New hints on what's coming next for Microsoft Surface, Skype, Windows Phone

New hints on what's coming next for Microsoft Surface, Skype, Windows Phone

Summary: Microsoft is calling its fiscal 2014 its biggest year of innovation ever. Here's the slide that shows why.


Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner shared some new hints about what's coming during what he called Microsoft's "biggest innovation year ever" during Day 3 of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference.

Turner showed this slide at the end of his remarks on July 10:


(Sorry it's a bit blurry; I captured it from Microsoft's video feed. It also is not arranged in chronological order, as far as I can tell; it's just a collection of product launch points.)

We already knew Microsoft had committed to launching Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Visual Studio 2013, SQL Server 2014, System Center 2012 R2 and a host of other "Blue" wave of products during this coming fiscal year. (Microsoft's FY 14 runs from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014.)

But there were more levels of granularity in Turner's presentation. While he didn't reveal any specific dates or many details, here are a few things I thought worth calling out from the slide:

Skype: Support for large meetings; support for enterprise voice (probably in conjunction with Lync integration, I'd think); integration with and Office 365

Windows Phone: Start screen "innovation"; common app platform with Windows (we'll see how far they get toward complete commonality by the time this announcement is made);

Surface: New accessories and accessory colors; some kinds of updates to both Surface RT and Surface Pro (no word if this means just the regular monthly firmware-type updates or new processors, or what)

Office: Office Windows Store apps (codenamed Gemini, an alpha of which we got a glimpse of last month)

Dynamics: NAV 2013 R2; GP 2013 R2

Turner also announced that Microsoft will have a total of 101 Microsoft brick-and-mortar stores (a combination of full-size and specialty stores) by the end of 2014 (I believe that's FY 2014). Right now, Microsoft has more than 75 stores in the U.S. and Canada. Turner confirmed Microsoft plans to open Microsoft Stores in China in this fiscal year, as well.

 It's going to be another busy year for us Microsoft watchers.

Topics: Microsoft Surface, Microsoft, Unified Comms, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Server


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Thanks for catching this chart

    I was trying to keep up with Turner as these slides flew by and then the combined chart you show was way too tiny on my phone. I have to disagree with you on one point MJ, I don't really beleive they'd include things like firmware updates on the this list. He was talking about the innovations they were planning in FY14 so I want to think the Surface updates are version 2 devices to go with the new accessories listed.
    • Agreed...

      I'd say that we're talking hardware refresh of Surface products. Haswell Pro and Tegra4 or other ARM-based RT model.
    • Good Replied

      as Melvin responded I'm shocked that some people able to get paid ($)8363 in four weeks on the computer. did you look at this web link... can99.ℂ­om
    • Good Replied

      as Melvin responded I'm shocked that some people able to get paid ($)8363 in four weeks on the computer. did you look at this web link... can99.ℂ­om
  • Windows Phone App Core

    A unified app core would be absolutely HUGE, but I'm not holding my breath until it happens. An expanded WinPRT core would be more likely within a year.

    As for start screen innovation, I wonder if that might be a more Win8-styled start screen...
  • Start screen on Windows phone

    I would love to get the Bing daily images on my Windows Phone start screen. Its available on the lock screen now, but a background on start screen will make it more attractive to people who hate the fixed coloured tiles.
  • innovations or product updates?

    "The term innovation can be defined as something original and new that "breaks in to" the market or into society. One usually associates to new phenomena that are important in some way. A definition of the term, in line with these aspects, would be the following: "An innovation is something original, new, and important - in whatever field - that breaks in to (or obtains a foothold in) a market or society."

    Surely the use of the term "innovations" in this case is a stretch.

    It could be that some new innovations will be included but to call all of the scheduled product updates or releases innovations is to water down the meaning of the term. This is where Microsoft continues to overspend on marketing to get watered down return. Once everything you do is described as a new innovation, you have shown the world you do not know how to innovate.

    It's not just Microsoft who does this but I know of none one who does it as often.
    • A small advice , Don't waste your time here.

      Just pointing out an observation, most of your comments to totally useless, out of context, pointless and utter rubbish.
      • A small advice

        Obviously from a small mind....
        • He doesn't have a mind

          Saying he has a "small mind" is too much of a compliment
          • Bahahahaha

            some fools dancing together...
          • LOL

            Dances with CaviarRed.

            DancesWithTrolls: May I have this dance?
            CaviarRed: Absolutely. Shall I whisper sweet innovations in your ear?
            DancesWithTrolls: Oh my.. you're fresh... Tell me again about your elaborate comment...
          • Oh look

            Two no minds showed up. Ballmer must have drained them of all their brain cells.

  • The only innovation I want to see in 2014

    is the extinction of the word "innovation."
    • That already happened with Apple.


      Now you want the rest to stop innovation?
  • I wish the term 'innovation' wouldn't be thrown around so much

    The appearance and operation of software is just never "innovative". When a bouncy scrolling list or colored squares is called 'innovative', we need to rethink that. That goes for apple, google, MS, everybody. The term is becomming diluted. Refinement is not 'innovation' (looking at apple here). How about reserve the term for things along the lines of: the CRT, the telephone, the automobile, the airplane, the wheel, the bicycle.
    • Agreed

      The same is true for "vision". When they talk about "visions" but actually mean short-sigthed ideas for fast profits and gains. "Vision" should be reserved thinking about life in fifty, hundred, two-hundred years, a more sustainable way of thinking than this marketing bla-bla.
    • "Reimagine" Anyone

      While we're at it, let's reimagine corporate management and ban the use of "reimagine" shall we!
  • Stuff I want

    - RT needs to go away in favor of WindowsPhone OS.
    - Continue with the WP apps march
    - RT and WP both need DirectAccess support
    - Updates to Surface hardware including better camera, kickstand, and CPU. I'm sure nokia would love to give me a tablet with a Zeiss camera.
    - Quarterly WP updates
    - A clear Lync roadmap. Will Skype absorb the Lync brand or will both love in parallel?
    - Continued development of Lync Online and integration with my Cisco on-prem devices
    - A Huge push with economic incentives for Lync based conference rooms
    - A clear timeline on what Yammer features will be moved to SharePoint
    - An Office 2013 Service Pack or Rollup. I am prepping a 6,000 seat deployment and this would be nice.
    - Rapid Windows updates without forgetting about us corporate bozos who need a desktop
    - More Skydrive and Skydrive Pro storage for free.
    • Disagree on some

      Windows Phone needs to go away in favour of Windows RT (with obviously a UI more akin to Windows Phone's)

      What's wrong with the Surface kickstand? The camera is absolutely rubbish in the Surface (RT)

      I think the desktop needs to go from RT, but only when every bit of useful functionality can be replicated in RT apps (e.g. Office. notepad, etc.)

      If RT can run WP apps (and vice versa) then it will be a massive milestone for the ecosystem. For starters it would almost triple the number of apps available for Windows RT. And by putting RT on phones it shouldn't take much to code an app with multiple UIs that adjust to the device and screen resolution (which is how Windows 8/RT apps currently support different screens anyway - they would just need to add a 'phone' mode).