Yesterday at the Build conference Microsot CEO Steve Ballmer made a surprise visit on stage to talk more about how the company views new technologies and what this means for developers. He came out to further promote the importance of Windows 8 for Microsoft and what it also means for the whole company, looking forward. In addition to this, he also mentioned Nokia in his talk, but not in an extensive fashion. According to Ballmer, not only does Windows 8 change the approach to pretty much everything Microsoft works with, but it also changes the way how Microsoft views technology - the release itself will make Microsoft pivot and look at new technologies in a Windows centered fashion.
What this approach basically means for startups and developers is that Microsoft's ecosystem just got a lot more interesting. With the release of Windows 8 Microsoft will try to simplify their ecosystem to developers and thus increase the amount of market available for companies in this space.
Ballmer outlined that "no other company on this planet" will have shipped 350 million of anything. With this he was referring to the amount of devices that will ship with some form of Windows this year. It's clear the company is taking big steps in promoting its ecosystem and how it will move forward.
What Ballmer stated in his surprise talk was that Microsoft is essentially in the business of seven different areas. These are shown in the image below, where Windows Phone is one of them. This of course is of interest to everyone, including us, wondering what the Microsoft-Nokia partnership will form into.
In addition to this, he mentioned that going to the cloud will be a key part of Microsoft strategy moving forward. All of the above mentioned parts of Microsoft will work in a heavily integrated fashion with the cloud.
So what does all this spell for Nokia then? Nokia was mentioned in two bullet points in his presentation. It seems to be one of the "royal suppliers" of Windows Phone devices, but apart from that - it's hard to say where the partnership will take the companies. Ballmer exclusively stated, "Nokia will take Microsoft to new markets, new consumers and new price points".
Also - "stand by for news" was stated below Nokia in the Windows Phone slide. It's all very secretive at this point and hard to say what the exact details of the roll-out of Nokia Windows Phones will be. However, it's certainly looking like there's a bit more than just a partnership to build Windows Phones.
For Nokia, the company is of course able to tap into the huge base of Windows users around the world with its devices. What Nokia will do with this is a completely new question though.
Nevertheless - Microsoft has shown some really interesting stuff regarding Windows 8 and how the company plans to move forward with it. We'll dig into the implications this may have for Windows Phone in the coming days, but all what I've seen has put Microsoft into one of the more interesting players in the game again.
Please see my disclosure on our coverage from the Build conference in our first post on Windows 8.