Posted by: coastcontact | August 24, 2013

Microsoft Beyond the PC

IBM PC I have had a Microsoft based computer since the first clones were being built.  I had a 5 ¼” two floppy disk machine using the first MS operating system MS-DOS 1.1

In the 1980s and 1990s Microsoft overwhelmed all competitors in computer technology.  Between their operating system and Office products there were none that could compare.  By focusing on software only they enrolled hardware manufacturers to adopt their vision.  Thus, hardware company after company joined in to a vision of spreading the use of computers to both home users and businesses.  They succeeded.  From banks to law offices to manufacturing everyone converted their systems from manual to computers.

Then Google came along in 1996 and the domain was registered on September 15, 1997. They formally incorporated their company, Google Inc., on September 4, 1998 at a friend’s garage.  Search engines existed before founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had hit upon a name that was an instant success.  Their Algorithms made them the dominate force.  I remember being told to use Google in the year 2000 for answers to my questions.  Early companies such as Lycos, Altavista, and WebCrawler were lost in the dust.

Google went on to acquire YouTube and develop the Android operating system for smart phones that is now used in more phones than any other.

Where was Microsoft while the world was changing?  Nowhere to be seen.

Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, did not appear until 2009.  Microsoft’s touch panel operating system for smartphones, dubbed Windows 8, was released to manufacturing on August 1, 2012, and was released for general availability on October 26, 2012.  Neither of these systems has been a hit.  In fact tech radio host Leo Laporte has advised his listeners to find PCs with Windows 7 operating systems if you are in the market for a new computer.

So is it any wonder that Steve Balmer, CEO of Microsoft, will be leaving the company within the next 12 months?  At 57 years old, he is not ready to retire.  Although not said publicly, it is a sure bet that the Microsoft board has asked for his resignation.

Given the lead that Apple and Google have in the smart phone arena it is hard to imagine how Microsoft can regain its lead.



  1. Good article.

  2. Reliance Communications on Wednesday announced its plans to exclusively market Android TM devices in India for the next two years. Through this strategic collaboration with Google TM, Reliance Communications will market the Android mobile operating system and Google Mobile Services in order to promote the usage of Android devices in India.

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