Microsoft's annual Financial Analysts Meeting (FAM) got under way Thursday from its Redmond, Wash. campus and there's no question that the theme for the day was cloud computing.
The company's COO, Kevin Turner, started the day off with his declaration that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is now "number one" in cloud computing.
"The bottom line is [that] going to cloud services allows companies to invest more time and resources in those things, in their business, that make a strategic difference for them," Turner said. "Seventy percent of the wins in the cloud that we had in [the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010], ladies and gentlemen, were new Microsoft customers."
Turner underlined his point by announcing at the beginning of the event three new cloud computing customers -- Dow Chemical Co., Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, and the University of Georgia.
The first two have chosen to deploy Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), which includes cloud-hosted versions of the company's Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online and Office Live Meeting.
Meanwhile, the University of Georgia signed up for Microsoft's free Live@edu cloud-hosted e-mail, calendaring, and instant messaging offering for educational institutions.
All told, the company said it now has more than 40 million cloud computing customers worldwide.
Turner also touted the company's recently announced Azure cloud computing appliance as another sign that Microsoft is dominating cloud computing.
However, he did not ignore the company's cash cows either. Microsoft announced another record year and quarter when it disclosed its year-end financial results a week ago.
Much of that growth was driven by strong demand and sales for Windows 7, which has now surpassed 175 million licenses in the nine months since the latest version of Windows was released.
" We wouldn't say we've recovered as it relates to the global macroeconomic environment that we all faced a year ago, but we would tell you that we see things getting much better, that it's strengthening in the marketplace," Turner added.
"Clearly Q3 was a good indication of that for us. Q4 was a good indication of that. And the momentum we have going into this year [fiscal 2011 which began July 1] is a good indication of that for us as well," he said.
Additionally, Turner announced that Internet Explorer 9 will begin beta testing in September.
Microsoft's FAM event lasts until mid-afternoon with presentations by CEO Steve Ballmer and by the company's new CFO Peter Klein, followed by a Q&A that includes both of them as well as Turner and Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer.