So what happens at a day-long Sales & Marketing Summit? Most of you can go ahead and take a snooze, but if you care… J
The day started with Peter Moore kicking off the meeting to a room full of employees from around the world. In fact, I’d guess that at least 60% of those there have a non-American accent. Every subsidiary has somewhere between 1 and 50 employees working on Home & Entertainment products (think “things sold at retail,” and you get the idea). Managers from those subsidiaries came together to hear from executives and product teams, as we finalize our plans for the next year (or more).
Peter introduced Robbie, who gave us his thoughts about his new role (he recently added Devices to his division, including things like smart phones), and his commitments to the company. If you’ve had a chance to hear Robbie speak, you know he’s somewhat different than other execs at Microsoft. He’s confident, genuine, and inspiring, but not quite as, uh, enthusiastic as his boss (Steve Ballmer).
We then heard from VPs Mike Sievert, who talked about Windows Vista (including a bit about its strength in gaming), and Chris Capossela, who went into detail about Office 12.
Peter then took the stage for about 90 minutes, where he went in depth about upcoming plans for the games group. He showed several demos that have never been seen before (though I expect updated versions will be made public in the weeks (GDC) and months (E3) ahead). The demos included gameplay from Gears of War (holy smokes, I can’t wait for that game!), plus a closer look at Rise of Legends, and several others coming soon.
Later in the day, we split into two groups: those that work on games (Xbox and Games for Windows), and those that work on other consumer stuff sold at retail (Windows, Office, Mac Office, mice, keyboards, Digital Image Pro, Encarta, Money, etc.). The games group then spent a few hours dissecting recent customer research, and then finished the afternoon hearing plans from the global marketing team (including a presentation from our friend, David Reid).
All in all, an inspirational Valentines Day. This room full of MS employees are all focused on getting cool stuff out to you all. 2006 is going to be an amazing year!