Friday, July 30, 2010

Microsoft Playing Catch Up

Microsoft has legacy to thank for its prosperity. The PC operating system, its Office suite of services, keep getting updated to attract more money. And with every PC sale, Microsoft revenues grow. But when it comes to new devices, Microsoft is a step behind. The iPod, the iPhone, and now the iPad all show Apple's ingenuity and understanding of the consumer's need. Compare that to the Zune.

"Bringing Windows-based slates to market 'is job one urgency around here,' said CEO Steve Ballmer at the company’s Financial Analyst Meeting Thursday. 'No one is asleep at the switch….We have got to make things happen. Just like we had to make things happen on netbooks, we have to make things happen on Windows 7 and slates.'” Unfortunately, looking at Microsoft history means seeing that they have never been able to catch up. In fact, their strategy is not to bring product and software first to the market; rather, there strategy has been to bring it to market cheaper and stronger than the other guy. It just doesn't seem that ideas originate at Microsoft, they are copied.

That is not to say that Microsoft is not successful. Their approach has been and will likely continue to be a very profitable one. But nothing lasts forever, and with Apple and Google and others eating at the fringes of Microsoft's world, the day will come when they are not as relevant. It seems a new sense of entrepreneurism and innovation is needed from Microsoft. Otherwise, we won't be needing their OS, Office suite or other products.

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