profits Microsoft has serious cause for concern. It is
coming off the high of the fastest-selling
operating system in its history -- Windows 7. That OS
sent its profits soaring and convinced some that Microsoft was no
longer on the retreat.But part of Windows 7's success was due
to how poorly received Vista was. With Windows
8 landing reportedly in 2012, the company may have significant
difficulties in convincing the average consumer to upgrade to its
latest and great OS.Other than the Windows brand, Xbox
Office are the company's other two major successes in the
consumer sector. But the Xbox trails Nintendo's “family
friendly” Wii and the Office team is getting seriously
nervous about growing consumer interest in OpenOffice.On
the other hand, Bing has failed to gain even 10 percent of the search
market in most metrics, despite a massive ad push and a deal with
Yahoo. Zune remains a tiny player in the MP3 market, having
failed to become a true competitor in terms of sales to Apple's iPod
line. And Microsoft's smartphone empire, once a major player,
is in rebuilding mode after the disastrous
Kin and ill-received
Windows Mobile 6.5. It is placing its hopes on Windows
Phone 7, but that phone enters a packed market.Internet
Explorer, Microsoft's browser, has long led the market, but has seen
a steady decline in recent years, which may allow
Firefox and Chrome to eventually reach its formerly
insurmountable market share peak. Microsoft's key hope here is
a new product, Internet
Explorer 9. So while it seems that CNN
headline, "Microsoft is a dying consumer brand", is a
bit sensational, it is a claim that is grounded in some
reality. One of the key points in the article is
that aside from the struggles of many of Microsoft's consumer
"expansion" business units, it is also bleeding executive
talent, like many other struggling firms (HP, Yahoo, etc.).
States the report, "Microsoft's executive suite is in turmoil.
CFO Chris Liddel, entertainment unit head Robbie Bach, device design
leader J Allard and business division chief Stephen Elop have left
within the past year. Ray Ozzie joined the exit parade last
week."The report praises Microsoft's recent efforts, but
concludes in cautionary fashion, "Microsoft just has to hope
[they're] not too late."Much like the Romans or Greeks,
Microsoft has built a mighty empire, a key part of which are
expansions into new arenas -- in Microsoft's case phones, video game
consoles, and internet services. But much like the
Roman empire fell, Microsoft appears dangerously close to losing its
expansions to hungrier parties. But much like Rome, it will
likely hold on to its central holdings (Windows, Internet Explorer,
Xbox, and Microsoft Office) for some time, even if its other efforts
fall into commercial purgatory.The talent gap is absolutely a
concern for Microsoft. And equally concerning is the fact that
the company is being led by Steve Ballmer. Mr. Ballmer, while a
brilliant tactician in some regards and a man with obviously enormous
love for the company, has failed to execute a strategy to turn around
the company's struggling units -- or one that works at least. To
succeed, Microsoft may need to move on without Mr. Ballmer. But
who to pick to lead the world's largest software company, perhaps the
most powerful technology company in the world? The leading
candidates have already
left the company. That means that, essentially, there's no
easy answer to Microsoft's leadership issues and that the ongoing
risk to the company is tremendous.Is Microsoft's consumer
brand "dying"? Not yet, in our minds. But it
lacks the hunger that it once did. And it most certainly sorely
misses the leadership of its founder and chief visionary -- Bill
quote: 1. Microsoft is already unquestional leader in cloud computing.
quote: 2. Isn't XBOX #1 seller in gaming for last 4 month?
quote: Do you think Kinect will make it any worse?
quote: 3. Windows Phone 7 will be here in a few days. Isn't that enough to keep those people from CNN to shut the mouth.
quote: 4. Microsoft is going to release earnings report tomorrow. You already what is that going to be.
quote: 5. What problem do you have now? I know tablet PC. If you know any history about XBOX, netbook, cloud, your mouth should be closed already.
quote: Especially when you factor in that for the price of 4 Kinect controllers I can buy a Wii, a few games AND 3 Wii Motion+ controllers. This will force a low adoption rate and that will cause developers to stay far away, it's a vicious cycle.
quote: Congratulations for having no clue at all.
quote: With Kinect you don't buy controllers, YOU are the controller.
quote: But at the current price point, you could STILL buy a Wii with Motion+ and sports resort AND have access to a much larger library of games that use motion controls.