Nobody bats a thousand, and Microsoft is no different. Here’s a quick look at five things Microsoft did right in 2013 and five it did wrong.
Right Office 365 – If success is determined by whether a lot customers buy a service, Office 365 is wildly successful.
In a little more than 100 days, the service had 1 million customers. That was back in May and by October it hit 2 million.
Buying Microsoft Office via a cloud service that’s continually upgraded and available from any of a customer’s Internet connected devices including their phones is apparently appealing.
At about $100 per customer per year, that still pales in what Microsoft takes in from enterprise customers, but businesses and particularly municipalities and universities seem very interested. Larger entities might not be far behind.
Microsoft has been pushing it into educational institutions via a variety of specials, most recently the free use for students at schools that license Office 365 Pro Plus or Office Professional Plus via the Student Advantage program.
Buying Nokia – With Nokia smartphones pretty much driving whatever success Windows Phone has, pulling the company in-house seems like a smart move.
First, Microsoft should be able to move more quickly to implement upgrades to Windows 8 and to direct sales efforts in places Windows 8 lags but that represent potential growth, such as Africa and Japan. Nokia has high- and low-end smartphones to worm its way into markets at either end.
Nokia also has lines of tablets and phablets (phones with screens between five and seven inches), both of which Microsoft should be interested in serving. As the PC market shrinks, some other device or set of devices will replace them. With Nokia’s assets on board Microsoft should be able to move quickly to provide Windows-based options regardless of which form factor dominates, keeping pace with or beating its OEM hardware partners.
Windows Phone – Microsoft is again nowhere near being number one in mobile phones, but it is making progress, posting number three among the top operating systems.
While lagging far behind Android (52%) and Apple’s iOS (40.6%), Microsoft’s 3.2% market share as of October 2013 is laughably small but still represents the first time it has beaten BlackBerry, according to analytics firm ComScore.
Microsoft doubled its share of the worldwide market between Oct. 2012 and Oct. 2013, making it the fastest growing major smartphone platform, according to Strategy Analytics. Also important, Windows Phone is making bigger strides in individual regions outside the U.S., particularly Europe where its share has hit double digits in some countries, according to Kantar Worldpanel, a consumer analytics firm.
Nearly all of that growth is thanks to Nokia, Strategy Analytics notes.