Most people are not aware of this, but as Steve Ballmer recently explained in an interview, Bill Gates really left Microsoft only around three years ago. Until then he was still very active, and so Ballmer truely became the one to decide only quite recently. It’s a shame to think of him as the worst CEO of all times, and to show Microsoft’s stock curve since 2000, when he’s been really free only since 2009 or something.
And when you look at it, the changes since Bill’s departures are obvious. Something’s changed at Microsoft, and it’s like since 3 years, they have preparing 2012. What an amazing year this is! It’s like, as I read a lot these days, Microsoft is back! Of course, the Microsoft followers know and feel that the company has been renewing itself during the last couple of years. The numerous management changes that happened, or the testimonies of interns who were totally enthusiastic to work there.
The pace has increased, the projects can sometimes be kept secret, back into hardware, what else could we ask for?
The surface is totally amazing. For a Microsoft follower like me, watching Steven Sinofsky demoing that superb object is a Christmas gift. That video about the design team was just so great. Ho yes, things have changed. No more half baked hardware from OEM’s, now Microsoft has got its own stores, and is seriously expecting people to queue to get their own surface when it will be released!
They are just becoming so competitive. I think it’s the word that suits them best. They used to have no competition, only partners. Now they want to compete with Apple and Google, and in the process start to compete with their former partners, who get left with no choice but react. What most analysts often fail to mention when commenting the Surface’s impact on OEM’s, is how OEM’s themselves had no hesitation and didn’t look back when they decided to go for Android devices, which they almost all did.
Why should Microsoft now be ashamed of competing against these “competing partners” ? With Surface, the level is high. Good lock to HP and Dell to come up with something decent.
Next stop is Nokia: Windows Phone 8 was demoed this week. Exactly, as no one seems to recall, during the sames period/event as last year. Indeed, the announcement of no upgrade (to 8, but ok for 7.8…) is a tough one for Nokia. But is it not exactly what Microsoft wants? Look at their current situation: all the “partners” have come up only with correct hardware, but nothing fancy. Another reason for Microsoft to soon come up with their own device, by the way. So, Market share is very low, still below 4 %. So if they want to come up with a new version that won’t install on current devices, well now is the moment! Only a few customers hurt… And then, come up with the big – upgradable – thing. And Nokia? Well, thanks for the nice and not selling Lumia guys. Your sales are going to get even lower now, and when the company’s value will be below 6 billion$, then it will be time for Microsoft to buy it. Who else would want a company making only Windows Phones, providing Windows Phone maps, Nokia Drive, etc… Nokia is a prey for the bird, and the bird is patiently waiting for the target price to be reached. Then, Microsoft will be in a great position to bring Windows Phone to a whole new level, and people will queue in Microsoft Stores to get their own device…