• Microsoft's Declining Influence


    Brian

    Even as Microsoft's newest CEO Satya Nadella tries to steer the company back into relevance by attempting to unify Microsoft notebook, desktop, tablet and smartphone platforms under the "One Microsoft" structure devised by his predecessor Steve Ballmer, most consumers and developers don't seem to care and the company appears destined to fall into obscurity.

     

    While it currently dominates the desktop market, it's newest and greatest hope in achieving the "One Microsoft" vision is Windows 10 and at the end of 2015, it barely had climbed to 10% share despite Microsoft's strong marketing push by giving it away for free. In fact, Windows 7 still retains 55% of the desktop OS market with consumers and developers alike perfectly content to stay where they are. 

     

    According to Forbes, Microsoft is now changing tactics by attempting to scare consumers into upgrading to Windows 10 by telling them Windows 7 has potentially serious security risks and hardware compatibility issues. In speaking to Windows Weekly, Microsoft Marketing chief Chris Capossela said that users who continue on with Windows 7 do so "at your own risk, at your own peril". Forbes Gordon Kelly notes that Microsoft's statements about Windows 7 amount to "complete rubbish" as Windows 7 will be supported until 2020 and with its greater market share vs Windows 10, it is guaranteed to receive more developer attention--which includes security patches and driver updates. Microsoft's motives are fairly transparent as it has a stated goal of one billion devices running Windows 10 within 2-3 years of it's release and with Windows 10 adoption seemingly faltering, they are getting desperate. 

     

    To make things worse, Vox has an article with a very interesting graph created by Joshua Kunst which illustrates Microsoft losing significant ground among developers since 2008. He made the graph by tracking popular tags on Stack Overflow, a popular forum where many developers hang out and answer programming questions. 

     

    stackoverflowqs.thumb.png.cfbe4f211804f1

     

    Looking at this chart, going back to 2008 when Stack Overflow was founded, it becomes clear that Microsoft backed programming languages and applications have declined: C#, .NET, ASP.NET, SQL all lost ground, yet competing alternatives such as PHP, MYSQL, JavaScript gained significantly. JavaScript owes part of its rise thanks to Android which uses it as the main language for Android apps

     

    In the gaming market, Xbox One started off with a faulty strategy of attempting to force users into purchasing their Kinect device while their competitor Sony produced a more powerful system that did not have similar bundling restrictions. Microsoft eventually backed off but it seems to be too late as Sony's PS4 now holds a dominant lead over Xbox One despite Microsoft's best efforts. 

     

    console-wars-Q3-2015.003-980x735.thumb.j

    (image credit: Ars Technica)

     

    So will Microsoft be able to turn around its misfortunes? Maybe if Windows 10 has a drastic turn around in 2016 with more developers getting on board, it is possible but as of right now, the future doesn't seem too bright. 

     

    Edited by Brian

    1 person likes this


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