Turner outlined a new Microsoft strategy of spreading an $8 billion R&D budget -- the largest in the industry, he claimed -- across areas that include entertainment software, Vista-enabled desktop computing, and both the "commercial" and consumer aspects of cloud computing, a phenomenon he sees as closely intertwined with virtualization.
The COO told attendees that this strategy is in line with a new "vision statement" developed by Microsoft's current management team which complements a mission statement created three decades ago.
In the earlier mission statement, he noted, Microsoft foresaw building software that would run on every desktop and server in the world. Conversely, under the new "vision statement," Microsoft wants to build software that will leverage the Internet to operate on a "world of devices," according to Turner.
While acknowledging that the same can't yet be said for MSN LiveSearch and other elements of consumer-focused cloud computing, Turner contended that in terms of commercial cloud computing, Microsoft is the industry leader. "Make no mistake about that," he declared.
Turner then attacked Google for offering "no choice" in cloud computing. Microsoft's strategy differs markedly from that of Google, he argued, in that Google gives cloud computing customers "no choice" but to use a Google-hosted cloud.