Chris J Powell

Is the Death of Microsoft Coming?

Yesterday, Yahoo! Finance in partnership with Business Insider published a very interesting article on the Worst Case Scenario for Microsoft playing out.  Titled  “Steve Ballmer’s Nightmare is Coming True“.  The Author Jay Yarrow brought up some really great points that should have every IT Leader and for that matter every Business Leader wondering what will be the next big thing?

The writing is on the wall and I voiced my opinion several months ago that Windows 8 would be a make or break release for Microsoft and so far it is looking like there is a real chance that not only will the newest release of Microsoft’s Flagship OS will not be an overnight success…there is a real possibility that it could take down much of the company with it.

Over at I pulled down some stats that relate back to the Microsoft Performance on the single biggest shopping day each year – Black Friday:

According to NPD, US Windows Device Sales fell 21% year-over-year during the initial four-week sales period. Notebook sales dropped a whopping 24%, while desktops decreased by 9%.

And during this period, just 58% of Windows buyers opted for Windows 8. The last time around, Windows 7 accounted for 83% of sales. NPD also said that Windows 8 tablet sales were “almost non-existent,” echoing some Wall Street analyst reports which indicated that Microsoft Surface tablet sales were very weak on Black Friday.

The world of tablets are eating in to the sale of traditional PCs…that is not a big surprise…we have all seen that trend happening for a while and even the iPad took a stumble as the lower cost Android Tablets flood the market and assert dominance so seeing the numbers for Windows devices drop…to be expected…what was surprising is that 1 month after the Windows 8 release…Windows 7 accounted for 83% of total sales…is that a message to Microsoft that people still want the Start Button (Orb, Thingy)?

I have never pretended to be a fan of Microsoft, but there are some things that I do like about their recent direction.  The move to the Cloud with Office 365 is brilliant.  The new Office Suite is the best yet and that says a lot but the fact that in this space they really did their homework.  I just don’t understand why they think that Windows needs to be a one size fits all endeavor?  iOS is different than OSX and sales of both remain solid, why not build the underlying OS the same but have a different skin?  Linux has had that option for decades so it is not impossible to do.

Ah…this is just increasing my blood pressure and it is far too early to get worked up about Microsoft.  That will come soon enough when I am forced to wait 10 minutes for my Work Laptop to boot up when I get in.

I do think that Microsoft is in danger, real danger and their relevance will not be saved by the over priced Surface Pro, or dropping the price of the Surface.  They really need to look at shaking up the leadership from top to bottom and chart a new path…or else the Enterprise (which is really their only hope) will catch on and move away…faster than I think most can anticipate.


Chris J Powell

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