Microsoft Can Reverse Its Misfortunes: 10 Ways to Do It

News Analysis: Microsoft can reverse its recent string of misfortune and become a far more competitive company in today's tech industry.

Microsoft finds itself in an interesting position. On one hand, the software giant is still a dominant force in the technology industry, generating billions of dollars every quarter, thanks to its many product efforts around the world. On the other hand, it has witnessed its importance in the space decline over the past few years as Google, Apple and other competitors have made it look outdated and confused.

Currently, Microsoft is far behind online. The company's browser, Internet Explorer, is losing market share to Firefox and Google Chrome. Its mobile platform, Windows Phone 7, is having a hard time gaining market traction in the face of immense competitive pressure from Android and iOS. Simply put, things aren't necessarily looking up for Redmond.

But that doesn't mean that Microsoft can't change its luck. The company is undoubtedly facing adversity that it won't easily overcome. But it's also Microsoft, and it has the ability to stage a comeback, just as Apple did years ago, that could see it return to its former position as the leader in the technology industry.

Read on to find out how:

1. It has the cash to do it

Let's face it: the technology industry is governed by cash. The more money a company has to invest in a technology, the more likely it will find a way to make it work more effectively than the competition's offering. Luckily for Microsoft, it has all the cash it needs to succeed. If it wants to see a return to its former glory, the company must find a way to put that cash to good use.

2. Steve Ballmer isn't hopeless

Steve Ballmer might not be the best CEO in the technology space, but he does understand what it takes to be successful in the software market. At least right now, software is still integral to Microsoft's operation. Realizing that, and considering Ballmer has shown some indication over the past year that he's willing to look beyond just desktop software by doubling down on consumer products and cloud integration with products such as Office 365, Microsoft's CEO just might have what it takes to lead the company back to the top.

3. Windows is still tops

If Microsoft is defined by anything, it's Windows. The company's operating system is running on computers across the world, and it enjoys a dominant place in that market. Going forward, Microsoft can rely upon Windows to help reverse its declining position. In fact, Microsoft announced last year that it sold 240 million Windows 7 licenses, making it the fastest-selling version of Windows ever. That doesn't sound like a company that's ready to wave the white flag. And it has Windows to thank for it.

4. Internet Explorer is hanging on

Internet Explorer is having some trouble competing in the browser space against Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome. In fact, a recent study by StatCounter claims Internet Explorer was overtaken by Firefox in Europe in overall market share. But perhaps it's not time to count out Internet Explorer just yet. The browser is still used quite heavily in the enterprise and across the United States. Microsoft can build upon that and with some tweaks in speed and security, it might be able to regain lost share. Internet Explorer 9 might be the browser version Microsoft needs to regain lost market share.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...