Microsoft Can Reverse Its Misfortunes: 10 Ways to Do It

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-01-05 Print this article Print

title=Microsoft Must Build on Enterprise Dominance} 

5. It "gets" the consumer market 

Although Microsoft's competition with Google gets the most play among critics of the software company, its efforts in the consumer market have actually been quite impressive. Not only has it watched its Xbox 360 console enjoy stronger sales than competitors, but its recently released Kinect motion-gaming peripheral could be central to its consumer efforts going forward. If Microsoft can continue its success in the consumer market, it might find the market momentum it needs to reverse its recent losses. 

6. Office as the foundation 

Microsoft Office is the juggernaut that helps the software giant post major revenue gains and attract corporate customers. Realizing that, it might be time for Microsoft to rely more heavily on Office. At this point, there isn't a single competitor in the cloud or on premise that will dethrone Office anytime soon. Microsoft can continue to allow Office to keep generating cash while it focuses its efforts in riskier environments such as the Web, knowing all too well that it has Office to rely on to fund those new investments. 

7. Google isn't a guaranteed success 

Google is undoubtedly successful. The company has proven it knows how to appeal to consumers on the Internet and in the mobile market. But Google still hasn't reached the same heights as Microsoft did at its pinnacle. And until it does, it's tough to say which company is really the most capable at dominating the tech industry. Microsoft has done it. Google is on its way to achieving it. But until Google stands alone at the top, Microsoft at least has a shot at beating it. 

8. It has done it before 

Microsoft is no stranger to adversity. When the company released Windows Vista, it expected the market to accept the operating system as the true successor to Windows XP. But that never happened and most consumers and enterprise customers opted to stick with XP. With Windows 7, Microsoft changed all that. Microsoft also proved that it could handle adversity and overcome it with a better product. Can it do it again at a company-wide level? Time will tell. But it's certainly possible. 

9. It's still an enterprise favorite 

Microsoft might not have all the answers when it comes to the mobile market or the Web, but it does know how to appeal to corporate customers. Its operating system is still heavily used by the enterprise and Internet Explorer remains the go-to browser in that market. Realizing that, Microsoft should continue to build up its business through the enterprise. If it can increase its foothold there, it could go a long way in rebuilding its operation. 

10. It understands the importance of tablets now 

At last year's Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed off several Windows-based tablets. But over the course of the year, his promises of a host of devices hitting store shelves and making an impact in the market didn't come true. That said, Microsoft showed that it's willing to acknowledge the importance of tablets now. And it fully realizes that if it's going to turn its operation around, it must make tablets a key component in its strategy.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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