I was a fan of Microsoft when I first started out in my career. It was everywhere. Jobs local to me were all about Microsoft technology and stacks. So I started working with Microsoft's development tools and languages more out of it being so popular than by personal choice. In those days Microsoft was a key player in technology.
Looking at Microsoft now and it's hard to believe that it's the same company that was set to take over the world.Yes they have the same set of development tools and updates languages for developers, and the market for developers using these languages is still strong. However there's other areas where they appear to be losing out.
The PC is dying. The Windows driven one that is. Tablets are the new home computer, and while Microsoft have released their own tablet, the Surface, they do have a mountain to climb in terms of opposition. Apple and Amazon both have had tablets out well before Microsoft and they both have their own apps market place to sell from. Apple's iPad is extremely popular and I've started to notice that more and more people are jumping on board with Amazon's Kindle tablets.
The PC might still be a success in the office, but I think time will reveal a new success in the workplace. As tablets become more powerful and better apps and services are written, I think they maybe the new success story in the workplace. As I said though, time will tell on that one.The other area Microsoft are fighting is open source software, which is now a serious consideration for business. It maybe wasn't so much 20 years ago, but now you can comfortably run your own e-commerce site with a suite of support applications to run the business without paying a single penny in licensing costs for the software or the operating systems it runs on.
Open source software has become so popular that there are even open source ERP systems that can help you run and manage your business. Having previously worked for a Microsoft partner, I know the licensing costs involved in such systems and they can easily run into tens of thousands for even an ERP backed e-commerce site.Microsoft was a great company back in the day, but today it seems that there isn't much to get excited about from it. Not only that, they are playing a game of catchup in other markets like tablets, software and of course the cloud.
I'm not writing off Microsoft and I know they have successes in other areas but looking at them now and you can't help but wonder where it all went wrong.