Microsoft Fighting Uphill Battles in Security, Web OS Fields

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-12-23 Print this article Print


5. Taking the upper hand in security

Although Microsoft released Security Essentials for all current, supported Windows operating systems and offered up some new security features in Windows 7, the software giant still hasn't engaged in the right strategies to stop malware's onslaught on users. During the year, there were far too many zero-day exploits, patches, and vulnerabilities. Microsoft failed to take the upper hand in the battle for OS security. It must do so in 2010.

6. Not getting more out of Yahoo

Steve Ballmer might say that he's happy with the pact that he and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz arrived at in 2009, but further inspection reveals that Microsoft took a major hit. The company doesn't even own Yahoo's search technology. It also needs to share a significant amount of revenue with Yahoo if the venture is successful. Yahoo made a great deal. Microsoft missed the mark.

7. Windows Mobile

What happened to Windows Mobile in 2009? The mobile operating system was beaten badly by Apple's iPhone, RIM's BlackBerry, and even Google's Android platform. All the while, Microsoft did little to help Windows Mobile attract the kind of attention and fanfare that its competitors did during the year. The company better work harder in 2010.

8. The online OS

How Microsoft allowed Google to take the lead in online operating systems is anyone's guess. Those that follow the software space are fully aware that services are moving to the Web. As a software company, it would only seem natural that Microsoft would lead that charge. It hasn't. Sure, Microsoft has Azure to compete with Chrome OS, but when it comes down to it, only Chrome OS has earned the attention needed to attract users.

9. Zune HD

Releasing the Zune HD in an attempt to compete against the iPod was a mistake. The device might be great. It might even have neat features that users won't find in the iPod. But it's not an iPod and it lacks iTunes. The Zune HD's days are numbered. Microsoft shouldn't have wasted its time.

10. Layoffs

Although some in the financial sector might say that Microsoft's decision to lay off 5,000 employees during 2009 was a sound one, I disagree. Microsoft generates billions of dollars in profit each year. The fact that the company was forced to lay off employees underscores its poor performance during these tough economic times. We also can't forget that there were some major tech firms that weren't forced to lay off employees during the financial crisis. Microsoft did. That tells us everything we need to know about its management in 2009, compared to the competition's.


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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