It’s Not a Tablet, It’s a Strategy: MSFT, Surface, WinPhone8 and Disruptive Change
There’s been almost too much examination of Microsoft’s Surface tablets and Windows Phone 8 this week, and most of it has been looking at entirely the wrong stuff – the technology, compatibilities, features, functions and price of both.
The Surface and WinPhone8 unveilings really signify massive strategic changes for Microsoft, with cascading impacts for its partners and customers. I’ve just published a Strategic Perspective for Saugatuck research clients that looks at the real reasons why Microsoft is making these moves, how they change what Microsoft is, and what the market effects will be.
Microsoft has entered into direct competition with dozens of its own partners in order to develop and build presence and revenues from mobile, Cloud-enabled, free-range consumers and business users, and the developers who serve them.
This new Microsoft retains the old, traditional, approach to positioning and communication, power, influence, and other advantages and disadvantages. But business-wise, it looks to be a decidedly different and potentially more competitive company.
Previously, business risks for Microsoft tended to be the result of acquisitions, none of which ever threatened the core operating system and software presence and power. Technological risks tended to be little more than minimal, marginal tweaks or extensions to the traditional OS and apps.
Entering the computing/consumption device market and revamping/updating the attendant OS is not a tweak to either the business or the technology strategy. It’s a new strategy fraught with significant risk and little room to recover. Microsoft can’t easily go back from this, and if it does, it risks being minimalized in the IT market with the greatest potential seen for decades.
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