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‘Crux lies in creating user-friendly interfaces’, says Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer

06-November-2007
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‘Crux lies in creating user-friendly interfaces’, says Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer

Techmela Expereince, an event organised by Microsoft, had eminent faces from the media fraternity discuss on the digital world and the way forward. Prasoon Joshi, Executive Chairman, McCann Erickson; Ajay Vidyasagar, President-Content and New Media, STAR India; Vir Sanghvi, Editorial Director, Hindustan Times; and Murugavel Janakiraman, CEO, Bharat Matrimonial Group, were among those present.

Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft, gave the keynote address, wherein he explained the importance of creating user-friendly softwares and applications. He took the audience through the success story of Microsoft in creating user-friendly software in Windows, especially after its first and the second versions failed in the market. He explained Microsoft’s strategy to deliver great user experiences across the web, PC, and mobile devices, and introduced Silverlight 1.0, a cross browser and a cross-platform plug-in that delivers media experiences through the web.

While McCann Erickson’s Joshi pointed out loopholes in the infrastructure and the broadband connectivity, he also cited that with digital technology, the challenge still was to understand consumer mindsets, and give them what they want, yet surprise them. Commenting on the digital world from a marketer’s perspective, Joshi pointed that the idea was to catch all the senses of consumers and give a real experience. He explained, “I think the digital space has destroyed the passiveness about consuming information, with emphasis more on interactivity.” Commenting further on user-generated content and social networking sites, Joshi said, “The desire to generate content and interact anonymously was always there. It is just that users are now having a better platform to do so.”

Joshi’s talk was followed by a presentation on user-friendly applications developed by Microsoft for simplifying issues pertaining finance, health and air-ticket booking.

STAR India’s Vidyasagar shared his views on the way forward for the media business in India. He pointed out that hardware and access were major problems in terms of broadband connectivity in India. Commenting on the future of digital and the online world, he said, “The cost of the online business has to come down, just as the cost of TV sets have, in the recent past. But this will only happen when there is a wider spectrum.” Vidyasagar further said that cable had to be consumer-oriented for it to survive, and the only way out was embracing the digital technology.

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