Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why I still like Microsoft

I own Microsoft and not Apple. Why? Because Apple is a gadget company like RIM and Nokia. Apple will face increasing competition. They’re losing smart phone market share versus Android phones. Not necessarily because of design and technology but because of price. The tablet market is also ogled by many competitors including RIM with QNX and of course Android.

So where does Microsoft fit in? It is working on innovation in the background. It is in charge of gaming with the X-box system combined with Kinetics. Expanding Kinetics to other technologies will be a ‘game changer’ (pun intended). In the meantime, corporate services that worked so well for other tech companies such as IBM, is also a major profit sources for Microsoft. So now add to this potent mix Windows 8 that will revolutionize the integration between your lap top, desk top, smart phone, tablet and… smart car and fridge. The beauty is that Microsoft does not have to build these gadgets it only provides the software – the most profitable part. And… imagine Office working seamlessly on the cloud and with all your other stuff (computer, tablet, cell phone). Yes, that probably would mean that the tablet will take over the role of the laptop. Will the desktop fall off the earth? Maybe, but being a tablet and laptop user, the desktop is still my workhorse – I still prefer a keyboard over a touchscreen, but how that will play out when combined with voice commands and Kinetics remains to be seen.
The final touch that makes me bet on Microsoft is the huge software community behind it. Aps are cute but they are not coming close to the power of full fletched applications such as Quicken or PowerPoint or QuickBooks, etc. So, when all the gadgets are integrated, I think Windows is the main platform that remains standing and that lets you integrate your stuff at work with your personal tasks at home with your phone and tablet on the road. Linux could not defeat Windows and neither will the weak tablet operating systems (Android being a spin-off from Linux). So get ready for Windows 8 this summer and for later versions that probably become increasingly all-encompassing.

This will all add to Microsoft’s survival, prosperity and bottom line.  It is not Microsoft that has to play catch-up, but the small gadget makers that now may lead in fancy phones and tablets, but who are behind in offering a totally integrated software system. Yes, over time Microsoft will have to re-invent itself. I see it to be similar to GE, the giant industrial founded by Thomas Edison. Microsoft will likely survive the century.  Do you expect RIM or Nokia or even Apple to be around by then?

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