News Analysis: Microsoft has had a rough 10 years. The company entered the 2000s with big expectations. It is leaving the decade fighting competitive and regulatory battles on multiple fronts. We take a look at the mistakes Microsoft has made over the past decade that has caused it to get to where it is today.
As the end of the decade nears, quite a few things have changed. Ten
years ago, Bing, Chrome, Facebook and Twitter didn't exist. Windows 7
didn't exist. Not even the iPhone, the iPod Touch or the netbook were
around. It was an exciting decade. But one thing that has remained
relatively constant over that period is Microsoft's position in the
The software giant that entered the 2000s is still a software giant.
But over the past decade, its grip on the industry has slipped
somewhat. It's no longer the invincible leader that some users expected
it to be going into the 2010s. Today, Microsoft is less powerful than
it once was.
That's mainly due to the mistakes the company has made over the past
10 years. Unfortunately, Microsoft believed that it could coast, easily
dominating any market that it competed in. The company also failed to
see the future, forcing it to play "catch up." Worst of all, Windows
Vista severely affected brand loyalty. Suffice it to say that it has
been a tough 10 years for Microsoft.
Let's take a look at the mistakes Microsoft has made to cause those problems.
1. Corporate lethargy
Microsoft walked into the new millennium on top of the tech world.
The company had enjoyed unbridled success with Windows. Internet
Explorer reigned supreme. It was a great time for the company. But over
the course of the past 10 years, it quickly became clear that Microsoft
believed that it could perform just as well without much worry of the
competition or regulators. In fact, Microsoft engaged in the same
strategies. In the meantime, the competition was innovating. It quickly put Microsoft back on its heels
. But the damage was done. Microsoft believed the 2000s would be just like the 1990s. How wrong it was.
2. Windows Vista
Arguably one of Microsoft's biggest blunders, Windows Vista was everything a Windows operating system shouldn't have been
It was overrun with compatibility issues. Security was a major concern.
And worst of all, companies thought better of deploying it in their
operations. It was no small problem. With Windows XP, Microsoft was
solidifying its presence as the dominant force in the operating-system
market. But Windows Vista made vendors, consumers, and the enterprise
think twice about the software giant. It has yet to repair the
relationships with those stakeholders.
3. Follow the leader
When Apple released the iPod, Microsoft released the Zune. Once
Google dominated the market with Search, Microsoft released Live Search
and, more recently, Bing. As Google cornered the online-advertising
market, Microsoft shot back with its own advertising platform. And
that's just the tip of a very big iceberg. Microsoft did very little
innovating over the past decade. For the most part, the competition did
special things, while Redmond came up with a less-successful
alternative. It can't make those same mistakes going forward.
4. Windows Mobile
Windows Mobile is another source of regret for Microsoft. The
platform that once appealed quite well to the enterprise is now an
afterthought. Both RIM's BlackBerry and the iPhone have made Windows
Mobile devices obsolete. Worst of all, Microsoft's arch nemesis,
Google, developed the Android mobile platform, which also stands above Microsoft's platform