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Microsoft Attended Infocomm: Why Were They There?

on July 18, 2014

Many in the industry were surprised that Microsoft attended Infocomm 2014, one of the most notable trade shows for the audiovisual industry. The reasons have been widely speculated upon by experts in the industry. After much discussion and reporting about Microsoft’s booth, we can observe several trends about Microsoft’s attendance at Infocomm.

While Microsoft is obviously a huge name in the field of computers, they are not as significant of a player in the audiovisual world. Many in the industry were surprised when it was announced at the beginning of the year that Microsoft would be exhibiting at Infocomm 2014, one of the most notable trade shows for the audiovisual industry. The reasons that Microsoft attended Infocomm have been widely speculated upon by various experts and journalists in the industry. After much discussion and reporting about Microsoft’s booth, we can observe several trends about Microsoft’s attendance at Infocomm.

Convergence Between The IT And AV Technology Industries

On the AMX Blog, Joe Andrulis wrote about Microsoft attending Infocomm back in mid-January when the announcement was first made that it would be at the show. Andrulis postulates that one of the main reasons that Microsoft decided to attend the show was as an acknowledgement that the IT and AV technology industries are beginning to intersect in a way that cannot be ignored. Andrulis goes on to write about the accelerated progress of the integration of AV technology into the IT infrastructure.

This is a topic that has been written about at length by many other reporters, bloggers, and industry specialists. In an article by Julie Knudson at CorporateTechDecisions in which she discusses how A/V and IT technology works together, convergence is defined as the consolidation of a cable infrastructure that brings everything on to one set of cables. This makes it easy to scale the system when it needs to change.

What does this have to do with the reasons that Microsoft attended Infocomm? As one of the leaders in the IT field, Microsoft would do well to become a strong presence in AV. Establishing a foothold in this field will help Microsoft diversify its offerings and allow consumers to get familiar with some of their AV solutions. Attending Infocomm is a big step towards establishing such a presence.

Microsoft Addended Infocomm: Showing Off New Products

Of course, one of the main reasons that Microsoft attended Infocomm is the same reason that every company attended the show: to show off their latest products and services. Although Microsoft did not display their popular new Lync technology, several of the company’s prominent offerings were on display including their Perceptive Pixel touchscreens and Surface Pro tablets. Microsoft also provided a place for attendees to relax and watch the World Cup soccer games and recharge their mobile devices.

An Unsatisfying Presence?

Although the fact that Microsoft attended Infocomm was a significant occurrence in itself, some industry attendees felt that the company could have done more. Mike Brandes at the AVNetwork called Microsoft’s booth “underwhelming.” Bryan Hellard at Telepresence Options implored Microsoft to “please try a little harder next year.”

Despite any negative opinions about what the company displayed at Infocomm, the tech giant’s presence at the show was a big event. Although Microsoft attended Infocomm 2014, it remains to be seen whether they will attend future Infocomm conferences and what their presence in the AV industry will be like moving forward.

One thing is for sure, as collaboration and IT continue to become critical components for the way businesses communicate, companies like Microsoft will have a significant influence on this trend.  Perhaps this year was a research year, and next year will be the year that Microsoft and other tech giants open up to the Infocomm channel in new ways that lead to new customers, solutions and partnerships.