Microsoft Marches Forward—the Ides of October is On
stefanie is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) big announcement didn’t come during the ides of March. It isn’t a death march cry but a resounding battle horn of things to come. It came seven months after the ides of March which is the special day of the Roman god, Mars. It is a festive parade of military prowess. In this October season, it is game on for the big technology players.
So who are the noteworthy players? A quick rundown of the line-up is as follows with a few commentaries:
Microsoft – this giant is not soft-spoken. It is tooting its major move in the devices market.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)-the original sin of easy user interface is to bite into this Apple platform. Just recently, it sued Korean heavyweight, Samung, for patent inringement. Watch out for the wrath or ban. It’s going to be costly. Samsung had to shell out $1B in payment to Apple.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG)-a lot are googly eyed over this big player. Rightly so since it is an innovator and advancing opponent in the game. It started out as a search engine company with big revenues for AdWords. It came out with Gmail, Google Docs plus other applications and a line of Nexus devices that dominate its product line.
Samsung (LSE:SAMC DL) this Korean giant is not singing its swan song after being beaten by Apple in court. It’s going to take another swing again on the matter.
Microsoft is up against titans with their sophisticated weaponry. Samsung is the highest ranked OEM this year. It wasn’t even shy over its advantage over Apple. According to comScore,Inc .’s report last May 2012, Samsung’s share was 25.6% while Apple was 13.5%. That is almost double the lead over Apple. In the smartphones segment of the market, Google dominated with 50.1% while Apple had 30.2% share of the market.
Microsoft will still be in the software business. This is after all where most of its revenues come from. On October 26, Windows 8 will be officially out in the market. It will also tackle competitors with its improved version of Office this year. It had amazing stats with its Office 2010, SharePoint, Exchange, Lync and Office 365. In 2011, Office alone genertated around $22.2B of of Microsoft's nearly $70B in fiscal revenue. This is due to the fact that ove 500 million people use Office. According to Jared Spartaro, SharePoint Director of Product Mangement, they have been adding 20,000 users perday, everyday for the last five years.Lync Revenue is up 45% on last quarter, and Exchange, SharePoint and Lync together grew in double digits. The company announced that "over 40 percent of the Top 100 Brands (according to Interbrand) use Office 365 or related cloud productivity services from Microsoft Google though has been gobbling-up Microsoft’s share of the market with Google Applications. Churn of Office users going into Google applications is dramatic. Last October 2011, Google announced that 40 million busineses and 40 million people have turned to Google's applications. Office-like application that it has are Gmail, Google Talk, Calendar and Docs.
Samsung and Google remain heavyweights in the mobile phone device business. Samsung’s Galaxy and Google’ Nexus have very bright futures ahead of them. Apple and Microsoft have some catching up to do with handheld devices.
This is not your ordinary scuffle. This is a parade of technological artillery. Microsoft is viewed as losing its innovative edge. It’s going the way of long-time rival, Apple. It is very flattering for Apple to be emulated by Microsoft. Is Microsoft doing a chameleon move on Apple? That remains to be seen. Apple is set to make an announcement on the iPod mini.
Consumers might be confused by this barrage of announcements this October. Where will they allocate their money for the next shiny toy in the market? Microsoft might surprise everyone yet. October this year will definitely be a turning point in its history. The technology pundits might have different views on the matter. Microsoft does have a killer instinct in the way it operates.Is this time to sharpen its sword? It's being ostracized as not being innovative enough. Google is an enemy in the Office-like applications and cloud computing segment. Apple has long been at odds with Micsroft over which is the better operating system and has a better brand recall due to its great platform. Samsung is a leading company from Asia with lot of business interests and a lot of market following. If Microsofti regains its dominance, will it be by leading a conspiracy to stab the Ceasar of the pack? The exterminator is ready for the attack so guard your backs.
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