Microsoft’s two billion dollar loss
It’s about a year old now, but Scott Berkun’s look at Microsoft’s 2009 fiscal performance is an interesting read. It’s definitely hard to fathom the concept of a $2 billion dollar loss, for anyone. Yes, there was a global economic recession, but plenty of other companies weathered it. And if you notice, Microsoft began losing money long before the recession started.
Lots of different factors contributed to the loss, but I think most notably it’s that Microsoft is out of touch with their customers, both consumer and business. In the past, the cash cow business sector was buying Windows licenses left and right, along with things like Exchange and SQL server.
The shift to hosted software models, as well as large company adoption of Linux, has not helped Microsoft’s bottom line. Aside from the desktop computers of the sales team, and a few virtual machines that support certain aspects of the facility – like the door control system – we don’t run any Windows machines at Data Cave. Between OS X, and Linux, and a lot of free software we’re able to get the job done. All of our critical servers run Linux.
Microsoft is certainly at a crux, and needs to re-invent itself. It’s current advertising campaign about “to the cloud” is both confusing and a strange attempt to leverage a concept that isn’t consumer centric. While Windows 7 is much better than Vista, it’s certainly not revolutionary. And don’t get me started on Windows Phone 7 Mobile, or whatever they’re calling their Mobile OS.
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