2012 is the year that will define Microsoft as the market place they have dominated moves to tablet computers and smart phones.
The challenge for Microsoft is how they migrate their desktop and server products to the platforms dominated by Amazon, Google and Apple.
At this year’s TechEd Australian conference the pressure is on Microsoft to present how they will deal with this challenge from tablet computers, mobile phones and cloud computing.
The big ticket item is the Windows phone. After the disastrous launch of the Nokia Lumia 920, Microsoft has to convince the market place they have a viable competitor to the iPhone and the plethora of Google Android devices.
Microsoft have taken the opposite strategy to Apple in trying to offer the same operating system on all their devices. If Windows 8 can run on all systems then they have a chance of locking high margin corporate users onto their platforms.
Windows 8 itself has to have a compelling story to tell. Much of Microsoft’s future relies upon a successful rollout of the new operating system that meets the demands of both consumers and businesses. Users increasingly expect social media and cloud computing services to be integrating into their systems.
Cloud computing is an important part of Microsoft’s corporate strategy and how the new version of Windows Server delivers on the business requirements of using cloud services will be an important factor in the product’s success.
One of Microsoft’s most profitable product lines has been their Office suite of applications. Margins on Office have been under pressure since the release of the free Google Docs suite and the corporate Google Apps product.
The advantage Microsoft have in the office productivity market is their products have the full range of feature business users need and Google, and Apple, have struggled to include these tools in their products.
With new versions of Office, Server, Phone and Windows all being released Microsoft have a lot of stories to tell and the stakes for the software giant are huge. It’s going to be an interesting few days at the Gold Coast Convention Centre.