Questions for Microsoft CMO Chris Capossela

In what has become an annual tradition, Microsoft Chief Marketing Office Chris Capossela will appear on Windows Weekly this Wednesday (2 pm ET/11 am PT) and answer our questions. If you have a question for Chris, please post it here. No promises on including all/any questions in the show, but we’ll absolutely pick from this list.


Conversation 30 comments

  • Usman

    Premium Member
    19 December, 2017 - 9:32 am

    <p>The surface elephant in the room, </p><p><br></p><p>why does the Surface Book 2 end with the number 2 after the Surface Pro dropped numbering?</p>

  • Bart

    Premium Member
    19 December, 2017 - 9:32 am

    <p>Windows 10S is available, but rather unknown to the general public. Will there be a strong marketing push once ARM devices become available? How will you explain the difference with, ie. Windows 10 Pro?</p>

  • Glyn

    19 December, 2017 - 10:22 am

    <p>Perhaps a question about any plans to name some more products and/or services "Outlook"? As they stand, things aren't quite confusing enough for ordinary folk. </p><p><br></p><p>Also, why have they killed Delve app on Windows, but not on Android and iOS?</p><p><br></p><p>Why has Windows Settings Sync (via MSA) been disabled for domain-joined PCs. No choice. No warning. No IT administrator configurability. </p><p><br></p><p>Why are they dragging their heals on allowing MSA folk to be invited as guests on Teams? </p><p><br></p><p>Finally, because I know Paul is tormented by this topic, when is the Surface Phone being released? ?</p>

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    19 December, 2017 - 11:03 am

    <p>Can he speak to the company’s dedication to their major future-facing initiatives like Cortana and ambient computing, AI, Windows 10 IoT Core, and the UWP API? As someone interested in being a Windows developer, I’d like to know if they’re actually committed to these things that I’m going to invest time and money into learning.</p>

  • DanStorm7

    19 December, 2017 - 11:28 am

    <p>Given that Microsoft's mission statement is 'Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more' can Chris speak to the continued lack of focus for so many users who are not in the US? Windows 10 features, access to services, hardware availability, all are either significantly reduced or non-existent outside the US. Is it going to be a matter of having someone accountable at board level to ensure localisation is embedded into the company, more resource in each of the various teams to make sure these features and services make it to customers fully and in a timely fashion or something else? Microsoft may be a US <strong>based</strong> company, but given it has so many more users worldwide it needs to stop thinking of itself as a <strong>mainly </strong>US company.</p>

  • bschnatt

    19 December, 2017 - 11:36 am

    <p>1) When will Microsoft stop dragging their feet with Edge? I'd like to use it (it has the best built-in tab group management feature of any browser), but it's still buggy as hell and unstable.</p><p><br></p><p>2) When will Microsoft finally put some polish on the built in apps? The Mail app allows for dark mode, but not in the reading pane, and resizing the text in the reading pane is kludgey to say the least.</p><p><br></p><p>3) When will Microsoft fix the virtual desktop problem. You can't save desktops, and if I accidentally bump a cable (knocking a monitor off-line temporarily), Windows won't put apps back where they belong. I also need to be able to create a single desktop for <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">my big-screen TV </span>when I use Miracast (without affecting the multi-monitor setup I have in another room).</p><p><br></p><p>Thanks</p>

  • SherlockHolmes

    Premium Member
    19 December, 2017 - 11:47 am

    <p>Why isnt Cortana available on Android in Germany? </p>

  • jeffleeisawesome

    19 December, 2017 - 12:16 pm

    <ol><li>When will we be seeing the Cortana/Alexa integration happening? It was supposed to happen this year. This is the only way you'll be able to sell smart speakers for now. Which also begs the question, will this come to the Invoke and any other smart speakers that may be coming or just to the PC?</li><li>Will we be seeing more cooperation with Amazon? I honestly see that the only way for MS or Amazon to succeed in the mobile arena is together. Both companies want to be in mobile, but aren't enough to do it alone. I hope Cortana and Alexa coming together is the first step to greater cooperation. What about MS working with Amazon on their custom Android implementation? MS could fill in the gaps that Amazon was missing with their phone. (Maps? MS could provide a Dialer, Edge, Calendar, Launcher, Skype, Office, Outlook, Photos, etc) And Amazon will fill in the gaps MS is missing. (Hundreds of thousands of quality apps in their store, Amazon Music, Amazon Video, Alexa, etc) Port WinRT to that custom Android implementation? Would finally have a mobile solution for UWP. Amazon is obviously trying to get into business and mobile so they'd be willing to deal. You guys will never make it alone, but you'll be able to put up one hell of a fight together. Just think of what you guys could do? Microsoft could waive the licensing fee to Android vendors if they install your custom Android implementation instead of Google's. We all know the love hate relationship these OEMs are having with Google these days. Wouldn't it be fun to stick it to Google and have the first real compelling Android fork? You could even add Android Apps from Amazon's Appstore to the Microsoft Store for Windows. I know you have Project Astoria code somewhere that you can use to make this happen.</li><li>Will we be seeing other Windows exclusive apps like Maps or Photos come to iOS and Android? This would be useful for Continue on PC/Mobile. </li><li>Google is leaning on AI to help a lot of it's apps such as Photos. I love how Google can surprise me with some relatively well made compilation videos on Google Photos. Is Microsoft going down the same road? You have something similar with the Windows Photos app, but it's not done automatically, you have to seek the functionality out. This will never work for casual users. I think you can even take it one step further by using Machine Learning/AI to improve the quality of pictures as well. (Post processing of photos) Imagine automatically scanning the users picture library and building a model of everyone's face in their gallery and applying that to blurry photos of those same people? I know some of that is already being done by people as Google already knows all the people in my gallery. Heck, you can even do this with pictures of famous landmarks since pictures of those are already all over the cloud.</li><li>When will Skype suck less? Teams is a good start, but the functionality of Teams needs to move down to the consumer version of Skype. </li><li>Will MS be less stingy with free OneDrive storage? Maybe unlimited uploads of compressed pictures/videos like one of your major competitors? This might move me back to OneDrive. Office 365 members get unlimited original quality pictures/videos?</li><li>Will Qualcomm be the only ARM chip supplier for WOA for the foreseeable future? Is this because of the disaster that was Windows RT in that other vendors don't have the confidence in the product? I want to see custom chips built for Windows that are more powerful and not just rehashed mobile chips. The reason why Wintel worked well is because you guys were on the same roadmap. The success of one was dependent on the other. With ARM, you're basically just getting sloppy seconds from mobile. Do you foresee Microsoft making their own chips? I know you have licensed the ARM architecture.</li><li>Xbox One getting more first party games that aren't FPS? When will we get something as cinematic as the Last of Us or Uncharted? I know we have Tomb Raider, but that's not exclusive.</li><li>Will a consumer version of Hololens be arriving soon? The longer MS waits, the harder it's going to be to make a difference. I do not agree with Paul in that ARCore and ARKit of the future of AR. It's useful in some applications but it's not the next billion that MS is trying to get ahead of. It definitely has it's novelties, but an actual Hololens type device is the next billion.</li><li>Do you see Microsoft getting out of the consumer space or do you see them doubling down to try and win back some consumer mindshare? I think Surface has done some of that, but it seems as though since Satya has taken over, Microsoft has been making a big pivot towards business and that's not necessarily a good decision in the long run. It plays to Microsoft's strengths in the short term, but the lines between business and consumer are getting blurred more and more everyday. If you don't capture the hearts and minds of consumers, your future in business will be numbered. </li><li>Will Microsoft ever debundle Office 365 exclusive apps? There are some apps that I think can really gain some traction but are stuck in Office 365. I think Teams and PowerBI are a couple of them. Both of those would be very powerful in the organization that I work in, but we're on G Suite. </li><li>Do you see Cortana making a push into business? The Echo is about to make a big push and if Microsoft doesn't work quickly, you're going to cede that market to Amazon. I was already thinking about putting an Echo into our conference rooms at work before Amazon made their announcement, but if I can get all my conference calling and automation done with an Echo in the office… Bye bye Skype.</li><li>How much longer do you see Microsoft taking to fully transition Windows into Fluent Design? Windows is still a jumbled mess and so far, Fluent Design has just provided some very subtle changes in the UI. (Basically transparencies) I'm not saying I don't like them, but I'm looking for things that are more obvious. Things that regular people will notice. Are we getting rid of Live Tiles or keeping them? Make a decision. It's pretty useless in the Start Menu as it is. If you want to make them useful, move them to the desktop itself and make them actionable. Don't half ass the UI. It frustrates normal users. </li><li>Progressive Web Apps are supposedly coming. Do you believe they're going to save the universe like Paul does? I'm still not so sure about how much of a difference they're going to make. I just don't see a huge amount of PWAs available at the moment. To me, it's just like UWP… It has potential but only if people develop them. It just doesn't seem like they've caught on in any meaningful way yet. </li><li>Will we ever see WinRT ported over to Android? Could Microsoft include installing WinRT onto their OEMs' phones as part of their licensing agreement they have with MS? Give them a break on the licensing fee to have them install WinRT (You're doing it with Skype and Office already) and bam! you have a compelling story for UWPs again.</li><li>When will Edge be fast and stable? I don't know if it's because Edge is trying to not hog resource and that's why you can claim that it has better battery life than Chrome, but I do know consumers don't care about that. If you can give me Edge that works quickly and is stable but my battery gets half an hour less, I'll take it. How about if I'm on an outlet, you can use all the power you need to make Edge run well and when I'm on battery, you can throttle how much CPU you use. Look, Edge works fine if I open Google or Bing, but when I start loading sites with a bunch of media or advertisements, the thing just doesn't feel very responsive. I really want to like Edge… and I do for certain things. Scrolling is amazing and I love the Continue on PC, but I cant use it as my daily browser. Not yet anyway. </li><li>Is Microsoft even working to convert their legacy Win32 apps into UWP anymore? And by that I mean Office. You have the Office Mobile apps that, at this point, you're trying to hide from consumers, but I mean the real Office programs. Visual Studio? The Office 365 apps like PowerBI? Has Microsoft given up on UWP for complex apps? You've got to be the example like Surface is to hardware manufacturers. If you can't bring Office to UWP, why would Adobe even attempt to bring Photoshop to UWP? It's things like this that leave little confidence for developers. </li></ol>

    • jimchamplin

      Premium Member
      19 December, 2017 - 9:29 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#229050"><em>In reply to jeffleeisawesome:</em></a></blockquote><p>The versions of the Snapdragon SOCs that are in Windows machines are decidedly <em>not</em> the same as the ones in phones. They have higher TDP for one.</p>

      • jeffleeisawesome

        20 December, 2017 - 12:03 am

        <blockquote><a href="#229234"><em>In reply to jimchamplin:</em></a></blockquote><p>Yes, I remember from the last Windows Weekly that the Qualcomm rep said the Snapdragon 835 in these WOA machines has a slightly higher clock. If there is a higher TDP, it's probably just due to the larger form factor. The chip itself is fundamentally the same. It's nowhere near what Intel provides, which is basically purpose built for Windows.</p>

  • dsamuilov

    Premium Member
    19 December, 2017 - 12:45 pm

    <p>What does Microsoft think of companies such as Google posting just a wrapper to download a win32 app like Chrome and the effect that may have on Windows 10 S users?</p>

    • arunphilip

      19 December, 2017 - 10:01 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#229053"><em>In reply to dsamuilov:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Interestingly, that has now been pulled for not adhering to the Microsoft Store's policies. </p>

  • stevenlack

    19 December, 2017 - 1:15 pm

    <p>When can I pickup a Surface Note? ;)</p><p><br></p><p>On a serious note, I just wanted to say a huge thanks. I think Microsoft's marketing strategy right now is great and I hope it continues as such!</p>

  • Nic

    Premium Member
    19 December, 2017 - 2:03 pm

    <p>What does it take to get a consistent marketing strategy across the company? And how can messages be correctly communicated, rather than the current *random product manager mentions something in passing on Twitter* way of getting things out to the masses?</p>

  • timo47

    Premium Member
    19 December, 2017 - 3:34 pm

    <p>When it comes to a lot of the current trends in technology, Microsoft is usually absent from the conversation even if they have a stake in the technology being talked about. A good example of that would be Cortana. Read any article about smart assistents and 9 times out of 10 you'll see that Google, Apple/Siri and Alexa are discussed but Cortana is never even mentioned.</p><p><br></p><p>Nadella and other execs at Microsoft have been very vocal on how, after the failure of Windows Phone, they are betting on the "next big thing". Yet the same pattern that we had with WP appears to happen again and again with these new technologies: Microsoft is in the game but are either late (hello Invoke) and/or totally unable to penetrate the general conciousness. It's as if Microsoft does not exist and as such is unable to jump onboard any of the new trends.</p><p><br></p><p>Is this something that <em>lives</em> at Microsoft? Because sometimes I really get the impression that everyone at Redmond is working in a bubble totally oblivious of how MS is seen (or not seen in this case).</p><p><br></p><p>And isn't it high time that marketing at Microsoft changes its strategy to start altering this perception?</p>

    • Roger Ramjet

      19 December, 2017 - 9:49 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#229120"><em>In reply to timo47:</em></a></blockquote><p>I upvoted this, because I agree with the general issue, but in my own mind, I would frame the question less about marketing but more about Microsoft's approach to, and capabilities in new product development. </p><p>They seem to be just too slow, (even when it is generally believed their tech/research is superior) and when they do get to market the evidence isn't there that all that time was well spent in fit and finish of the launch product. The recent example is Cortana Speaker. </p><p>Something similar happened with Edge/IE; why did Microsoft so badly bungle the transition by coming out with a laughable initial Edge, driving users who were already migrating from IE into an exodus? Once they are gone, they never come back …</p><p>In a 1 or 2 winners take all world of network effects, such repeated episodes is gross malpractice. Why can't Microsoft do better?</p>


    19 December, 2017 - 4:32 pm

    <p>As an Office 365 Business user it's been hard to understand how Skype fits into our plan. Many of our customers/clients use Skype for meetings but our office 365 plan does not include the "for business" version, but we are still able to attend any meetings they initiate through the web client (I think, sometimes I have dared to use a local client instead…… Skype "home"?). But we don't seem to be able to chat with them between meetings. Again, I *think*.</p><p><br></p><p>In short, any plans on merging all Skype versions and offerings/services?</p><p><br></p><p>Internally we use Google Hangouts because it simply works.</p>

  • jlv632

    19 December, 2017 - 5:44 pm

    <p>With the consumer abandonment in Phone and Band, aside from Xbox and Surface…. Why should I or anyone buy anything physical from Microsoft again?</p>

    • arunphilip

      19 December, 2017 - 9:59 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#229161"><em>In reply to jlv632:</em></a></blockquote><p>Remember Zune as well? Pepperidge Farm remembers. </p><p><br></p><p>Silly humour aside, good question, gets my upvote. I can think of a litany of products from Microsoft that had aspirational value (WHS) but were killed off due to a variety of technical and non-technical reasons. </p>

  • seapea

    19 December, 2017 - 8:43 pm

    <p>Why doesn't MSFT have an Android based phone with MSFT apps pre-installed and ready to run as the default for those categories, including Cortana and Arrow?</p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

  • arunphilip

    19 December, 2017 - 10:06 pm

    <p>On a lighter note, since 1998 has he ever had a moment that topped the BSOD at Comdex? </p>

  • arunphilip

    19 December, 2017 - 10:08 pm

    <p>With Microsoft making attempts to identify and ride the "next big thing" in product development, how much information (and what kind) does marketing feed into product envisioning and planning decisions, for both current and new products? </p>

  • arunphilip

    19 December, 2017 - 10:12 pm

    <p>The Windows Phone/Mobile UI (especially the Live Tiles feature) has been applauded as one of the best UIs for <em>mobile phones</em>, and people still sing its praises on various forums. Does Marketing see an opportunity to shape the Microsoft Launcher to come with Live Tiles on Android? </p>

  • andrewtechhelp

    Premium Member
    19 December, 2017 - 10:42 pm

    <p>Hi Chris,</p><p><br></p><p>In the scheme of things I know this isn't the biggest deal, but it's still something I'd like to know anyway. What led to the name of the latest Windows 10 feature update being called the "Fall Creators Update" (specifically the "Fall" bit)? I ask this because I live in Australia, in the southern hemisphere where it was Spring when that update was released, so that name makes absolutely no sense. Are things like this considered when names are chosen (and if they were why didn't it end up influencing the decision), because sometimes it feels that if you aren't in North America (or at least the Northern Hemisphere), then you aren't really considered in decisions like this.</p>

  • Peter klobčič

    20 December, 2017 - 2:59 am

    <p>How does Microsoft view its position in consumer market? Just looking at the weak marketing push and personalized usage statistics for Cortana, Edge, Band, Groove music service, windows phone, ….</p><p> </p>

  • AliMaggs

    Premium Member
    20 December, 2017 - 3:01 am

    <p>I'd like to know the current thinking RE: global rollout of products and services. It always feels like Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. always do a much better job with global launches of products, and feature parity.</p><p><br></p><p>Sometimes, it feel like things are looking up – the Surface team, this year, had a much better "global" product portfolio, with products showing up in more markets, way sooner than before. Likewise, with Xbox. And yet, many Windows 10 features are US only, Cortana still has very limited features globally (or is a complete non-starter in many markets), and Bing – globally – is pretty barebones compared to the US version.</p><p><br></p><p>I'm writing this from the UK, which you would assume would be an easy roll out for software features, being another English speaking country, and yet we're often way (way) behind, or features/products never show up. And, I'm very aware that other countries, including my European neighbours, have things *way* worse.</p><p><br></p><p>So my question is, what are the challenges Microsoft is facing that other companies seemed to have cracked? In Nadella's book (and in interviews surrounding the release of the book), he spoke about localisation, and Microsoft needing to compete better globally (and <span style="color: rgb(66, 72, 88); background-color: transparent;">create local opportunities). Can we expect Microsoft to focus more on this in 2018?</span></p>


      20 December, 2017 - 6:05 am

      <blockquote><a href="#229284"><em>In reply to AliMaggs:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>I second this. Would be good to hear some thoughts from Microsoft on this. Although – I would add – that Microsoft is still better than Google (writing from Sweden).</p>

  • hrlngrv

    Premium Member
    20 December, 2017 - 3:26 am

    <p>I'm well into my 50s. I don't watch a lot of commercial TV, but what/when I do watch I mostly see Surface ads rather than OEM or Mac ads. Hard to shake the impression MSFT is doing a great job targeting old folks like me, but is that really wise for MSFT in the long term?</p>

  • arunphilip

    20 December, 2017 - 5:46 am

    <p>Xbox One X in other markets (e.g. India). </p>

  • Paul Thurrott

    Premium Member
    20 December, 2017 - 9:02 am

    <p>Guys, thanks for these. I'm going to close this for now and see what we can do. We only have him for 45 minutes, so we'll need to cherry pick from these. Thanks!</p>


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