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ZDNet: Microsoft: Watch this space [bCentral]

Aug 11, 2000, 16:03 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mary Jo Foley)

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"While Office and Windows have been Microsoft's flagship products -- not to mention its far-and-away largest revenue sources -- for years now, the writing is on the wall. Their days are numbered, in terms of being Microsoft's trend-setting technologies."

"Every year at its annual financial analyst meeting, Microsoft tends to drop a few hints regarding where its top executives are focusing their time and attention. ... Analysts seemed to gloss right over Ballmer's statement that Microsoft's consumer services business hit $1 billion last year, and that the business is on a 70 percent annual growth tear. (Comparatively, Windows and Office combined grew 12 percent in fiscal year 2000.) And in fiscal year 2001, Microsoft is going to invest $150 million in beefing up further its bCentral site alone."

"The opportunity I'm most excited about, in some senses, and I think may still be most foreign to you, is the investment we're making and the opportunities we see in small business," Ballmer told analyst day-attendees. "And so you'll see us build out not only Office productivity services that (small-business vice president Kathleen Hebert) talked about, customer management, accounting, invoicing, manufacturing services; and in some sense I think of the work we're doing on bCentral as a flagship for showcase applications for everything that we want to do with the .Net platform."

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