There has been some noise about 5G, but nowhere near enough relative to how explosive and disruptive this technology is going to be.

5G is the next iteration of cell phone 'network", and promises speeds in excess of 1 gig (1,000+ mbps), dramatically faster than what most consumers and businesses have available to them today.


The early moves will be with consumers ... Verizon is already working on a home internet offering with Apple that will include high speed 5G internet and an Apple TV for streaming content.  It won't take much for them to disrupt the cable monopoly's high prices and limited service, and I think by the end of 2019 5G is going to be driving "cord cutters" and transforming consumer internet and media services.   Businesses will follow as lower prices and high speeds pressure business broadband pricing.

2019 will be the year of 5G !




Microsoft has a winner with PowerBI+Cortana

I think Power BI may be the coolest feature of an already impressive Office 365 cloud offering from Microsoft.  Power BI's ability to combine views and queries from disparate data sources into visual reporting is a slam dunk, but innovations like "Q and A", which allows users to mine their data with plain English questions, is super innovating and a very clever way to give users business insights.  

With Cortana Analytics, announced earlier today, Microsoft is extending the plain English ways which users can use their data.  Power BI + Cortana looks like an impressive new opportunity to leverage the explosion in data combined with over increasing preference mobile interfaces.



Windows 10

As we move into Q2 2015, one of the larger stories is Windows 10, which should be released later this summer.

This may be the most important release of Windows ever.  If Microsoft blows it again, I think they'll never again take control of the desktop, and that the immediate future for the desktop will be legacy versions of Windows, Chrome and Mac OS X to some degree, and some new player or technology not yet clear.   One thing is for sure, Microsoft won't be taken seriously again if they fumble the Win10 launch.  A botched Win10 would mean there's going to be serious pressure from Wall Street to break apart the company, for Bill Gates to leave the Microsoft board, and for new leadership, despite the short CEO tenure of Satya Nadella.

I think Win10 had better square focus on keyboard and mouse business users, and they'd better get it behaving exactly like XP/Win7 again, or it's going to fail.  No more tablet mode applications, no more sprite bars, or chromes, or Windows button-> tile menu user interfaces ... all of the Metro UI mistakes from Windows 8 had better be completely removed, or Win10 is going to face a very difficult future.  

I can't wait to see what happens.   




Microsoft gets its groove back

Steve Ballmer chose an unfortunate time to leave Microsoft, as many of the initiatives developed under his watch are really starting to pay dividends ... let's think about the 3 big trends helping Microsoft get its groove back, leaving the company poised for a fantastic 2015.


1.  Windows 10

Windows 8 was led by Steven Sinofsky, who left the company with a much damaged repuation.  Early reviews of Windows 10 point to its return to a clearer, more logical divide between desktop and tablet modes.  Given the pent up demand for Windows upgrades (much of the world has been limping along on XP and Windows 7), even a modest improvement in version 10 could lead to huge sales.  Microsoft appears to "get it" in terms of excercising more restraint, and showing more respect for customers ... I think Windows 10 will be a great return to form. 

2.  Azure and Office 365

Azure is really starting to impact the cloud discussion, and I expect 2015 to be the year that the market wakes up and realizes Azure is giving AWS a run for its money.  For Microsoft shops in particular, Azure can be a much better value proposition.  Add to this Microsoft's indisputable financial strength and the breadth support organization, and they look like the cloud partner to beat.  By contrast, Amazon's has huge problems in its core delivery business raise questions about their longevity in cloud services, and ability to continue with the needed cloud investments.  Look for Azure to take over starting in 2015.

Office 365 is becoming the new standard for corporations, where Exchange online now powers all corporate messaging ...  email, address books, calendars, etc.  Meanwhile the Office desktop apps continue to dominate, but now can be provisioned from the nifty Office 365 interface.  

3.  Tablets cooling off, hybrids take off, and new form factors emerge

Tablets are great, but the replacement and upgrade cycle is long, similar to what is seen in other consumer durables such as televisions.  Meanwhile new form factors such as the Lenovo Yoga or Microsoft Surface seem to offer real convenience and value to business users.  These market trends should help Microsoft a lot as Microsoft is still the only vendor to offer business device that can function as a laptop and a tablet.  Look for more excitement around new form factors as Windows 10 hits the market, and Microsoft grows emboldened by its Surface Pro success.  


Dynamics NAV on Azure 

Navision 2013 offers ERP capabilities that you just can't find anywhere else.  For mid-market organizations that need real control over their enterprise business application, nothing else even comes close to Navision 2013.  

Azure is Microsoft's response to Amazon's cloud offering, and it has steadily made gains over the past couple of years.  With the latest iteration of Azure offering world class IaaS deliverables, Azure has become a compelling choice for Windows shops of all sizes.

Microsoft has just announced formal support for Navision on Azure, including broad support for provisioning and operations.  This is a game changing consolidation of two champion technologies.