Microsoft in the 80s and 90s has been the undisputed king of the tech world, may it be the software realm or the hardware realm. But the present times are posing a very different kind of scenario; Microsoft is in the troubled waters and they desperately need some innovation in their development lines. According to the industry analysts, consumers have started to turn their backs on the software giant; company that was once an emblem of tech world future is now living in its past.
According to many tech experts, Microsoft has always jumped late on the bandwagon of latest technologies; examples of which are: search, media, gaming, mobile and the tablet variant. It also fell behind in the market of internet browsers that once it ruled with a kingship status. The outgoing chief software architect at the company, Ray Ozzie wrote a comprehensive blog post explaining that why Microsoft is unable to get over the lost ground. The excerpt of his Blog post is as follows:
“Our early and clear vision notwithstanding, [competitors’] execution has surpassed our own in mobile experiences, in the seamless fusion of hardware & software & services, and in social networking & myriad new forms of internet-centric social interaction,”
Well, it’s clearly not the case that Microsoft didn’t at all see these looming changes in the tech industry, the company houses a massive employee base of almost 90,000, and many of the brightest and nerdy minds are on its payroll across the globe. Moreover, the company has also triggered projects in a multitude of fields that later were a running success. Projects and experiments like the Courier (Tablet Version), Windows Media Center (multimedia contents in the cloud) and things like Hailstorm/Passport (Digital Identity) were some great innovations by the company and these techs were way ahead of their times, but either the company drastically failed to market these products and or didn’t want to execute them at all.
Laura Didio who is a principal analysts at ITIC said in a press release that in this fast moving age the success in technology and the consumer electronics industry depends on how swift you are and how fast your response is. The companies can’t afford to be an hour late in launching their products or countering the products of their rivals, neither they can be a dollar short of their funding and their advertising campaign. According to her, the biggest pending question is that can Microsoft make up for their late jumping in behavior to compete with the likes of Apple and Google.
Well, the point of view of other industry analysts is not that good; some of the very big industry analysts and influential people think that Microsoft won’t be able to make it through this slum. Microsoft’s shares have been on a constant slide down and their stocks have been tagged as downgraded in the recent weeks by the experts. The PC sales are continuously slowing down and Microsoft is struggling with its Tablet program. The company stock within this year is down by almost 17%; this is a marked decrease that has not been happened in the recent history of the company.
If we skim through a general run down of the Microsoft’s projects, mainly the consumer projects in the recent times, we will find trouble in almost all of them. First is the company’s highly popular internet browser IE. Its popularity has been withering down slowly and gradually and a recent poll by a survey company has shown that for the first time in the history of Internet Explorer, more percentage of the users are using browsers other than IE. The browser at present is steadily becoming the most critical software package on a handheld or as matter of fact on other devices of present age that even eclipses the operating system. The recent innovations in the browser industry like add-on extensions and the tabbed browsing option has come from software power houses other than Microsoft.
The latest release of Microsoft in the Smartphone industry, Windows Phone 7 has some potential in it but many say that Microsoft has dug a hole for itself with a subpar Mobile software platform. The current market share in the Smartphone industry of Microsoft stands at 5% and most of the developers out there are still maintaining a Wait and See stance for the Windows Phone 7.
Now come over to the Music and Media platform; Microsoft’s Zune was a flop on the arrival and it wasn’t able to bear the brunt of Apple’s music chick iPod. The search engine platform also tells a similar story; Bing is also growing steadily but its growth apparently is coming because of yet another tech Giant Yahoo. Microsoft also pushed a fail attempt to counter the social networking giant Facebook by building a social networking platform through Windows Live Network but it miserably failed to get any grounds.
It’s been six months that the Cupertino based tech giant Apple has released its hottest selling item iPad, and Microsoft is still to release any kind of counter for the tablet market, anything substantial. According to the tech experts, Microsoft’s current strategy of placing Windows 7 on the Tablet computer is not making them a successful entity at all, and they drastically need something pertinent to Tablet specific OS to counter the likes of Apple whose iOS platform for the handheld devices has made it through the market successfully, tagging it as a mega success.
Switching over to the Gaming realm, X-Box has been a success story at Microsoft; it indeed created a very competitive game brand for the gamers out there. But Xbox has also been somewhat countered by the likes of Nintendo and PS3.
Lastly, the core of Microsoft’s huge Universe is Windows. Microsoft has been emphasizing on the fact that its OS is yet the biggest selling brand in the global consumer PC market and is selling rapidly. Microsoft claims that they have sold almost 240 million copies of its latest version, Windows 7. But the alarming thing is that this sale index is not from the daily consumers and the general PC users; in fact it is the business faction that is triggered to buy Windows 7 brand.
So, Microsoft is ought to learn some business lessons from its rival Apple, as the Cupertino giant has proved that consumer products can fuel a massive growth. Microsoft has to revamp its business model and redesign its market strategy to stage a comeback.