Is Microsoft Falling Behind in the Technology Race?

By Malcolm Roach, Open Door Technology

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the so-called failings of Microsoft. As an example, the varied reception of the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet has had some critics wondering if Microsoft will be able to compete in the tablet market. As well, Apple’s decision to provide their productivity apps to users for free is a competitive threat to the future of Office. Others will remember the Zune and Microsoft’s original evaluation of the Internet as being irrelevant.

The reality is the world isn’t as straightforward as it used to be and this has caused confusion for many people when considering Microsoft’s position. Microsoft gained dominance in the personal computer space through its ownership of DOS and later Windows and built on this with its suites of business products including Windows Server, Exchange Server, and the SQL Server database. Major changes have come to the market place through the Internet and the growth of the consumer device.

Microsoft retains dominance in its original space, which is primarily the corporate world. Organizations need standards and compatibility between systems and operations software. Having consistent offerings from Microsoft ensures that consistency whereas much of the growth recently comes from consumer devices that need a minimum of standards and can change every year. As an example, Google is free to release multiple versions of Android in a year without due consideration of how it might need to run complex business applications. This is reflected in the tablet market space. The Android and iPad tablets are ideal for the consumer who prizes usability and personal applications, but I can tell you that my computer bag includes both an iPad and a Surface when I travel. The Surface is incomparably more usable for a business user who wants Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, and other familiar business applications to be available on the road. In many cases business users are choosing the Surface as their primary computing device.

The bottom line is that even though Microsoft has struggled in some of its innovations as it tries to compete in these new spaces, it is not going away anytime soon and has succeeded in a number of its new plays. Check out more of Microsoft’s successes.

The list of Microsoft accomplishments and products is impressive.

  • SkyDrive: 250 million people have an account with over 11 billion photos being stored.
  • Dynamics CRM: 3.5 million users are utilizing CRM in their workplace with exponential growth expected.
  • Office 365: On track to become a $1.5 billion business – one of the fastest-growing in Microsoft history.
  • Outlook: 400 million users have an account