On 4th of April, 2015, Microsoft celebrated 40th birthday. Many things have drastically changed for Microsoft in the last 40 years. Today, software giant Microsoft faces tremendous competition from its two major rivals, search giant Google and smartphone giant Apple. In addition, Microsoft has to work hard to remain in top 5 positions of the most valuable brands’ list.
Perhaps, the stiff competition is an outcome of Microsoft’s prior mistakes:
- Proprietary and rigid attitude of not giving anything free on the web and
- Too early or too late entry in tablets and smartphone domain
Keeping aside the second one, let’s focus on Microsoft’s first mistake of not giving anything “free” to its customers.
Before a decade, Microsoft had a dominant position in software. When it came to the computers’ operating system, Windows was the most prominent and widespread name. Windows OS has been a milch cow for Microsoft from years, but then Google rose some years back and brought the concept of open source.
Redmond people certainly failed to read customers’ mind. Former CEO Steve Ballmer called Linux OS “a Cancer” and Bill Gates also shared the similar views decade ago.
Change is on the air
Today, the world is entirely different. Microsoft is commanded by Satya Nadella and is ready to embrace the changes. Mr. Satya has explicitly affirmed ‘a new love for Linux’, and it is now welcomed on Azure cloud computing service. Another notable move it to give Office 365 free to both Android and iOS users.
Even co-founder Bill Gates also supports the change that is reflected in his inspiring words: “What matters most now is what we do next.”
Recently, Microsoft engineer Mark Russinovich has said that even an open source Windows could be “definitely possible” one day. The statement reflects Redmond’s intentions to address the growing competition with an open source platform.
Transformation makes Microsoft competitive
It is less difficult to give up one of the most fruitful products than to give the top place up. Today, Microsoft understands this very well and, therefore, transforming itself. Windows’ giveaway can become the biggest move toward a customer-centric approach of Microsoft. In brief, openness can make Microsoft more competitive as its rivals have already adapted this approach.
We can simply hope that in upcoming years, we’ll have free Windows. Till then, let us hope that Microsoft will get succeed in transforming its persona of younger days at the age of 40 years. Happy Birthday, Microsoft!