As far as its technologies are concerned Microsoft enjoyed a stellar 2012. Sales are another matter.
The software giant rolled out a radical new Windows and two brave new tablets. Microsoft re-positioned Office for the cloud and post-PC computing, then delivered a stunning smartphone operating system.
MIcrosoft’s reboot is impressive, it isn’t enough to solve the company’s problem. It dominates technology’s declining sectors and sits on the fringe in key growth markets.
Microsoft plays catch-up
Microsoft remains miles behind in tablets. It is too early to say how the market will react to Windows 8 devices, yet even the most bullish projection says Apple will dwarf Microsoft’s tablet sales for years.
Apple fears Samsung, not Microsoft.
Smartphones are the same. Nokia’s Lumia 920 is a fabulous phone – the most powerful handheld on the market. Other Windows Phone 8 devices are technically ahead of Apple.
Market share? Bugger all
Yet they command a negligible market share. Here too, Samsung is Apple’s main rival.
Microsoft has plenty of developers on board to keep its devices app store humming, for now. How long will they pour resources into servicing a market sliver?
Microsoft still dominates PCs, but that’s a fast declining segment. As CNet reports, PC sales dropped 21% since the launch of Windows 8.
This means Microsoft’s grip on the enterprise computing market could quickly unravel. As workers out front turn to non-Microsoft devices, there will be less pressure to run Microsoft on back-room kit.
Given the remarkable slew of great products coming from Microsoft in the past year, you have to wonder what the company can possibly do to get back on track. Any ideas?