Microsoft Blunders Again with Mobile Office

Phillip is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

With Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows 8 flop and the firm's restriction on gamers in its upcoming Xbox One release, it looked as if the company couldn't get more bad press. But then along came the new Microsoft Office Mobile for the iPhone. 

If the company continues down its current path, it could become as obsolete as International Business Machines was in the 1990s. In the company's latest flub, Microsoft's Office Mobile doesn't follow basic file compatibility, said CloudOn's chief executive Milind Gadekar. It should be noted, however, that CloudOn is the rival to Microsoft's Office Mobile, so there is some bias in his opinion. Gadekar did admit, however, that the software is superior to CloudOn in its offline capabilities.

What the bad press means to Microsoft

Microsoft continues to shoot itself in the foot at a time when the company is trying to re-brand itself. The company has also faced criticism for the limitations it has put on users of the November release of the Xbox One. Already, the company said people can't give games away to friends more than once, and the person that receives the gift has to be a friend for at least 30 days. Furthermore, the company's Windows 8 operating system was considered user unfriendly due to confusion among users. 

Having analyzed the user-unfriendliness of Microsoft's recent products and determined that the company is missing the target, you may consider selling Microsoft. However, taking a look at the firm's financials, the company is financially sound. It has steadily increasing revenue, up 26% in the last four years. I would be careful, however, due to the company's decrease in net income, which fell by 36% from 2011 to 2012 ($23 billion to just under $17 billion).

What the bad press means for Apple

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is the cooler computer brand and has lambasted the Microsoft operating system. Apple has its threats from other sources, but the company shouldn't be worried about Microsoft. Apple is still the go-to product, but it is facing a run for its money from Samsung, and others who are attempting to secure the developing world market for smartphones. 

Other dangers could put a dent in Apple's market dominance and, as a result, its bottom line. The company has increased revenue by nearly 365% since 2009, and net income has soared by about 460%, showing that the company isn't just putting out amazing products that sell, but that it is doing so very efficiently. However, I suspect that the company has peaked, and market dominance will wane in the years ahead.

What the bad press means to Sony

Sony (NYSE: SNE) stands to make a massive profit from Microsoft's blunders in the pre-release to each company's consoles. The Microsoft Xbox One is slated to be released in November, with the Sony PlayStation 4 set to come out sometime around the holidays. While sales of each company's previous consoles were neck-and-neck, the next releases are likely to be dominated by Sony because of that company's user-friendliness. Sony has cited Microsoft's restrictions and said that its gamers will have more freedom.

Microsoft, however, still has the upper hand in financials. Sony has experienced a decrease in revenue of about 6% since 2009. Furthermore, last year the company lost about $83 billion. This could be due to increased competition in the television segment, which is continually challenged by companies like Samsung and LG.

When it's all said and done

The bad press has added up quickly for Microsoft, and while the company looks to be trudging forward, the little things aren't adding up. Competitors such as Apple are consistently attempting to make its products more user-friendly, but Microsoft doesn't even seem to be trying. The company can't continue to relaunch products like Windows 8. Instead, Microsoft needs to more effectively leverage its focus groups. That way, the firm can avoid extra costs and bad press.

It's been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who've watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In a new premium report on Microsoft, a Motley Fool analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, so are the challenges. The report includes regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.


Phillip Woolgar has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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