This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

Microsoft Loses the Computing Plot

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) has lost the plot and needs an entirely new story.

Microsoft's old story was that it controlled the operating system, the base of the computing pyramid, and because it controlled this base, it would lead computing where it wanted it to go.

That's no longer true. Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) iOS and Google's (GOOG - Get Report) Android are both more powerful on clients. Linux is more powerful in the data center. The cloud makes Windows irrelevant.

Figures from NetMarketshare tell the story. Six months after its launch, Windows 8 has a desktop market share of 3%. Its progress is slower than Windows 7, and remember -- this is Windows' "touch" interface. Windows 7 is still all about the mouse.

Figures from Statcounter agree. The market share of all Windows versions is declining as fast as that of Windows 8 is rising, maybe faster.

A "fix" originally called Windows Blue, which ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley now says will be called Windows 8.1, is said to be in the works for summer release. But it's the second verse of a sad old song. It's a patch of asphalt on a road whose foundations are crumbling.

I have been amused by our Rocco Pendola's continuing efforts to fire Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. (Look, he does it again here and here, too.) The idea that a former radio DJ (or this aging journalist) knows more about business than a true business legend sounds ludicrous on its face.

And, yes, Ballmer is a legend. I met Ballmer several times "back in the day," as they say, and the Microsoft co-founder is a great sales guy, one of the very best. He understands the channel, he knows the importance of developers, and he deserves to be placed into business history right alongside Bill Gates. Ballmer was the offensive lineman without whom Gates' quarterbacking would have been meaningless.

To continue with the spring football analogies, Ballmer is still running the ball into the line when what's needed is the long pass. In client computing today, passing is all about the interface. Apple has managed to outmanuever Microsoft there, replacing the typewriter-TV-tape recorder paradigm with pure TV, a "touch" interface it defines, that others (including Microsoft) can only copy, weakly.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $95.03 -2.90%
GOOG $691.02 -2.10%
MSFT $49.90 -2.00%
FB $116.73 7.20%
TSLA $247.54 -1.60%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,830.76 -210.79 -1.17%
S&P 500 2,075.81 -19.34 -0.92%
NASDAQ 4,805.2910 -57.85 -1.19%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs