re: Microsoft's Next Moves: 11 Takeaways
Microsoft recognizes that the paradigm has changed from - enterprise tells staff what they should be using (hardware and software) to - staff wanting to use what they want and enterprise adapting to it (hardware and software). Though its not a complete change (staff in the driver's seat) it has happened much more often so MS is changing its approach to make sure it stays relevant in how enterprise is reacting. There is a lot more to enterprise than big corporations - medium and smaller businesses, start ups, home based, freelancers, consultants, etc.
If you want to talk proportion, then its good to know how many companies Microsoft lost to Google originally but 440 companies or entities who have returned to Microsoft and its products/services is a large shift and may indicate a trend as more businesses realize what they need to be able to operate globally and professionally. It may not matter to the small business type who is operating on a shoestring and its fine for kids in school but at the larger level you need what will work well and be positioned for the future, not just work well enough today. We'll see how Microsoft meets this challenge.
Ballmer may have been the best man at the time for the job, considering all the things that Microsoft had just gone thru with the Justice Dept before Ballmer took over. How well he's done we'll see when we get some distance and evaluate what was done with what he set up and how he left things. Microsoft is in a good position for the future but it all depends on the reorg and who the next CEO is and how well they can integrate what they have and how they can read the future. Working closely with Oracle is a good move and having Nokia may have been necessary but it can fit well with future possibilities. Execution makes the difference - will they execute well or be executed (shoot themselves in the foot or others knock them off) - there in lies the question