NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Software giant Microsoft (MSFT) continues to be the soup of the day on Wall Street. However, if Mr. Softy has its way over the next couple of quarters, simply referring to it as "software giant" will soon become an offensive tag.
As we know, the company made it clear that it is no longer satisfied with that moniker by having announced its presence into the realm of hardware vendors with its Surface tablet, a device expected to take a bite out of the dominance of Apple's (AAPL) iPad. The only question is, will it?
While Microsoft has been fraught with stock and product disappointments over the past decade, expecting it to narrow the gap with Apple, which has a considerable lead, is a tall task. Microsoft can only hope it "scratches" the Surface.
For this reason Apple is not concerned, nor does it have a reason to be -- at least not until Microsoft can prove that it can build an ecosystem of its own. However, from that standpoint we are talking about execution, an area where it has failed to impress even its most ardent supporters. What will be different this time?Well, it depends. Early indications suggest both consumers and investors have already made up their minds one way or another. What is clear is the brass on Wall Street has adopted a "wait and see" attitude and don't want to tip its hand to avoid falling on its face. Interestingly, this was the same group that pumped Facebook's (FB) initial public offering ad nauseam and got it wrong. Be that as it may, the pro-Apple bias is in full effect. As far as these investors are concerned, "disappointment will fall to the Surface." I'm not going to be quick to rush to Surface's defense but it bothers me to hear from doubters of how Microsoft lacks the ability to compete. How quickly we forget. Has anyone heard from Novell or Netscape lately? When was the last time you signed into your suite of programs by Lotus? In fact, it might be because you're still using Word Perfect.
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