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The Motivation to Change

There is a simple answer: Microsoft has been losing. It has long been advertised that the future is mobile, but Microsoft's mobile presence has been virtually non-existent. 90 per cent of the PC market won't count for a lot if mobile OSes continue their migration from phone to tablet to desktop. Microsoft is also lagging a long way behind Google in search and has no social network. Even Amazon has it beat for multimedia and apps, let alone iTunes or Android Marketplace.


In response Microsoft has listened to the old adage: if you want something done right, do it yourself. Bloatware loaded PCs, insipid smartphone hardware and unregulated software has seen the company's remarkable achievement in creating platforms that can run on almost anything overshadowed by an image of dull computers, out of touch phones and virus riddled programmes - and Microsoft has had enough.

Much like the Ultrabook illustrates Intel's lost faith in PC builders, Microsoft's stance proves it has lost faith in virtually all its partners. It would never admit it as such, but actions speak louder than words.

When drowning you look for anything to hold on to and Apple's soaring success has proved an enormous inspiration. There will always be fundamental differences between the two companies - licensing, most crucially - but there is no question Microsoft has taken giant steps to attain the same control over hardware and software, to push talk of customer experience first and pricing second, to quietly construct the wall around its products that Apple has long admitted.

Microsoft exited the CES stage with a whimper. It announced little other than a more expensive PC edition of its Xbox Kinect and that PC functionality would be cut from all future Xbox Kinect devices. It was a very Apple thing to do. One suspects, like Apple, it will now save the biggest and best announcements for its own events, on its own terms…


January 15, 2012, 2:11 am

Microsoft are roughly six years behind Apple - on any measure of innovation, business model or market position. Quite an impressive feat given their previous domination. I bet they still paid out bonuses to those charged with such great strategy work! I remember quite a few on Trusted Reviews (including the author of this item) being very cynical about Apple (remind me - an iPad was a big iPod touch which had no clear functionality and would never catch on!!). Microsoft will not be able to recover it's position. The PC market will decline very heavily over the next five years as mobile and tablet become the way to access content in the cloud. New companies will appear to take advantage of this. It was a good run Microsoft 1975 - 2015!


January 16, 2012, 4:32 am

Haha, I knew that point would come back to bite me! I maintain an iPad is essentially a big iPod touch, what has transformed it into a runaway success are both the quality of its apps and the failure of Android to so-far develop tablet specific apps of similar amount or quality.

I certainly don't believe it is over for Microsoft. Fees on 70% of all Android phones sold and counting, remember... and it has immense cash reserves to call upon to facilitate change. It will need them having let slip search, mobile, browsing and Cloud computing in previous years - each of which it is desperately trying to win back.

Apple's evolution under new leadership will be just as interesting once Jobs' road maps have been exhausted. It may be down, but never count out Microsoft.


January 16, 2012, 7:11 pm

What is a motivation for this kind of articles? Is Apple a software company? I don't think so. They are more like hardware/software re-sellers. If you write a list of MS products and list of Apple products, you should notice quite a big difference.


January 18, 2012, 9:16 pm

Interesting article, but given that the title asked why Microsoft is becoming more like Apple and "why is this a good thing?", it would have been nice to hear some views on why it might NOT be a good thing. There is talk of "customer experience", which of course means a simpler, smoother experience. It also means less choice. Less choice of hardware, less choice of software, less choice of how you can use the hardware and software, less choice in the content that can be accessed. Maybe I'm just being stubborn since everyone else is prepared to ignore these concerns in favour of a shiny and convenient "experience", but it would be nice to at least address the issue.


January 18, 2012, 9:32 pm

P.s. I realise I misquoted and the subtitle read "is this a good thing" rather than "why is this a good thing"? The question was not answered so my point stands.


January 22, 2012, 7:55 am

I'll switch to Kubuntu in 2013, that's for sure.


January 23, 2012, 2:17 am

Appreciate your correct. This aspect was dealt with in a previous editorial which you may find pertinent:


January 23, 2012, 2:22 am

Because they're highly relevant. It sounds to me like you haven't read the article fully. You will find this relevant:

"I remember when" isn't really applicable when discussing past industry opinions. It is constantly changing, as will our views toward it.


December 26, 2012, 9:42 pm

I see linux becoming a LOT more popular in the next few years

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