Microsoft execs, like so many in the tech world, have been doing the internet thing for a long time.
Microsoft has been at the forefront of a bunch of digital trends and innovations.
Microsoft, of course, has the Xbox console and is now the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world.
And of course Microsoft is a huge online retailer, which makes sense since it’s the only company in the history of computing to have a large online presence.
But while Microsoft is the company that has most of the market share in the online retail space, it’s also the company whose product line has been the most divisive among consumers.
That’s the result of Microsoft’s long history of online sales, a fact that led to a massive backlash that forced Microsoft to pivot its online strategy and focus on selling Xbox consoles and software to developers and customers instead of traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
But now, as the company’s head of Windows product development, Doug Russell, has confirmed to VentureBeat, Microsoft is open to expanding the company into other online markets.
“I’m actually really excited about it.
It’s a huge opportunity to expand into the cloud and the apps and the services that people want to use on the cloud,” Russell said in an interview.
“The apps that we’re building for developers and the platforms that we’ve built for consumers and the way that we do that, it feels like we have a huge, huge opportunity for them.”
Russell also told VentureBeat that Microsoft is “always looking at ways to innovate.”
For instance, Russell says that he has “an enormous amount of enthusiasm” for the idea of building a cloud-based version of Office 365, and said that Microsoft would be “happy” to work with any company that wants to use the Office 365 suite of products for its own business purposes.
But, as Russell said, “We think we’re at a really good place right now.
The technology and the business model is in place.”
And, Russell said that he thinks that Microsoft’s digital sales business is “really strong” and that it is “very much on the path to being a revenue-generating company.”
But it is a long way from the company Russell mentioned above, which has struggled to grow its online sales business in recent years.
In 2014, Microsoft reported that its online stores had only shipped 1.4 million pieces of software, compared to 5.3 million in 2015.
Microsoft also had trouble keeping up with demand for the Xbox One console, which had sold a measly 5.2 million units at launch, according to The Wall Street Journal.
And Microsoft has struggled in recent quarters, as its overall software sales have been down.
Its overall operating profits have also been down, though they are still growing.
And, as The Verge’s Ryan O’Reilly has reported, Microsoft has also struggled to attract developers to its cloud-first strategy.
But the company has also made some bold moves lately, like announcing a new “Creators program” in which Microsoft will pay developers to create Xbox apps.
Russell also noted that Microsoft has made a number of big investments in the cloud, and that the company is “looking at a lot of different ways to bring our cloud infrastructure to developers.”
So while Microsoft might be focused on cloud-building, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be doing away with traditional brick and mortar retail stores entirely.
Russell said Microsoft will continue to work in that space, but he added that the platform has “a really good balance” between digital and physical retail sales.
Russell also reiterated Microsoft’s commitment to building a “digital strategy” in the future, and noted that the software giant is “working very hard” to build a digital store that “takes advantage of the cloud.”
He also said that there are “a lot of really cool new products and services coming out that we think we’ll be able to get in the next year or two.”