Windows and Office continue to be Microsoft’s main cash cows, with a range of additional offerings also qualifying for positions of top earners. There are a range of company divisions pulling in over $1 billion in revenue each year, including Xbox, SQL Server, System Center, Unified Communications, SharePoint, Developer Tools, Dynamics, and Online Advertising. And yet, Microsoft is looking past Windows 8, Windows 9, Office 15 and Office 16, and is revealing that the future will be marked by a technology which is still in its infancy: the Cloud.

“Ladies and gentleman, we're going to a new world. We're going to a world where not only will every device be connected, but every application, and more importantly every person will be connected. We're going to a world where you will live, where how you live and how you work, the lines will be blurred, because lifestyle and work style are becoming
more and more connected,” said Kevin Turner, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer.

“We're going to a world where customers don't want to do upgrades. They don't want to have to do maintenance. We're going to a world where the technology is going to predetermine your intent and productivity is going to explode. And we're going to a world that at least for the next 20 years, for the next 20 years we're going to be working on this next big aspiration for our company, because at Microsoft big aspirations have always fueled our company,” he added.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ dream to put a PC on every desk and in every home is no longer enough for the Redmond company. With over 1 billion computers in use today, the software giant is announcing a shift in focus beyond its traditional offerings. According to Turner’s words, the new Microsoft goal for the future could be defined as ‘a Cloud connection for every person.’

“We have six values, ladies and gentlemen, as an organization. One of them is believing in big, bold goals. That's formally written into our aspirations as an organization. And our big bold goal for the next couple of decades is we want to have a continuous cloud service for every person and every business. And that should tell you, Microsoft is all in, because we're going to a world of smart clouds talking with smart devices. That's where we're headed,” Turner said. (emphasis added)

Microsoft has a plethora of Cloud offerings already available to customers, both businesses and home users. The company has produced the Windows Azure Cloud platform, but is also delivering SQL Azure, and hosted versions of Exchange, SharePoint and its communications solutions. At the same time, with products such as Office 2010, end users are increasingly encouraged to embrace the Cloud, as the Office Web Apps are available through Windows Live SkyDrive. And by the sound of it, Microsoft is just warming up. It will certainly be an interesting next 20 years.