This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Microsoft's Windows 8: Why I Changed My Mind

Stocks in this article: MSFT AAPL GOOG

Measuring Windows 8 success based on the RT version or the initial Surface tablet should therefore be a mistake. However, Microsoft as a company still faces (reputational) risk from consumer backlash over RT and the Surface. This needs to be monitored carefully.

What Does This Mean for Microsoft?

Microsoft was losing badly in the consumer market. Not one person I know has switched from Mac to PC in recent years, whereas many people have done the reverse. A quick walk over to your nearest Starbucks (SBUX) will confirm this.

Can Windows 8 stem this tide? The potential is definitely there, although I think it will take at least another year for a clear verdict to emerge. Windows 8 now has the stability, security and manageability of the Mac OS and offers something Mac does not: a touch screen.

Then add the further potential if Microsoft can close or meaningfully narrow the applications gap for the RT platform. RT runs on processors designed by ARM Holdings (ARMH) and initially manufactured by Nvidia (NVDA) and Qualcomm (QCOM), and is therefore both cheaper and power-efficient.

If Microsoft plays things right before Apple also shifts its Mac line to ARM Holdings processors, it could have a trump card.

Apple's advantage remains its superior sales and distribution model, including the lifetime customer support afforded by its almost 500 stores. Until Microsoft -- or Google -- matches this, it will be an uphill battle competing with Apple, quite aside from actual product merits.

Now there is, of course, another pink elephant in the middle of the room, which changes this competitive equation in yet another dimension, and this is Google's PCs based on the Chrome operating system. These are the Chromebooks (laptops) and Chromeboxes (desktops). If you want the ultimate in simplicity, where there is no need for customer support (stores) because there is nothing causing a customer support event to begin with, then these Chrome OS PCs are for you.

Both Apple and Microsoft are trying to simplify their PC products, but if you want the ultimate in simplicity, why isn't the 100% pure Web experience the answer? Google removes any and all need to set up and manage your PC in any way -- backups, security, synchronization, storage management, application management, updates, etc. -- and makes the PC experience totally foolproof.

With Windows 8 Microsoft may have stemmed the hemorrhaging of customers in Apple's direction, and it may be able to reverse that trend over time. But both Apple and Microsoft also now have a new threat from the ultimate next-gen product from Google: the $249 laptop, and other models that are sure to emerge from Google in the next few months.

At the time of writing, Wahlman was long AAPL, GOOG, MSFT, NVDA and QCOM.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

3 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

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.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

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.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,778.15 +421.28 2.43%
S&P 500 2,061.23 +48.34 2.40%
NASDAQ 4,748.3960 +104.0840 2.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs