Today during the opening keynote of Microsoft’s 2014 edition of the Microsoft World Wide Partner Conference Kevin Turner, the companies Chief Operating Officer, revealed that Microsoft now understands it is a challenger in a world full of devices.

This revelation came during the opening keynote of the annual conference which is being held this week in Washington, DC.

Microsoft, which touts a market share of over 90% in the PC arena, admitted that they only have a 14% share of the devices in use around the globe and it is something they want to change.

This means Microsoft now understands, better than they have ever have made known publicly before, that they are playing catch up in the device market when it comes to Windows based devices.

As Turner said during his portion of the keynote, it means a challenger mindset is needed in order to move that market share forward.

Their plan to do that is a four pronged strategy that begins during Microsoft’s Fiscal Year 15 which just began on 01 July and they are asking their partners to go all in with this as well.

  • Double Down on Cloud Offerings such as Office 365, Azure, and CRM by driving deployment, usage and consumption.
  • Win in Mobile on Tablets, Phones and Productivity using their Enterprise Mobility Suite and Management tools.
  • Compete to Win by being a Challenger and using disruption, differentiation and speed to get there.
  • Achieve Customer Satisfaction by being a single source solution for customers an smoking sure their needs are met at all levels.

I must admit this is a new position to see Microsoft approaching business from and I believe the overall reaction on Twitter was good. For them to admit in front of a global audience that they see themselves as a challenger means it is no longer about protecting and maintaining their customer base but being creative about finding avenues to bring in new customers.

Case in point is their Mobile First, Cloud First approach to getting their services on other platforms where the customers are such as iOS and Android.

Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, will wrap up the final WPC keynote on Wednesday and I expect to hear him expand on this in a big way.

What do you think of Microsoft’s new role in the global tech market?