Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Janet I. Tu.
You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
October 7, 2013 at 4:46 PM
Microsoft today announced updates and release dates for its enterprise cloud services and products, as Satya Nadella, head of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, gave a media briefing in San Francisco on Microsoft’s cloud strategy.
Nadella placed the releases in the context of being proud of Microsoft’s $20 billion share of the enterprise infrastructure business, but saying that that’s still a small share “compared to the $2 trillion at play” as businesses move to the cloud. He also touted Microsoft as being the only cloud services and infrastructure provider that offered widely used cloud software services (such as Office 365), a scalable global public cloud (Azure), and that provides infrastructure for companies to build their own clouds on.
“We’re the only vendor that does all three,” he said, when asked about how Microsoft is different from its cloud competitors.
August 26, 2013 at 6:00 AM
There was Windows Vista, but then came Windows 7.
There was the Kin, but there was also the Xbox.
The company fell way behind on mobile, but it still plays a huge role in corporations.
Microsoft has had many stumbles and failings over the years, but it’s also had its successes and strengths.
That bad-news, good-news split is indicative of the challenges, and the advantages, facing any successor to Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer.
Ballmer, who has been CEO for 13 years, announced Friday that he would be retiring once his successor has been chosen within the next 12 months.
Here are five challenges, and five advantages, his successor will face.
Microsoft actually came out with a smartphone and a tablet before Apple came out with the iPhone or iPad.
But it was Apple that figured out how to make those devices wildly popular to consumers.
These days, Microsoft has only about a 3.3 percent worldwide market share in smartphones — although that’s slowly inching up — and Windows Phone has overtaken BlackBerry as the No. 3 smartphone operating system.
Similarly, Windows tablets’ market share went up from 1 percent to 4.5 percent over the past year, according to research firm IDC.
But if Microsoft doesn’t continue to make inroads on mobile devices, “They will start to see some market erosion in their other businesses,” said Norman Young, analyst with investment research firm Morningstar.
2. Post-PC era
We are in what some call the “post-PC era,” or, as Microsoft likes to call it, the “PC-plus era.”
Whatever the case, it means that people are turning less to their PCs and more to their mobile devices to accomplish much of what they used to do on their desktops or laptops.
And that’s a huge worry for Microsoft.
For many years, Microsoft has had a cash cow in Windows. But now that the PC market isn’t growing, while the markets for tablets and smartphones are, that source of revenue is slowing.
Another related problem: The margins for Microsoft on smartphones or tablets are lower than what it gets from PC manufacturers.
“Any time a PC is sold by Dell, HP or Lenovo, if it’s a consumer-oriented product, Microsoft sees about $40 to $50,” said Al Gillen, an analyst with research firm IDC. “If it’s enterprise (meaning corporations), it’s more like $100 for Microsoft.
“The license fee per unit for phones and tablets are not going to be in the same magnitudes,” Gillen said. “Which means Microsoft has to adjust its thinking to lower price, lower margin but much higher volume.”
The next CEO, said J.P. Gownder, an analyst with research firm Forrester, “really needs to come to terms with the relative decline of the PC as a computing tool.”
Xbox aside, Microsoft has had a hard time connecting with consumers on a number of its products.
Its Surface tablet — particularly the Surface RT model — has not sold well. Windows 8 is getting a lukewarm reception. Windows tablets and smartphones have yet to break 5 percent worldwide market share.
And rightly or wrongly, Microsoft is still fighting the image left over from those old Apple Mac vs PC commercials: That it’s stodgy, corporate, boring.
The company has been battling that image with marketing efforts such as Surface commercials featuring dancing tablet users and product launches featuring sports stars and other celebrities.
[Continue reading the story here.]
June 27, 2013 at 8:40 AM
SAN FRANCISCO — I’m at the Moscone Center for day 2 of Build, Microsoft’s big annual conference for independent, third-party developers. I’ll be liveblogging the keynote, which is scheduled to start a 9 a.m. Today’s keynote is supposed to cover: Windows Azure, cloud for business, rich Office 365 extensibility, enterprise grade SaaS integration, tools.
June 4, 2013 at 9:56 AM
Veteran Microsoft analyst Rick Sherlund, of investment bank Nomura, offered his thoughts in a note this morning on Microsoft’s reported restructuring, its big cloud push and its stock price.
Also this week, it was reported that CEO Steve Ballmer is apparently reorganizing the company to better align with his vision it becoming a services-and-devices company.
“We estimate the cloud is currently under 3% of Microsoft’s business, but Mr. Ballmer is expected to announce organization changes to better align the company’s development and marketing around putting the ‘cloud first’ in key parts of the business to push the company more aggressively in this direction,” Sherlund wrote in his note today.
Microsoft stock, which has been climbing and is currently trading at $35.58, is “doing well, which ironically might work against ValueAct in an effort to gain majority support from shareholders in a potential bid for Board representation,” Sherlund wrote, referring to the activist investor that earlier this year revealed it had a $2 billion stake in Microsoft. “We look for an interesting summer with some potential drama spilling into the public eye over shareholder activism to effect change and increase shareholder value. We think this is all positive for sentiment in the stock.”
May 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM
Microsoft has been steadily growing its cloud business into one of its largest revenue-generating divisions. Now it’s expanding its footprint in the fast-growing cloud market in Asia.
The company announced Wednesday that, in partnership with Chinese data center services provider 21Vianet, a public preview of Windows Azure in China will be available on June 6.
That makes Microsoft the first multinational organization to make public cloud services available in China. (Currently, the major cloud providers in China are the China-based Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, according to 21Vianet.)