If you look back at the early days of Apple, Microsoft has been a major supplier to Cupertino’s customers virtually from day one. Even today, Microsoft is the go to software provider for not only Macs but PCs. So whichever platform you choose, Microsoft wins.
Microsoft Exchange too is a sales monster and it licenses ActiveSync to mobile companies who want to connect to it effectively.
Microsoft’s operating income by division – Office and business software is a major contributor. Chart courtesy of Silicon Alley Insider
This overwhelming dominance however has changed drastically in the world of iOS – and if the momentum of Apple continues, what will become of Microsoft’s Office business?
Writing on TMC’s TechZone360 site, Rob Enderle asserts that Apple is correcting its “Microsoft Mistake” from its early days and its iWork productivity suite effectively shields Apple from having to rely on Microsoft for anything. From my perspective, ActiveSync is the only exception.
And if you’re Microsoft and you have a chance of losing major OS share over time – this is happening now, you need to be sure you have software for major tablets which is so superior that customers have to have it. They need a new mobile and tablet cash cow so they can continue to rake in cash from the next generation of non-Microsoft computers.
Whether Microsoft will do this via the cloud and HTML5 or a combo of server-based and local software remains to be seen. But if they don’t act soon, one wonders whether they will be able to catch up at all.