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Microsoft is poised to be the next big thing, Apple, I don't know.

Microsoft is poised to be the next big thing, Apple, I don't know.

Nov 07 2012

So recently I've been knocking Microsoft every chance I get about their Surface efforts, and direction, but my mind has changed due to a few reasons. Namely, Apple lacks vision, and Microsoft has the chance to have enormous success if they get their vision together. And here's the why I think so:

Apple is basically Apple - Over the past couple years Apple hasn't really come out with much, just some variations on their existing line (iPad mini, yeah that's innovation). They are a hardware vendor, not a software vendor. Apple only makes software for iOS, and the Mac platform, they don't bring any of their innovation out to other platforms. Granted there is iTunes, and QuickTime, but they're very restrictive with every other technology they have released. If you want to use it, it has to run on an Apple device.

Microsoft is basically everywhere - Just read today that Microsoft is releasing Office for Android and iOS, that's on top of SkyDrive, OneNote, Bing, and other software that's available cross-platform. Microsoft is a software company, and now expanding to hardware. Hardware isn't new to Microsoft, they have done some hardware releases like the Zune, and Xbox, some failure, and some success.

Microsoft still dominates - What? Microsoft dominates? Yes they do, and they dominate on the desktop. Just view the market share for the desktop OS that browses the Web. As of now, desktop browsing has Windows running on 91.7% of all systems. Mac accounts for just a measly 7.2% of systems browsing the web.

Tablets still aren't there yet - Even though mobile is all the rage, 89.4% of all Web browsing is done via a desktop. So the majority of machines are running Windows. People say Microsoft is late to the game, but are they really? They have been putting out tablets for a long time (via OEMs), but for enterprise users, not consumers.

Microsoft owns the enterprise - Microsoft still owns the enterprise with Windows running on the majority of corporate PCs out there. Many people around a decade ago were introduced to technology via their workplace. Now there's a term thrown around Microsoft called the "consumerism of IT". Apple was able to help launch this with their innovative designs, and marketing of their consumer products. More folks were using technology than those who were just exposed via the workplace.

Surface IS going to roll out to the enterprise - I'm not saying Surface is going to roll out soon. No, in my experience the enterprise waits for at a service pack, and Surface is pretty much v1, so most folks say wait for v3 until it runs solid. It's the Microsoft mindset they built in IT.

Once Surface rolls out to the enterprise, it's everywhere - Yes, once the enterprise does roll out Surface, we're talking about impacting those 91.7% of web browsers out there. Much of today's web browsing still happens at work. PCs rule at work. Companies have too much investment in PCs, and the iPad doesn't do well as a production machine. And no one uses Macs except those crazy designers and web guys.

People will become users of Surface, and buy what they're familiar with once it rolls out to the enterprise. Folks will be bringing them home from work, their kids will see it and want one. Consumerism of IT begins again, and those who are working with the machines will want something familiar to use at home, Windows RT comes into play as a consumer device.

Microsoft software will be on every tablet device regardless of the OS. They're already doing it. Where's Apple software on your Android, or Surface tablet? Apple dropped the ball and lost exposure.

A few things have to fall into place in order for all this to happen. But if Microsoft has the vision, and strategy we could see them be back as the giant they were once before.

What do you think?


About the Author, Patrick Santry

Patrick Santry, has two decades of experience in enabling businesses to take advantage of the digital landscape. A well rounded experience in technology, and business is what sets me apart from the rest of the pack. When it comes to an overall digital strategy my experience is impressive.

BS in Computer Information Systems. Four time recipient of the Microsoft MVP Award, and author of several books and magazine articles on digital technologies.

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