Microsoft Earnings: 3 Things To Watch - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Earnings: 3 Things To Watch
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Charlie Babcock
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
7/22/2014 | 1:45:44 PM
Expand the desktop/laptop franchise with compatible devices
The gap in computing devices lies between those p;rimarily used for office work and those used as mobile, personal computing devices. Microsoft still has a lock on the office market and will for the next decade but it's lacked insight into the personal consumer device market. It's best prospect is to make a phone that's compatible with and useful with Office software; that is, expand the existing franchise. That will be a lesser market than mainstream consumer smart phone and tablet market, but it's one that it can master.  
Michael Endler
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
7/22/2014 | 12:45:45 PM
Thanks for the thoughts, @anon.

You're right that it's somewhat misleading to lump smartphones, tablets and computers into a single "computing device" bucket, since, as you indicate, you can't use an iPhone and a Windows PC in the same ways. That said, in terms of ecosystem buy-in, there is some validity to the "overall computing" thinking, particularly as it applies to users in emerging markets. Also, I wouldn't blame the media for inventing the "overal computing" concept-- Microsoft was the one floating the 14% figure, and before that, it was the research analysts who were popularizing it. You can certainly quibble with the media's interpretation, however, including, say, over-emphasizing the extent to which Microsoft competes with Google, and under-appreciating the extent to which Microsoft competes with IBM or Oracle.

As for Windows and better enterprise management-- that's still true in broad terms, but I think it's becoming less true all the time. Windows isn't going to get driven out of the enterprise (far from it), but the range of workflows for which Windows is ulitized could be disrupted. Anyhow, especially with IBM and Apple are teaming up, I'm not sure it's so outlandish to imagine accessing sensitive databases on Apple devices. Android might be a different story.

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