Enterprise Applications: Microsoft's Future: 11 Factors That Will Determine Its Prosperity
Microsoft plans to launch Windows 8 later this year. And when it does, the company hopes that consumers and enterprise users will warm to the idea of having a totally new design. If they do like it, Microsoft can all but ensure its success in the coming years. But if things turn sour, there's a chance Windows could be on a slippery slope.
Depending on whom one talks to, Microsoft is either on top of the world or in deep trouble. The software giant, critics say, is allowing its mobile business to flounder as Google and Apple take charge. Windows, while still dominant, is becoming less and less important to consumers while enterprises remain a solid bastion of Windows use. But worst of all, the company hasn't done anything all that innovative that would make customers take notice. Of course, there's another side to that story. Microsoft is still the most powerful force in the operating system and productivity markets while its browser, Internet Explorer, stands above all others. Combine that with Microsoft's massive profits and huge cash coffers, and it's clear to see why the company is still among the most important software companies in the world. However, in the coming months and years, several factors will end up determining whether the software company will succeed or fail. External factors are what they are, but Microsoft's own products and initiatives could determine whether Microsoft remains a top technology company or, like many once-innovative enterprises before it, see its wealth and influence fade with the years. Take a look at this slide show to see what products and market trends will make or break Microsoft in the coming years: