Google and Apple seem to have got the future very much on their palms, while other mega tech companies like Yahoo play catch up. Yahoo’s relevance hit a sudden decline a couple of years ago until the emergence of Marissa Mayer who looks set to turn the company’s hard-times to good fortune.
Now, in the last decade, Microsoft has been dying a slow death and it is unlikely if only one Marissa Mayer can save a company whose future doesn’t seem to align with the task ahead. In 2000, Microsoft powered 93% of consumer computing devices, fast-forward to 2013 and the figure has been reduced drastically to as low as 20%, seattletimes reports.This decline is shocking and even more worrisome for an innovative company like Microsoft. Let us examine 6 of the numerous Microsoft dying products which may have had some kind of effects in shaping the company’s steady decline.
Hotmail and Yahoomail were once the leading email service giant, but once Google launched it’s email service; Gmail. The whole scenario changed. Microsoft has officially killed Hotmail and migrated all users to the Outlook email platform. From an ignored email service in 2004, Gmail has now positioned itself as world’s largest email service.
5. Windows Phones
The Windows Mobile OS has never gotten the kind of love Microsoft would have hoped for, considering the fact that Windows OS for PC dominated the market since it was first released to the public. Microsoft has struggled with this platform as many phone vendors do not seem to be interested in whatever it brings to the industry. Lately, Nokia decided to back Windows Mobile OS and made it their primary platform for development of their smartphones. Thanks to the death of Symbian and the failure of Intel to release a new Mobile OS on schedule. In 2013, Windows Mobile OS is still miles behind Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android with an approximate market share of 4%.
4. Internet Explorer
Every attempt to revive the Internet Explorer has ended up being an unenviable mistake for giving both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox extra advantages over the Internet Explorer. The “e” Logo which used to define the internet now looks like a mere icon that constantly gets over-looked by PC users who have either made the Chrome or Firefox their default browsers. With over 750 million active users using Chrome, Google declared it the world’s most popular web browser.
When the Apple’s iPod excited consumers, Microsoft responded with the laughable Zune media player. Today, Zune is no more and was an embarrassing attempt by Microsoft to impress humanity who have found love with Apple. Zune unsurprisingling made Time’s list of 10 biggest tech failures in the last decade.
In 2009, Microsoft launched Bing, a big public rebranding of its search portal. It was part of plans to rival Google’s search which had already eaten-up Yahoo search. So far, Bing has not done enough and Google search still controls over 65% of the global search market share, while Bing sits at 16.7% and Yahoo search at 11.8%.
1. Xbox One
The Xbox One looks like it took 359 steps backwards, following the unpopular footpath of the original Xbox that made the game a flop. Xbox One failed to capitalize on the success of the Xbox 360, where it gave Sony a big fight. Sony had to struggle with multiple losses to remain relevant in the gaming community. In Q4 of 2013, when next-gen launches, Sony won’t have to do much to win the competition as the Xbox One is already dead before arrival.
Microsoft has made bad decisions over the past several years. And these have been high-level decisions by top leadership at Microsoft. It may be time for a new direction at the dying company. Industry analysts think Ballmer is too much of a business man than a technology oriented man. Microsoft sure needs a change, but will Ballmer’s exit be enough to fire-up Microsoft to a future where success would be assured?