More like a protection racket methinks
Microsoft cheered its investors Thursday when it announced better-than-expected revenues and earnings for the first quarter of its fiscal 2011. The always-important consensus of the Wall Street moneymen was that Redmond would report revenue of $15.8bn and earnings of $0.55 per share. Microsoft beat those numbers with revenue …
...but no cigar. 3% for now...but can they keep it? Preferably whilst adding more value? Compare and contrast: http://on-msn.com/c3J3OR
Microsoft just hasn’t really been doing much innovating. As a consequence they haven't been anywhere near as impressive (growth-wise) as their competition. Microsoft could be – and arguably should be – growing faster than it is. If only they weren’t stuck in the past.
"Microsoft just hasn’t really been doing much innovating"
No you're right, they haven't created kinect for Xbox360, they haven't created a new operating system and started on Windows 8, they haven't created office 2010, they haven't created Windows Phone 7, they aren't working on pads again, and they aren't designing a new Xbox either.
Microsoft is creating more than ever and expanding into better areas than before to really cover the market
And while mentioning the competition who might they be?
Apple has made another phone, what else?
Google is creating more Android functions and probably working on the new versions, while also expanding Google Earth.
Don't believe everything you read
Windows has (slowly) evolved without much in the way of innovation since NT. New features have been added, some of them even useful! It's still in many ways far behind the competition.
Kinect? Sony got there first.
Office 2010? When they give people the CHOICE of interface (I.E> take your ribbon and put it RIGHT BACK WHERE IT BELONGS) then I might consider...actually no I won't. Office has a new version. It hasn't done anything INTERESTING since Office 2000.
A new games console. Whoop-dee-****ing do.
SAFE BETS. ALL OF THEM. There's nothing new, nothing original, nothing to capture the imagination and make "Microsoft" synonymous with anything other than "also-ran" in any of these markets. That's a terrible place to be in! From an investor's stand point, they are the "President’s Choice" of the IT world. They are "that company." You know...they also make kleenex, but they aren't Kleenex? They also make cola...but they aren't Coke.
They have some strangleholds on some markets...but markets that people are increasingly viewing with an attitude of "meh." Microsoft is required to get the job done, but less and less every single day. When the day finally comes that Microsoft has lost it’s reason for lock-in on a particular customer or business, they really don’t see any reason BEYOND THAT LOCK IN to stay. So they don’t.
They are in the position of any monopoly forced by regulators into a more open market: people are looking at the choices being offered and jumping ship. The monopoly in this case is so tied to past paradigms that they can’t and won’t offer anything new/better customer service/innovative reasons to stay to their customers. They are simply dining on their extant customer base confidant they will always have that customer base EVEN AS IT DECLINES AROUND THEM.
Very soon here, the OS will not matter. The browser will rise and SaaS will take off. Even MS see this. What they don’t see is that when it does…they are done.
If you have a pension or any kind of stocks and shares index/tracker plan then you probably own a piece of Microsoft. As a (proxy) share holder I'm pleased that the company pulled in lots of money and that the share price has risen, BUT.....
If you compare Microsoft to Google or Apple over the past decade MS stock price has remained more or less flat with periods of negative and positive movement but overall no major change. They are no-longer a growth company as viewed by the stock markets, just a cash-cow now. Apple and Google have both grown massively - they are still growth stocks.
Ignoring all the mud-slinging over the actual software and business practices, MS hasn't shown as much innovation in the past decade as they did in the preceding one and what ever your opinion of their competitors is, you can't deny that Google and Apple seem to be doing much better.
MS need to get rid of the accountants and lawyers running the company into the ground and get a team with vision and drive to push the company along otherwise they face a long slow slide into obscurity...
What makes you think it'll be long and slow? The closest comparison I can think of is DEC in the VMS era. DEC pretty much defined the 32bit computer market (in particular the clean secure and reliable 32bit OS). They also pioneered 64bit open-standards-based UNIX (but who now remembers OSF/1?). Many readers have probably never heard of DEC. Maybe Sun would be a fair comparison too, they defined industry standard UNIX for a while.
At least DEC had industry-leading products (albeit badly marketed) to help prolong their decline. But unlike Microsoft, DEC had no huge external ecosystem who had built their careers around DEC.
Microsoft don't have industry-leading products of any real note, but for now they still have a huge ecosystem of certified Microsoft dependent business partners etc. However, little by little, these folks are starting to realise that their end users have seen that for much of what the typical IT operation needs, Microsoft is at best a poor fit, and in many places Emperor Microsoft has no clothes at all.
When the volume PC builders see they are being undercut by smaller outfits who don't pay the Windows tax, things will change rapidly. MS won't always be able to repeat what they achieved in the Netbook market, especially once ARM's next generation stuff hits the streets.
When the MCSEs and MCPs etc finally turn against MS in significant number, because they realise that MS is no longer guaranteeing their income, that MS is in fact threatening their income, the decline will not be slow.
I believe it's trendy to describe these circumstances as a "tipping point". It's not due this month, but it does sound like some folks in Redmond are aware that it may not be that far away, if the company doesn't pull its socks up real soon.
Let the thumbs down begin.
Even in an article about MS making gobs of money during a recession, the comments are STILL about how they're a dinosaur, soon to become extinct, and whose entrails will soon be picked over by Linux and Apple, as soon as "this" happens and "that" happens, and people realize "this" and other people stop doing "that"
None of it came out of my pockets - and it's not going to ever again.
Oh well I might get 07 - for a look see, to see why I have to use 5 X as much electricity to type up the same document that a basic Linux system uses... That is 5 X as much power, every hour, every day, for the next 3 to 5 years.....
Yep - the MS OS just grew my electricity bill by $5000 in 3 years.
As the article well caught it, this growth is from Win7 upgrades. This is expected because XP is very aged and Vista was a piece of .... so everybody who wants to use Windows need to upgrade "nowish" .
If they can show such growth after the Win7 upgrade fever has run out, then I will say they are not on the decline.
Well, they're a convicted monopolist, and their traditional monopoly market is dying at worst, saturated at best.
If you have constructive suggestions for their new product people, drop them a line. Otherwise, there's only one way for them to go, and it's not up.
Otherwise, they are indeed a dinosaur, soon to become extinct. Unless you know better, obviously.
Constructive ideas for their new product people? Dear god man, I've got thousands. Not airy-fairy Web 2.0 crap that will never make money either. Real-world stuff that companies and/or consumers need. Things they desire and clamour for - would /pay money for/ but can't find a provider. I've years of experience watching people struggle to get their computers/devices/internet pages do different things. I’ve designed bespoke software to solve these problems, I’ve cobbled together whitebox systems to solve these problems and I’ve seen some really neat workarounds to get computers to do what people want them to do rather than what the companies want you to use them for.
There’s really money to be made here. Billions of dollars in providing people what they want at prices they can reasonably afford. Most of it is simple stuff too; not much up front investment for a company Microsoft’s size.
Sadly, I quite simply don’t have the startup capital to make use of this knowledge on my own. Nor do I have the experience running my own show enough to play the venture capital game without either getting taken for a ride or disappearing under a cloud of lawyers if/when I accidentally infringe on some patent that someone has somewhere which they haven’t made use of but are holding in reserve in case someone else ever does.
I am a guy who does his best when leading a team of nerds, but not in charge of a company proper. I hate the politics involved with that side of everything and am always better off when insulated from the investors/shareholders.
I’d love to talk to Microsoft about my ideas. Given that I don’t have a University degree and am not part of any of the mainstream circles of uber-programmers, I honestly don’t think they’d give me the time of day. I’m just one more sysadmin amidst a sea of sysadmins. That I might have ideas which might make them money…that’s not relevant. I don’t fit the preconceived “profile” of who is “worthy” of having ideas.
I think Microsoft is a company with a lot of potential and many of the most brilliant minds on the planet. I do however think that the institutionalised mindset has hurt them a great deal. Somehow, they have lost the ability to think orthogonally. They don’t seem to have little skunkworks filled people who live at an acute angle to the rest of the universe. They also don’t seem to have folks who use their products in everyday life and know the simple problems that need to be overcome – or the gaps in which new products could cheerily fit.
They have become an entity so large that they have begun to believe their own propaganda – their own methodology. Why would such a behemoth listen to a simple sysadmin? IT is all about snobbery – usually to the detriment of the snobs. Eventually someone comes along and listens to the little guy and makes a bloody mint. When someone with the business savvy to get venture capital and some similar experiences to my own starts up a company with the very ideas I have rattling around my noggin now…I’ll laugh. I’ll laugh for days and days.
Then I’ll buy their product. Because I could bloody use some gear that does [insert thing that needs to be done here].
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