The State of Microsoft: Are they losing focus?

Historically, Microsoft has been a leader in desktop software. The company revolutionized computing by transitioning the computer from the university research centers to our homes. Microsoft has since branched off into slew of other markets. Their efforts have been met with several failures (e.g. the Zune, Internet Explorer) and limited successes (e.g. Xbox 360, operating systems). With Google following a similar growth strategy, Microsoft is going to have a very formidable competitor in many of the same markets. Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer discusses his growth strategy with one of Mac’s most famous pioneers, Guy Kawasaki (behind Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak): The point Steve makes about Microsoft innovating on many different fronts is interesting. While Microsoft is developing MP3 players, mobile and desktop OS, gaming systems, browsers and search engines, the question becomes, is the leadership losing focus? Are they concentrating on too many areas and diluting their efforts? Microsoft is suffering on several fronts. The software giant lost 28% market share in mobile OS this past year (Apple has a 1.84 million user lead on Microsoft in mobile OS), Internet Explore’s grip in the browser market is slipping to Mozilla and Chrome (down from 75.47% in January to as low as 64.13%) and the Zune is continuing to choke. The software giant faces even more competition from Google (beyond browsers and search engines) with their new Chrome OS. How can Microsoft use focus to win While Ballmer says he wants to innovate on many different fronts, should they instead be re-tooling their strategy? One that brings more focus to their efforts? In November 2009, Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, took an astounding 10.4% market share — weakening Yahoo! even further. Bing is not touching Google — instead the new search engine is taking big bites from Yahoo!. If Microsoft continues winning in its fight against...

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