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IE8 August 29, 2008

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 2 comments

Upgraded to IE8. What are the two plugins that don’t work with the upgrade – Google Toolbar and Apple Quicktime. Sheesh!

Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media released

Posted by chetan in : AORTA,Mobile Advertising,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Entertainment,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

Our good friend Tomi Ahonen just released his 6th book published by Futuretext. I have read all of his previous books including the recent ones – Communities Dominate Brands and Digital Korea. They are all terrific reads full with case studies, insights, and stats.

We briefly explored the mobile medium as the next advertising mass medium in our Mobile Advertising book released earlier this year. Tomi expands on the subject in much detail (322 pages, in fact) to lay out the case for Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media after print, recordings, cinema, radio, tv, and internet. He deals with the subject in 18 long chapters each including a case study to illustrate the point.

For media, marketing, and advertising folks out there who are struggling to understand the role of mobile in advertising and content consumption, this book is for you.

An excerpt

The cellphone is emerging as a mass media. Twice as many cellphones as TV sets, three times as many cellphone subscribers as internet users, four times as many cellphones as PC sets, five times as many cellphones as automobiles. 31% of all music dollars spent worldwide already go to a wide array of cellphone based music services. 20% of videogaming software revenues. Advertising, news, TV, internet giants, social networking and even Hollywood movies and printed books are now rushing to capture their share of the 7th of the Mass Media.

How addicted is the youth to cellphones? Why is SMS text messaging used by twice as many people as email worldwide? How can banks, libraries, dentists and airlines serve customers better through the 7th of the Mass Media? What are the seven unique benefits that none of the legacy six media, including the internet, can replicate? Why is small screen size and limited keypad only a myth? Cellphones are not the dumb little brothers to the internet; rather mobile is to the internet, like TV is to radio, a far more compelling and complete media platform that will soon dominate.

Packed with up-to-the-minute statistics and bursting with international comparisons, Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media includes media concepts, service examples and user statistics covering 40 countries. It features 16 insightful case studies from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Finland, the UK, the Netherlands and the USA including such trailblazing
7th Mass Media innovators as Blyk, Cyworld, Virgin Mobile, SeeMeTV, i-Channel and Flirtomatic. The book also provides the latest thinking on how to build successful wireless services using the 6 M’s service creation tool.

Congrats Tomi on another brilliant book.

You can preorder the book here.

Heading down to SF for Mobilize August 26, 2008

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GigaOM’s Mobilize (18th Sept) is turning out to be one of the best conferences of the year with an absolutely great line up of speakers. Surj did a great job pulling various panels and speakers.

I will be moderating two great panels. Another long but interesting day in the offing.

COM #138 August 25, 2008

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is over at MobHappy by Russell Buckley. I had the opportunity to finally meet Russell in Amsterdam earlier this year. Great guy, Very knowledgeable.

First up, we have a post from Chetan Sharma about his new book “Enterprise Mobility: Applications, Technologies and Strategies”. Chetan is obviously not one to rest on his laurels, as this is his second book this year after his excellent “Mobile Advertising: Supercharge Your Brand in the Exploding Wireless Market” – a must-read book for those interested in mobile marketing.

Chetan’s new book is based on some work he undertook for SAP with colleague, Sami Muneer and it’s an interesting and unusual insight into a corporate consulting project that normally remains hidden for confidentiality reasons. You can also download a free chapter, so head of over and get enlightened.

Thanks Russell ..

Hop over there for some really good posts from last week.

New Book: Enterprise Mobility: Applications, Technologies and Strategies August 24, 2008

Posted by chetan in : 3G,4G,AORTA,ARPU,BRIC,Carriers,Enterprise Mobility,European Wireless Market,Indian Wireless Market,IP,IP Strategy,Japan Wireless Market,Location Based Services,Mergers and Acquisitions,Messaging,Microsoft Mobile,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Entertainment,Mobile Gaming,Mobile Search,Mobile TV,Mobile Usability,Mobile Users,Mobile Wallet,MVNO,Networks,Patent Strategies,Patent Strategy,Patents,Privacy,Smart Phones,Strategy,Unified Messaging,US Wireless Market,Wi-Fi,WiMax,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 2 comments


Enterprise Mobility: Applications, Technologies and Strategies

IOS Press

Chapter Contribution

“Enterprise mobile product strategy using scenario planning”


Download Chapter (154 KB)


Each year, we work on strategies and product plans for our clients around the world that end up touching millions of consumers worldwide and do behind-the-scenes research, due-diligence, and analysis work on several critical deals and transactions that move our industry forward. But, rarely do we talk or write about them, due to obvious reasons.

However, last year, I got an opportunity to briefly write about some of the strategy work. On the request of Dr. Basole at Georgia Tech, my colleague Sami Muneer (Sr. Director, Enabling Solutions at SAP – responsible for all things mobile) and I drew from some of the long-term strategy and product planning work we had done for SAP to put together a paper on “Enterprise mobile product strategy using scenario planning.” SAP is the leading global enterprise player and their view of the world is both comprehensive and long-term. It was a privilege to work with their global team on the project.

Our paper is being published as a chapter in the just released book “Enterprise Mobility: Applications, Technologies and Strategies” (IOS Press, Amsterdam. 272 pages, Editor R. Basole, 2008) as part of The Tennenbaum Institute Series on Enterprise Systems. The chapter is also being published in the special issue of peer-reviewed International Knowledge Systems Management (IKSM) journal published by Georgia Tech.

The book is a collection of 13 chapters from academics and practitioners in enterprise mobility. I often use scenario planning techniques when doing long-term strategic assessment and forecasting. In this chapter, we hope to provide a framework for scenario planning in mobile that can go across verticals, applications, and services.

You can download the chapter here.

IKSM is making available all the chapters online (for free) if you register for a free one year subscription.

For those interested in reading the paper copy can order the book here.

Book Introduction

As the number of enterprises using mobile ICT increases, it becomes imperative to have a more complete understanding of what value and impact enterprise mobility has, what drives and enables it, and in what ways it can and will transform the nature and practices of work, organizational cultures, business processes, supply chains, enterprises, and potentially entire markets. Enterprise mobility is therefore a topic of great interest to both scholars and practitioners. Enterprise Mobility: Researching a new paradigm aims to contribute to and extend both our theoretical and practical understanding of enterprise mobility by exploring the necessary strategic, technological, and economic considerations, adoption and implementation motivators and inhibitors, usage contexts, social implications, human-centered design issues, support requirements, and transformative impacts. The main objective is to discuss applications, technologies, strategies, theories, frameworks, contexts, case studies, and analyses that provide insights into the growing reality of enterprise mobility for scholars and practicing managers. This volume contains thirteen articles from leading scholars and practitioners and includes an examination of the changing nature of work, work practices, and the work environment; a discussion of critical enablers of enterprise mobility; authors exploring strategic considerations; and insightful case studies of enterprise mobility across multiple domains. Together, the articles explore enterprise mobility across the entire continuum.

Enterprise mobile product strategy using scenario planning

Author(s): Sami Muneer and Chetan Sharma

The Mobile industry is changing at a rapid pace and so is the behavior of enterprise workforce which uses mobile technologies. When planning for a long-term product roadmap, one has to consider a myriad of evolution trends and forecasts to determine the probable list of product functionality and their introduction timing in the lifecycle of the product. One has to look at the technology trends by market, the competitive landscape, and the mobile worker adoption trends. However, one can only come up with a prioritized list of capabilities by taking into context the company’s own core competencies, skill sets, and overall mission. This paper looks at how mobile product companies can use scenario-planning methodology to formulate their product strategy and roadmap.

The listing of the chapters is as follows:

Your feedback is always welcome.


Chetan Sharma

Thank You Beijing. London, here we come.

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Just finished watching the closing ceremony on CBC (full 12 hrs before NBC airs it tonight .. yes, take that .. ). Olympics is my favorite sporting event as we get to watch the best of the best for so many sports that you normally don’t see – Volleyball, Rowing, Badminton (my former love), Table Tennis, Gymnastics, Track and Field, Swimming and so many more .. Beijing put on an absolutely stunning show and nearly a perfect Olympics which should open some eyes and inspire the future cities. This experience will be hard to beat and London has its work cut out for them.

In terms of sports themselves, some incredible moments – Michael Phelps, Bolt, Wanjiru, Abhinav Bindra, US Volleyball team, and on and on .. China took over the mantle of the most celebrated Olympics nation completely powering the US which has dominated since the fall of Soviet empire.

When I was in China last year, the construction frenzy was in full swing. One could feel the energy and a sense of urgency. I really think people will see this beyond sports as Chinese focus on different roles and industries.

Finally, congrats to our client China Mobile who was heavily involved in making the games a success and to all involved. And of course, thanks to CBC and BBC for providing great live coverage in the face of NBC blackout.

Looking forward to Vancouver in 2010 and London in 2012.

Mobile Startup visibility August 21, 2008

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

If you are looking to get your startup noticed, there are a couple of events coming up next month that might be useful.

First one is on Sept 9th, just before CTIA organized by Techcoire in Mountain View, CA

MobiTechFest: Innovation Meets Investmentâ„¢

Featuring Promising Innovations From Mobile/Wireless

September 9, 2008
Microsoft Conference Center, Mountain View, CA

Join leading investors, innovators and industry executives as we showcase promising early to mid stage innovations from the mobile/wireless ecosystem. This conference is open to entrepreneurs, investors and qualified professionals from the mobile/wireless ecosystem. 

MobiTechFest is seeking early to mid-stage innovations seeking angel or venture capital (from $500K to $20M) across the four major segments.
Mobile Infrastructure (Core/Access devices,  FMCs, Appliances, RF, Internet, Software)
Mobile Platforms & User Experience (Handsets, CPEs, FCTs Software, Graphics, Tools)
Mobile Content & Infotainment (Content, Advertizing, Games, Entertainment, Infotainment)
Mobile Enterprise (Applications focused on business and enterprise, LBS etc.)
Click here to learn more and to apply to be considered as a presenter.
A limited number of seats are available on a first-come first-serve mode for non-presenting entrepreneurs and mobile industry professionals. Visit the registration page for more details.

Then, on Sept 18th, Om Malik and Surj Patel are putting together a pretty good conference on Mobile – Mobilize

GigaOM is looking for twelve of the most promising mobile web startups to strut their stuff at the Mobilize Startup Launchpad. These startups should focus on the emerging technologies upon which the new era of the mobile web will be built. If your startup has the right stuff, get in touch with them. Just keep in mind the following:

Deadline for submission is Wednesday, August 20, 2008 (TODAY). GigaOM will announce the winners by Monday, August 25th.

COM #137 August 18, 2008

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Carnival of the Mobilists #137 is over at MobileJones. As usual, great collection of articles from last week. Lots of debate around iPhone and Twitter.

Apologies August 17, 2008

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If you tried to access chetansharma.com and associated links including the blog last week, you might have encountered empty pages. I was out of commission for most of the week and couldn’t address the outage. Apparently, some PHP script was running amok on wordpress which was creating server reboot problem at the ISP. I couldn’t verify that or had the time to debug but after much coaxing and cajoling was able to get the site back online in a couple of days and the blog online this weekend.

Looks like wordpress 2.6 has some nasty bug which can create some issues. The upgrade has been more trouble than it was worth, kind of like the Vista experience but hopefully, things will stay online ..

Apologies for any inconvenience.

I will be back with some exciting announcements in the coming days.

Another good reason to live in Seattle August 11, 2008

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Access to the Canadian CBC channel which is doing a terrific job covering the Olympics as compared to the pathetic NBC coverage. I understand the business reasons but c’mon.

Free ticket for Ajit’s Megatrends Conference

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

Btw, i have a free ticket to the conference to give to one of our readers. First come first served.

In the news ..

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Want to be the first to know who Obama picks as a veepester? TXT VP to 62262

TMO US to Open up the Gardens. Tricia at Moconews does a good summary of the efforts underway at TMO to open up the platform for developers and do a straightforward “Apple-like” rev-share. I have also heard from other sources that the launch is coming shortly.

Apple’s App store is doing $1M/day business reports WSJ.

SF Event by Ajit Jaokar August 10, 2008

Posted by chetan in : Speaking Engagements , 2 comments

SF seems to be the Sept Mobile HQ of the world with several events planned. Another interesting event – Mobile Web Megatrends Conference is being chaired by our friend Ajit Jaokar in Berkeley on Sept 8th.

Mobile Web Megatrends

Ajit has written about it here. Conference website here. Good line of speakers and topics look quite focused.

US Wireless Data Market Update – Q2 2008

Posted by chetan in : 3G,4G,AORTA,ARPU,BRIC,Carriers,CTIA,Devices,Enterprise Mobility,European Wireless Market,Indian Wireless Market,Japan Wireless Market,Location Based Services,M&A,Mergers and Acquisitions,Mobile Advertising,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Entertainment,Mobile Gaming,Mobile Search,Mobile Usability,Smart Phones,Speaking Engagements,US Wireless Market,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 4 comments



Download PDF (2.5 MB)

Download PPT (1.5 MB)


The US wireless data market grew 40% in Q208 compared to Q207 to reach $8.2B in data revenues. The total for 2008 stands at $15.7B for the first six months, 38% higher than the total for the same time period in 2007. The news of Alltel acquisition, iPhone 3G, and the flat rate pricing wars dominated the news. Though the infatuation for iPhone was a few degrees lower, Apple managed to keep the device front and center of the news cycles. US again exceeded Japan in mobile data service revenues for the quarter and the market is on track to reach $34B in data revenues for 2008.

Global update

          More details in our worldwide wireless data market update in our Global Wireless Data Market Update Sept 2008.

Your feedback is always welcome.


Chetan Sharma

Disclaimer: Some of the companies mentioned in this note are our clients.

Let the games begin August 8, 2008

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8.8.8 at 8pm in Beijing

From Nbcolympics.com

The most expensive opening ever was four years ago in Athens, when the Greeks spent a reported $30 million on their torch-lighting rite. The Chinese have surpassed them by a factor of 10. With an estimated $300 million budget, a seemingly never-ending cast of 15,000, and a fireworks display that’s rumored to be the biggest in history, the Bird’s Nest will redefine Olympic spectacle.

Sept – San Francisco event August 6, 2008

Posted by chetan in : Speaking Engagements , add a comment

San Francisco is one of my favorite cities to visit. Will be spending sometime in SF next month for some events

Sept 8th – Speaking at Mobile Search Experts Group gathering in Napa Valley

Sept 9th – Mobile Entertainment Live

Sept 10-12th – CTIA

Sept 18th – Moderating a panel at GigaOM’s Mobilize

Hope to see some of you down there.

Upgraded to WordPress 2.6

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Upgraded the blog to wordpress 2.6. All went smooth except the categories. They got wiped out so had to spend sometime bringing them back to life – running sql queries and all. Haven’t done that in a while.

If you are upgrading be sure to make good backups otherwise it will be very hard to recreate. If you run into problems, read this for fix.

The Larry Weber Show: Mobile Advertising and Wireless Technology August 5, 2008

Posted by chetan in : 3G,AORTA,Carriers,European Wireless Market,Intellectual Property,Microsoft Mobile,Mobile Advertising,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Entertainment,Mobile Gaming,Mobile Search,Mobile TV,Speaking Engagements,US Wireless Market,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , add a comment

The legendary Larry Weber interviewed me for his Show “MarketEdge with Larry Weber.” It is live now over at Webmaster Radio. The topic of discussion was of course “Mobile Advertising and its implications to the mobile ecosystem.”



Mobile Advertising & Wireless Technology
Chetan Sharma on Mobile Advertising, the topic of his new book called Wireless Broadband Technology: Conflict and Convergence

Show Host: Larry Weber
Show: Market Edge

Channel: Internet Marketing


Airlines going WiFi – Part Deux

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Without having power or the network connection, one looses the ability to be productive (unless you are carrying a truck load of batteries or are in the ZEN mode) on long flights.

Airlines have been harping about the ridiculous interference mantra for decades (of course it is an FAA mandated policy) but given the turbulence in the economy and soaring oil prices, airlines are looking for new sources of revenue. Network connectivity on the planes has been tried before without much success – Remember Boeing’s Connexion – the failed operation that couldn’t get lift-off.

Well, several airlines announced that they are looking to provide broadband access to domestic passengers this fall.

From CNN Money

Airlines going Wi-Fi

Delta says it will offer Internet access on majority of its domestic seats by next summer. Other airlines pushing ahead.

By Lara Moscrip, CNNMoney.com contributing writer

Last Updated: August 5, 2008: 12:46 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Several major airlines are planning to soon start offering Wi-Fi access to their passengers.

On Tuesday, Delta Air Lines announced that will provide broadband access to domestic passengers this fall.

Delta (DAL, Fortune 500) has struck an agreement with Aircell to offer Wi-Fi to laptops, smartphones, PDAs and other devices, according to a statement from the airline.

Delta is pushing to have its entire mainline fleet of more than 330 planes Wi-Fi enabled by the end of next summer. The service will not be available aboard Delta’s fleet of smaller aircraft, which typically seat 50 to 75 people, according to a Delta spokeswoman. The Internet service will be available on about 60% of Delta seats flown everyday, the spokeswoman said.

Passengers will be able to connect to the Internet through Aircell’s “Gogo” portal. Wi-Fi will be available to passengers in first-class and economy seats for a flat fee of $9.95 for flights three hours or shorter and for $12.95 on longer trips, according to the airline.

Once an airplane equipped with Wi-Fi reaches 10,000 feet and the captain gives approval, passengers can turn on their electronic devices and log in, according to Gogo’s Web site.

“The advent of Air-To-Ground technology has made broadband connectivity in the cabin economically viable for the first time for commercial airlines,” Jack Blumenstein, president and CEO of Aircell, said in a statement.

According to a spokeswoman for Aircell, American Airlines (AMR, Fortune 500) and Virgin America have signed contracts with Aircell and are testing the service on their flights.

A spokesperson for American Airlines saidthat the carrier will offer Gogo’s Wi-Fi service on a trial basis on cross-country flights starting this year.

Virgin America will offer the Gogo service starting this fall and plans to install Wi-Fi on its entire fleet by the end of April 2009, a spokeswoman for Virgin America said.

Southwest Airlines (LUV, Fortune 500) plans to install an airborne broadband service through its provider, Row 44, starting this fall, a Southwest spokeswoman said. Once tests are completed, the airline will provide the service on four aircraft on a trial basis, she added. To top of page

Interview with Ravi Venkatesan – Chairman, Microsoft India

Posted by chetan in : BRIC,Enterprise Mobility,Indian Wireless Market,Mergers and Acquisitions,Microsoft Mobile,Smart Phones,US Wireless Market,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

Innovating from, for and with India is our mantra.

PiTech is the premier technology magazine for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) alums and community. I had the opportunity to interview Ravi Venkatesan – Chairman, Microsoft India for the July 2008 issue of PiTech that celebrates 50 years of IIT Bombay. Below is the interview in its entirety.

You can read the entire issue here.



Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd.

Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India is responsible for Microsoft’s marketing, operational and business development efforts in the country. In partnership with the leaders of Microsoft’s other business units, Venkatesan provides a single point of leadership for the company, playing an integral role in defining Microsoft’s relationship with policy makers, customers and business partners across Microsoft’s six distinct business units in India namely: Microsoft Corporation India (Pvt) Ltd, the Marketing Subsidiary, Microsoft India Development Center, Microsoft Global Technical Support Centre, Microsoft Global Development Center India, Microsoft Global Services India and Microsoft Research India.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Venkatesan worked for over seventeen years with Cummins Inc, a US-based designer, manufacturer and distributor of engines and related technologies. He served in various leadership capacities at Cummins including Chairman of Cummins India Limited and Managing Director of Tata Cummins Limited, a joint venture between Cummins Inc. and Tata Motors. His biggest contribution at Cummins was leading the transformation of Cummins in India into the leading provider of power solutions and the largest manufacturer of automotive engines in the country.

Venkatesan has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (1985), an MS in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University (1986) and a MBA from Harvard University (1992) where he was a Baker Scholar. Ravi was awarded Purdue University’s Outstanding  Industrial  Engineer  award  for  the  year 2000  and  the Distinguished  Alumnus  award  by  the  Indian  Institute  of Technology in  2003.

Venkatesan is a member of the Executive Council of NASSCOM, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a Director on the Board of Thermax Ltd and a member of the Advisory Council of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and IIIT-Bangalore. He has contributed frequently to the Harvard Business Review and some of his articles include, “Strategic Sourcing – to Make or Not to Make” and “The Strategy that Wouldn’t Travel.”

His interests include reading, travel, classical music and philanthropy.

~ ~ ~

What are some of the problems that our industry hasn’t solved? What’s holding us back?

At first, in many ways India is the centre of the IT world today and the credit only goes to the huge amount of talent that we have. However, for all the expertise that we have in IT, there is a huge underserved market in India.

The IT uptake in the domestic market has been limited. With all the challenges that lie ahead of us as a nation, are it access to education, or market access for small business or even transparency and accountability in governance, technology has the potential to solve these but we have never really applied ourselves to it. We have largely focused our energies on the global market.

The fact remains, for India to continue the economic growth it has seen in the last three years, it is imperative for us to work towards addressing these issues.

What are the key ingredients of a strategy to outsmart competition?

The only way to stay ahead in the game is to focus on the customer. You have to hear and concentrate on the spoken and unspoken needs of consumer. Take for instance the success Apple has enjoyed with iPod. It’s not a technological innovation but a brilliant execution of an innate need of a customer, connecting the device and the online music service, which had never been clearly articulated. Much like the Walkman a few decades ago. Or X Box live. We realized people were not looking to just enjoy the game in their living rooms but also wanted to play with the best of the best, whoever they may be and anywhere they may be. And in addressing that need, we were able to close the gap on Sony.

How can technology companies better understand the needs of customers?

If we can balance the obsession with our products with an obsession for our customers and really listen to them, and listen to them not only before the sale but even post the sale, it will make all the difference.

Simplistic as it may sound, it all boils down to be less internally focused and ensure our people are walking in the shoes of our customers.

How do you see PC computing evolving over the next 5-10 years?

If you look at the emerging new world of work and lifestyle, an always connected environment where users want to access data from wherever and at any time, one can safely talk about the emergence of non PC devices as the center piece of the digital era.

Likewise as technology is increasingly deployed for the next five billion and we think about enabling people in various scenarios, one will have to innovate to enable access for them. That will lead to evolution in the modality of interaction.

For instance, we will need to address issues of language and literacy, which means changes in text user interfaces, vision and speech recognition. Essentially, the devices will be more intelligent. Not only will they recognize our voice, but they’ll recognize our intent, take intelligent actions and follow commands. This means display technology will also have to evolve quite dramatically Concepts like surface computing, automotive computing and mobile computing will really become a big-big phenomenon.

Another interesting dimension will be the integration of TV software & PC software for connected-home consumer experiences across devices. IPTV will become pervasive with the integration of end-to-end multimedia and video solutions.

Needless to say, all of this will be accompanied by a fundamental re-architecting of the microprocessor. As per Moore’s law, multi-core computers will play a vital role in ushering in supercomputing.

What are some of the key “big-picture” initiatives at Microsoft?

As we all know, there are Two India’s. One is the global corporate India which is every bit as sophisticated as any other company globally. As productive, efficient and technology savvy as anyone else. And we see ourselves as partners to them and in their growth.

Then there is the other India, to be precise 2/3rd of it which is at the risk of being left behind. Ironically at one level technology can be the divider. But it is also pretty much the most significant bridge to ensure an inclusive socio economic growth for the underserved India.

Over the last couple of years the focus has intensified in three areas and is aligned with the overall national agenda:

At first Investment in human capital both by way of education and skills has been and will continue to be a key focus area. IT is key, both as a subject of study and as the key facilitator in providing affordable access to education and skills.

Secondly, as we work towards addressing the unique scenarios of our country, it is obvious we and the entire ecosystem will need to innovate. We have to create a relevant enabling environment and that requires innovation at all levels.

Last but not the least it is important to sustain the current growth of the Indian economy and create appropriate jobs and opportunities for the growing young population of our country. Again IT plays a dual role of both as a facilitator and a key provider.

And in this commitment to realize the “Unlimited Potential”, we run several initiatives in the country such as:

Project Shiksha for accelerating IT literacy and enhancing the classroom environment among government schools across the country. We have already covered over 1,10,000 school teachers and impacted the lives of over 4 million students.

Project Bhasha for promoting local language computing wherein we have tried to break down one of the barriers by providing local language interface packs for Microsoft products in 14 Indian languages.

Project Jyoti which provides lifelong learning for adults in rural communities especially women through Community Technology Learning Centers. Run in partnership with NGOs we have already impacted the lives of several women who in many instances have now become bread earners for their families or simply gained social esteem and confidence and are leading examples for women’s empowerment in their communities.

Project Vikas to enhance the global competitiveness of the SMEs by IT enablement. Run in partnership with the national manufacturing council it entails a five year action plan to help the Indian SMEs address their ‘soft’ challenges of market access, knowledge networks and enablement of supply chain linkages in the cluster ecosystem. We have successfully seen the first phase of deployment in three sectors: Tripur (textiles), Pune (auto components) and Ahmedabad (pharmaceuticals)

In addition to all the innovative work we do at our own business units, we also work with the Indian SI, ISV and developer community to build a robust software product ecosystem in India. We are engaged with them to support them on quality, technology roadmap, business skills and mentoring, venture capital funding and provide all the end to end tools to become commercially successful. It is towards our quest of ‘Made in India’ software.

But at all times we are aware of the need to deliver affordable PC solutions and that is central to our India mission of building a digitally inclusive society. So over and above the special licensing for the government and academic community, we have in place a ‘Good-Better-Best’ segment approach. Essentially, different SKUs with different levels of functionality and therefore differentiated prices. Good example is Windows Vista Starter Edition, specially designed to spur PC usage in India it is the lowest cost Microsoft offering available today.

Or innovative models of delivery, such as the “pay-as-you-go” business model enabled by our flex go technology. It uses the familiarity and flexibility of prepaid mobile phones and applies it to personal computer, bringing down the entry barrier of costs for PC ownership.

Like I have said before, Innovation is key. Innovation in product, business models, solutions and services.

What technology (ies) is Microsoft building specifically for India?

India is the only subsidiary outside of the US where Microsoft has an end-to-end presence of its entire product lifecycle right from research to product development to support. The large talent pool is naturally empathetic to the needs and problems of our fellow citizens. Therefore we can explore various technology, tools, solutions and services which are relevant not just to India but all emerging markets. As a result we are ‘Inspired by India’ we therefore we ‘Innovate for India’.

Take the example of Microsoft Research India. It is one of the premier industrial research labs globally and as of March 2007, MSR India had already published more than 60 papers in leading international journals and conferences. While it focuses in areas including Cryptography, Security, Digital Geographics, Mobility and Multilingual Systems, it is the work they do for Emerging Markets is very heart warming.

Take MultiPoint – a simple yet powerful technology which will enable multiple children to share a single PC using multiple mice. For the purposes of primary education, it can multiply the benefit of a single computer by three, four, five, or more.

Equally inspiring is Digital StudyHall (DSH), an independent research project primarily supported by Microsoft Research, which aims to overcome both the problems of staff shortage and availability of standardized study material among underserved communities.

Simply put, it records and distributes DVDs of subject classes led by India’s best grassroots teachers. Underserved areas can access the DSH database via DVDs, while areas that are more developed will be able to access the content via the Internet.

Some other areas it is working on and very relevant to scenarios like India is Text Free User Interface to overcome the language barrier or the Split Screen UIs to multiply benefits for small businesses.

The Microsoft development centre which does end to end product development for Microsoft globally and contributes significantly to all our products, is also incubating technologies which will make computing more, far more intuitive and integrated with entertainment and therefore more compelling and more affordable.

How does India help Microsoft in the Asian markets, Global markets?

India is amongst the fastest growing markets for Microsoft both from a talent perspective and from a market perspective and it’s no surprise that we are contributing significantly to the revenues and product innovation at Microsoft corp. Our contributions are immense.

Microsoft Research, with over 50 people, is one of the premier industrial research labs globally and as of March 2007, MSR India had already published more than 60 papers in leading international journals and conferences. It focuses in six areas including Cryptography, Security, and Algorithms; Digital Geographics; Mobility Networks, and Systems, Multilingual Systems, rigorous software engineering and emerging markets and is committed to advancing the state of the art computer science research in India. It partners with a number of educational and research institutions in India and abroad to push forward the boundaries of scientific research.

The Microsoft India Development Center (MSIDC) at Hyderabad is fully integrated with the key product families of Microsoft and is the second largest MS software development center outside Redmond. It has more than 1300 employees working on over 50 products and technologies for the global Microsoft portfolio.

Team here have end-to-end responsibility on projects and cover all aspects of software development – Development, Testing and Program Management. Teams work collaboratively with Redmond on future releases of products and are constantly innovating to enhance the user experience. MSIDC is a leader in creating intellectual property from India and has filed for over 130 patents in the last two years.

The Global technical support centre, Microsoft IT and the Global consulting and services centre are also based out of India and are supporting global customers for Microsoft and contributing significantly to Microsoft revenues.

Innovating from, for and with India is our mantra.