Sunday, 2 January 2011

Will 2011 Make or Break Microsoft?

There is not question that Microsoft is in a bit of trouble, and has been for some time since Google took the search space.

So far Microsoft has been lucky in Google and Yahoo. Google has not had the luck many people had imaged producing a rich set of apps for the web that would get people to stop using Microsoft products. Google Docs did not kill office, Google Search did not replace the need for Enterprise Search and Google Wave did not end up being a SharePoint killer.

But Microsoft right now is profiting as more on leverage and luck than innovation. When the new Office Web Apps came out the impressive thing was that Microsoft had produced an excellent Web Based App.

This year we saw MSN (once the main social network in the world) have to make a deal with Facebook Social Graph to keep MSN IM relevant. Bing is now forced in to a period of heavy advertising to try and crawl search market share it never should have lost to Google, and don't even start to talk about mobile.

Frankly speaking, SharePoint is in danger of a future real Cloud service. People are talking about a Facebook like SharePoint experience, but I am not entirely sure it would not be easier to build a SharePoint like Facebook.

Microsoft really has to start thinking hard and thinking fast. It can't count on Google's failure to execute in the Enterprise space forever. With the Cloud the now clear line between Enterprise and Web might soon vanish, and Microsoft presently has lost that war.

Over the coming year of two the very survival of Microsoft as a technology leader will depend on a few features:

  1. Office 365 much launch and be effective, even if it cuts in to Office revenue
  2. NO MORE VISTAS!!!! Windows 7 must be enhanced in a way that makes it a better link to the Internet NOT a tool simply to stop change from the ICT infrastructure.
  3. Windows 8 Mobile MUST be the best. I am will to go on the line right now and say that Windows 7 Mobile is going to be a flop, but not as destructive as earlier versions which did massive harm to Microsoft reputation.
  4. Microsoft must get a Table
  5. The partnership with Facebook must be strengthened at the expense of Google with Twitter and Google forming an even better counter relationship.
  6. To sum up Microsoft must stop seeing the world in terms of Windows and Offices.
Microsoft has had some major failure in the 21st Century after a wonder 1990s. Office 2007 and 2010 Ribbon did as much to confuse as help users. MSN has been a bomb. Vista was a catastrophic failure and .NET release has been confusing, the install clunky, and the outcome has been a bloated system which seems more concerned with outdoing Java as king of the Geek work that providing a platform for rapid maintainable development.

With the rise again of the Tech Start up and VC market Microsoft could face more than just Google in the near future.

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