It is amazing how time flies when you are having fun.  The journey is more important than the destination and it has been a great journey so far.  This month marked my first anniversary in the Developer Division at Microsoft.  I want to take this opportunity to share my thoughts about our accomplishments during this past year and highlight the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.

 

Now is by far the most exciting period in the history of the Developer Division and I am glad to be a part of this. We are finishing up the work to deliver the best Visual Studio and .NET Framework ever, in 2005. The introduction of Express SKUs for beginning programmers and Visual Studio Team System at the enterprise level in Visual Studio 2005 is absolutely going to be fantastic in terms of solving real customer problems, enabling a broader base of our customers to use our tools and driving satisfaction in a significant way.  Programming to the .NET Framework has realized phenomenal growth this past year, as Forrester and Gartner reported that .NET is winning in the enterprise and is being adopted by majority of developers. Developers targeting mobile devices are excited at the improved, high performance, integrated devices support in Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Compact Framework 2.0.

 

We took customer connection to a new level this year.  In addition to the teams stepping up our engagement and interaction with the community, there were two key accomplishments:

 

  1. Working with the MSDN team, we launched the MSDN Feedback Center that customers can use to give us feedback, to hear what others in the community are saying, and for us to close the loop with our customers effectively.
  2. We launched Community Technology Previews (CTP) which enable us to drop builds more frequently to our customers and get feedback throughout the product development cycle.  

We shipped Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 (including Japanese version), Beta 1 refresh and a number of CTP releases.

 

2004 saw Gartner move the .NET Framework into their magic quadrant for enterprise application servers, recognizing the improvements that we've made in terms of enterprise scalability, security and reliability in .NET.  Forrester confirmed our internal data that .NET is the preferred development framework for majority of the developers and signaled to the world - The .NET Framework is clearly enterprise ready.

 

It has also been a great year with our Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) Program.  The developer tools industry is flourishing around our products suite as a platform on which to grow their business. The momentum we had at TechEd (with CompuWare, Borland and Avicode demonstrating their VSTS integration) continues to be strong.  Over the last 12 months the VSIP program has grown from 175 partners to 217.  Recent signings have included eBay/PayPal, Oracle, Sybase and WebMethods.

Looking ahead, servicing existing customers and shipping a high quality Visual Studio 2005 and .NET Framework continue to be our highest priorities.  Customers are super excited about Visual Studio 2005 and we will get it into their hands as soon as possible. The combination of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 is going to be a great innovation story for our customers.

I remain super excited about what we can accomplish in 2005.  Every day, we strive to enable millions of developers around the world to make a significant difference and realize their loftiest ambitions.

I like to dream big.  We can and need to dream big, and deliver on those dreams.  This is the only way we can continue innovating AND being responsive to our customers.  This is the only way we can deliver the highest value proposition to our customers.  This is the only way we can continue being in a leadership position.  As Theodore Roosevelt once said:

 

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

Wish you all a great Holiday season and a Happy New Year!

 

Namaste!