In May of 2010, Google’s recent shift in computer use inside the Googleverse, left Microsoft”™” in the dust because Google will no longer give their employees the choice of a Windows OS for their company PC; it is the choice of Mac or Linux only. While this move is saving Google an unknown amount of money in Windows licensing fees and maintenance costs-over 200 thousand employees will no longer use the OS- yearly, this is money Microsoft will not see either.
Other Recent Blows
This came on the heels of the Hewlett Packard announced in April of 2010 stating that they would not be going forward with their Slate Tablet PC deal with Microsoft and later announced the acquisition of Palm Inc., which included their revolutionary open sourced webOS smartphone operating system. This left Microsoft left hanging with nowhere to go with their Windows Phone 7 OS.
Because Microsoft had also recently announced the death of the Microsoft Courier project in the end of April 2010, a project that was never an official project to begin with, leaving them only one place left to use their smartphone OS; their failing smartphones. Microsoft stated they did not create Windows Phone 7 for tablets; however, Microsoft is consistently losing smartphone market share and that does not bode well for the future of Microsoft.
Loss of Business
Since businesses everywhere have been making the switch form Microsoft products such as Exchange and Windows to open sourced equivalents including Google Apps and Linux OS distributions, Microsoft has been losing market share for a long time, since as early as 2003 and that equals to losing money. The loss of various large Microsoft contracts in every market is a sign of what is to come. Microsoft needs to either change their thinking and their business model, or get with the times and produce something the customers want to see and use. The problem is that they did and this something was the Courier Project; then they killed it just as quickly as it came to light.
The Mistake that Mattered
However, Microsoft did not agree with customers, which was a grave mistake, according to many analysts. Because the future of the computer market is seen as the Tablet PC, which now is the new rising star of the computer world, especially since Apple’s iPad made it to the market. Microsoft’s move to release the Courier was right on track. This is evidenced by the various other Tablet PC model announcements since the iPad’s release such as that by HP, the Slate, which incidentally, they also killed after cutting off Microsoft from the project, the iLet by Haleron, the Lenovo ThinkPad Series X tablet PCs and many others. Even Google is making their own Tablet PC using Chrome OS.
Almost every other computer and smartphone maker has announced their own version of the Tablet PC. The problem is, they all look and function very much like the iPad and while this is OK for loyal Apple fans, the bulk of the population wants something that functions more like a computer and less like an e-reader. This is the reason computer users everywhere went crazy at the release of the Microsoft Courier video; the Courier was the “tablet PC” they wanted to see.
The Courier Project was different; it was what people wanted, according to news reports and customer comments everywhere. Instead of giving customers what they wanted, Microsoft instead took it away from them with no plans for a replacement. Microsoft simply said, sorry but we are saving pieces of the Courier for other projects. This leaves Microsoft bare of any hope for progress in a quickly rising and heavily competing tablet PC market that wants innovation, not cloning.
The Real Beginning to the End
The death of the Courier project might have been the real beginning of the end for Microsoft. This, however, does not come as a surprise to some. With the fall of Microsoft’s Vista OS, billed as a Microsoft Mistake, then the replacement OS, Windows 7, which most Microsoft customers would rather let their XP OS expire than switch to it, let alone have to upgrade through Vista in some cases. Microsoft, while they still corner the OS market, they are losing that market share and falling quickly.
What is Microsoft to do without a tablet PC in the works? Considering the fact that many tech analysts agree that tablet PCs are the future of computers, it would have to mean that Microsoft is a goner. They are losing ad revenue to Facebook, customers, contracts, browser (IE) market share and overall market share so fast, it is difficult to think they will last longer than a year or two. However, given the fact that when people think computers, they think Microsoft, the company apparently still has something to hold onto. With some luck and a lot of good coding, they might make it after all.
Notice: “Microsoft, Windows and the Windows logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
Tony Bradley, “Microsoft Losing Browser influence Along with Market Share,” PC World
Joel Spolsky, “How Microsoft Lost the API War,” JoelOnSOftware
Steve Lohr, “Microsoft is Losing Fight for Customers,” The New York Times
Gizmodo: Leaked Courier Video Shows How We’ll Actually Use It
Henry Blodget,” Microsoft’s Bing/MSN Results Truly Horrifying: Results to Loss of 3 Billion a Year,” Business Insider