Posting from Redmond:
MICROSOFT: SIX BURNING QUESTIONS AND EIGHT PRIMARY BUSINESSES
Microsoft executives are making a series of presentations today at the company's annual Financial Analyst Meeting, a day-long confab that brings investors and analysts from Wall Street and elsewhere to the company's headquarters. In simple terms, the event is a chance for the company to update the world on what it's thinking about. Which traditionally translates into lots of lists and diagrams.
Starting things off, the company said it is currently compartmentalizing its business into eight core areas: Xbox & TV, Bing, Microsoft Office, Windows Server, Windows Phone, Windows, Business Users, and SQL Server.
Another list, essentially setting out the agenda for the day, detailed the six areas where Microsoft senses that analysts and investors have the biggest questions: The business PC refresh cycle and Microsoft's market share; the impact of the iPad and slate computers; Windows Phone 7; the outlook for Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft's mobile business; cloud computing revenue and profit margins; and expense control.
On the subject of cloud computing and online services, Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner pointed to new customer wins of Dow Chemical, Hyatt and the University of Georgia, announced by the company this morning. On the competitive front, he also called out quotes from a BusinessWeek article that quoted anonymous Jaguar employees grousing about the auto maker's transition to Google Apps.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks this afternoon, so check back for coverage.