Microsoft Says Cloud-Driven ‘Mobile Revolution’ Will Help Secure Asian Market

Software giant banks on innovations to help it take on regional dominance of Apple and Samsung

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Orlando Ayala, chairman of emerging markets at Microsoft Corp.
SeongJoon Cho / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Orlando Ayala, chairman of emerging markets at Microsoft Corp., gestures as he speaks during an interview at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, on Oct. 5, 2013

Microsoft is banking on the latest cloud technology to win it a bigger following among Asian consumers.  Orlando Ayala, Microsoft’s chair of emerging markets, used the words “mobile revolution” to describe the tech giant’s vision of personal cloud networks, where a user can work on a document on their phone, and then find it on their laptop exactly as it was left — or receive a Skype call on a tablet, and have it automatically transfer to a television upon entering the house. It will be “an experience which is quite seamless across devices,” he told TIME on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia.

Imperative to the Microsoft’s Asia strategy is the $7.2 billion takeover of Finnish mobile stalwart Nokia, which, Ayala explains, “has a great presence in emerging markets such as India.” The much-hyped roll-out of Surface 2.0 is also vital for the company.

Ayala conceded that there were challenges ahead. “In the short term it is going to be hard,” he said, “as there are already very established players.” But he stressed that “Microsoft has a very high focus in Asia,” for the simple reason that “China and the rest of APEC have a very large amount of the population of the world.”