Microsoft can be a Huge Nightmare for Apple
John is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Windows in general is not like other software or operating systems that take up residence on store shelves waiting to be bought. No, it has always been a catalyst for change in the world of software. Windows may be the biggest of them all and consumers and techies alike are wondering just what type of impact it may have on Apple if any. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is a threat to Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and it is no secret that Microsoft wants to push back.
Windows 8 on ARM is going to be a direct challenge to iPad3. Windows on ARM is intentionally being designed for that ‘tablet’ feel instead of desktop but they will also be fully functional productivity minded tablets, not something to just store games and videos on while one surfs the web.
Considering that this OS is on more computers in the world than any other; and taking into account Windows 8 OS will also be out on tablets, it is not unthinkable that many consumers will gravitate toward tablets as well since they are familiar with Microsoft. At the same time it is not illogical to consider all of “corporate world!’ Those who are familiar with Windows now may stay with what they are familiar with and by fully productive tablets that integrate with their PC’s.
I believe Microsoft knows the importance of what this launch means for the future of the company. With Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) buying Motorola Mobility, companies like Samsung could very well gravitate toward Microsoft protesting Google’s having its own personal Android vendor. As a possibility, Microsoft will pull out all the stops on this one. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that tablets are the up and coming thing—far more popular than PC’s as time progresses. I am sure Microsoft is smart enough to know that it has to define itself as a major player or it will find itself looking through dusty window while other reap profits in the industry. Expect a war! I believe the company will do whatever it has to claim its stake in the tablet market.
Keeping in mind that Windows 8 is coming out and Microsoft is fighting for a share of the multi-platform market, we might keep in mind another advantage the company has. Though Apple and Google are stronger in the mobile markets, Microsoft has a multi-million monopoly on internet users with the XBox. Sales of game consoles have topped 67 million and there are 40 million registered Xbox live members. Okay, I want you to picture the potential here for the company. Xbox is a full-fledged streaming service by design and if Microsoft can branch out as Windows 8 and the Xbox connect to other mobile devices, can you imagine the market they could have? Then we have the whole battle for the TV. In their infancy, Apple TV and Google TV were failures. What if Microsoft does something right?
The battle lines have been drawn and it certainly looks like Microsoft could be a threat to Apple in the future. Microsoft's other edge over Apple and Android is the widely used and generally well-liked Office suite. In fact, Morgan Stanley analyst Kathryn Hubert expects Microsoft to surge past Android for the No. 2 spot, behind Apple, in the tablet market once Windows 8 hits the streets. The difference maker, according to Hubert: Office. So yes, it can be a threat—a big threat!
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