Are Microsoft days numbered?

YES.  Why?

  1.  The world continues to move rapidly to mobility. Tablet (iPad to be precise) is the disruptive innovation that has kicked PC industry to a corner.
  2. 9 Out of 10 Fortune 500 Companies are Using iPad.
  3. Windows is having no effect on arresting the decline in PC sales. It is said significant number of customers instead of spending money on upgrading their PC’s are buying Tablets and retaining their existing PC.
  4. IBM and Apple have signed an alliance to work together in which IBM will use its knowledge and relationship to take Apple products to the enterprise.
  5. In the past alliances with Apple did not work – that was when Steve Jobs was running things. Tim Cook an ex-IBMer knows and understands what it takes for these alliances to work.
  6. The enterprise, the last and possibly only bastion left of Microsoft would now come under direct attack.
  7. Microsoft continues to struggle. When last does anyone you know bought a Nokia/Microsoft mobile or tablet? Last time I checked Microsoft wrote off nearly $1B to on its tablet Surface.
  8. Satya Nadella the CEO of Microsoft comes from having delivered a large cloud offering.
  9. Cloud is at the backend of an enterprise, those who own customers are those providing front end (read as mobile devices and apps).
  10. Microsoft should know this as Bill Gates built his empire solely on this as IBM continued to build PC’s he won the war by owning the front end i.e. the operating system.

Finally: Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it – George Santayana

Happy to hear other views.

2 thoughts on “Are Microsoft days numbered?

  1. Provocative post Sanjay! While the jury may remain open, Nadella has less baggage with Windows than his predecessors as reflected in his Cloud-First, Mobile-First strategy which signifies that the ‘old’ Microsoft is dead with a new one forming – as a software maker. The release of Office for iPad was a significant statement of intent that devices are not the battleground though I agree that the Enterprise space is a challenge.

    Some brief thoughts:

    Microsoft is investing billions in its Azure cloud platform with products such as Office 365. A Synergy Research Group paper showed that Microsoft is growing at the fastest pace in the cloud space. Microsoft ExpressRoute offers a private virtual network with alliances with companies such as BT, Verizon, AT&T and Equinix.

    Generations of developers, in their millions (including myself), who have grown up on the diet of Microsoft’s easy-to-use and powerful development tools, products and rich developer support networks.

    The formidable strength that Microsoft has to close a gap. Recent years have shown a focus on agility and transparency and so they can be a front-runner.

    Saying all this, I don’t use a Surface device though my colleagues do use Microsoft Exchange on their iPads :)

    1. Many thanks for stopping by Paul.

      I guess the blog does sound like a “Dooms day prophesy” for Microsoft :-). Having said that MS is a giant that has weathered many storms in the past.

      This time it is different since in the flat-world rise and fall are on fast forward.

      Having said that what I have tried to articulate is the ‘golden path”. Many things could go wrong. Given IBM’s past and current record in user application e.g. Lotus Notes I can not imagine IBM ever be able to crank up a killer app! IBM is a hugely complex organisation.

      I am sure folks at Apple are aware of what it is IBM can not do. Hence it would be certainly interesting to watch as how Apple leverages what IBM has to offer and along with Apple’s hugely successful App ecosystem to crack into the enterprise market.

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