When asked about what whether Microsoft is working on a new search service at TechEd India in Hyderabad Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer declined to share specifics, saying only that there is going to be a lot more innovation in search in the next ten years, than in the last ten.
“The problem with search today – and we all know that – is that we’ve all figured out that if you type less keywords, you get better results. That’s crazy.” Ballmer feels that search needs to become more semantic and needs to understand what the user wants to search for. Almost acknlowledging that the market leader in search that it isn’t Microsoft – though not explicitly naming Google – he said that the company that is the market leader in search – has a lot more room to maneuver.
Note: You may watch the live stream of TechEdIndia here; you’ll have to install Microsoft Silverlight to view the live stream.
On Azure, Windows 7 and Silverlight 2 for Mobile:
Azure: Microsoft is planning to make most of its server products available online, in the “Cloud” via its platform Azure, for easy deployment of applications. “In the long run,” said Ballmer,” growth is going to come disproportionately on application development and application customization types of businesses. More and more information ought to be able to go live in the Cloud.”
Silverlight 2 For The Mobile: Microsofts competition to video streaming technology Adobe Flash recently got a significant win in India, when it struck a deal to power the live streaming of the Indian Premier League; despite initial teething trouble, it’s been working fine. Ballmer again evaded commenting specifically status of Silverlight 2 for the Mobile, saying only that “it’s all being developed here in Hyderabad”
Windows: the Windows 7 operating system, currently in beta, will be available by Christmas, and also be available for netbooks; Ballmer didn’t comment on Windows 7 for the mobile, but mentioned that Windows Mobile 6.5 will be launched this year.
The city of Hyderabad is home to Microsofts largest R&D Center outside of Redmond, employing 3000 people. In all, Microsoft has around 5500 employees in India, and has announced layoffs amounting to 1% (55 people).