. Windows, Windows, WindowsIf there is any product that proves Microsoft matters quite a bit in today’s tech space, it’s Windows. The operating system is by far the most dominant platform around the world. And according to Microsoft, its latest release, Windows 7, is performing exceedingly well. As long as Windows continues to perform well, Microsoft will maintain its level of importance.
Apple’s iPad is dominating the tablet market, and for Apple and its fans, that’s great news. But for consumers and enterprise users who like competition to spur innovation, it isn’t. If Microsoft can kick its tablet efforts into high gear and use its cash to establish a presence in that space beyond Google, those who want to see the best company win will finally have their chance.
The cloud is growing fast. In fact, most IT decision-makers are including a host of cloud services in their short- and long-term roadmaps. So far, Microsoft has been one of the companies most willing to capitalize on the cloud’s growth. Microsoft’s presence in the cloud will solidify its position as a company that matters.
Nokia could very well be the most important component in Microsoft’s future plans. Right now, Microsoft has little market share in the mobile market, because it was late to the touch-screen game and Windows Phone 7 has been held back by design and update flaws. But by inking its partnership with Nokia, Microsoft can very quickly change its luck in the mobile space. In the next couple years, if all goes well, Windows Phone might just be up there with Android as one of the leading mobile operating systems.
iPads have infiltrated the corporate world and the consumerization of IT is continuing to be a hot-button issue. Where some companies are turning away from tried-and-true IT strategies, Microsoft isn’t. At the company’s Partner Conference recently, it made it abundantly clear that it wants to be the enterprise’s favored provider of both software and cloud services. As long as keeps that goal in place, Microsoft will matter.
It’s easy for a company to matter to the industry when the corporate world still needs it. Companies around the globe rely upon Windows to get work done. Those same firms need Office to create documents, make spreadsheets, and give presentations. And Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser is still the go-to choice for many companies. Until that changes, Microsoft will matter.
The Google OnslaughtIn the 1990s especially, there was rampant concern that Microsoft was becoming too big and far too dominant. But now, that concern has turned to Google, as the search giant continues to grow. For that reason, Microsoft matters. Whereas the software giant had no major competitors to worry it, Google could have Microsoft. And it would be better for everyone if both of those companies took each other on in a battle for dominance.
Microsoft is simply too big not to matter right now. The company employs thousands of people that are performing a host of functions for millions around the globe. Microsoft has simply grown into a giant organization, and its cash on-hand makes it a threat for any industry. At any given time, Microsoft can acquire a firm and become a player in a respective market. Keep that in mind as the company’s importance is considered.
If Microsoft still wasn’t innovating, its importance in today’s marketplace would be far less. It’s innovation is most recently evident on the consumer side with its launch of Kinect, a motion-gaming peripheral that allows people to play games with only the movement of their bodies. It’s also important to note that Microsoft was one of the first companies to deliver a worthwhile touch-screen experience. Microsoft always has been and still is an innovator.
Most would agree that when it comes to the future of communication, VoIP services are likely to perform quite well. Realizing that, Microsoft’s decision to buy Skype for $8.5 billion could have been the best move from the company in a long time. With Skype’s help, Microsoft could dominate communication over the Web in the coming years. If that doesn’t show how much Microsoft matters, what does?