Friday, May 22, 2009

Microsoft's Sun is Setting

Throughout corporate history companies have come and gone. Once mighty titans of history eventually become yesterday's news. Over the ages there has been Rockefeller and Standard Oil. There has been Andrew Carnegie and U.S Steel. Included in this list is Sears Roebuck, Hudson Bay Company, IBM and General Motors. The question that arises is Microsoft going to join this list?

When this campaign was initiated it was indicated that numerous letters were forwarded to Mr. Ballmer. The letters indicated that the company had to adapt to the changing competitive environment and examine its business model.

Through the course of the campaign it has been indicated that OS is losing share. It has been stated that the company is required to evolve and create strategies that will alleviate the depletion or decrease of revenue from OS.

The campaign has referenced that Apple, SUN Microsoystems and other companies are creating a threat to Microsoft's coveted cash cows. The campaign has stated that the company has constantly protected the cash cows but neglected to insulate itself from emerging trends.

The campaign has indicated that there is a trend towards SaaS, handheld and the Internet. Microsoft is trailing within each of these sectors. The company has a battered image in regards to its coveted cash cow OS division. Through the Vista fiasco, the Apple ads and Microsoft's poor response, Microsoft has a battered image. Refer to

This campaign has indicated for several months that Microsoft requires a "New Strategy". Over the past couple of months this strategy has evolved as current and former Microsoft employees provided additional insight and analysis.

Sadly, I feel myself compeled to say to Mr. Ballmer "Told You So".

There is a recent article with CBS Marketwatch. Refer to:

The article refers to Win 7 and its potential to save Microsoft. One interesting comment by the author is when he states " Microsoft has fumbled over and over again". There is no disputing this truth. Microsoft has fumbled on numerous occassions. Therefore, should one remain optimistic and believe that Win 7 and its release will prove different?

With the Crispin Porter generated ads Microsoft is failing to create a positive brand awareness and brand perception. Apple is considered cutting edge and subsequently this is refelected in the company stock price. Then there is Microsoft. Microsoft is required to create a excitement with the consumer. In a previous post this campaign referenced the Win 95 commercials. These commercials created excitement with the consumer. The recent campaign with Seinfeld, I am PC and Life without Walls are failing to create excitement with the consumer.

The next dilemma confronting Microsoft is its ability to deliver a desired product. Its track record for creating superior products has not been the company strength. It has rolled out products and left consumers frustrated and disappointed. Unless Win 7 offers compatibilty and superior user satisfaction all the advertising will not improve the company and enhance sales.

However, even if Microsoft is able to deliver a superior product with Win 7 it is still confronted with the original dilemma. It is still confronted with a business model that requires examination and modification.

There is a recent article with TechFlash. Refer to:

In the above article the author Mr. Todd Bishop makes reference to the facts this campaign has been arguing for several months. The article states that OS is no longer the dominant revenue generator for Microsoft. The article also references the various threats to the company business model.

Microsoft is threatened within the OS sector. It has increased competition and a depletion in market share. It is threatened with online services and handheld services. Microsoft is required to adopt a "New Strategy".

This campaign has compiled and revised information from actual Microsoft employees to create a "New Strategy" for Microsoft. The strategy focus is on insulating the company from a continued depletion of OS revenue. It focuses on increasing the company image. It addresses R&D spending and improving effeciency. The campaign also provides solutions to insulate the depletion in OS and position the company in emerging trends.

The campaign has through its "New Strategy" indicated that Microsoft is required to initiate a deal with Yahoo. This will increase its share in the online sector. It is also required to pursue an acquisition of handheld company RIM (Research In Motion). This will enable the company to become competitive in the handheld sector. An alliance with Verizon to create a Smartphone will prove to late and a failure. RIM already has brand awareness and a solid base.

It is without dispute that Microsoft is confronted with various threats to its previous business model. However, companies have to adapt to the constant changing competitive environment. If a company fails to adapt it becomes like General Motors. It becomes outpaced and a dinasour.

If Microsoft and primarily Mr. Ballmer, The Board and the SLT fail to adapt, analysts and the history books might as well add Microsoft to the list of "Has Beens". Mr. Ballmer is required to adopt a strategy that will enable the company to remain pertinent and competitive. Perhaps it requires a strategy that was revised by actual Microsoft employees.

In a previous post, this campaign created the analogy that Microsoft was the Titanic headed towards the iceberg and Mr. Ballmer is neglecting to listen to warnings and keeps stating "full speed ahead". Unless, Mr. Ballmer starts listening to analysts, EMPLOYEES, and reports, the company is going to sink and take many people down with it.

Unfortunately, in this case history will likely repeat itself. We are all aware of the fact that only the rich were saved as the mighty Titanic sank taking the lower class citizens into the deep. Sadly, Mr. Ballmer, Mr. Gates (who is selling millions of shares per quarter to invest in private investment firm Cascade), the SLT and the Board will save themselves with billions worth of shares and watch numerous others sink into the depths with the once mighty Microsoft.

How long will the shares have to remain in the stagnant mode and fail to create value before the SLT changes course?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Speaking at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Jim Wong, Acer's global president of IT products, said the Android operating system offers "incredibly fast wireless connection to the Internet." But he said Acer will continue using the Windows operating platform. "We have to make sure the old choice [Windows] doesn't disappear," he told reporters."