2017年05月18日

マイクロソフトの将来はパソコンを遥かに超えたものだ。

Microsoft's Future Is About Much More Than PCs
Lisa Eadicicco
May 13, 2017

マイクロソフトの将来はパソコンを遥かに超えたものだ。

Inside The #MicrosoftEDU Event

When Microsoft brought its Office suite to Apple's iPad in 2014, many observers viewed it as a move to strengthen the company's presence in the mobile space — even if it meant working with a fierce rival. It was also a sign that then-new CEO Satya Nadella was committed to extending his company's reach beyond laptops and desktops, where its Windows software already dominated the market (and still does.) Three years later, it's clear that Nadella remains committed to that plan.

During this week's Build conference, an annual Microsoft event for software developers, the Redmond, Wash.-based firm showed off a new version of Windows, a new controller for virtual reality experiences, and improvements for its Cortana artificial intelligence software. Yes, Microsoft missed the boat on mobile. But, taken together, these announcements show that it's committed not only to making up lost ground, but also to powering the next big thing in tech, no matter what that might be.

taken together:これらをもとに

Microsoft's work on Cortana perhaps best highlights the company's platform-agnostic approach. Whereas rivals like Apple have limited their digital aides to work with only their own hardware, Cortana is available for everything from Windows devices to Internet-connected speakers and cars to, yes, the iPhone. Microsoft sees a particular advantage in making Cortana useful in the workplace, given the company's historical dominance there. One demonstration during Build showed how an office worker might use Cortana on a living room speaker to get everyday tasks done with simple voice commands, like posting updates to the company's workplace chatroom, getting traffic notifications while driving to a meeting, or requesting time off.

agnostic:不可知論の
time off:休暇

Meanwhile, the forthcoming update will make Windows 10 the most multi-platform version of the software Microsoft has ever made. Cortana will help users seamlessly transition between devices, whether they run Windows or not. An improved clipboard makes it possible to copy and paste content between Windows, Android, and iOS devices. And a new video editing app called Story Remix lets users work on projects across devices — if you get some work done on an Apple device then switch back to a Windows computer, it'll pick up where you left off.

clipboard:カットまたはコピーしたデータを一時的に保存しておく場所

But Microsoft's boldest bet is on virtual and augmented reality. Its Windows 10 Mixed Reality software powers a range of experiences that, when used with hardware like the upcoming headsets from Acer and HP, blend the physical and digital worlds. The jury is still out on whether VR will go mainstream any time soon. But if it does, Microsoft is well-positioned to be a dominant force in the field. "If we can get that presence right, I think it's just going to revolutionize our lives, allow us to connect when we're apart," Terry Myerson, Microsoft's executive vice president of Windows and devices, told TIME in a previous interview. There is good reason for Microsoft's cross-platform approach.

bet:大胆な策
augmented:増強された
jury:まだ結論が出ていない

Worldwide PC shipments dipped by 2.4% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2017, according to research firm Gartner. Another firm, IDC, says shipments actually grew in this year's first quarter, but only by 0.6%. Those numbers are bad news if your company is tied to PCs in the way Microsoft has historically been. So this kind of forward-looking hedging may give Microsoft a way to stay relevant in the future."If anything, one big mistake we made in our past was to think of the PC as the hub for everything for all time to come," Nadella told ZDNet in 2015. "Therefore, we have to be on the hunt for what's the next bend in the curve." Nobody can predict the future, of course. But Microsoft looks more prepared than ever for whatever's around the corner.

dipped:下落する
hedging:防衛手段
relevant:適切な

PCの次はなんだろう。MicrosoftはVRだという。PCの販売は下降している。PCがこれからのITの核だと思っていたが、どうもそうではない。仮想空間にITの領域は拡大していくとMicrosoftは言う。Windowsの技術はどんな媒体でも、クリップボードが有効にできるようにすると言う。すごいことだ。ロボット技術の進展もすごいが、このICT世界も革命が起きそうだ。

金曜日。三井物産の元副社長の渡邊五郎さんとの会食がある。ではまた明日。



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海野 恵一
1948年1月14日生

学歴:東京大学経済学部卒業

スウィングバイ株式会社
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アクセンチュア株式会社代表取締役(2001-2002)
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