I’m not at the HIMSS Conference today, but Steve Ballmer was, and delivered the opening keynote. Scott Shreeve was there and captured some of Ballmer’s more notable statements:
- Healthcare is “the greatest opportunity that Microsoft has ever had in its 30 years of existence.”
- Microsoft plans to “leverage ALL their hardware, software, and creativity toward solving healthcare related problems”. He promised that Microsoft would “apply” itself fully to solving this problem.
- Azyxxi, a proprietary enterprise Electronic Health Record company that Microsoft purchased last summer, is “the most exciting software that Microsoft is working on” right now. Ballmer described Azyxxi as a “unified healthcare information technology platform”.
Wow. That’s a lot of superlatives to find in one place. It’s especially intriguing because Ballmer isn’t any ordinary speaker - he knows that everything he says is carefully noted and will be remembered. As such, he can’t afford to waste superlatives.
His recent comments that he worries more about disruptive business models than specific competitors (a sentiment I suggested back in the first half of 2005), and that open source is one of its biggest threats (though I think it’s an opportunity), added to these healthcare statements make you wonder:
If Microsoft’s biggest threat is open source, and it’s biggest opportunity is health care, then wouldn’t an open source healthcare company be its biggest competitor?
Like, maybe, MedSphere?