News Analysis: It seems that Apple's rumored iSlate and Google's Nexus One are receiving much of the attention as we head into 2010. But it might be Microsoft products, rather than those competing devices, that will steal the show this year. We take a look at why that might be the case.
Nowadays, all the talk in the tech space is about Apple's
possible release of the iSlate
and Google's Android-based Nexus One
smartphone. Many observers contend that the iSlate will be the most important
product release of 2010. Others are saying the Nexus One could be the "iPhone
killer" we've all been waiting for. But maybe it's time to shift that
focus to Microsoft and why it could dominate the industry in 2010.
The last year was a tough one for Microsoft. Its Windows Mobile platform
sank to around 9 percent market share. Google was the first to build hype on
Web-based operating systems. And Windows Vista still kept consumers and the
enterprise from fully believing in the value Windows 7 offers.
But 2010 is quickly shaping up to be a much different year. With Bing
offering a service that can actually stand up to Google Search, Windows 7 carrying
the Microsoft banner forward and the possibility of an improved Windows Mobile,
2010 might just be the year when Microsoft regains its spot as the dominant
force in the tech industry.
A colleague here at eWEEK, Nicholas Kolakowski, recently wrote that Windows
7, Microsoft's pact with Yahoo and the cloud will determine how successful
is over the next year. He's right. But he's not quite convinced that Microsoft
will be able to enjoy a solid year in any of those sectors. I'm convinced,
I believe that Microsoft realizes that the market is changing. It finally
understands that it can't simply coast and expect to be successful. And most
importantly, it understands that it needs to work hard to compete with Google.
That sounds like a recipe for success in 2010. Here are 10 reasons why
Microsoft will dominate 2010.
1. Google obsession
Although obsessing over one company can be a bad move for many companies,
Microsoft's obsession with Google will likely help it in 2010. This year will
be marked by a war between the software giant and the online giant. They will
battle it out for dominance in the area of Web-based operating systems. They
will go at it in Web services. And they will likely gun for each other in the
mobile space. Microsoft is extremely worried (for good reason) that Google
could supplant it as the dominant company in the tech industry. As a result of
obsessing over Google in 2010, the software giant will likely do much better
job of fending off Google's onslaught.
2. Windows Mobile 7
Windows Mobile is on the ropes. The mobile operating system that once held a
significant share of the market is now attempting to stay relevant. And so far,
it hasn't done a good job of it. But with the
release of Windows Mobile 7 in 2010,
all that could change. Microsoft is
saying its latest mobile OS will have the features that users want-and then
some. Assuming that's true, it's likely that Microsoft will regain some of its
lost market share in 2010. That doesn't mean that it will supplant Apple-that's
highly unlikely-but it should help Microsoft bolster its mobile division.
Microsoft's Azure platform doesn't receive the kind of attention Google's
Chrome OS is getting, but it really should. Azure will likely be home to many,
if not all, of Microsoft's cloud endeavors going forward. Azure
will provide Web access to key Microsoft applications,
while helping it
face off against any Web strategies Google implements to bolster the appeal of Chrome
OS. And that all fails to mention the impact Azure could have on the
enterprise. The business world is moving slowly to the cloud. Microsoft is
ready to greet it with open arms.
4. Windows 7
Microsoft's latest operating system is arguably the best operating system
currently available. Windows has historically been one of the most important
contributors to Microsoft's success or failure. For years, it was the banner
product. But when Vista hit store shelves, all that
changed, and Microsoft was forced to scramble. It fixed its mistake with
Windows 7. In 2010, many more companies and consumers will realize that.