Microsoft's Japan unit plans to study more closely the use of digital technology in the lives of average Japanese to gain insight that it might use overseas, the head of its Japanese unit said Monday.
"Microsoft has a lot to learn from Japan's digital lifestyle," said Darren Huston, president of Microsoft at a news conference in Tokyo. Huston used the event to outline progress made in the Japanese market over the last financial year and outline plans for the coming year.
In addition to looking more closely at how Japanese consumers use their digital gadgets, such as cell phones and personal computers with built-in TV and video recording, Huston will also continue the company's push of its Windows Mobile platform and Xbox 360. Huston said he was "super proud" that Japanese carriers are beginning to sell Windows Mobile devices. Three years ago when he took charge, there were none available, he said.
Over the next 12 months Microsoft's Japan unit will also devote more resources to both pushing information technology into the Japanese workplace, which he said was several years behind those of the United States or Europe in terms of IT adoption.
"There is a tremendous opportunity to increase worker productivity with IT," said Huston.
Many small Japanese companies still rely on piecemeal collections of personal computers and often have only one or no central server. Microsoft has been trying to change this by promoting its Windows Server products, and the job of pushing penetration of IT into the enterprise will go to Yasuyuki Higuchi, chief operating officer of the company who joined earlier this year.
That's in contrast to digital lifestyles, which are several years ahead of the West, Huston said.