世界240カ国のうちほとんどが伸び盛りだ--ジャンフィリップ・クルトワ上級副社長(国際戦略担当プレジデント)《特集マイクロソフト》


Of our 240 Countries Worldwide, Most are Growing----Jean-Philippe Courtois, Senior Vice President of Microsoft Corp. and President of Microsoft International

Weekly Toyo Keizai asked Jean-Philippe Courtois, Senior Vice President of Microsoft Corp. and the immediate senior of Yasuyuki Higuchi, Microsoft Japan President and CEO, about global strategy at Microsoft.

Q: Why is France the base for operations in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), Latin America, the Asia Pacific and Japan?

A: I am French and I live in France with my family. That is a big part of it. But there are other reasons as well. Actually, France is a very convenient location to base our global strategy. If I travel halfway around the world to the west, I reach North and South America, and if I travel halfway around the world to the east, I reach Asia. Microsoft currently has 105 subsidiaries worldwide and sells to 240 countries, so I have to visit 35-40 countries every year. I spend the majority of my time in airplanes. (laughs) That is why France is such an excellent location to base our operations, because of its easy access to the entire world.

So France is the center of the world?

I do not mean that France is the center of the world, but it is at least the center of Europe. Paris is 1 hour 20 minutes by train from Brussels, the headquarters for the European Union. It is also centrally located when going to England, Germany, Italy and other countries.

Google has an overwhelming share of search in Europe. What are you doing to try and catch up?

Firstly, we are enhancing our research and development capabilities through such things as opening three technical centers to drive improvements in search. Secondly, we are developing a new business model for search. We have to work to break down Google's monopoly. And thirdly, we are enhancing online services other than search. Actually, Microsoft's presence in online services in Europe was and still is extremely strong. Our MSN portal, Hotmail and MSN Messenger chat all have huge market share. The teenagers and others who use MSN Messenger for chat even call it "MSNing".
What we are enhancing are things such as social networking. Our strategy is to link online services with mobile phones, running Windows Mobile, with a wide pipeline to deliver new services.

How do you segment 240 countries around the world for management?

One of the best parts of global strategy is that it presents us with diverse opportunities. There is potential for growth in any region in accordance with their level of development, but most of them are actually growing strongly.
Our first segment consists of the very developed countries. That includes Japan and advanced countries in Europe. Microsoft has been investing in these countries for the past 25 years - we have 16,000 employees throughout Europe, of which over 2,000 are developers. We are achieving results in enterprise-oriented search and other areas. The markets are mature, but they still have plenty of room for growth as we take on new challenges.
Our second segment consists of the countries with smaller economies than the advanced nations. That includes South Korea, New Zealand, Australia and Spain. We have focused on investing here as well for the past 15 years, and we can expect huge growth. Our third segment consists of the emerging markets that have experienced high growth recently. That includes not just the BRICs economies, but also countries like South Africa, Mexico, Turkey and Indonesia that are experiencing bewilderingly fast growth.

Going forward, Microsoft will achieve a higher percentage of sales in the emerging nations, so won't it be necessary to change your product development strategy?

During our fiscal year from July 2007 through June 2008, the world experienced 12% growth in PC shipments. Of course, each market would have achieved different growth rates but even advanced countries showed healthy growth. Japan had 4-5% growth and Europe had over 10% growth, which are certainly not small growth rates. Of course, some emerging markets recorded growth of 50% but advanced countries still account for the majority of our 250 million annual shipments.
This is the overall picture for the world. We have to be aware of this and then carry out a detailed marketing plan. In August 2004, Microsoft launched the limited-functionality XP Starter Edition for people in emerging markets who had never owned a PC before. We even have a Vista Starter Edition. It is true that a farmer in China who buys his first computer does not need the latest functionality in Vista, but even in emerging nations, there is very strong demand for a full-functionality OS among the large enterprises, just like in advanced countries.

There is still strong demand for XP in advanced countries, with not only XP but also Linux being used in the low-cost netbooks. It looks like migration to Vista is a bit of a mess.

Over the past 25 years, I have watched over countless versions of Windows but people did not switch over immediately to any of those new versions. Companies replace their computers according to their own schedules. Some companies replace PCs on a 3-year cycle and some on a 5-year cycle, but in any event migration will be carried out in phases. You can be certain of that.

The world economy is worsening at present. If the next-generation Windows 7 OS comes out in 2010, companies might just pass over Vista.

The main purpose for our October conference announcement of Windows 7 was to announce to as many people as possible that the Windows 7 core is actually based on Vista technology. We even demonstrated the OS to show that future operating systems will continue to inherit and update these Vista technologies. We believe that if people understand this fact, there might even be a surge in Vista deployments.

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『0から1をつくる』を書いた<br>カーリング本橋麻里氏に聞く

カーリング人気萌芽の時代から、平昌五輪での銅メダル獲得まで戦い抜いてきた著者。リーダーとして代表チームを率いつつ、人生の一部としてカーリングを楽しめるにまで至った軌跡や、ママさんカーラーとして子育てで得た学びなどを語る。