Microsoft’s Qi Lu Talks Future of the Web: Look Out, Facebook, Groupon, Apple, and (Oh Yeah) Google

5/17/11Follow @gthuang

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our products; our search quality gets better and better. At the same time, our experience is more and more differentiated. And, by and large, our brand also resonates with our consumers; we are generally viewed positively by our users.

It’s a long journey. We know we have gaps. We know we have many areas where we still have barriers to overcome. We fully understand that this is going to take time, dedication, deep commitments, but for the long term we are absolutely confident, we have deep faith in our ability to compete, and to compete very well.

X: In the long term, how committed is Microsoft to this vision? Certainly there are challenges for any big corporation to keep investing in the long term.

QL: One thing I’ve learned at Microsoft, in my two years and five months, is the company’s culture and heritage of being tenacious and having the patience and the willingness for investing for the longevity. This has been abundantly clear. I do have the honor and fortune to have more of an ongoing discussion and interaction with our chairman, Bill [Gates]. He fundamentally believes that by investing for the longevity, we always will have the opportunity to drive breakthrough discoveries and innovations. That to me is precious.

X: Has that waned at all since Gates stepped down?

QL: I would say Steve [Ballmer] would more than 100 percent share the same belief and faith. Coming from a different company to Microsoft, this I do believe is something that we as a company will continue to treasure. Look at society as a whole. Technological breakthroughs are profoundly one of the key driving forces in how our society and overall [civilization] is evolving and improving. So, with that as the larger context, I do think Microsoft has huge potential, given the talent base we have and our market footprint. We are aware of our challenges, no doubt. One of the key things for me personally, and for people in our division, I always emphasize, let’s be brutally honest with ourselves on where we are and all the hurdles. But at the same time, we also have unwavering faith in our ability and the long-term prospects. It’s the balance of those that keeps us going.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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