SFgate wrote over the weekend that “Ballmer HAD To Make Windows The Center Of Microsoft’s Tablet Strategy — Even If It Kills Them”
Microsoft’s tablet strategy — wait for the next version of Windows — will probably end up costing the company its long-held Windows monopoly, at least among consumers.
But it’s the LEAST BAD strategy Microsoft could have followed.
Earlier this week, Fortune criticized Steve Ballmer for his lack of vision, pointing to his decision to kill the Courier tablet prototype and instead build tablet functionality into Windows. In a follow-up article based on interviews
with ex-employees, Fortune cited Ballmer’s “slavish devotion” to Windows and Office.
All true. But it’s not Ballmer’s fault.
Microsoft is forced to operate this way because of the huge profit margins it earns on Windows and Office — at least 60%, and sometimes up to 80% on Windows. Ballmer would be crazy — and possibly legally liable to shareholders — if he approved any strategy that knowingly cannibalized those two businesses.
It goes on to talk about the fact that MSFT consider endangering the Windows line of business a non starter.
While all that may be true, the truth is, that strategy isnt necessary the smartest way to go.
I have written before about how the Windows OS hasnt changed substantially in quite a while and this seems to confirm that Microsoft is afraid to change their Coke formula.
The problem is, the world is changing fast and this tablet revolution might just be the beginning of more problems for Microsoft.
Because they haven’t aggressively thought outside the box regarding platforms that might challenge Windows, they are ironically more vulnerable now than they have ever been.
My ten cents is this: A business must continue to push itself aggressively and must never be afraid to change and evolve. They should have spun off a new business unit for tablets that had one goal – create the best mobile OS that they could.
Best case, they would have the next best platform on the market, worst case they would still have Windows.
As things stand now, if Windows 8 for tablets comes out in the fall of 2012 (as is rumored), it will be facing the Ipad 3 and tons of Android tablet drones.
Also, they have to be worried about Google or Apple developing a Windows killer..
I am shocked that SFGate came to the conclusion that this was the best choice. I believe most tech analysts would disagree…