The Wall Street Journal reported today that PC sales are falling faster than expected and Windows 8 failed to spur the trend, in fact they say it exacerbated it. Part of the reason is the growth in non-Windows tablet sales like Apple and Android based devices.
I think this is a good thing. I will go a step further to say it is about time. The PC model is a broken ridiculous system and if Windows 8 accelerates changes in the marketplace that is a good thing. Microsoft is suffering from the same market forces that facilitated its rise to prominence. Once Microsoft got to the top they stopped innovating and setting the bar. They got fat and sloppy while their cousins (Apple, Samsung, Amazon) hit the gym. Now they are playing catch-up looking for a date.
Don’t misunderstand; I am not rooting for Microsoft’s end. In fact I doubt that will happen and I hope that it doesn’t. They could have a long future in the enterprise space like IBM and Oracle. I hear good things about the Office 365 platform and Exchange and SQL alone could fund them for a century as long as they keep up with the market and security.
But they have to watch their back here as well. Enterprise Gmail costs half of what hosted Exchange does and pretty soon the Gmail program will pass Exchange in features. Apple’s Pages, its competitor to Word, is $9.99 on an iPad and $19.99 on a Mac and it works as well as Office does for 95% of the people.
Microsoft tries to ignore the Apple and Android trend. They stopped developing Office for the Mac (Mac sales are rising while Windows is falling). They put a stake in the ground and said our stuff will only run on Windows. Um…Okay. That is a weird thought process considering one platform is dying while the other two are rising.
They also do not offer Office apps for the tablet space. That is absurd and continuing this path is moronic. Not innovating and changing accelerates decline because good employees, your rock stars leave you to play for the competition.
Ignoring the trends does not make you look smart. I am reminded of Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf during the Iraq war in 2003, AKA Baghdad Bob. That poor man had to go on TV everyday to tell Iraq citizens everything was all okay and the Americans were not there.