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The Windows Era Is Over

By Salvatore "Sam" Mattera  The Motley Fool



Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) earnings report made it official: the Windows era is over. Microsoft shares fell over 11% on Friday, the biggest decline since the financial crisis.

The company whiffed on earnings, as consumers abandoned Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

Can Microsoft survive in a post-Windows era?

Microsoft admits it: The traditional PC is struggling

Some companies (Coca-ColaGoogle) have blamed the weather for their recent struggles. But not Microsoft. To its credit, the Redmond tech giant was fairly upfront with what’s causing its problems.

On the earnings call, Microsoft admitted that traditional PC form factors, Windows’ home turf,  are in a state of terminal decline. Demand among business users was up only moderately, and by Microsoft’s own estimates, consumer demand declined by over 20%.

That it isn't to say that Microsoft is ready to abandon Windows -- far from it. Management still believes Windows has a future. I disagree.

How Microsoft plans to save Windows

To rejuvenate Windows, Microsoft has undertaken a few initiatives.

For starters, it cut the price of its Surface RT tablet by 30%. There is now a $150 difference between Microsoft’s tablet and Apple’s competing iPad. In theory, that could help to save the Windows RT platform.

For Windows 8, Microsoft has rolled out an update that brings back the start button. It also partnered with its OEMs to reduce the cost of full Windows 8 tablets. Asus, for example, sells a tablet that’s less than $500, but runs full Windows 8.

It isn't going to work

But, these moves aren't going to change anything. Microsoft’s mobile strategy has been a complete disaster. ...more

Google will be the new king of the operating system market

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) looks set to take the crown from Microsoft as the world’s dominant operating system provider. By giving Android away for free, Google has been able to conqueror the mobile operating system market.

Gartner expects Android to have largely supplanted Windows by 2017. Given the current trends, that prediction looks likely to come true. ...more



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