Microsoft job posting reiterates “first-and-best on Windows” focus

Many die-hard Microsoft fans have looked on in horror over the last couple of years, as the company has extended the reach of its software and services beyond its own Windows ecosystem. SkyDrive, Xbox, OneNote and even Office have, to varying degrees, made the jump from Windows and Windows Phone onto iOS and Android devices, leaving some onlookers gasping in shock and disgust.

But a recent Microsoft job posting may serve to appease those who still seek reassurance that the company has not lost perspective. The position, for a Program Manager with the Office team, was first advertised last month, and spotted by WMPowerUser a couple of days ago.

In the posting, the company cites Office on Windows Phone 8 as a centrepiece of its “first-and-best on Windows” strategy - and this is not the first time that we've heard that phrase mentioned.

As The New York Times highlighted in May 2012, outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a similar comment with regards to Skype: “We always want Skype to be first and best on Windows, but certainly a strategic part of the value in communications software is working on all platforms", he said. "We’re committed to that cross-platform support.”

The phrase popped up again in March 2013, when Kees Hertogh (then Director, Product Management, Microsoft Dynamics AX) said in a blog post, announcing new native mobile apps for Dynamics on iOS and Android, that any new mobile experiences “will work ‘first and best’ on Windows Phone and Windows 8”.

The recent launch of the new Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps on Windows Phone 8 – which now stand alone as separate components rather than integrated into the OS – is one example of Microsoft doing more to honour that commitment, enabling the company to deliver more regular updates and improvements for its entertainment services on WP8 than would have previously been possible.

Another example is the upcoming ‘touch-first’ versions of its Office apps. While Microsoft has confirmed that it is working on versions of these for iOS, it has hinted that these will not arrive until after their launch on Windows.

Microsoft’s decision to make its offerings available on non-Windows platforms may not be to everyone’s liking, but in the long run, the company clearly sees its future in making its software and services available as widely as possible, but with the best experience always delivered on Windows devices. Of course, only time will tell if that vision becomes fully realised as planned. 

Source: Microsoft Careers via WMPowerUser | lower image via FutureZone

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Being mainly a software company, releasing those apps on other operation systems makes sense, especially considering the importance of getting people to invest in an ecosystem. 'First and best' though makes even more sense as they transition to being more of a devices and services company.

Now let's see it actually happen...

The stated "first-and-best on Windows" strategy sounds good and is admirable goal. Pity, that MS failed with its Windows-8.x UI. Pandering to one major type of user (consumers) at the expense of others (business/enterprise) is at odds with the stated goal.

Many die-hard Microsoft fans have looked on in horror over the last couple of years, as the company has extended the reach of its software and services beyond its own Windows ecosystem.....leaving some onlookers gasping in shock and disgust.

Sorry, but you are being just a bit too dramatic with that, there is no such disgust. Remember, Windows Phone is just 3% while Android and iOS make up the lions share.

Enron said,
I thought it was more than 3% now, unless you're looking at the US.

Its only 3% in places that matter, not places where the cheapo Lumias were sold to people that traditionally buy featurephones and aren't even buying let alone downloading apps.

ardenx said,

Its only 3% in places that matter, not places where the cheapo Lumias were sold to people that traditionally buy featurephones and aren't even buying let alone downloading apps.

Ok then I guess we'll also exclude all the cheapo Android phones and just say Apple has 80% market share since they don't make budget phones.

efjay said,
Pity its only acknowledged on paper and not actually put into practice.

as if you are working in MS!! It has to start at one point of time (theory or practical), and be +ve that it started

nitins60 said,

as if you are working in MS!! It has to start at one point of time (theory or practical), and be +ve that it started


It is always better to check the source than rely on a phrase out of context:
http://www.microsoft-careers.c...26657-Job-WA-98052/2496690/
"Having already shipped Office on Windows Phone 8 - a key milestone that highlights the importance of our “first-and-best on Windows” strategy. As MOD moves to focusing on the next Office, Office applications will need to preserve consistency in functionality as they ride across a continuum of form factors, while still differentiating themselves enough to embrace the target platform they run on."
To me the jobs post seems more focused on Office for other platform than MS ones...

efjay said,
Pity its only acknowledged on paper and not actually put into practice.

Hell yeah, about time the Skype team got the memo!