and automation solutions, and working in unfamiliar environments just to make their apps work in the cloud – driving down productivity as a result.

Many cloud vendors tout the ease and cost savings of the cloud, but they leave customers without the tools or capabilities to navigate the complex realities of cloud computing. That’s why today we are continuing down a path of rapid innovation. In addition to our groundbreaking new Microsoft Azure Preview [Management] Portal, we announced several enhancements our customers need to fully tap into the power of the cloud. These include:

  • Dozens of enhancements to our Azure services across Web, mobile, data and our infrastructure services
  • Further commitment to building the most open and flexible cloud with Azure support for automation software from Puppet Labs and Chef.
  • We’ve removed the throttle off our Application Insights preview, making it easier for all developers to build, manage and iterate on their apps in the cloud with seamless integration into the IDE

<For details see the separate section 4. New Azure features: IaaS, web, mobile and data announcements>

Here is a brief presentation by a Brazilian specialist: Microsoft Azure [Management] Portal First Touch [Bruno Vieira YouTube channel, April 3, 2014]

From Microsoft evolves the cloud experience for customers [press release, April 3, 2014]

… Thursday at Build 2014, Microsoft Corp. announced a first-of-its-kind cloud experience that brings together cross-platform technologies, services and tools, enabling developers and businesses to innovate at startup speed via a new Microsoft Azure Preview [Management] Portal.

In addition, the company announced several new milestones in Visual Studio Online and .NET that give developers access to the most complete platform and tools for building in the cloud. Thursday’s announcements are part of Microsoft’s broader vision to erase the boundaries of cloud development and operational management for customers.

“Developing for a mobile-first, cloud-first world is complicated, and Microsoft is working to simplify this world without sacrificing speed, choice, cost or quality,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president at Microsoft. “Imagine a world where infrastructure and platform services blend together in one seamless experience, so developers and IT professionals no longer have to work in disparate environments in the cloud. Microsoft has been rapidly innovating to solve this problem, and we have taken a big step toward that vision today.”

One simplified cloud experience

The new Microsoft Azure Preview [Management] Portal provides a fully integrated experience that will enable customers to develop and manage an application in one place, using the platform and tools of their choice. The new portal combines all the components of a cloud application into a single development and management experience. New components include the following:

  • Simplified Resource Management. Rather than managing standalone resources such as Microsoft Azure Web Sites, Visual Studio Projects or databases, customers can now create, manage and analyze their entire application as a single resource group in a unified, customized experience, greatly reducing complexity while enabling scale. Today, the new Azure Manager is also being released through the latest Azure SDK for customers to automate their deployment and management from any client or device.

  • Integrated billing. A new integrated billing experience enables developers and IT pros to take control of their costs and optimize their resources for maximum business advantage.

  • Gallery. A rich gallery of application and services from Microsoft and the open source community, this integrated marketplace of free and paid services enables customers to leverage the ecosystem to be more agile and productive.

  • Visual Studio Online. Microsoft announced key enhancements through the Microsoft Azure Preview [Management] Portal, available Thursday. This includes Team Projects supporting greater agility for application lifecycle management and the lightweight editor code-named “Monaco” for modifying and committing Web project code changes without leaving Azure. Also included is Application Insights, an analytics solution that collects telemetry data such as availability, performance and usage information to track an application’s health. Visual Studio integration enables developers to surface this data from new applications with a single click.

Building an open cloud ecosystem

Showcasing Microsoft’s commitment to choice and flexibility, the company announced new open source partnerships with Chef and Puppet Labs to run configuration management technologies in Azure Virtual Machines. Using these community-driven technologies, customers will now be able to more easily deploy and configure in the cloud. In addition, today Microsoft announced the release of Java Applications to Microsoft Azure Web Sites, giving Microsoft even broader support for Web applications.

From BUILD Day 2: Keynote Summary [by Steve Fox – DPE (MSFT) on MSDN Blogs, April 3, 2014]

….
Bill Staples then came on stage to show off the new Azure [management] portal design and features. Bill walked through a number of the new innovations in the portal, such as improved UX, app insights, “blade” views [the “blade” term is used for the dropdown that allows a drilldown], etc. A screen shot of the new portal is shown below.

image

image

Bill also walked through the comprehensive analytics (such as compute and billing) that are now available on the portal. He also walked through “Application Insights,” which is a great way to instrument your code in both the portal and in your code with easy-to-use, pre-defined code snippets. He completed his demo walkthrough by showing the Azure [management] portal as a “NOC” [Network Operations Center] view on a big-screen TV.

image

The above image is at the [1:44:24] point in time of the keynote video record on Channel 9 and it is giving more information if we provide here the part of transcript around it:

BILL STAPLES at [1:43:39]: Now, to conclude the operations part of this demo, I wanted to show you an experience for how the new Azure Portal works on a different device. You’ve seen it on the desktop, but it works equally well on a tablet device, that is really touch friendly. Check it out on your Surface or your iPad, it works great on both devices.

But we’re thinking as well if you’ve got a big-screen TV or a projector lying around your team room, you might want to think about putting the Microsoft Azure portal as your own personal NOC.

In this case, I’ve asked the Office developer team if we could have access to their live site log. So they made me promise, do not hit the stop button or the delete button, which I promised to do.

[1:44:24] This is actually the Office developer log site. And you can see it’s got almost 10 million hits already today running on Azure Websites. So very high traffic.

They’ve customized it to show off the browser usage on their website. Imagine we’re in a team Scrum with the Office developer guys and we check out, you know, how is the website doing? We’ve got some interesting trends here.

In fact, there was a spike of sessions it looks like going on about a week ago. And page views, that’s kind of a small part. It would be nice to know which page it was that spiked a week ago. Let’s go ahead and customize that.

This screen is kind of special because it has touch screen. So I can go ahead and let’s make that automatically expand there. Now we see a bigger view. Wow, that was a really big spike last week. What page was that? We can click into it. We get the full navigation experience, same on the desktop, as well as, oh, look at that. There’s a really popular blog post that happened about a week ago. What was that? Something about announcing Office on the iPad you love. Makes sense, huh? So we can see the Azure Portal in action here as the Office developer team might imagine it. [1:45:44]

The last thing I want to show is the Azure Gallery.

image

We populated the gallery with all of the first-party Microsoft Azure services, as well as the [services from] great partners that we’ve worked with so far in creating this gallery.

image

And what you’re seeing right here is just the beginning. We’ve got the core set of DevOps experiences built out, as well as websites, SQL, and MySQL support. But over the coming months, we’ll be integrating all of the developer and IT services in Microsoft as well as the partner services into this experience.

Let me just conclude by reminding us what we’ve seen. We’ve seen a first-of-its-kind experience from Microsoft that fuses our world-class developer services together with Azure to provide an amazing dev-ops experience where you can enjoy the entire lifecycle from development, deployment, operations, gathering analytics, and iterating right here in one experience.

We’ve seen an application-centric experience that brings together all the dev platform and infrastructure services you know and love into one common shell. And we’ve seen a new application model that you can describe declaratively. And through the command line or programmatically, build out services in the cloud with tremendous ease. [1:47:12]

More information on the new Azure [Management] Portal:

Today, at Build, we unveiled a new Azure [Management] Portal experience we are building.  I want to give you some insights into the work that VS Online team is doing to help with it.  I’m not on the Azure team and am no expert on how they’d like to describe to the world, so please take any comments I make here about the new Azure portal as my perspective on it and not necessarily an official one.

Bill Staples first presented to me almost a year ago an idea of creating a new portal experience for Azure designed to be an optimal experience for DevOps.  It would provide everything a DevOps team needs to do modern cloud based development.  Capabilities to provision dev and test resources, development and collaboration capabilities, build, release and deployment capabilities, application telemetry and management capabilities and more.  Pretty quickly it became clear to me that if we could do it, it would be awesome.  An incredibly productive and easy way for devs to do soup to nuts app development.

What we demoed today (and made available via http://portal.azure.com”) is the first incarnation of that.  My team (the VS Online Team) has worked very hard over the past many months with the Azure team to build the beginnings of the experience we hope to bring to you.  It’s very early and it’s nowhere near done but it’s definitely something we’d love to start getting some feedback on.

For now, it’s limited to Azure websites, SQL databases and a subset of the VS Online capabilities.  If you are a VS Online/TFS user, think of this as a companion to Visual Studio, Visual Studio Online and all of the tools you are used to.  When you create a team project in the Azure portal, it’s a VS Online Team Project like any other and is accessible from the Azure portal, the VS Online web UI, Visual Studio, Eclipse and all the other ways your Visual Studio Online assets are available.  For now, though, there are a few limitations – which we are working hard to address.  We are in the middle of adding Azure Active Directory support to Visual Studio Online and, for a variety of reasons, chose to limit the new portal to only work with VS Online accounts linked to Azure Active Directory.

The best way to ensure this is just to create a new Team Project and a new VS Online account from within the new Azure portal.  You will need to be logged in to the Azure portal with an identity known to your Azure Active Directory tenant and to add new users, rather than add them directly in Visual Studio Online, you will add them through Azure Active directory.  One of the ramifications of this, for now, is that you can’t use an existing VS Online account in the new portal – you must create a new one.  Clearly that’s a big limitation and one we are working hard to remove.  We will enable you to link existing VS Online accounts to Active Directory we just don’t have it yet – stay tuned.

I’ll do a very simple tour.  You can also watch Brian Keller’s Channel9 video.

Brian Keller talks with Jonah Sterling and Vishal Joshi about the new Microsoft Azure portal preview. This Preview portal is a big step forward in the journey toward integrated DevOps tools, technologies, and cloud services. See how you can deliver and scale business-ready apps for every platform more easily and rapidly—using what you already know and whatever toolset you like most

Further information:


4. New Azure features: IaaS, web, mobile and data announcements

According to Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise group:

image

[IaaS] First up, let’s look at some of the improvements we’re making with our infrastructure features and some of the great things we’re enabling with virtual machines.

Azure enables you to run both Windows and Linux virtual machines in the cloud. You can run them as stand-alone servers, or join them together to a virtual network, including one that you can optionally bridge to an on-premises networking environment.

This week, we’re making it even easier for developers to create and manage virtual machines in Visual Studio without having to leave the VS IDE: You can now create, destroy, manage and debug any number of VMs in the cloud. (Applause.)

Prior to today, it was possible to create reusable VM image templates, but you had to write scripts and manually attach things like storage drives to them. Today, we’re releasing support that makes it super-easy to capture images that can contain any number of storage drives. Once you have this image, you can then very easily take it and create any number of VM instances from it, really fast, and really easy. (Applause.)

Starting today, you can also now easily configure VM images using popular frameworks like Puppet, Chef, and our own PowerShell and VSD tools. These tools enable you to avoid having to create and manage lots of separate VM images. Instead, you can define common settings and functionality using modules that can cut across every type of VM you use.

You can also create modules that define role-specific behavior, and all these modules can be checked into source control and they can also then be deployed to a Puppet Master or Chef server.

And one of the things we’re doing this week is making it incredibly easy within Azure to basically spin up a server farm and be able to automatically deploy, provision and manage all of these machines using these popular tools.

We’re also excited to announce the general availability of our auto-scale service, as well as a bunch of great virtual networking capabilities including point-to-site VPN support going GA, new dynamic routing, subnet migration, as well as static internal IP address. And we think the combination of this really gives you a very flexible environment, as you saw, a very open environment, and lets you run pretty much any Windows or Linux workload in the cloud.

So we think infrastructure as a service is super-flexible, and it really kind of enables you to manage your environments however you want.


We also, though, provide prebuilt services and runtime environments that you can use to assemble your applications as well, and we call these platform as a service [PaaS] capabilities.

One of the benefits of these prebuilt services is that they enable you to focus on your application and not have to worry about the infrastructure underneath it.

We handle patching, load balancing, high availability and auto scale for you. And this enables you to work faster and do more.

What I want to do is just spend a little bit of time talking through some of these platform as a service capabilities, so we’re going to start talking about our Web functionality here today.

image

[Web] One of the most popular PaaS services that we now have on Windows Azure is something we call the Azure Website Service. This enables you to very easily deploy Web applications written in a variety of different languages and host them in the cloud. We support .NET, NOJS, PHP, Python, and we’re excited this week to also announce that we’re adding Java language support as well.

image

This enables you as a developer to basically push any type of application into Azure into our runtime environment, and basically host it to any number of users in the cloud.

Couple of the great features we have with Azure include auto-scale capability. What this means is you can start off running your application, for example, in a single VM. As more load increases to it, we can then automatically scale up multiple VMs for you without you having to write any script or take any action yourself. And if you get a lot of load, we can scale up even more.

You can basically configure how many VMs you maximally want to use, as well as what the burn-down rate is. And as your traffic — and this is great because it enables you to not only handle large traffic spikes and make sure that your apps are always responsive, but the nice thing about auto scale is that when the traffic drops off, or maybe during the night when it’s a little bit less, we can automatically scale down the number of machines that you need, which means that you end up saving money and not having to pay as much.

One of the really cool features that we’ve recently introduced with websites is something we call our staging support. This solves kind of a pretty common problem with any Web app today, which is there’s always someone hitting it. And how do you stage the deployments of new code that you roll out so that you don’t ever have a site in an intermediate state and that you can actually deploy with confidence at any point in the day?

And what staging support enables inside of Azure is for you to create a new staging version of your Web app with a private URL that you can access and use to test. And this allows you to basically deploy your application to the staging environment, get it ready, test it out before you finally send users to it, and then basically you can push one button or send a single command called swap where we’ll basically rotate the incoming traffic from the old production site to the new staged version.

What’s nice is we still keep your old version around. So if you discover once you go live you still have a bug that you missed, you can always swap back to the previous state. Again, this allows you to deploy with a lot of confidence and make sure that your users are always seeing a consistent experience when they hit your app.

Another cool feature that we’ve recently introduced is a feature we call Web Jobs. And this enables you to run background tasks that are non-HTTP responsive that you can actually run in the background. So if it takes a while to run it, this is a great way you can offload that work so that you’re not stalling your actual request response thread pool.

Basically, you know, common scenario we see for a lot of people is if they want to process something in the background, when someone submits something, for example, to the website, they can go ahead and simply drop an item into a queue or into the storage account, respond back down to the user, and then with one of these Web jobs, you can very easily run background code that can pull that queue message and actually process it in an offline way.

And what’s nice about Web jobs is you can run them now in the same virtual machines that host your websites. What that means is you don’t have to spin up your own separate set of virtual machines, and again, enables you to save money and provides a really nice management experience for it.

The last cool feature that we’ve recently introduced is something we call traffic manager support. With Traffic Manager, you can take advantage of the fact that Azure runs around the world, and you can spin up multiple instances of your website in multiple different regions around the world with Azure.

What you can then do is use Traffic Manager so you can have a single DNS entry that you then map to the different instances around the world. And what Traffic Manager does is gives you a really nice way that you can actually automatically, for example, route all your North America users to one of the North American versions of your app, while people in Europe will go routed to the European version of your app. That gives you better performance, response and latency.

Traffic Manager is also smart enough so that if you ever have an issue with one of the instances of your app, it can automatically remove it from those rotations and send users to one of the other active apps within the system. So this gives you also a nice way you can fail over in the event of an outage.

And the great thing about Traffic Manager, now, is you can use it not just for virtual machines and cloud services, but we’ve also now enabled it to work fully with websites.

[From BUILD Day 2: Keynote Summary [by Steve Fox [MSFT] on MSDN Blogs, April 3, 2014]]
Scott then invited Mads Kristensen on stage to walk through a few of the features that Scott discussed at a higher level. Specifically, he walked through the new ASP.NET templates emphasizing the creation of the DB layer and then showing PowerShell integration to manage your web site. He then showed Angular integration with Azure Web sites, emphasizing easy and dynamic ways to update your site showing  deep browser and Visual Studio integration (Browser Link), showing updates that are made in the browser show up in the code in Visual Studio. Very cool!!
image
He also showed how you can manage staging and production sites by using the “swap” functionality built into the Azure Web sites service. He also showed Web Jobs to show how you can also run background jobs and Traffic Manager functionality to ensure your customers have the best performing web site in their regions.

So as Mads showed, there are a lot of great features that we’re kind of unveiling this week. A lot of great announcements that go with it.

These include the general availability release of auto-scale support for websites, as well as the general availability release of our new Traffic Manager support for websites as well. As you saw there, we also have Web Job support, and one of the things that we didn’t get to demo which is also very cool is backup support so that automatically we can have both your content as well as your databases backed up when you run them in our Websites environment as well.

Lots of great improvements also coming in terms of from an offer perspective. One thing a lot of people have asked us for with Websites is the ability not only to use SSL, but to use SSL without having to pay for it. So one of the cool things that we’re adding with Websites and it goes live today is we’re including one IP address-based SSL certificate and five SNI-based SSL certificates at no additional cost to every Website instance. (Applause.)

Throughout the event here, you’re also going to hear a bunch of great sessions on some of the improvements we’re making to ASP.NET. In terms of from a Web framework perspective, we’ve got general availability release of ASP.NET MVC 5.1, Web API 2.1, Identity 2.0, as well as Web Pages 3.1 So a lot of great, new features to take advantage of.

As you saw Mads demo, a lot of great features inside Visual Studio including the ability every time you create an ASP.NET project now to automatically create an Azure Website as part of that flow. Remember, every Azure customer gets 10 free Azure Websites that you can use forever. So even if you’re not an MSDN customer, you can take advantage of that feature in order to set up a Web environment literally every time you create a new project. So pretty exciting stuff.

So that was one example of some of the PaaS capabilities that we have inside Azure.


[Mobile] I’m going to move now into the mobile space and talk about some of the great improvements that we’re making there as well.

One of the great things about Azure is the fact that it makes it really easy for you to build back ends for your mobile applications and devices. And one of the cool things you can do now is you can develop those back ends with both .NET as well as NOJS, and you can use Visual Studio or any other text editor on any other operating system to actually deploy those applications into Azure.

And once they’re deployed, we make it really easy for you to go ahead and connect them to any type of device out there in the world.

image

Now, some of the great things you can do with this is take advantage of some of the features that we have, which provide very flexible data handling. So we have built-in support for Azure storage, as well as our SQL database, which is our PaaS database offering for relational databases, as well as take advantage of things like MongoDB and other popular NoSQL solutions.

image

We support the ability not only to reply to messages that come to us, but also to push messages to devices as well. One of the cool features that Mobile Services can take advantage of — and it’s also available as a stand-alone feature — is something we call notification hubs. And this basically allows you to send a single message to a notification hub and then broadcast it to, in some cases, devices that might be registered to it.

We also support with Mobile Services a variety of flexible authentication options. So when we first launched mobile services, we added support for things like Facebook login, Google ID, Twitter ID, as well as Microsoft Accounts.

One of the things we’re excited to demo here today is Active Directory support as well. So this enables you to build new applications that you can target, for example, your employees or partners, to enable them to sign in using the same enterprise credentials that they use in an on-premises Active Directory environment.

What’s great is we’re using standard OAuth tokens as part of that. So once you authenticate, you can take that token, you can use it to also provide authorization access to your own custom back-end logic or data stores that you host inside Azure.

We’re also making it really easy so that you can also take that same token and you can use it to access Office 365 APIs and be able to integrate that user’s data as well as functionality inside your application as well.

The beauty about all of this is it works with any device. So whether it’s a Windows device or an iOS device or an Android device, you can go ahead and take advantage of this capability.

[From BUILD Day 2: Keynote Summary [by Steve Fox [MSFT] on MSDN Blogs, April 3, 2014]]
Yavor Georgiev then came on stage to walk through a Mobile Services demo. He showed off a new Mobile Services Visual Studio template, test pages with API docs, local and remote debugging capabilities, and a LOB app that enables Facilities departments to manage service requests—this showed off a lot of the core ASP.NET/MVC features along with a quick publish service to your Mobile Services service in Azure. Through this app, he showed how to use Active Directory to build the app—which prompts you to log into the app with your corp/AD credentials to use the app. He then showed how the app integrates with SharePoint/O365 such that the request leverages the SharePoint REST APIs to publish a doc to a Facilities doc repository. He also showed how you can re-use the core code through Xamarin to repurpose the code for iOS.
The app is shown here native in Visual Studio.

image

This app view is the cross-platform build using Xamarin.

image

Kudos to Yavor! This was an awesome demo that showcases how far Mobile Services has come in a short period of time—love the extensibility and the cross-platform capabilities. Very nice!

One of the things that kind of Yavor showed there is just sort of how easy it is now to build enterprise-grade mobile applications using Azure and Visual Studio.

And one of the key kind of lynchpins in terms of from a technology standpoint that really makes this possible is our Azure Active Directory Service. This basically provides an Active Directory in the cloud that you can use to authenticate any device. What makes it powerful is the fact that you can synchronize it with your existing on-premises Active Directory. And we support both synch options, including back to Windows Server 2003 instances, so it doesn’t even require a relatively new Windows Server, it works with anything you’ve got.

We also support a federate option as well if you want to use ADFS. Once you set that environment up, then all your users are available to be authenticated in the cloud and what’s great is we ship SDKs that work with all different types of devices, and enables you to integrate authentication into those applications. And so you don’t everyone have to have your back end hosted on Azure, you can take advantage of this capability to enable single sign-on with any enterprise credential.

And what’s great is once you get that token, that same token can then be used to program against Office 365 APIs as well as the other services across Microsoft. So this provides a really great opportunity not only for building enterprise line-of-business apps, but also for ISVs that want to be able to build SaaS solutions as well as mobile device apps that integrate and target enterprise customers as well.

[From BUILD Day 2: Keynote Summary [by Steve Fox [MSFT] on MSDN Blogs, April 3, 2014]]
Scott then invited Grant Peterson from DocuSign on stage to discuss how they are using Azure, who demoed AD integration with DocuSign’s iOS app. Nice!

image

image

This is really huge for those of you building apps that are cross-platform but have big investments in AD and also provides you as developers a way to reach enterprise audiences.

So I think one of the things that’s pretty cool about that scenario is both the opportunity it offers every developer that wants to reach an enterprise audience. The great thing is all of those 300 million users that are in Azure Active Directory today and the millions of enterprises that have already federated with it are now available for you to build both mobile and Web applications against and be able to offer to them an enterprise-grade solution to all of your ISV-based applications.

That really kind of changes one of the biggest concerns that people end up having with enterprise apps with SaaS into a real asset where you can make it super-easy for them to go ahead and integrate and be able to do it from any device.

And one of the things you might have noticed there in the code that Grant showed was that it was actually all done on the client using Objective-C, and that’s because we have a new Azure Active Directory iOS SDK as well as an Android SDK in addition to our Windows SDK. And so you can use and integrate with Azure Active Directory from any device, any language, any tool.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the great mobile announcements that we’re making today. Yavor showed we now have .NET backend support, single sign-on with Active Directory.

One of the features we didn’t get a chance to show, but you can learn more about in the breakout talk is offline data sync. So we also now have built into Mobile Services the ability to sync and handle disconnected states with data. And then, obviously, the Visual Studio and remote debugging capabilities as well.

We’ve got not only the Azure SDKs for Azure Active Directory, but we also now have Office 365 API integration. We’re also really excited to announce the general availability or our Azure AD Premium release. This provides enterprises management capabilities that they can actually also use and integrate with your applications, and enables IT to also feel like they can trust the applications and the SaaS solutions that their users are using.

And then we have a bunch of great improvements with notification hubs including Kindle support as well as Visual Studio integration.

So a lot of great features. You can learn about all of them in the breakout talks this week.

So we’ve talked about Web, we’ve talked about mobile when we talk about PaaS.


[Data] I want to switch gears now and talk a little bit about data, which is pretty fundamental and integral to building any type of application.

image

And with Azure, we support a variety of rich ways to handle data ranging from unstructured, semistructured, to relational. One of the most popular services you heard me talk about at the beginning of the talk is our SQL database story. We’ve got over a million SQL databases now hosted on Azure. And it’s a really easy way for you to spin up a database, and better yet, it’s a way that we then manage for you. So we do handle things like high availability and patching.

You don’t have to worry about that. Instead, you can focus on your application and really be productive.

We’ve got a whole bunch of great SQL improvements that we’re excited to announce this week. I’m going to walk through a couple of them real quickly.

One of them is we’re increasing the database size that we support with SQL databases. Previously, we only supported up to 150 gigs. We’re excited to announce that we’re increasing that to support 500 gigabytes going forward. And we’re also delivering a new 99.95 percent SLA as part of that. So this now enables you to run even bigger applications and be able to do it with high confidence in the cloud. (Applause.)

Another cool feature we’re adding is something we call Self-Service Restore. I don’t know if you ever worked on a database application where you’ve written code like this, hit go, and then suddenly had a very bad feeling because you realized you omitted the where clause and you just deleted your entire table. (Laughter.)

And sometimes you can go and hopefully you have backups. This is usually the point when you discover when you don’t have backups.

And one of the things that we built in as part of the Self-Service Restore feature is automatic backups for you. And we actually let you literally roll back the clock, and you can choose what time of the day you want to roll it back to. We save up to I think 31 days of backups. And you can basically rehydrate a new database based on whatever time of the day you wanted to actually restore from. And then, hopefully, your life ends up being a lot better than it started out.

This is just a built-in feature. You don’t have to turn it on. It’s just sort of built in, something you can take advantage of. (Applause.)

Another great feature that we’re building in is something we call active geo-replication. What this lets you do now is you can actually go ahead and run SQL databases in multiple Azure regions around the world. And you can set it up to automatically replicate your databases for you.

And this is basically an asynchronous replication. You can basically have your primary in rewrite mode, and then you can actually have your secondary and you can have multiple secondaries in read-only mode. So you can still actually be accessing the data in read-only mode elsewhere.

In the event that you have a catastrophic issue in, say, one region, say a natural disaster hits, you can go ahead and you can initiate the failover automatically to one of your secondary regions. This basically allows you to continue moving on without having to worry about data loss and gives you kind of a really nice, high-availability solution that you can take advantage of.

One of the things that’s nice about Azure’s regions is we try to make sure we have multiple regions in each geography. So, for example, we have two regions that are at least 500 miles away in Europe, and in North America, and similarly with Australia, Japan and China. And what that means is that you know if you do need to fail over, your data is never leaving the geo-political area that it’s based in. And if you’re hosted in Europe, you don’t have to worry about your data ever leaving Europe, similarly for the other geo-political entities that are out there.

So this gives you a way now with high confidence that you can store your data and know that you can fail over at any point in time.

In addition to some of these improvements with SQL databases, we also have a host of great improvements coming with HDInsight, which is our big data analytics engine. This runs standard Hadoop instance and runs it as a managed service, so we do all the patching and management for you.

We’re excited to announce the GA of Hadoop 2.2 support. We also have now .NET 4.5 installed and APIs available so you can now write your MapReduce jobs using .NET 4.5.

We’re also adding audit and operation history support, a bunch of great improvements with Hive, and we’re now Yarn-enabling the cluster so you can actually run more software on it as well.

And we’re also excited to announce a bunch of improvements in the storage space, including the general availability of our read-access geo-redundant storage option.

So we’ve kind of done a whole bunch of kind of deep dives into a whole bunch of the Azure features.

More information:

It has been a really busy last 10 days for the Azure team. This blog post quickly recaps a few of the significant enhancements we’ve made.  These include:

  • [Web] Web Sites: SSL included, Traffic Manager, Java Support, Basic Tier
  • [IaaS] Virtual Machines: Support for Chef and Puppet extensions, Basic Pricing tier for Compute Instances
  • [IaaS] Virtual Network: General Availability of DynamicRouting VPN Gateways and Point-to-Site VPN
  • [Mobile] Mobile Services: Preview of Visual Studio support for .NET, Azure Active Directory integration and Offline support;
  • [Mobile] Notification Hubs: Support for Kindle Fire devices and Visual Studio Server Explorer integration
  • [IaaS] [Web] Autoscale: General Availability release
  • [Data] Storage: General Availability release of Read Access Geo Redundant Storage
  • [Mobile] Active Directory Premium: General Availability release
  • Scheduler service: General Availability release
  • Automation: Preview release of new Azure Automation service

All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them:

… With the April updates to Microsoft Azure, Azure Web Sites offers a new pricing tier called Basic.  The Basic pricing tier is designated for production sites, supporting smaller sites, as well as development and testing scenarios. … Which pricing tier is right for me? … The new pricing tier is a great benefit to many customers, offering some high-end features at a reasonable cost. We hope this new offering will enable a better deployment for all of you.

Microsoft is launching support for Java-based web sites on Azure Web Sites.  This capability is intended to satisfy many common Java scenarios combined with the manageability and easy scaling options from Azure Web Sites.

The addition of Java is available immediately on all tiers for no additional cost.  It offers new possibilities to host your pre-existing Java web applications.  New Java web site development on Azure is easy using the Java Azure SDK which provides integration with Azure services.

With the latest release of Azure Web Sites and the new Azure Portal Preview we are introducing a new concept: Web Hosting Plans. A Web Hosting Plan (WHP) allows you to group and scale sites independently within a subscription.

Microsoft Azure offers load balancing services for [IaaS] virtual machines (IaaS) and [Webcloud services (PaaS) hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Load balancing allows your application to scale and provides resiliency to application failures among other benefits.

The load balancing services can be accessed by specifying input endpoints on your services either via the Microsoft Azure Portal or via the service model of your application. Once a hosted service with one or more input endpoints is deployed in Microsoft Azure, it automatically configures the load balancing services offered by Microsoft Azure platform. To get the benefit of resiliency / redundancy of your services, you need to have at least two virtual machines serving the same endpoint.

The web marches on, and so does Visual Studio and ASP.NET, with a renewed commitment to making a great IDE for web developers of all kinds. Join Scott & Scott for this dive into VS2013 Update 2 and beyond. We’ll see new features in ASP.NET, new ideas in front end web development, as well as a peek into ASP.NET’s future.

When creating a Azure Mobile Service, a Notification Hub is automatically created as well enabling large scale push notifications to devices across any mobile platform (Android, iOS, Windows Store apps, and Windows Phone). For a background on Notification Hubs, see this overview as well as these tutorials and guides, and Scott Guthrie’s blog Broadcast push notifications to millions of mobile devices using Windows Azure Notification Hubs.

Let’s look at how devices register for notification and how to send notifications to registered devices using the .NET backend.

New tiers improve customer experience and provide more business continuity options

To better serve your needs for more flexibility, Microsoft Azure SQL Database is adding new service tiers, Basic and Standard, to work alongside its Premium tier, which is currently in preview. Together these service tiers will help you more easily support the needs of database workloads and application patterns built on Microsoft Azure. … Previews for all three tiers are available today.

The Basic, Standard, and Premium tiers are designed to deliver more predictable performance for light-weight to heavy-weight transactional application demands. Additionally, the new tiers offer a spectrum of business continuity features, a [Data] stronger uptime SLA at 99.95%, and larger database sizes up to 500 GB for less cost. The new tiers will also help remove costly workarounds and offer an improved billing experience for you.

… [Data] Active Geo-Replication: …

… [Data] Self-service Restore: …

Stay tuned to the Azure blog for more details on SQL Database later this month!

Also, if you haven’t tried Azure SQL Database yet, it’s a great time to start and try the Premium tier! Learn more today!

Azure HDInsight now supports [Data] Hadoop 2.2 with HDInsight cluster version 3.0 and takes full advantage of these platform to provide a range of significant benefits to customers. These include, most notably:

  • Microsoft Avro Library: …
  • [Data] YARN: A new, general-purpose, distributed, application management framework that has replaced the classic Apache Hadoop MapReduce framework for processing data in Hadoop clusters. It effectively serves as the Hadoop operating system, and takes Hadoop from a single-use data platform for batch processing to a multi-use platform that enables batch, interactive, online and stream processing. This new management framework improves scalability and cluster utilization according to criteria such as capacity guarantees, fairness, and service-level agreements.

  • High Availability: …

  • [Data] Hive performance: Order of magnitude improvements to Hive query response times (up to 40x) and to data compression (up to 80%) using the Optimized Row Columnar (ORC) format.

  • Pig, Sqoop, Qozie, Ambari: …

The first “post-Ballmer” offering launched: with Power BI for Office 365 everyone can analyze, visualize and share data in the cloud

… and everything you could know about Satya Nadella’s solution strategy so far (from Microsoft’s Cloud & Enterprise organization):

  1. Power BI as the lead business solution and the Microsoft’s visionary Data Platform solution built for it
  2. Microsoft’s vision of the unified platform for modern businesses

Keep in mind as well: Susan Hauser [CVP, EPG Group of Microsoft] interviews Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella [Microsoft, Feb 4, 2014; published on Microsoft Youtube channel, Feb 5, 2014]: [Microsoft, Feb 4, 2014: “Satya Nadella is a strong advocate for customers and partners, and a proven leader with strong technical and engineering expertise. Nadella addressed customers and partners for the first time as CEO during a Customer and Partner Webcast event.”]

[Contributor Profile: Susan Hauser, Corporate Vice President,
Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft]

As a teaser Q: [6:43] How do you think about consumer and business, and how do you see them benefiting each other?

A: You know, one of the things that when we think about our product innovation, we necessarily don’t compartementalize by consumer and business, we think about the user. In many of these cases, what needs to happen is experiences. That’s for sure have to have a strong notion of identity and security, so I.T. control, where it’s needed, still matters a lot, and that’s something that, again, we will uniquely bring to market. But it starts with the user. The user obviously is going to have a life at home and a life at work. So how do we bridge that as there more and more of what they do is digitally mediated? I want to be able to connect with my friends and family. I also want to be able to participate in the social network at work, and I don’t want the two things to be confused, but I don’t want to pick three different tools for doing the one thing I want to do seamlessly across my work and life. That’s what we are centered on. When we think about what we are doing in communications, what we are doing in productivity or social communications, those are all the places where we really want to bridge the consumer and business market, because that’s how we believe end-users actually work. [8:01]

More information:
Satya Nadella’s (?the next Microsoft CEO?) next ten years’ vision of “digitizing everything”, Microsoft opportunities and challenges seen by him with that, and the case of Big Data [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 13, 2013, 2013] … as one of the crucial issues for that (in addition to the cloud, mobility and Internet-of-Things), via the current tipping point as per Microsoft, and the upcoming revolution in that as per Intel … IMHO exactly in Big Data Microsoft’s innovations came to a point at which its technology has the best chances to become dominant and subsequently define the standard for the IT industry—resulting in “winner-take-all” economies of scale and scope. Whatever Intel is going to add to that in terms of “technologies for the next Big Data revolution” is going only to help Microsoft with its currently achieved innovative position even more. But for this reason I will include here the upcoming Intel innovations for Big Data as well.
Microsoft reorg for delivering/supporting high-value experiences/activities [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 11, 2013]
Microsoft partners empowered with ‘cloud first’, high-value and next-gen experiences for big data, enterprise social, and mobility on wide variety of Windows devices and Windows Server + Windows Azure + Visual Studio as the platform [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 11, 2013]
Will, with disappearing old guard, Satya Nadella break up the Microsoft behemoth soon enough, if any? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 5, 2014]
John W. Thompson, Chairman of the Board of Microsoft: the least recognized person in the radical two-men shakeup of the uppermost leadership [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 6, 2014]
Modern Applications: The People Story for Business [MSCloudOS YouTube channel, Feb 11, 2014]

We’ve positioned the animation to tell a story that will appeal to non-technical customers (i.e. the business decision makers) that will augment the product and technical stories we have developed. Think of it as an opening gambit to the kind of conversation we want to have with them. This is a “people story” about modern apps for business. This animation is aimed at taking the business angle and reinforcing our strong business app story. Learn More: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/cloud-os/modern-business-apps.aspx

– THE BIG PICTURE: Microsoft Cloud OS Overview [MSCloudOS YouTube channel, Jan 21, 2014]

Hello!

imageMy name is Gavriella Schuster and I’m the general manager at the US server and cloud business. Today I’d like to talk to you about Microsoft’s vision of the unified platform for modern businesses and how—what we call the Cloud OS—can help you transform your business as you shift in a world demanding continuous, always on services at broad-scale accessed by a multitude of devices.

image

You are in the center of one of the largest IT transformations this industry have ever seen. No question what the big shifts are happening in IT today due to the strength mobility and devices, applications, Big Data and Cloud.

The proliferation of devices and the integration of technology has changed the way people live and work, and it opened the door for a multitude of new applications designed to meet every need. These applications are social, their mobile and they need to be scaleable which means many will have a cloud back-end.

These devices and applications produce a huge amount of data. In fact, the world of data is doubling every two to three years. More than ninety percent of the world’s data was developed just in the last couple of years. These trends are forcing IT to answer new and different question.

imageHow can you enable a mobile workforce work from anywhere on any device? How can you involve your applications to meet these new demand? How can you help businesses make faster and better decision? And, how do you ensure your infrastructure can and will scale to meet the demand?

Microsoft answer is the Cloud OS. The Cloud OS is Microsoft hybrid cloud solution comprised of Windows Server, Windows Azure, System Center, Windows Intune, and SQL Server. With shared planning, development, engineering and support across these technologies we’re bringing a comprehensive solution to support your business across a number of fronts—from infrastructure to data, to applications and devices.

image

When it comes to mobility and devices we empower people centric IT. Our solutions enable you to deliver a consistent and great user experience from anywhere, no matter the device, with the way to manage and protect it all.

Nearly every customer echoes the importance of enabling a bring-your-own-device environment as a direct driver of productivity.

Aston Martin, for instance, the luxury car manufacturer was challenged managing over 700 remote devices—laptops, desktops, smartphones—
across 145 dealerships in 41 countries. With Windows Intune in System Center Configuration Manager Aston Martin can now proactively manage these devices via a single cloud-based console, before employee productivity is affected. In any case where an employee’s device is stolen I can remotely wipe that device to protect your corporate data.

At the application level we enable modern business applications, so that you can quickly extend your applications with new capabilities and deploy on multiple devices, where your applications live, and move wherever you want.

In regards to data its all about Big Data, small data, and all data. The Cloud OS will help you unlock insights on any data, make it easier for everyone to access and perform analytics with tools they already use, like SharePoint an Excel, on any data, any size, from anywhere.

We have democratized access to this data so that the many not the few can uncover insights to power your business.

And lastly, at the core of the Cloud OS powering mobility applications and data is your infrastructure. Our goal is to help you transform your datacenter, to enable you to go from managing each server individually to enabling a single well-managed elastic and scaleable environment to power all your application compute, networking and storage needs.

We call this concept a datacenter without boundaries, where you get a consistent experience that takes you from the data center to the cloud and back if you wish, so that you have access to resources on-demand and the ability to move workloads around with maximum flexibility. This provides you with easy on, easy off with no cloud lock in.

image

What makes our Cloud OS vision different is this hybrid design at the core. You benefit from a common and consistent approach to development, management, identity, security, virtualization and data. Spending on premises to the cloud, your private cloud, a service provider cloud, and Windows Azure—Microsoft enterprise public cloud.

This is powerful for a number of reasons.

  • One, we deliver a flexible development environment to developers [that they] can code and deploy anywhere across Ruby, Java, PHP, Python or .NET. And, you get complete workload mobility to move these applications across cloud.
  • With System Center you get a single unified management solution to manage all your physical and virtual infrastructure resources across cloud in a single pane of glass.
  • Common identity is a third element of our consistent platform. With a federated Active Directory and multi-factor authentication you get a common identity across cloud, so your employees can enjoy a seamless, single sign-on experience.
  • Integrated virtualization is the fourth area. We go beyond traditional server virtualization where compute is virtualized and extended to other areas like storage and networking that are costly in your environment today.
  • Lasty being able to have a complete data platform, where your data can reside anywhere across these three clouds, is a value proposition that is huge as well. You can tap into it and all that data wherever you need, anytime.

Well I shared the core benefits Microsoft can deliver in this hybrid cloud approach.


One question I hear frequently from customers is: Oh, this is great. Can you tell me the best use case to get started with Azure?

Well, Azure can support a number of your infrastructure as a service [IaaS], and platform as a service [PaaS] needs. There are few simple areas I encourage you to look at first.

image

Let’s start with storage.

With today’s enormous growth in data everyone is looking for smarter, more cost-effective ways to manage and store their data. Windows Azure provides scaleable cloud storage and backup for any data big and small. Azure’s very cost-effective because you only pay for what you use at a cost that is lower than many on-premise solutions, SAN or NAS. Additionally we offer hybrid cloud storage option with our Store Simple appliance through Azure allowing you to access frequently use data locally and [put] tiered, less use data to the cloud. Your data is deduplicated, compressed and encrypted which means the data is smaller and therefore more cost effective to store and protect.

One customer example is Steelcase Corporation. There’re an office furniture supplier. They’ve backed up their SharePoint data with Store Simple on Azure, reducing their storage costs by 46 percent, and their restore times by 87 percent.

Another area to consider for Azure is your development and testing environment. You can easily and quickly self provision as many virtual machines as you need for your application development and testing in the cloud, without waiting for hardware procurement or internal processes. We offer complete virtual machine mobility so you can decide whether to deploy that application in production on Windows Azure, on-premises in your data center, or with a hosting provider. The choice is yours to deploy easily in whichever location with a few keystrokes.

And, if you’re looking to upgrade to the latest version of SharePoint or SQL [Server] Azure is a perfect option for testing in the cloud, with no impact to your production environment. You can roll out on-premises or in the cloud when you are ready.

On the topic of SQL [Server], backing up your on-premises SQL [Server] or Oracle databases is a must-have to help reduce your down time and minimize data loss. With Azure you can create a low-cost SQL Server 2012 or 2014 database replica without having to manage at separate data center or use expensive co-location facilities, offering you geo-redundancy and encryption.

Backing up your data base using Windows Azure Storage can save you up to 60 percent compared to on-premise SAN or tape solutions due to our compression technology.

And, our last scenario here for you to consider is identity. Managing identity across both the public cloud an on-premises applications provides you with the security you want in a great user experience. With Windows Azure Active Directory you can create new identities in the cloud or connect to an existing on-premises Active Directory to federate and manage access to your cloud application. More importantly you can synchronize on-premises identities with Windows Azure Active Directory and enable single sign-on for your users to access [your] cloud application.


I hope I provided you with a good overview of Microsoft hybrid cloud approach with the Cloud OS

In delivering global services at scale—like Bing, Skype and Xbox from our data centers—you can trust that our solutions are battle tested to meet the needs of your business.

And it’s not just battle tested by us but also by our customers. You heard a number of examples today of enterprises and organizations already benefiting from the Cloud OS vision. There are many-many more. This is a look at a small sampling.

image

We’re excited to see how each of you will transform IT and your businesses by taking advantage of our investments and solutions that are bringing the Cloud OS to life. So whether you’re testing the cloud for the first time, or going along with it, we have the platform and tools to help you every step of the way. Windows Azure in Windows Server support hybrid IT scenarios so you can flex to the cloud when you want, but still using your existing IT assets.

image

To get started today visit our Microsoft Cloud OS home page [Jan 20, 2014] to learn more and try out our solution.

Thank you for joining me.

Descriptors/tags:

Power BI as the lead business solution, Microsoft’s visionary Data Platform solution, unified platform for modern businesses, Microsoft Cloud OS, Cloud OS, mobility, apps, Big Data, cloud, Microsoft hybrid cloud solution, Windows Server, Windows Azure, System Center, Windows Intune, SQL Server, datacenter without boundaries, hybrid design, Microsoft Cloud OS vision, flexible development, unified management, common identity, integrated virtualization, complete data platform, storage, SharePoint, SQL, identity, self-service business intelligence solution, self-service analytics, self-service BI, analysis, visualization, collaboration, business intelligence models, Power BI for Office 365, Office 365, insights from data, data insights, Data Management Gateway, Power BI Sites, Power BI Mobile App, Mobile BI, natural language query, Q&A of Power BI, Microsoft Cloud & Enterprise Group, Microsoft’s Data Platform Vision, Power BI Jumpstart, autonomous marketing, Aston Martin, Microsoft’s Cloud OS home on YouTube, mobile device management, cloud computing, innovation, hybrid cloud, midmarket, datacenter modernization, consumerization of IT, hybrid cloud strategy, Business Intelligence, innovations, Microsoft Excel, Q&A, high-value activities, high-value experiences, high-value focus, MicrosoftMicrosoft strategy, value focus, Active Directory, application development, Azure AD, Cloud first, cloud infrastructure, cloud solutions, enterprise opportunities, PaaS, IaaS, Windows devices, Windows Phone


1. Power BI as the lead business solution and the Microsoft’s visionary Data Platform solution built for it

imageSelf-service business intelligence solution enables all kinds of business users to find relevant information, pull data from Windows Azure and other sources, and prepare business intelligence models for analysis, visualization and collaboration.
image
February 10: the top message on the Microsoft News Center 

Although it is just linking to this blog entry (no press release or anything like a big splash):
Power BI for Office 365 empowers everyone to analyze, visualize and share data in the cloud [The Official Microsoft Blog, Feb 10, 2014]

The following post is from Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President, Data Platform Group.


On Monday we announced that Power BI for Office 365 – our self-service business intelligence solution designed for everyone – is generally available. Power BI empowers all kinds of business users to find relevant information, pull data from Windows Azure and other sources, and prepare compelling business intelligence models for analysis, visualization, and collaboration. 

Modernizing business intelligence

Today business intelligence is only used by a fraction of the people that could derive value from it. What we all need is modernized business intelligence which will help everyone get the information they need to understand their job or personal life better. Not just the type of information gained from an Internet search, but also information from expert sources. Now imagine you could bring together these different information sources, discover relationships between facets of information, create new insights and understand your world better. And that you could get others to see what you see, and enable them to collaborate and build on one another’s ideas. And imagine that available on any scale of data and any kinds of computation you might need. Now imagine it’s not just you – but that anyone can access this kind of data-driven discovery and learning. 

Power BI brings together many key aspects of the modernization of business intelligence: a public and corporate catalog of data sets and BI models, a way to search for data, a modern app and a Web-first experience, rich interactive visualizations, collaboration capabilities, tools for IT to govern data and models, and a groundbreaking natural language experience for exploring insights. Together, these capabilities will not just change the kinds of insights we can gain from data, but change the reach of those insights as well.

Bringing big data to a billion users

With Power BI, we have the opportunity to bring these types of data insights to a billion people. Office 365 is broadly adopted and growing – one in four of our enterprise customers now has Office 365. By making our business intelligence features part of Office, we ensure the tools are accessible, and through Office 365, we make the tools easy to adopt – not just the ease of using Web applications, but making things like collaboration, security, data discovery and exploration integrated and turnkey. 

I talked earlier about the importance of reach, and one of the ultimate forms of reach we discovered over the course of developing Power BI has been a feature we named Q&A, which allows anyone to type in search terms – just as they would in Bing – and  get instantaneous, visual results in the form of interactive charts or graphs.

Power BI for Office 365 Overview [MSCloudOS YouTube channel, Jan 22, 2014]

Power BI for Office 365: Self-service analytics for all your data. Learn how Power BI can help you discover, analyze and visualize your data while it empowers you to share your insights and collaborate with your colleagues. Ask questions with Q&A, schedule refreshes from on-prem or cloud data sources and access your reports anytime, anywhere. Try Power BI: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/powerbi/default.aspx#fbid=lVtiyE9CkuC

Realizing value from data

I personally know how significant this all is – as you can imagine, at Microsoft we run our business on our own data platform and on Power BI. In my role as head of our data platform group, I don’t create a lot of models, but I consume a lot of them – everything from the business financials of the SQL Server business and team management to our engineering and services datasets. My mobile business intelligence application for Windows 8 allows me to interact with our daily engineering data. The ability to visualize and interact with data on my large PPI screen allows me and my finance and marketing partners to meet in my office and have a deep conversation about the business. Collaboration through Office 365 and SharePoint Online allows me to share perspective with my peers around the company.

Power BI for Office 365 has empowered me to realize deeper value from data. I’m excited to share this power with everyone.

Get Insights from Data [MSCloudOS YouTube channel, Jan 24, 2014]

One-minute video clip explaining the value of Power BI along with Office 365, focusing on how it addresses business’ pain points (once you have your data, how you get insights from it).

Big insights from big data at the World Economic Forum 2014 [Next at Microsoft Blog, Jan 22, 2014]

I’m at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week – where the world’s leaders, thought leaders and innovators gather to discuss the political, social and economic forces that are transforming the world and our lives. The other force that the World Economic  Forum calls out in their program (above all else) are the technological forces.

WEF 2014 education data with Power BI for Office 365 [Microsoft YouTube channel, Jan 21, 2014]

Education data from the World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index — visualized using Power BI for Office 365

Microsoft’s Vision Center sits directly across from the congress hall where all of these forces are being discussed and inside the center we’re showing how our technologies are helping turn data in to insight. As part of their work, the World Economic Forum produces a large volume of data and indices covering 148 countries. When I saw this data set in an Excel spreadsheet I knew it was ripe for transformation using Power BI for Office 365. As you can see in the video above, we’ve taken all of that data and are helping to deliver insight from it using Power View, Power Map and our Q&A technology. When you see health data below over a time period mapped country by country it really bring the data alive. When you can compare educational data across regions, countries and by type of education, once again the data comes alive. The real treat for me has been using Q&A to ask questions of the data much as you would ask questions of a data scientist.

WEF 2014 healthcare data with Power BI for Office 365 [Microsoft YouTube channel, Jan 21, 2014]

Healthcare data from the World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index — visualized using Power BI for Office 365

If you’ve not had a chance to see Power BI in action I’d encourage you to take up a trial of Office 365 and download the Power BI tools from PowerBI.com – it puts the decision making from data in the hands of anyone and I believe will help to deliver insights that answer some of the big questions at Davos this week and in the future. 

Source: World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report series (various editions)

Find and Combine Data [MSCloudOS YouTube channel, Jan 24, 2014]

One-minute video clip explaining the value of Power BI along with Office 365, focusing on how it addresses business’ pain points (finding and combining data within the SMB).

Microsoft Releases Power BI for Office 365 [C&E News Bytes Blog*, Feb 10, 2014]

Today, Microsoft announced the general availability of Power BI for Office 365, a cloud-based business intelligence service that gives people a powerful new way to work with data in the tools they use every day, Excel and Office 365. Power BI for Office 365 brings together Microsoft’s strengths in cloud, productivity and business intelligence to enable people to easily analyze and visualize data in Excel, discover valuable insights, and share and collaborate on those insights from anywhere with Office 365.

Power BI for Office 365 with Excel allows business users to easily create reports and discover insights in Excel and share and collaborate on those insights in Office 365. Excel includes powerful data modeling and visualization capabilities which enables customer to easily discover, access, and combine their data. Customers also have the ability to create rich 3D geospatial visualizations in Excel.

With Office 365, customers have access to cloud-based capabilities to share visualizations and reports with their colleagues in real time and on mobile devices, interact with their data in new ways to gain faster insights and manage their work more effectively. These key cloud-based capabilities include:

  • A Data Management Gateway which enables IT to build connections to on-premise data sources and schedule refreshes. Business users always have the most up to date reports, whether on their desktop or over their device.
    [From the preview in Oct’13 here:] Through the Data Management Gateway, IT can enable on-premises data access for all reports published into Power BI so that users have the latest data. IT can also enable enterprise data search across their organization, making it easier for users to discover the data they need. The system also monitors data usage across the organization, providing IT with the information they need to understand manage the system overall.
  • [Power] BI Sites, dedicated workspaces optimized for BI projects, which allow business users to quickly find and share data and reports with colleagues and collaborate over BI results.
    [From the preview in Oct’13 here:] Power BI for Office 365 enables users to quickly create Power BI Sites, BI workspaces for users to share and view larger workbooks of up to 250MB, refresh report data, maintain data views for others and track who is accessing them, and easily find the answers they need with natural language query. Users can also stay connected to their reports in Office 365 from any device with HTML5 support for Power View reports and through a new Power BI mobile app for Windows.
  • Real-time access to BI Sites and data no matter where a user is located via mobile devices. Customers can access their data through the browser in HTML5 or through touch-optimized mobile application, available on the Windows Store.
    [From the preview in Oct’13 here:] The Power BI Mobile App is a new visualization app for Office that helps visualize graphs and data residing in an Excel workbook available in the Windows Store. The user is able to navigate through the data with multiple views and ability to zoom in and out at different levels. This app was first available for Windows 8, Windows RT, and Surface devices through the Windows Store and specifically for those customers using the Power BI for Office 365 Preview. It provides touch optimized access to BI reports and models stored in Office 365.
    Power BI App for Windows 8 and Windows RT now available in Store [“Welcome to the US SMB&D TS2 Team Blog”, Aug 21, 2013]
    Microsoft mobile app helps citizens report crimes more quickly to police in Delhi, India [The Fire Hose Blog, Jan 29, 2014]
  • A natural language query experienced called Q&A which allows users to ask questions of their data and receive immediate answers in the form of an interactive table, chart or graph.

Power BI for Office 365 provides an easy on-ramp for organizations who have bet on Office 365 to begin doing self-service BI today. Several customers have already started realizing the benefits of the service, including Revlon, MediaCom, Carnegie Mellon University and Trek.

For more information, read Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President of the Data Platform Group’s, post [here you’ve already seen/read above] on the Official Microsoft Blog. Customers can find out more about how to purchase Power BI for Office 365 at powerbi.com.

[*About C&E News Bytes Blog: Here you will find a quick synopsis of all news from Microsoft’s Cloud & Enterprise organization as it is released with links to additional information.]

Share Data Insights [MSCloudOS YouTube channel, Jan 24, 2014]

One-minute video clip explaining the value of Power BI along with Office 365, focusing on how it addresses business’ pain points (once you get your data insights, how you can share it within your SMB and use the data to its fullest potential).

Broncos Road to the Big Game [MSCloudOS YouTube channel, Jan 31, 2014]

Power Map tour of the 2013 Broncos season and their road to the Super Bowl XLVIII.

Seahawks Road to the Big Game [MSCloudOS YouTube channel, Jan 31, 2014]

Power Map tour of the 2013 Seahawks season and their road to the Super Bowl XLVIII

What Drives Microsoft’s Data Platform Vision? [SQL Server Blog, Jan 29, 2014]

FEATURED POST BY:   Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President, The Data Platform Group, Microsoft Corporation

imageIf you follow Microsoft’s data platform work, you have probably observed some changes over the last year or so in our product approach and in how we talk about our products.  After the delivery of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and Office 2013, we ramped-up our energy and sharpened our focus on the opportunities of cloud computing.  These opportunities stem from technical innovation, the nature of cloud computing, and from an understanding of our customers.

In my role at Microsoft, I lead the team that is responsible for the engineering direction of our data platform technologies.  These technologies help our customers derive important insights from their data and make critical business decisions.  I meet with customers regularly to talk about their businesses and about what’s possible with modern data-intensive applications.  Here and in later posts, I will share some key points from those discussions to provide you with insight into our data platform approach, roadmap, and key technology releases.

Microsoft has made significant investments on the opportunities of cloud computing.  In today’s IT landscape, it’s clear that the enterprise platform business is shifting to embrace the benefits of cloud computing—accessibility to scale, increased agility, diversity of data, lowered TCO and more. This shift will be as significant as the move from the mainframe/mini era to the microprocessor era.  And, due to this shift, the shape and role of data in the enterprise will change as applications evolve to new environments.

Today’s economy is built on the data platform that emerged with the microprocessor era—effectively, transactional SQL databases, relational data warehousing and operational BI.  An entire cycle of business growth was led by the emergence of patterns around Systems of Record, everything from ERP applications to Point of Sale systems.  The shift to cloud computing is bringing with it a new set of application patterns, which I sometimes refer to as Systems of Observation (SoO).  There are several forms of these new application patterns: the Internet of Things (IoT), generally; solutions being built around application and customer analytics; and, consumer personalization scenarios.  And, we are just beginning this journey! 

These new application patterns stem from the power of cloud computing—nearly infinite scale, more powerful data analytics and machine learning, new techniques on more kinds of data, a whole host of new information that impacts modern business, and ubiquitous infrastructure that allows the flow of information like never before.  What is being done today by a small number of large-scale Internet companies to harness the power of available information will become possible to apply to any business problem. 

To provide a framework for how we think applications and the information they generate or manage will change—and how that might affect those of us who develop and use those applications—consider these characteristics:

Data types are diverse.  Applications will generate, consume and manipulate data in many forms: transactional records, structured streamed data, truly unstructured data, etc.  Examples include the rise of JSON, the embracing of Hadoop by enterprises, and the new kinds of information generated by a wide variety of newly connected devices (IoT).

Relevant data is not just from inside the enterprise.  Cross-enterprise data, data from other industries and institutions, and information from the Web are all starting to factor into how businesses and the economy function in a big way.  Consider the small business loan extension that accounts for package shipping information as a criteria; or, companies that now embrace the use of social media signals.

Analytics usage is broadening.  Customer behavior, application telemetry, and business trends are just a few examples of the kinds of data that are being analyzed differently than before.  Deep analytics and automated techniques, like machine learning, are being used more often. And, modern architectures (cloud-scale, in-memory) are enabling new value in real-time, highly-interactive data analysis.

Data by-products are being turned into value.  Data that were once considered as by-products of a core business are now valuable across (and outside of) the industries that generate this data; for example, consider the expanding uses of search term data.  Perhaps uniquely, Microsoft has very promising data sets that could impact many different businesses.  

With these characteristics in mind, our vision is to provide a great platform and solutions for our customers to realize the new value of information and to empower new experiences with data.  This platform needs to span across the cloud and the enterprise – where so much key information and business processes exist.  We want to deliver Big Data solutions to the masses through the power of SQL Server and related products, Windows Azure data services, and the BI capabilities of Microsoft Office. To do this, we are taking steps to ensure our data platform meets the demands of today’s modern business.

Modern Transaction Processing—The data services that modern applications need are broader now than traditional RDBMS.  Yes, this too needs to become a cloud asset, and our investments in Windows Azure SQL Database reflect that effort.  We recognize that other forms of data storage are essential, including Windows Azure Storage and Tables, and we need to think about new capabilities as we develop applications in cloud-first patterns.  These cloud platform services need to be low friction, easy to incorporate, and operate seamlessly at scale—and have built-in fundamental features like high availability and regulatory compliance.  We also need to incorporate technical shifts like large memory and high-speed low latency networking—in our on-premises and cloud products. 

Modern Data Warehousing—Hadoop brought flexibility to what is typically done with data warehousing: storing and performing operational and ad-hoc analysis across large datasets.  Traditional data warehousing products are scaling up, and the worlds of Hadoop and relational data models are coming together.  Importantly, enterprise data needs broad availability so that business can find and leverage information from everywhere and for every purpose—and this data will live both in the cloud and in the enterprise datacenter.  We are hearing about customers who now compose meaningful insights from data across Windows Azure SQL Database and Windows Azure Storage processed with Windows Azure HDInsight, our Hadoop-based big data solution. Customers are leveraging the same pattern of relational + Hadoop in our Parallel Data Warehouse appliance product in the enterprise. 

Modern Business Intelligence—Making sense of data signals to gain strategic insight for business will become commonplace.  Information will be more discoverable; not just raw datasets, but those facets of the data that can be most relevant—and the kinds of analytics, including machine learning, that can be applied—will be more readily available.  Power BI for Office 365, our new BI solution, enables balance between self-service BI and IT operations—which is a key accelerant for adoption. With Power BI for Office 365, data from Windows Azure, Office, and on-premises data sources comes together in modern, accessible BI experiences. 

Over the coming months, we are going to publish regular posts to encourage discussions about data and insights and the world of modernized data. We will talk more about the trends, the patterns, the technology, and our products, and we’ll explore together how the new world of data is taking shape. I hope you will engage in this conversation with us; tell us what you think; tell us whether you agree with the trends we think we see—and with the implications of those trends for the modern data platform.

If you’d like more information about our data platform technologies, visit www.microsoft.com/bigdata and follow@SQLServer on Twitter for the latest updates.

Getting Trained on Microsoft’s Expanding Data Platform [SQL Server Blog, Feb 6, 2014] 

With data volumes exploding, having the right technology to find insights from your data is critical to long term success.  Leading organizations are adjusting their strategies to focus on data management and analytics, and we are seeing a consistent increase in organizations adopting the Microsoft data platform to address their growing needs around data.  The trend is clear: CIOs named business intelligence (BI) and analytics their top technology priority in 2012, and again in 2013. Gartner expects this focus to continue during 2014. 2

At Microsoft, we have great momentum in the data platform space and we are proud to be recognized by analysts like IDC reporting that Microsoft SQL Server continues to be the unit leader and became the #2 database vendor by revenue.1Microsoft was named a leader in both the Enterprise Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Waves by Forrester, 3,4and is named a leader in the OPDMS Magic quadrant. 5

The market is growing and Microsoft has great momentum in this space, so this is a great time to dig in and learn more about the technology that makes up our data platform through these great new courses in the Microsoft Virtual Academy.

Microsoft’s data platform products

Quentin Clark recently outlined our data platform vision [here you’ve already seen/read above]. This calendar year we will be delivering an unprecedented lineup of new and updated products and services:

  • SQL Server 2014 delivers mission critical analytics and performance by bringing to market new in-memory capabilities built into the core database for OLTP (by 10X and up to 30X) and Data Warehousing (100X). SQL Server 2014 provides the best platform for hybrid cloud scenarios, like cloud backup and cloud disaster recovery, and significantly simplifies the on-ramp process to cloud for our customers with new point-and-click experiences for deploying cloud scenarios in the tools that are already familiar to database administrators (DBAs).
  • Power BI for Office 365 is a new self-service BI solution delivered through Excel and Office 365 which provides users with data analysis and visualization capabilities to identify deeper business insights from their on-premises and cloud data.
  • Windows Azure SQL Database is a fully managed relational database service that offers massive scale-out with global reach, built-in high availability, options for predictable performance, and flexible manageability. Offered in different service tiers to meet basic and high-end needs, SQL Database enables you to rapidly build, extend, and scale relational cloud applications with familiar tools.
  • Windows Azure HDInsight makes Apache Hadoop available as a service in the cloud, and also makes the Map Reduce software framework available in a simpler, more scalable, and cost efficient Windows Azure environment.
  • Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) is a massively parallel processing data warehousing appliance built for any volume of relational data (with up to 100x performance gains) and provides the simplest way to integrate with Hadoop. With PolyBase, PDW can also seamlessly query relational and non-relational data.

In-depth learning through live online technical events

To support the availability of these products, we’re offering live online events that will enable in-depth learning of our data platform offerings. These sessions are available now through the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) and are geared towards IT professionals, developers, database administrators and technical decision makers. In each of these events, you’ll hear the latest information from our engineering and product specialists to help you grow your skills and better understand what differentiates Microsoft’s data offerings.

Here is a brief overview of the sessions that you can register for right now:

Business Intelligence

Faster Insights with Power BI Jumpstart | Register for the live virtual event on February 11

Session Overview: Are you a power Excel user? If you’re trying to make sense of ever-growing piles of data, and you’re into data discovery, visualization, and collaboration, get ready for Power BI. Excel, always great for analyzing data, is now even more powerful with Power BI for Office 365. Join this Jump Start, and learn about the tools you need to provide faster data insights to your organization, including Power Query, Power Map, and natural language querying. This live, demo-rich session provides a full-day drilldown into Power BI features and capabilities, led by the team of Microsoft experts who own them.

Data Management for Modern Business Applications

SQL Server in Windows Azure VM Role Jumpstart | Register for the live virtual event on February 18

Session Overview: If you’re wondering how to use Windows Azure as a hosting environment for your SQL Server virtual machines, join the experts as they walk you through it, with practical, real-world demos. SQL Server in Windows Azure VM is an easy and full-featured way to be up and running in 10 minutes with a database server in the cloud. You use it on demand and pay as you go, and you get the full functionality of your own data center. For short-term test environments, it is a popular choice. SQL Server in Azure VM also includes pre-built data warehouse images and business intelligence features. Don’t miss this chance to learn more about it.

Here’s a snapshot of the great content available to you now, with more to come later on the on the MVA data platform page:

Data Management for Modern Business Applications

Modern Data Warehouse

For more courses and training, keep tabs on the MVA data platform page and the TechNet virtual labs as well.

Thanks for digging in.

Eron Kelly
General Manager
Data Platform Marketing

———– 

1Market Analysis: Worldwide Relational Database Management Systems 2013–2017 Forecast and 2012 Vendor Shares, IDC report # 241292 by Carl W. Olofson, May 2013
2Business Intelligence and Analytics Will Remain CIO’s Top Technology Priority G00258063 by W. Roy Schulte | Neil Chandler | Gareth Herschel | Douglas Laney | Rita L. Sallam | Joao Tapadinhas | Dan Sommer 25 November 2013
3The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Data Warehouse, Q4 2013, Forrester Research, Inc.,  December 9, 2013
4The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms, Q4 2013, Forrester Research, Inc.,  December 18, 2013
5Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems by Donald Feinberg, Merv Adrian and Nick Heudecker, October 21, 2013.
Disclaimer:
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Free Power BI Training – Microsoft Virtual Academy Jump Start [“A Story of BI, BIG Data and SQL Server in Canada” Blog, Feb 5, 2014]

Whether you’re a power Excel user or you’re just trying to make sense of ever-growing piles of data, we have a great day long, free online training session for you on Power BI for Office 365.

This live, demo rich training will provide sessions covering key Power BI features and capabilities and help you learn about the tools you need to provide faster data insights to your organization. 

Course Outline:

  • Introduction to Power BI
  • Drilldown on Data Discovery Using Power Query
  • The Data Stewardship Experience
  • Building Stellar Data Visualizations Using Power View
  • Building 3D Visualizations Using Power Map
  • Understand Power BI Sites and Mobile BI
  • Working with Natural Language Querying Using Q&A
  • Handling Data Management Gateway
  • Get Your Hands on Power BI

Sign Up for this Microsoft Virtual Academy Jump Start led by the team of Microsoft experts who own them.

Live Event Details

  • February 11, 2014
  • 9:00am-5:00pm PST
  • What time is this in my time zone?
  • What: Fast-paced live virtual session
  • Cost: Free
  • Audience: IT Pro
  • Prerequisites: For data analysts, Excel power users, or anyone looking to turn their data into useful business information.
  • Register Now>>

Interview with Marc Reguera, Director of Finance at Microsoft [MSCloudOS YouTube channel, Feb 10, 2014]

Hear directly from Marc Reguera, Director of Finance at Microsoft and BI champion how Power BI is changing the way finance works inside Microsoft.

Power BI Webinar Series [MSFT for Work Blog, Jan 22, 2014]

Big data scientists and the finance department haven’t always seen eye to eye in most companies. Now is your chance to embrace big data to free your finance department to focus on the ways to add the most value.

You are invited to join Microsoft Finance Director Marc Reguera and members of the Microsoft finance leadership team to find out what they did to become a more empowered and influential finance organization. The powerful new business intelligence tools they will demonstrate have been under wraps for almost two years and have so far only been used within Microsoft.

image

Now the tools have been road-tested and are ready for you to try. Grab your chance to learn how the Microsoft new BI tools will help your business not only adapt to the world of big data, but actually thrive in it.

Register for any and all of the webinars you are interested in:

1/23/14: Visualization: See how these powerful new tools have improved Microsoft’s ability to consume big data and develop insights by simplifying the data and using visualization tools. Register here.

1/30/14: Definitions: Get the best practices for creating and aligning behind a common set of data definitions and taxonomies. Learn how to get everyone on the same page. Register here.

2/13/14: Outsourcing: Learn how Microsoft worked with partners to optimize and outsource non-strategic finance tasks so the organization could focus on high-value activities. Register here.

2/20/14: Cloud collaboration: Learn how your organization can focus more time on delivering business insights by using Power BI and Microsoft Office 365. Register here.

3/6/14: Making things easy to comprehend without making them simplistic: See how Microsoft finance teams consume and analyze millions of rows of data and present their analysis in a narrative that’s easy to understand for multiple audiences. Register here.

Taken together, this series of webinars will help your company’s finance department adapt to a world of rapidly shifting paradigms and what can be, without the right tools, the overwhelming era of big data.

Business Intelligence: “The Eyes and Ears of Your Business” [Microsoft for Work Blog, Jan 30, 2014]

Businesses are collecting more data than ever before, and technology is making that process increasingly easier and more affordable. The challenge for business owners is 1) how to quickly turn that raw data into actionable business insights, and 2) how to give more people within an organization access to those insights on a self-serve basis.
Organizations must have insight into how their operations are performing in order to stay competitive. Companies who successfully manage their big data assets are more profitable than companies not making this investment, says Jason Baick, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft. Simply put, “[business intelligence] is the eyes and ears of your business,” Baick says.
Release data from the IT department
Data analysis started off as a highly specialized process. “It was always a barrier to self-service information … the treasure trove of the data was locked up in the IT department,” Baick points out. Today there are easy-to-use data visualization tools that offer anyone within an organization access to real-time business insights.
Take the Microsoft Power BI suite, for example, which gives both businesses and the individual an easy-to-use platform to visualize their data. Given that many businesses already have the infrastructure that Power BI is built on (e.g. Microsoft SharePoint) and a familiarity with its feature set, integration and adoption is simplified. Your users don’t have an intimidation factor because they already know how to use Excel, explains Baick. By equipping your employees with these types of tools, you can enable team members to unearth real-time insights, ranging from targeting a prospect at the exact right time to make the sale, to determining where the company can cut costs, to revealing where they should invest more.

Here’s a rundown of specific Power BI tools and what they can offer your business:

  • Discover and Combine
    • Search and access all your company’s data and public data from one place using Power Query. Give your team the ability to be more efficient while cutting down on the cost of investing in multiple, disparate data tools.
  • Model and Analyze
    • Empower your employees to create analytical models using Power Pivot. Since this is built on familiar software like Excel, you won’t have to worry about the cost of training or having to hire new staff for implementation.
  • Visualize
    • Power View and Power Map enables your team members to quickly translate big data sets and create easy-to-understand visuals without a huge time investment.
  • Share and Collaborate
    • Seamlessly share and edit workbooks from any device, allowing your employees quick and easy access to important information in real time.
  • Get Answers and Insights
    • The new Q&A feature gives your employees the ability to ask any question of their data without requiring specialized skills to draw out these insights.
  • Access Anywhere
    • Give your staff access to the Power BI tool set from any device, any location. This empowers your employees to access data in real time, which could mean the difference between making and not making a sale.
How are people using Power BI?
Companies like MCH Strategic Data are already employing the Power BI suite to get more out of their data. MCH collects an enormous amount of education and healthcare marketing data for their clients. After 85 years in the business, they’re now able to deliver new and unique insights to clients like never before. One application has been to create videos using tools like Power Map to create data visualizations showing the geographic range of socioeconomic status across various school districts. They’ve also made subsets of their data available and searchable by Power BI users, including datasets on hospitals, school systems, and emergency preparedness services throughout the US
Building a data-driven organization
Everyone at your company can contribute to uncovering business insights, and it’s important to give them the tools to do so. Using your data in a smart and strategic way enables you to turn it into actionable business insights and to stay ahead of the competition.

The Autonomy of Marketing with Big Data [Microsoft for Work Blog, Jan 15, 2014]

We spoke to Jeff Marcoux, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Dynamics CRM, about how big data and data insights have changed marketing. He outlined three ways that companies can use big data to reimagine their marketing efforts.

He also outlined an all-encompassing rule when using data insights for marketing efforts: it’s not about how much data you have, it’s what you do with it. “Large data makes graphs, but significant data tells a story,” said Marcoux. Learning how to leverage significant big data into actionable insights is the key to unlocking its potential as an asset to your business. Here are Jeff’s three key ways companies can do smart things with their data:

  1. Embrace the idea that autonomous marketing, or marketing that is auto-optimized and auto-customized according to customer insights and machine-generated learning, can reinvigorate marketing campaigns. The key being it’s a more responsive marketing campaign that continuously strengthens and adjusts itself.
  2. Use customer insights to create stronger sales-marketing partnerships by increasing positive brand awareness and generating more accurate information on qualified leads and revenue attribution. In other words, more insight contributing to less finger-pointing and, ultimately, greater partnerships. 
  3. Translate data into business impact by building custom sales kits appropriate for every opportunity and every customer, monitoring the end-to-end customer life cycle, and keeping customers hooked. After all, according to Marcoux, “existing customers are the best sellers.”

Data insights will help drive marketing at the deepest strategic levels, providing actionable insights that can constantly be measured against and refined. Remember, it’s not how much data you’ve got, it’s what you do with it. If your organization has started to use data insights in your marketing efforts, do you have any tips on how to better use data? Sound off in the comments!

Autonomous Marketing: Using data to perfectly personalize marketing efforts [Microsoft for Work Blog, Jan 30, 2014]

Personalization is the gold standard for marketing efforts. If you can connect with a customer on a personal level and demonstrate that you understand your audience, the customer is far more likely to respond to your marketing campaigns. It may seem like a daunting task to crunch that much customer information and automatically adapt it to your marketing efforts, but it doesn’t have to be. Technologies exist that allow you to update campaigns with new data (auto-optimize) and use that updated data to better target your efforts (auto-customize), removing the guesswork you’re your campaigns. Marketing that is auto-optimized and auto-customized based on customer insights and machine generated learning—called “autonomous marketing”—is now a tangible reality for many businesses.
Autonomous marketing and big data will be critical in re-imagining a more personalized approach to marketing—and learning to harness this approach will keep your business ahead of the curve as marketing innovators.
Data, data everywhere…
The amount of data available today is overwhelming. Take, for example, a single business—just between the company’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter, there’s a lot to keep track of. All this information needs to be consolidated and combed to figure out which data is significant and what happens next. For many businesses the question becomes: what do I do with my data?
According to Jeff Marcoux, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Dynamics CRM, that data should be fed to an engine that’s automatically optimizing itself. In practice, this “auto-optimizing” capability translates into the ability to make campaign improvements in real-time. The result is a more responsive marketing campaign that continuously strengthens and adjusts itself to help dial in on more precise market segments and figure out what’s working.
Getting personal
The clincher, once you’ve honed in on those market segments, is auto-customizing marketing campaigns down to the individual level. “Customers are already so far down the buying cycle when they get to you (nearly 57%) and getting personal is the only way to land your message and have it resonate with consumers,” said Marcoux. Once that same engine is automatically tailoring marketing efforts based on data insights, you’ll know you’ve crossed-over into today’s gold standard for marketing—personalization perfection.
“Autonomous marketing is a beast,” said Marcoux, “once it gets going you just have to pay attention and keep feeding it.” The autonomous marketing beast metabolizes content and, so long as it’s fed plenty of “healthy” (significant) data, it will do its job to improve marketing. In turn, you will gain valuable insight into revenue performance and ROI, this way you can pinpoint which marketing maneuvers were converted into real business impact.
A healthy beast, a happy business
The success of autonomous marketing relies on 2 things: the quality of the data it’s fed and whether you take advantage of the insights it offers. A responsive, personalized approach to marketing is where we’re headed—are you doing everything to make sure your business is headed there too?

The Human Side of Autonomous Marketing [Microsoft for Work Blog, Jan 30, 2014]

How do you retain the creative side of marketing when big data and autonomous marketing inevitably change the way marketers work? Data insights enhance the efficacy of your marketing efforts; however, human input is always necessary to decipher big data. Autonomous marketing, used to enable marketers and nail down effective marketing campaigns, is the secret to realizing business impact.
Metrics for the Mind
The application of autonomous marketing is a necessary next step in meeting a new demand, but it doesn’t supplant the need for marketers in the flesh. According to Jeff Marcoux, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, marketers will never be forced to relinquish their instincts and creativity—their marketing guts—because analytics, data, and insight help fuel creativity.
“The main reason I say that,” said Marcoux, “is because there’s always going to be new channels and marketers have to come up with new ways to use them.” Take for example the exodus of college-age students from Facebook (which Marcoux attributes to the fact that their parents on are on it) to something more like Snapchat. Although data may shed some insight on the shift, it’s up to marketers to take advantage of it in a creative way (e.g., showing loyal fans a secret menu or product announcement before the rest of the world gets to see it).
Take Colorado University’s Online program at their Anschutz Medical Campus, which faced the challenge of how to remain competitive to college students and reach potential students on their own terms. CU used Microsoft Dynamics CRM to identify what their potential students liked, the media they consumed, and the social networks they used—processes that would normally take marketers months of research—and automated it so their marketing team could focus on killer campaigns that would engage the potential students they did find. The result? Increased student retention and recruitment.
Coming up with the emotional content that drives a campaign is where the creativity and experience come in. Marcoux sees autonomous marketing as a way to free up marketers to do what they love—create and innovate—and, today, there’s plenty of opportunity to innovate as campaigns become increasingly personalized.
A Mind-Body Approach to Marketing
Customers don’t want to be just a number; they want to be known. “With social media, everything is personal and everything is online,” said Marcoux. “Hooking” modern consumers is a matter of building those personal, emotional relationships—identifying who they are and what their need is, educating them on a solution, and then ultimately providing that solution.
“We’ve seen that personalization come across in emails and social posts, but that’s all been enabled by big data,” said Marcoux. Customers are already so far down the buying cycle when they get to you (nearly 57%), and getting personal is the only way to land your message and have it resonate with consumers these days.
Autonomous marketing powered by data insights helps marketers gather and combine information from many different sources in order to figure out what content is working. This way, marketers can focus on what is actually selling their product rather than getting petrified by what Marcoux calls “analysis paralysis,” or the misinterpretation and incorrect analysis of data.
Ultimately, autonomous marketing is a way to deal with the deluge of social data and other information to help marketers do their job better. Reimagining marketing, according to Marcoux, is a matter of using big data to narrow in on those granular market segmentations and continuing to fine-tune an effective, personalized marketing approach that will hook and keep hooked customers.


2. Microsoft’s vision of the unified platform for modern businesses

THE BIG PICTURE: Microsoft Cloud OS Overview [MSCloudOS YouTube channel, Jan 21, 2014]

Tune into this bite size video where you will hear Microsoft General Manager, Gavriella Schuster, provide an overview of the Microsoft Cloud OS and how the underlying technologies – Windows Server, System Center, Windows Azure, Microsoft SQL Server, and WIndows Intune- can help you cloud-optimize your business today. Interested in learning more? Visit our Microsoft Cloud OS homepage: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/cloud-os/ Ready to try these solutions and experience the benefits first hand? Contact your Microsoft account manager or partner to schedule an Immersion experience today.

Business Insights Newsletter Article | October 2013

MICROSOFT DEFINES THE CLOUD WITH ONE WORD – VALUE

When conversation turns to cloud computing, there is a lot of noise. Press, vendors, analysts, bloggers and others deliver opinions on what a successful cloud strategy entails.
Converging technologies such as Big Data, Mobility, BYOD and Social are transforming how businesses operate and compete and are relying on cloud as a critical enabler. Cloud itself is considered an emerging megatrend representing a real opportunity for IT to introduce more efficiency across every operational line of business.
The modern workforce isn’t just better connected and more mobile than ever before, it’s also more discerning (and demanding) about the hardware and software used on the job. While company leaders around the world are celebrating the increased productivity and accessibility of their workforce, the exponential increase in devices and platforms that the workforce wants to use can stretch a company’s infrastructure (and IT department!) to its limit.”
Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft
Microsoft believes that cloud is quite simply about a single concept – value. In this article we will share how Microsoft helps you realize the value of cloud, why Windows Server is best suited to take you on the journey, and let you hear how luxury car-maker Aston Martin transformed their business and their IT department by using a Windows Server hybrid strategy.
Your Journey to the Cloud
The true value of cloud is the opportunity for IT to get all the benefits of scale, speed, and agility while still protecting existing investments.
Cloud better enables the introduction of the megatrends of Big Data, Social and Mobile by providing answers to help IT manage risk while delivering quality services and applications quickly, efficiently, securely. As organizations start their journey to the cloud, they typically are grappling with a combination of traditional on-premise and cloud-based solutions; however these hybrid scenarios have the potential to introduce new complications. Working with multiple versions of conflicting operating systems, management tools and applications is usually counter-productive and results in staff frustration, departmental inefficiencies and poor productivity. To be successful, teams need a way to consistently manage, support and automate the datacenter. Microsoft Cloud OS Vision Begins with Windows Server 2012 R2
There are multiple ways for customers to think about how they provision their infrastructure, and we aim to enable an ‘and’ philosophy for our customers so they don’t have to think that it’s an either/or decision. We allow them to take servers and other technology they are running on premises and think about how they might want to move some of it into cloud services, while still having a consistent level of management, identity and security.”
Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft GM US Server Tools
Organizations can begin to realize tremendous value with cloud when they leverage the ability to operate and manage a converged infrastructure that shares a common operating system and set of tools across hybrid environments supporting an assortment of devices, applications and users.
Figure 1: Windows Server Delivers Value with a Unified Hybrid Environment
At the heart of the Microsoft Cloud OS vision is Windows Server 2012 R2. With Windows Server 2012 R2 Microsoft’s experience delivering global-scale cloud services enables organizations of all sizes to take advantage of new features and enhancements across virtualization, storage, networking, virtual desktop infrastructure, access and information protection, and more.
The value of standardizing on Windows 2012 R2 as your Cloud OS strategy includes:
Experience Enterprise-class Performance and Scale
    • Take advantage of even better performance and more efficient capacity utilization in your datacenter.
    • Increase the agility of your business with a consistent experience across every environment.
    • Leverage the proven, enterprise-class virtualization and cloud platform that scales to continuously run your largest workloads while enabling robust recovery options to protect against service outages.
      Drive Bottom Line Efficiencies with Cost Savings and Automation
        • Enjoy resilient, multi-tenant-aware storage and networking capabilities for a wide range of workloads.
        • Re-deploy your budget to other critical projects with the cost-savings delivered through a Windows 2012 R2 Cloud OS.
        • Automate a broad set of built-in management tasks.
        • Simplify the deployment of major workloads and increase operational efficiencies.
          Unlock Competitive Advantage with Faster Application Deployment
            • Build, deploy and scale applications and web sites quickly, and with more flexibility than ever before.
            • Unlock improved application portability between on-premises environments and public and service provider clouds in concert with Windows Azure VM and System Center 2012 R2 making it simple to rapidly shift your critical applications virtually anywhere, anytime.
            • Increase flexibility and elasticity of IT services with the Windows Server 2012 R2 platform for mission-critical applications while protecting existing investments with enhanced support for open standards, open source applications and various development languages.
              Empower Users with Better Access Anywhere
                • Windows Server 2012 R2 makes it easier to deploy a virtual desktop infrastructure making it possible for users to access IT from virtually anywhere, providing them a rich Windows experience while ensuring enhanced data security and compliance.
                • Lower storage costs significantly by supporting a broad range of storage options and VHD de-duplication.
                • Easily manage your user’s identities across the datacenter and into the cloud to help deliver secure access to corporate resources.

                  In Summary

                  The datacenter is the hub for everything IT offers to the business: storage, networking and computing capacity. The right Cloud OS strategy enables IT to transform those resources into a datacenter that is capable of handling changing needs and unexpected opportunities. With Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft offers a consistent operating system and set of management tools that acts and behaves in exactly the same manner across every setting. Windows Server 2012 R2 delivers the same experience and requires the same skill-sets and knowledge to manage and operate in any environment. Windows Server 2012 R2 delivers a “future-proof” road-map with a fully seamless and scalable platform, making organizations agile, nimble and ready. Highly scalable, Windows Server 2012 is already powering many of the worlds’ largest datacenters – including Microsoft’s – proving out capabilities at cloud scale and then delivering them for the enterprise. With the latest release of Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft is redefining the server category, delivering hundreds of new features and enhancements spanning virtualization, networking, storage, user experience, cloud computing, automation, and more. The goal of Windows Server 2012 R2 is to help organizations transform their IT operations to reduce costs and deliver a whole new level of business value.
                  Aston Martin Uses Windows Server 2012 to Drive IT Transformation
                  Behind every luxury sports car produced by Aston Martin is a sophisticated IT infrastructure. The goal of the Aston Martin IT team is to optimize that infrastructure so that it performs as efficiently as the production line it supports. To meet that goal, Aston Martin has standardized on Microsoft technology. The IT team chose the Windows Server 2012 operating system, including Hyper-V technology to virtualize its data center and build four private clouds to dynamically allocate IT resources to the business as needed. For cloud and data center management, Aston Martin uses Microsoft System Center 2012.
                  “The IT team’s purpose is to enable Aston Martin to build the most beautiful sports cars in the world. So, from servers, to desktops, to production line PCs, Microsoft technology is behind everything we do.”
                  Daniel Roach-Rooke, IT Infrastructure Manager, Aston Martin
                  Watch this short video to learn how the team at Aston Martin envisioned and executed on their strategy.

                  imageWatch the Aston Martin video now

                  Call to Action
                  With Windows Server Data Center 2012 R2 set to release in November, now is the time to see your Microsoft licensed solution provider for information about software savings.

                  MSCloudOS YouTube supersite:

                  Microsoft’s Cloud OS home on YouTube to find the latest products & solutions news, demos as well as training videos for Windows Server, SQL Server, System Center, Windows Intune, Microsoft BI, and Windows Azure—the technologies that bring Microsoft’s vision of Cloud OS to life.
                  imageEvolving IT in the Era of the Cloud OS [June 3, 2013] Today’s massive technology shifts are creating new demands on IT. Learn how Microsoft hybrid cloud solutions deliver new innovations that can help you solve the challenges you face now.
                  imageThe Enterprise Cloud Era [June 3, 2013] See Microsoft President Satya Nadella talk about Microsoft’s cloud-first approach.
                  imageTechEd North America 2013 Keynote [June 24, 2013] Despite sea changes in cloud computing, device proliferation, and the explosion of data, IT pros and developers still live for one simple thing: to deliver amazing experiences for their customers and end-users. In this keynote, Brad Anderson will unveil a broad set of new capabilities across the full suite of Microsoft Cloud OS products and technologies designed with that simple end goal in mind. Together with enterprise-optimized enhancements to the Windows 8 client, the advances that Brad will showcase in this keynote significantly advance Microsoft’s long-term effort to give you the most advanced and comprehensive set of services, products, and technologies in the industry. Learn how Windows 8 is ready for business, how Windows Azure is changing hybrid and private cloud computing, and how the world of modern application development is evolving. It’s time to embrace the challenges of a world full of risks and opportunities. See what Microsoft is delivering next, including new enterprise enhancements in the upcoming Windows 8.1 update, and learn what it means for your business as well as your career.
                  imageTechEd Europe 2013 Keynote [June 26, 2013] In an era of global technological change, IT pros and developers still live for one basic thing: to deliver amazing experiences. In this keynote from TechEd Europe 2013, Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson, will detail Microsoft’s strategy to help customers achieve that simple goal by leveraging new innovations in cloud services, device management, application development, data insights, and datacenter evolution. Mr. Anderson will review a broad set of newly-announced updates across the full suite of Microsoft Cloud OS products and technologies, including Windows Server, Microsoft System Center, Windows Azure, SQL Server, Visual Studio, and more. It’s time to embrace the challenges of a world full of new opportunities. See what Microsoft is delivering next and learn what it means for your business as well as your career.
                  imageMicrosoft Keynote Highlights from Oracle OpenWorld 2013 Watch highlights from Microsoft Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson‘s keynote address from Oracle OpenWorld 2013 as Brad discusses the Cloud OS vision and how Microsoft and Oracle are working together to bring the power of Oracle’s software to private/public cloud and service providers. This new partnership allows customers using Java, Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Database to run this software on Windows Azure and Windows Hyper-V.
                  MSCloudOS YouTube supersite:

                  Microsoft’s Cloud OS home on YouTube to find the latest products & solutions news, demos as well as training videos for the technologies that bring Microsoft’s vision of Cloud OS to life. Subsites:
                  SQL Server (YouTube)
                  Windows Server (YouTube)
                  System Center & Windows Intune (YouTube)
                  BI (YouTube)
                  Case Studies (YouTube)

                  A People-centric Approach to Mobile Device Management [In The Cloud Blog, Jan 29, 2014]

                  The following post is from Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, Windows Server & System Center.


                  It’s been a little while since I wrote about the work we are doing around the BYO and Consumerization trends – but this is an area I will be discussing much more often over the next several months.

                  Consumerization is an area that is changing and moving quickly, and I believe the industry is also at an important time where we really need to step back and define what our ultimate destination looks like.

                  I think there is a great deal of agreement across the industry on what we are all trying to accomplish – and this is aligned with Microsoft’s vision. Microsoft’s vision is to enable people to be productive on all the devices they love while helping IT ensure that corporate assets are secure and protected.

                  One particular principle that I am especially passionate about is the idea that the modern, mobile devices which are built to consume cloud services should get their policy and apps delivered from the cloud. Put another way: Modern mobile devices should be managed from a cloud service.

                  One of the reasons I am such a big believer in this is the rapid pace at which new devices and updates to the devices are released. Enabling people across all the devices they love brings with it the need to stay abreast of the changes and updates happening across Windows, iOS, and the myriad of Android devices. By delivering this as a service offering, we can stay on top of this for you. Thus, as changes are needed, we simply update the service and the new capabilities are available for you. This means no longer needing to update your on-premises infrastructure – we take care of all of it for you.

                  System Center Configuration Manager is the undisputed market leader in managing desktops around the world, and now we are delivering many of our MDM/MAM capabilities from the cloud. We have deeply integrated our Intune cloud service with ConfigMgr so organizations can take advantage of managing all of their devices in one familiar control plane using their existing IT skills.  Put simply:  We are giving organizations the choice of using their current ConfigMgr console extended with the Intune service, or doing everything from the cloud using only Intune if they wish to do management without an on-premises infrastructure.

                  On a fairly regular basis I encounter the question about whether or not cloud-based management is robust enough for enterprise organizations. My response to this has surprised our partners and customers with just how powerful a cloud-based solution can be. The answer is a resounding, “Heck yes it is robust and secure enough!”

                  Windows Intune and Windows Azure Active Directory puts IT leadership in the driver’s seat by allowing an organization to define and manage user identities and access, operate a single administrative console to manage devices, deliver apps, and help protect data.

                  The result is employee satisfaction, a streamlined infrastructure, and a more efficient IT team – all with existing, familiar, on-prem investments extended to the cloud.

                  This holistic approach is central to Microsoft’s strategy to help organizations solve one of the most complex and difficult tasks facing IT teams today: Mobile device management (MDM).

                  As I discussed on the GigaOM Mobilize panel back in October (on the topic of “The Future of Mobile and the Enterprise,” recapped here), it wasn’t that long ago that an IT department worked in a pretty homogenous hardware and software environment – essentially everything was a PC. Today, IT teams are responsible for dozens of form factors and multiple platforms that require specific processes, skills, and maintenance.

                  Helping organizations proactively manage this new generation of IT is what makes me so excited about the advancements and innovation we are delivering as a part of next week’s update to the Windows Intune service. These updates include:

                  • Support for e-mail profiles that can configure a device with the correct e-mail server information and related policies – and it can also remove that profile and related e-mail via a remote wipe.
                  • In addition to our unified deployment mode and integration with System Center Configuration Manager, Windows Intune can now stand alone as a cloud-only MDM solution. This is a big win for organizations that want a cloud-only management solutions to manage both their mobile devices and PC’s.
                  • There is also support for new data protection settings in iOS 7 – including the “managed open in” capability that protects corporate data by controlling the apps and accounts that can open documents and attachments.
                  • This update also enables broader protection capabilities like remotely locking a lost device, or resetting a device’s PIN if forgotten.

                  Windows Intune offers simple and comprehensive device management, regardless of the platform, for the devices enterprises are already using, with the IT infrastructure they already own.

                  Looking ahead to later this year, we will continue to launch additional updates to the service including the ability to allow/deny apps from running (or accessing certain sites), conditional access to e-mail depending upon the status of the device, app-specific restrictions regarding how apps interact and use data, and bulk enrollment of devices.

                  This functionality is delivered as part of the rapid, easy-to-consume, and ongoing updates that are possible with a cloud-based service.

                  Today’s announcements are just a small example of the broader set of innovations Microsoft has been developing. Our focus on a people-centric approach to solving consumerization challenges has led to a number of product improvements and updates like:

                  The number of factors at work within this Consumerization of IT trend make it clear that to effectively address it we have to think beyond devices and focus on a broader set of challenges and opportunities.

                  Microsoft is in a unique position to address the holistic needs behind this industry shift with things like public cloud management, private cloud management, identity management, access management, security, and more.

                  For organizations who haven’t already evaluated Microsoft’s device management solutions – now is the time. With the rapid release and innovation cycle offered by a cloud-based service like Intune, the ability to keep your infrastructure optimized, efficient, and secure has never been easier.

                  The Virtuous Cycle of Cloud Computing [In The Cloud Blog, Jan 29, 2014]

                  The following post is from Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, Windows Server & System Center.

                  In the Day 1 keynote at the recent re:Invent conference, there was an interesting point made about the virtuous cycle that can occur for the cloud vendor and for customers. As I listened to the keynote, I kept thinking: “They are missing the biggest benefit for the entire industry; if the public cloud vendor has the right strategy and is thinking about how to benefit the largest population possible, then they are completely missing how this virtuous cycle can grow to benefit every organization in the world – even if they are not using the public cloud.”
                  Let me explain a bit more about what I mean.  (And, before I get too much farther along, I want to note that this post ties into the cool news yesterday about our work with the Open Compute Project.)
                  The virtuous cycle of a public cloud looks a lot like the image below.  As the usage of the public cloud grows, you need more hardware to meet demand – and for sustained growth you will need a lot of hardware. This need for hardware increases your purchasing power and you can then negotiate lower prices as you purchase in bulk. As your purchasing power grows and your costs drop, you then pass those savings on to your customers by dropping your prices. The lower prices increases demand and the virtuous cycle continues.image
                  For customers using the public cloud, they can see the benefits of this virtuous cycle (the lower prices) – but what about organizations that are also using private and hosted clouds? How can they gain benefits from what is happening?
                  Organizations with multiple clouds can benefit if (and only if!) that public cloud vendor has at the core of its strategy an intention to take everything that it is learning from operating that public cloud and delivering it back for use in datacenters around world – not just in its own.
                  This is where Microsoft is so unique! Microsoft is the only organization in the world operating a globally available, at-scale public cloud that delivers back everything it is learning for use in datacenters of every customer (and, honestly, every competitor). Our view is the learning that we are getting from the public cloud should be delivered for all the world to benefit.
                  This innovation can be seen by applying these public cloud learnings in products like Windows Server, System Center, and the Windows Azure Pack – and these products are the only cloud offerings that are consistent across public, hosted and private clouds – ensuring customers avoid cloud lock in and, maximize workload mobility, and have the flexibility to choose the cloud that best meets their needs.
                  With this in mind, I want to show you how I think the virtuous cycle can and should look – and how it can benefit any organization in the world.
                  First, at the center of this virtuous cycle is incredible innovation. This means innovation in software, innovation in hardware, and innovation in processes. When you are ordering and deploying 100,000’s of new servers and xx bytes of storage every year – you have to innovate everywhere or you will literally buckle under demands and costs of procuring, deploying, operating, and retiring hardware at this scale.
                  Microsoft is addressing this challenge in the most direct and complete way possible: Over the last three years, Microsoft has spent more than $15B building datacenters around the world and filling them with the hardware and capacity demanded by customers of Windows Azure and other Microsoft cloud services.
                  We keep our public cloud costs low by managing our supply chain for this kind of capacity, and, per the cycle, we pass these savings to you. We also carefully track things like the number of days from when we place an order for hardware to the time the order appears on our docks (“order-to-dock”), and then we track the number of hours/days from “dock-to-live” where we literally have customers’ workloads being hosted on that hardware. Throughout this process we set aggressive quarterly targets and we work constantly to consistently drive those numbers down. If we didn’t have a best in class product and performance, it would be impossible to remain profitable at this kind of scale.
                  As you can imagine, after spending $Billions on hardware every year, we are highly incented (to put it lightly) to find ways to drive our hardware costs down. The single best way we have found to do this is to use software to do things traditionally handled by hardware. For example, in Windows Azure we are able to deliver highly available, globally available storage at incredibly low prices through software innovations like SDN – all of which is based on low-cost, direct-attached storage. This brings storage economics never before seen in the industry.
                  One example of this is the most common workload hosted in Azure: The “Web” workload. Whether it is Azure acting as the web tier for hybrid application, or the entire workload being hosted in Azure, the web workload is a part of just about every application. This makes it a great place for innovation. In Azure we pioneered high-density web site hosting where we can literally host 5,000+ web sites on a single Windows Server OS instance. This dramatically reduces our costs, which in turn reduces your costs.
                  At Microsoft, we think the public cloud’s virtuous cycle can actually get a lot bigger, a lot more functional, and a lot more powerful by integrating service providers and hosted clouds.

                  image

                  Not only is this expanded virtuous cycle more practical, I’m sure it also looks familiar to what is already up and running in your organization.

                  There are some pretty solid examples of innovation that was pioneered in Azure and then brought to the whole industry for use everywhere through Windows Server and System Center:

                  • For highly available, low-cost direct attached storage, in Windows Server 2012 we shipped a set of capabilities we call Storage Spaces. Storage Spaces delivers the value of a SAN on low-cost, direct-attached storage, and it has been widely recognized as one of the most innovative new capabilities in Windows Server – and it was significantly updated in Windows Server 2012 R2.
                  • Service Bus provides a messaging queue solution in the public cloud that can be used by developers for things like a queuing system across clouds and building loosely coupled applications. Check this post for an in-depth review of Service Bus. Service Bus also ships as a component of the Windows Azure Pack – providing value pioneered in the public cloud for use in private and hosted clouds.
                  • Earlier I referenced the ability to host 5,000+ web sites on a single Windows Server OS instance. This has had an obvious economic impact on of costs of Windows Azure where we host millions of web sites. We proved that capability in Windows Azure, battle-hardened it, and now it ships for customers around to world to use in their datacenters as a part of what we call the Windows Azure Pack (WAP).
                  This is what it looks like when the complete virtuous cycle is in effect.
                  Our efforts haven’t been limited to software, however. Our innovative work with hardware in our datacenters has driven down costs while at the same time increasing the capacity each core and processor can support.
                  Our work with hardware was highlighted yesterday when we announced that we are joining the Open Compute Project and contributing the full design of the server hardware we use in Azure. We refer to this design as the “Microsoft cloud server specification.” The Microsoft cloud server specification provides the blueprints for the datacenter servers we have designed to deliver the world’s most diverse portfolio of cloud services at global scale. These servers are optimized for Windows Server software and can efficiently manage the enormous availability, scalability and efficiency requirements of Windows Azure, our global cloud platform.
                  This design spec offers dramatic improvements over traditional enterprise server designs: We have seen up to 40% server cost savings, 15% power efficiency gains, and a 50% reduction in deployment and service times. We also expect this server design to contribute to our environmental sustainability efforts by reducing network cabling by 1,100 miles and metal by10,000 tons.

                  This level of contribution is unprecedented in the industry, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the media:

                  • Wired: Microsoft Open Sources Its Internet Servers, Steps Into the Future
                  • Forbes: The Worm Has Turned – Microsoft Joins The Open Compute Project

                  These are just a couple examples of innovation that is happening here at Microsoft – innovations in process, hardware and software.

                  At Microsoft, we recognize that the majority of organizations are going to use multiple clouds and will want to take advantage of Hybrid Cloud scenarios. Every organization is going to have their own unique journey to the cloud – and organizations should make decisions about cloud partners that truly enable them with the flexibility to use multiple clouds, constant innovation, and consistency across clouds.

                  This is an area that we focus on every day, and you can read more about it as a part of our ongoing, in-depth series, Success with Hybrid Cloud.

                  Vendor Spotlight: A Microsoft GM On New Midmarket IT Tools [Exchange Events, Vendor Spotlight, April 23, 2013]

                  Mr. MidmarketCIO had the opportunity to sit down with Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft’s general manager of the company’s U.S. server and tools business unit. In this interview, Schuster shares her views on the challenges midmarket businesses face today and Microsoft’s vision to address those challenges with the Cloud OS.

                  MES: Can you share with me a little about Microsoft’s vision of the cloud today and how it can address today’s IT challenges for midmarket customers?
                  Schuster: Customers face many challenges today with the new levels of mobility in their workforce and the new devices that enable mobility. This new level of consumerization has enabled avid use of technology with an always-on connectivity.  There are also many more applications available and an explosion of data to manage. All of these things really challenge customers to reconsider how they provision, secure and enable technology within their organization.
                  There are multiple ways for customers to think about how they provision their infrastructure, and we aim to enable an ‘and’ philosophy for our customers so they don’t have to think that it’s an either/or decision. We allow them to take servers and other technology they are running on premises and think about how they might want to move some of it into cloud services, while still having a consistent level of management, identity and security.
                  Our vision for the ‘Cloud OS’ is to really have the best of both worlds. It’s an easy-on/easy-off usage of the cloud that meets the needs of midmarket organizations and can be an extension of current server environments.
                  MES: Is Microsoft’s ‘Cloud OS’ synonymous with Windows Server 2012? Or does it include other Microsoft technologies?
                  Schuster: Windows Server 2012 is certainly the basis of the Cloud OS because it provides the primary framework for identity, access, security and manageability, and also provides that core virtualization layer. Windows Server 2012 is also the basis of Windows Azure, our public cloud platform, so it gives midmarket CIOs the ability to easily extend their on-premises datacenter to the public cloud using a common set of tools between the two. The other core technology in the Cloud OS is Microsoft System Center 2012 because it gives customers that common level of additional management where they can set policies, provision their workloads, get deep application insights, etc. regardless of where the workload is actually running—on-premises or in the cloud.
                  MES: Where do you recommend customers start with their data-center modernization initiative? Why?
                  Schuster: For most customers, they should start with server virtualization. There is potential for them to get a tremendous amount of efficiency and consolidation of their applications through server consolidation.  They can virtualize upwards of 80 percent of all of the apps that they are running in their environment onto virtualized server environments, particularly in the midmarket. They may even be able to consolidate down to one to four servers and really take care of all of their workloads. Using Hyper-V as that virtualization framework and then using System Center Virtual Machine Manager to deploy that new virtual machine into their environment should be their first step to this approach.
                  MES: What are some of the new capabilities of Windows Server 2012 that go beyond virtualization to solve some common challenges?
                  Schuster: Windows Server 2012 not only helps midmarket organizations virtualize the compute—the virtualized machine itself—but it also helps them to virtualize their network and storage layers, which can be very costly capex investments for customers. It eliminates a lot of the common conflicts involved in managing an on-premise environment like IP and networking address conflicts. It also gives them additional storage so they don’t have to buy expensive SANs.
                  MES: A key trend challenging CIOs is mobility and the consumerization of IT. How does the Microsoft Cloud OS vision help address the security and management challenges around new devices and the need for increased mobility?
                  Schuster: I think it goes back to what I said before—we’ve enabled the ‘and’ so they can think about their governance role. There are a number of ways to address the consumerization of IT, and our primary message is that we think customers should embrace it. We enable them through Active Directory, which enables them to have a single sign-on experience and manage the identity of the user regardless of the environment the user is in (Office 365, Windows Azure, their on-premises environment, etc.)—This eliminates multiple pop-ups where the user has to continually sign in to the service.
                  We also have native functionality in Windows Server 2012 that eliminates the need for a VPN. With Direct Access, they can now easily deliver access to corporate resources based on the user’s identity.
                  Lastly, they can set policies for the user experience based on the device that they are using—phone, home machine, work machine, etc.—and can manage those mobile devices from the cloud with Windows Intune, without having to do additional on-premises setup.
                  MES: You briefly talked about Windows Azure as part of the Microsoft Cloud OS. What workloads do you recommend customers think about moving to the public cloud first?
                  Schuster: I think the easiest thing for most customers to think about moving to the public cloud first is cloud storage—they can use it for backup, archiving and disaster recovery. Especially as a midmarket customer, the last thing they probably have is a separate site with another set of servers that are replicated and ready to do a transfer if something disastrous were to occur. That’s absolutely something that the cloud is available and ready for. And customers only have to pay for what they use— it’s consumption based. The other areas that they would probably want to use it for are application development and test environments and for business and data analytics.
                  MES: Microsoft has laid out a hybrid cloud strategy, with the same basic underpinnings for both private and public cloud. What’s the benefit to mid-market customers of adopting Microsoft’s hybrid approach and technologies?
                  Schuster: When we talk about a hybrid environment, there are two ways to think about it: One is that it’s a hybrid enterprise, meaning they have some workloads that are sitting on servers inside their organization while others are using some server capacity within a public cloud like Windows Azure; Second is having hybrid applications. One of the advantages of the cloud today is that it enables even the smallest companies to act and look like very large companies. Unlike in the past with on-premise servers, the cloud gives CIOs the capacity and capability to introduce a new service to the market where they don’t have to have a great forecast of what the demand might be. This has really opened up new doors for midmarket IT organizations.
                  MES: How can your ecosystem of partners help midmarket customers today?
                  Schuster: The midmarket IT customer will typically only have a handful of IT pros within their organization, so enabling them to focus on the business and building applications to help power the business vs. managing servers and infrastructure is a real business value to our midmarket customers—and our partner ecosystem is well set up to help them do that.
                  We have done a lot of work to train our partners on how to deliver both our on-premise Windows Server 2012 virtualization environment as well as our Windows Azure cloud environments, and we have services available that help our customers build new applications.