Last week Steve Ballmer the CEO of Microsoft, the man everyone seams to loathe, told the world he will be stepping down within 12 months. This is the man who oversaw the catastrophe that was Windows Vista, brought us Windows 7 and the yet to be proven Windows 8 while at the same time also increased Microsoft’s profits. Whatever you think of Ballmer he did line the pockets of his shareholders.
The question though is what happens now? As good as Microsoft’s profits are they are a company who desperately needs leadership. Are they now a hardware, software or services company as at the moment even Microsoft doesn’t seam to know.
Microsoft built up its empire based solely on the Windows software and for years this worked for them.
Times however are changing. Consumers are buying less PC’s and laptops and turning instead to tablets and smartphones. Microsoft was late to the mobile party and at the moment doesn’t seam to have a coherent mobile strategy. Instead of trying to put Windows 8 on everything they should position Windows RT as THE mobile platform. Coupled with a strong Windows store they could start to make inroads in the same way that Apple has done with iOS and the App store. Windows RT was never meant to run traditional windows applications but the marketing people at Microsoft failed to convey this to consumers. Windows 8 should be a desktop OS for PC’s and laptops. Forget trying to get everyone onto tablets that run a full version of Windows and instead concentrate on your core market. Leave tablets to Windows RT as no one asked for tablets or touchscreen laptops with Windows 8 on them.
The market is also turning towards cloud based services and it is here that Microsoft has a strong basis with its Windows Azure and Hyper V platforms. If they keep developing these then they could start to take market share away from the likes of VMWare and AWS.
Then you have Windows Phone 8. While slowly starting to gain market share it should be more closely developed alongside Windows RT (the same as Apple does with iOS). It couldn’t hurt to sign up more manufacturers either.
All of the above are issues that the incoming CEO needs to sort and quickly to keep Microsoft relevant in todays tech world while also keeping profits coming in. Personally I would n’t want that job. Would you?
About the Author
Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire.
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