Before I discuss them, let me make it clear that these concerns are largely irrelevant to Windows Phone 8, which was just introduced and should also hit the market this fall. Microsoft is doing most things right with Windows Phone.
I have been concerned about Microsoft for many years, first because of Apple's (AAPL) numerous initiatives (Apple stores, iTunes, and iOS), then because of Google (GOOG) Docs, which competes with MS Office, and then when I laid my hands on the first Google Chromebook. All of these were clear signs that Microsoft was going to lose market share and see price pressure in the future.Then came the epic 8,600-word post on Feb. 9 by Steven Sinofsky, the head of Windows, on MSDN Blogs. Titled "Building Windows for the ARM processor architecture," this was a declaration of Microsoft's intent to launch "full" Windows 8 on chips designed by ARM Holdings (ARMH) and built by NVIDIA (NVDA), Qualcomm (QCOM) and Texas Instruments (TXN). This showed that Microsoft was going to be able to deliver something that Apple -- and Google -- could not: the full enterprise productivity suite on ARM, in the business productivity form factors. On Feb. 9, Microsoft said it would deliver this new version of Windows 8 in tablet, laptop and desktop formats, and that this version would run Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
You would be able to buy a laptop that ran these apps, but did so with an ARM chip that had so little heat dissipation, and so little power consumption, that it would not require a fan -- just like the iPad -- and would therefore have a much better battery life, perhaps upwards of 20 hours. Microsoft's "holy grail" formula was this: Imagine a customer who mainly needed to run Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It could now be done on hardware that Apple simply does not have. With Apple, you either get the x86 (Intel (INTC))-based) MacBook, or you get the ARM-based iOS on an iPad. The MacBook performs the Microsoft Office function perfectly, but the best battery life you can hope for is seven to nine hours, while the price of the hardware starts at $1,000 and goes up to well more than $2,000.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV