The Download: Microsoft’s focus is on mobile cloud, CEO says


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer during his keynote address at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Steve Ballmer keeps a paperless office.

The Microsoft chief executive told a crowd of high-tech executives at a Northern Virginia Technology Council gathering in Tysons Corner last week that his workspace is now anchored by handheld computers and a large, digital monitor.

It’s a fitting anecdote for a company that’s trying to establish its prowess in mobile technology, cloud computing and big data analytics as those technology trends continue to captivate consumers and companies alike.

Ballmer told the crowd that the shift to cloud computing has just begun and that a combination of shared and private clouds will be the norm, particularly among government agencies.

“You’ll get people who do one or the other but I think there’s really a role and a purpose [for both] and I underscore that particularly here in Northern Virginia where we’re going to have a lot more private cloud interest for a lot longer than we’re going to see in some commercial sectors.”

The crowd was also given a demo of Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 8 operating system for personal computers, tablets and mobile phones. The company is playing catch-up with Apple and Android devices in those latter two categories.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do to break through what is now a very competitive market,” Ballmer said.

Under new management

Reston-based ScienceLogic has secured $15 million from investors and appointed a new chief executive as the firm looks to capi­tal­ize on the rise in cloud computing among companies and government agencies.

John Becker will become head of the company. He most recently was chief executive of Herndon-based security software firm Approva. ScienceLogic’s co-founder and current chief executive, David Link, will remain chairman.

“We’re at an inflection point,” Link said. “Unequivocally I can tell you this is the time for us to double down and have the right management alignment to go after this opportunity.”

New Enterprise Associates and Intel Capital provided the $15 million investment, which marks the firm’s second financing round since its formation in 2003. ScienceLogic has raised $30 million to date.

The money will allow the 100-employee company to expand its sales force, increase marketing and improve its existing information technology and cloud computing management technology.

Steven Overly covers the business of technology, biotechnology and venture capital in the Washington region for The Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication. In that capacity, he has written about start-up struggles, investment trends and major drug discoveries.
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