News Analysis: Microsoft entered 2009 with a multitude of challenges that it needed to overcome and it scored successes on numerous fronts, such as with Bing search, Windows 7 and its efforts to improve security. Here are 10 things Microsoft did right in 2009.
It's easy to beat up on Microsoft. For the past few years, the software
giant has had trouble with Windows Vista, causing vendors and customers to run
to Mac OS X or stick with Windows XP. Internet
Explorer has become a far less ubiquitous presence in the software market.
Even Windows Mobile has failed to put a dent in Apple's growing market share.
Needless to say, Microsoft has fallen on some tough times.
But it wasn't all bad in 2009. In fact, some might say 2009 was one of
Microsoft's better years. It was marked by the release of Windows 7, a deal
with Yahoo and the resurgence of Microsoft on the Web. The best part is,
Microsoft is going into 2010 with more momentum than it has enjoyed in quite
some time. But let's take time to reflect on this past year first. What did
Microsoft do right in 2009?
1. Windows 7's launch
Vista got off to a bad start and we all know how that
turned out. But the next version of its operating system was a different story.
released Windows 7 without a hitch,
easily besting Apple's "Snow
Leopard" release. It was a stellar launch for Microsoft, helping get the
operating system off on the right foot.
2. Windows 7 itself
Windows 7 is a fantastic operating system. It has an improved task bar. Its
usability is far beyond Vista's. And thanks to the
release of new features such as BitLocker To Go, users can secure their data
without much trouble. It's also helpful that the operating system is being offered
at a relatively affordable price. Windows 7 is what Vista
should have been. But we have what we want now. And we like it.
Microsoft has done a great job of developing Bing. Live Search was nothing
more than an also-ran in the market. And although Bing has just started moving
up the market-share charts, the search engine has brought several neat
features, such as visual search. Bing Maps is also a major improvement over
Google Maps. Bing is set for a big 2010.
4. The Yahoo deal
Although it took a long while to complete, Microsoft's
deal with Yahoo was probably one of the biggest moves the software giant made
By inking the deal with Yahoo CEO
Carol Bartz, Steve Ballmer will soon have gained his company the market share
needed to make it a real race between Microsoft and Google. It was a strategic
move that could have a lasting impact on the Web.